St Andrews faces an uncertain future with one environmental study suggesting that the famous Old Course could be lost to the North Sea by the year 2050.

Professor Jan Bebbington of the St Andrews Sustainability Institute has predicted the effect of climate change in Scotland over the next 50 years.

But the initial visualisation does not look bright for the Home of Golf, which is renowned for its spectacular physical features including 112 bunkers – among them the daunting Road Bunker on the 17th.  

The Old Course has held more Open Championships than anywhere else and will host the 139th showpiece again in 2010.

Tiger Woods triumphed on the famous links in 2005 and has referred to Scotland’s Old Course as his “favourite course in the world.”

And the legendary Jack Nicklaus once said: “There’s just no other golf course that is even remotely close.” The 18-time Major winner claimed two of his three Open Championship titles at the Home of Golf.  

Prof Bebbington is due to launch her report at Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh on Tuesday when St Andrews’ North Sea threat will become clearer.