Carnoustie Golf Links Championship

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At A Glance

Carnoustie Golf Links Championship Course has been host to the Men's, Women's and Senior's Open Championships.

  • Carnoustie Golf Links is perhaps the best-bunkered links course in the world.
  • Wind direction plays an important role due to routing.
  • The turf is of the finest quality playing both firm and fast.
  • It is one of the finest examples of GCA.
  • Tom Doak recommends golf architecture students pay special attention to the bunkering.

Full Course Review

The Carnoustie Golf Links Championship Course is 'Golf's Greatest Test'. Host to eight Open Championships, one Ladies British Open and two Seniors Opens, it is one of the few to complete the trifecta. It has also played host to the World Hickory Open in 2015! The name has become synonymous with golfers who have had their careers defined by the course. Jean Van De Velde, Johnny Miller, Gary Player and Ben Hogan.


Steeped in history, golf has been played here since the 16th century. It was in 1839 that the oldest artisan club was founded as the Carnoustie Golf Club. Originally, Allan Robertson laid out 10 holes. In 1867, Old Tom Morris bumped the number up to 18 and James Braid made it Open worthy in 1926.


About 300 of Carnoustie's sons emigrated to across the world and brought the game of golf with them. Their influence can be linked to the America's, South Africa and Australia. One Stewart Maiden emigrated to America and became the pro at East Lake. There he mentored a young lad by the name of Bobby Jones.

Burns, OOB and Bunkers

The course is famous for its' burns, Out of Bounds and bunkering. The burns come into play on the holes: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11, 12, 16, 17 and 18.  O.O.B come into play on 1, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14 and 18. The first one-shot hole doesn't come until the 8th. South America may seem an odd name for the 10th. The story goes this is the spot where a local awoke after his farewell party and before embarking to the New World. Perhaps the most famous bunkers in golf, after a handful at the Old Course and the 4th at Woking, are the Spectacles on the 14th.

'U'nique Routing

The routing is a U-Shape going out to the far side of the site before tacking back along similar lines. It is so cleverly done, no two holes play in the same direction. The 17th and 18th is perhaps the most nerve-wracking finish in all of Championship Golf. Distance control in the wind, on the firm and fast linksland and the every present Barry Burn is what keeps golfers awake at night... the Burn is described by Frank Pennink as an angry, twisting serpent that contains the venom needed to kill a scorecard.


Carnoustie is known colloquially as Carnasty. A championship test that beguiles even the best at the height of their powers, perhaps no other course is as strategic, penal and heroic as Carnoustie Golf Links Championship Course.


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