Carnoustie Golf Links

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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.

Carnoustie Golf Links & The Open

The 147th Open was won by Francesco Molinari in 2018. Padraig Harrington won the 136th Open in 2007. In 1999, Paul Lawrie won the 128th Open. Tom Watson won his first Open, the 104th in 1975. Gary Player was victorious at the 97th Open in 1968. Ben Hogan won the 82nd Open in 1953. Henry Cotton won the 72nd Open in 1937. Tommy Armour won the first Open at Carnoustie, the 66th in 1931.

Carnoustie Golf Links Videos

Watch Cookie Jar's Old Tom Trails video here

Golf 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.

Carnoustie Golf Links History

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.

Influence of Carnoustie Golf Links

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 Golf Links Summary

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.

The Carnoustie Burnside Course

The Carnoustie Golf Links Burnside Course is a par 68 and comes in at under 6,000 yards even from the back tees. With a generous 3 hours and 46 minutes allotted to play the course, it is the perfect 18 after the tougher Championship Test.

The only par 5 tips the scales at just 490 yards but three of the par 4's come in at over 450 yards. With one par 5, four par 3's and the balance being par 4's, it is no slouch. Similar to the Championship course, OOB comes into play on the 2nd, 3rd and 18th. The namesake is earned with burns found on the 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 17th and 18th.

Although it is the second course at Carnoustie, it is by no means second rate. In fact, it probably suffers from the Championship courses' success. The 11th green is perhaps the most difficult test of the 36. The centreline bunker on 12, the punchbowl on 13 and perhaps a driver to the 228-yard par 3 make this string of holes particularly noteworthy.

Burnside is a great example of what can be found if one is not in a hurry to race to the next course over in Fife or north in Aberdeenshire or The Highlands.

Carnoustie Artwork

To purchase Carnoustie Golf Links artwork click here
Remastered watercolour of Carnoustie Golf Links found in Golf Courses of the British Isles from artist Harry Rountree.

A photograph of the 1st hole at Carnoustie as shot by Kevin Murray.

A photograph of the 2nd hole at Carnoustie as shot by Kevin Murray.


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