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CARNOUSTIE

GOLF  LINKS

CARNOUSTIE, ANGUS, SCOTLAND

PICTURED IS THE 18TH HOLE LEADING TO THE CLUBHOUSE. ALONG THE WAY THE DEEP,
SERPENTINE CANAL OF THE BARRY BURN INVITES DISASTER AS HAPPENED INFAMOUSLY
AT THE 1999 OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP WITH THE COLLAPSE OF JEAN VAN DE VELDE.
Photo courtesy Carnoustie Golf Links

They call it "Car-NASTY" or "The Bear". It’s long. It’s narrow. It’s slippery.
It’s subject to strong winds and horizontal rain. It’s not fair.
It can be your worst nightmare, right, Jean Van de Velde?

CARNOUSTIE GOLF LINKS
Links Parade, Carnoustie, Angus, Scotland DD7 7JE

So you like a good challenge...care to take on #16 in the world?

          Carnoustie is a maverick. Located apart from Scotland's four main links course coastlines along the North Seas 45 minutes (25 miles) northeast of St. Andrews, Carnoustie has always done things its own way. Always, in this case, extends back to golf's dim origins. The game has been played on the links land of Carnoustie at least since 1520, and likely earlier. Golf evolved here, and from here was exported around the world by golf missionaries indoctrinated at Carnoustie, carrying the course-design principals of three of the giants of early golf architecture throughout the British Isles, to North America, and beyond. While Carnoustie's impact on the history of the game cannot be underestimated, most golfers who come to Carnoustie concern themselves with the impact this challenging course may have on their handicaps.

BETTER NOT POKE THE BEAR —

          You remember The Collapse, don’t you? On the final day of the 1999 Open French pro Jean Van de Velde strolled to the 18th tee with a 3 shot lead. Everyone knew that shooting double bogey or better on this difficult par-4 would mean a certain win of the world’s most prestigious golf event. Caution and conservatism was called for. Defense wins championships, right? Someone forgot to tell Van de Velde. His drive was wild and daring, but landed safe enough. His second shot — also wild and daring — hit the grandstand at the green and buried itself in deep grass. The third shot never reached the green, plunking down in the greenside stream called Barry Burn. Burned into our retinas were images of Van de Velde sans shoes and socks and up to his fetlocks in the creek contemplating chipping in a half-a-foot of flowing water. Thinking better of it (what took so long?), the Frenchman dropped a ball creekside and chipped a fifth shot for the green, but missed wide right, landing in a bunker.
          Shot six finally landed on the short grass, but short of the hole by ten feet. With the headlights blinding Bambi, Van de Velde somehow summoned sufficient spirit to sink the 10-footer and save the match. Temporarily. Locked in a three-way tie for the Open with former champ American Justin Leonard and home-lad Paul Lawrie, Van de Velde swooned on the first playoff hole. Two holes later Lawrie satisfied the crowded grandstand with the first Open victory by a Scot on a Scottish course in 68 years.

CARNOUSTIE GOLF LINKS

CARNOUSTIE, ANGUS, SCOTLAND

CARNOUSTIE'S 245-YARD PAR-3 16TH HOLE LEADING TO THE CLUBHOUSE. AS WITH MANY HOLES
AT CARNOUSTIE THE WIND AND A PHALANX OF GREENSIDE POT BUNKERS INVITES DISASTER.

Photo courtesy Carnoustie Golf Links

MORE HISTORY, MODERN & ANCIENT —

          The 2007 Open Championship returned to Carnoustie for the first time since Van de Velde scored seven with one Blow. Since 1999 golf had changed. The sport became the fiefdom of Tiger Woods. The Big Cat owns three Open titles with wins in 2000 and 2005 at St. Andrews — about an hour south of Carnoustie — and in 2006 at Hoylake, near Liverpool, England. Americans David Duval (remember him?) in 2001, Ben Curtis in 2003, and Todd Hamilton in 2004 claimed claret jugs for the Stars and Stripes. South Africa’s Ernie Els broke the Yankee dominance of the Open in 2002. And at Carnoustie in 2007 Yankee dominance was broken once again, this time by Irishman Padraig Harrington in a four-hole playoff versus Spaniard Sergio Garcia. The victory at Carnoustie began an impressive run for Harrington, who won major championships at the Open again in 2008 and the PGA in 2008.
         
Carnoustie Golf Links maintains its claim as one of the oldest sites for golf in the world, with recorded golf being played on the links land here at least as early as 1520 and maybe before Columbus crossed the Atlantic. Regardless of the debate about where golf first was played in Scotland, Carnoustie’s Championship Links Course is not one of the ancient Scottish courses. Still, Carnoustie may be counted among the founding courses of modern links golf. Its first ten holes were laid out in 1842 on the Carnoustie sands near the mouth of the Firth of Tay. Three of golf’s great early luminaries had a hand in Carnoustie’s design, including golf’s first professional, Allan Robertson; one of the game’s first great champions, Old Tom Morris; and one of Scotland’s most prolific course builders, James Braid.

          Carnoustie promotes itself as a great promoter of golf. At the

 

beginning of the 20th century more than 250 Carnoustie trained golfers "spread the gospel of golf" around the world. Carnoustie claims its evangelicals have left a legacy of more than 250 American clubs it influenced at that time. Carnoustie’s Stewart Maiden made his contribution to golf by teaching Bobby Jones the game. By the time the British Open was first played at Carnoustie (1931) golf missionaries from Carnoustie had won national open tournaments in seven different countries, including Britain and America. Carnoustie’s clubhouse displays a great number of the trophies and medals won around the world by members of the Carnoustie Golf Club.
          Five years after James Braid, a 5-time British Open champion and legendary course designer, tweaked Carnoustie’s layout in 1926, the 91-year-old course hosted its first British Open British Open which Tommy Armour won. The Open Championship has returned to Carnoustie six times since: 1937 (winner: Henry Cotton), 1953 (Ben Hogan), 1968 (Gary Player), 1975 (Tom Watson), 1999 (Paul Lawrie),

Allan Robertson, golf's legendary first professional, and designer of Carnoustie Championship Links. P-D Photo.
ALAN ROBERTSON

featuring Van de Velde’s famous collapse), and in 2007 (Padraig

 P-D Photo

Harrington). Carnoustie's next date with the Open Championship: 2018.

CARNOUSTIE GOLF LINKS

CARNOUSTIE, ANGUS, SCOTLAND

CARNOUSTIE'S CHAMPIONSHIP COURSE 5TH FAIRWAY: A MINEFIELD OF ROUGH, MOGULS,
SWALES, BUNKERS, AND A DITCH LEAD TO A TWO-TIERED GREEN. HOLE 5: 392 YARDS, PAR-4.

Photo courtesy Carnoustie Golf Links

3 GOLF COURSES AT CARNOUSTIE

1. CHAMPIONSHIP COURSE

Distance & Par:
• White Tees: 6,941 yards, par 72, SSS 75
• Yellow Tees: 6,692 yards, par 72
• Green Tees: 6,405 yards, par 72
• Red Tees: 6,127 yards

Greens Fees:
• April through October: £160/round

Visitors Welcome:
All Days & Times, except: after 2PM Sat. or after 11:30AM Sun.
• Tee-Time Reservations Required.
• Handicap Limits: Men—28, Ladies—36; handicap certificate required.
• Age Limit: Must be 14 or older.
• Golf Trolley (Pull Cart) Rental: £5/round
• Caddies: £50/bag/round (plus tip)
• Club Rental: £45/day
• Shoe Rental: £10/day

2. BURNSIDE COURSE

Distance & Par: 6,028 yards, par 68, SSS 69

Greens Fees: • April—October: £44/round

3. BUDDON LINKS COURSE

    Distance & Par: 5,420 yards, par 66, SSS 66

    Greens Fees: • April—October: £44/round

RESERVATIONS & GETTING THERE

Reservations & Communications:
• Telephone: +44 (0)1241 802270
• Fax: +44 (0)1241 802271
• Automated Website
BOOKING FORM
• Caddie Reservations (only), phone: +44 (0)1241 851340
• Club & Shoe Rental, Pro Shop reservations phone: +44 (0)1241 411999

• email: golf@carnoustiegolflinks.co.uk

LET HOME AT FIRST BOOK YOUR TEE-TIME AT CARNOUSTIE.
By request, we will arrange for your pre-arranged golf at Carnoustie as part of your Scotland trip arrangements.

• Travel to HOME AT FIRST's SCOTLAND CENTRAL HIGHLANDS.
• Travel with HOME AT FIRST to EDINBURGH.

Directions to Carnoustie from Home At First Lodgings:

From Central Scotland Highlands By Car in 2-2½ hours via Perth:
• A85 from Lochearnhead to Perth or A84 from Callander to Doune
• A820 from Doune to Dunblane
• A9 from Dunblane to Perth
• A90 Perth to Dundee
• A92 to Muirdrum
• A930 to Carnoustie

From St. Andrew's area By Car in 45 minutes:
• A91 to A919 north on to Dundee
• A92 to Muirdrum
• A930 to Carnoustie

From Edinburgh By Car in 2 hours:
• M90 to Perth
• A90 Perth to Dundee
• A92 to Muirdrum
• A930 to Carnoustie

Driving Distances:
• Gleneagles: 50 miles
• St. Andrews: 24 miles
• Edinburgh Airport: 71 miles
• Glasgow Airport: 102 miles

OTHER GOLF IN THE IMMEDIATE AREA: Carnoustie is within 45 minutes of dozens of golf courses, including several notable links courses, including St. Andrews Old Course.

CARNOUSTIE GOLF LINKS

CARNOUSTIE, ANGUS, SCOTLAND

CARNOUSTIE'S CHAMPIONSHIP COURSE 17TH GREEN: UNDER IDEAL CONDITIONS
CARNOUSTIE CAN APPEAR BENIGN. HOLE 17: 433 YARDS, PAR-4.

Photo courtesy Carnoustie Golf Links

THE CHAMPIONSHIP COURSE
AND SOME NOTABLE HOLES

          Like many links courses, Carnoustie occupies what is otherwise useless wasteland. But what the rolling links land lacks in dramatic scenery, it makes up in challenge. Carnoustie’s Championship Links makes the most of its natural conditions: menacing meandering burns and pot bunkers, fierce wind and rain, slippery slopes on fairways and greens, and diabolical rough. These conditions are magnified by Carnoustie’s random design — no two consecutive holes face the same direction, making wind, rain, and hill slope different on every hole. But Carnoustie’s biggest intimidation lies in wait to the end of the round. Holes 16-18 have earned a fearsome reputation as the "toughest finish in golf", rendering no round — and no lead — safe after the first 15. The finishing three holes can be your worst nightmare — right Jean Van de Velde?

       Carnoustie is currently ranked Number 16 in the world (outside of the USA) by Golf Digest, and rated 5th best course in Scotland after St. Andrews Old Course, Royal Dornoch, Muirfield, and Turnberry Ailsa.
        The course has three par 5’s (2 on the back 9) and three par 3’s (2 on the back 9). Its fairways are narrow, very undulating, and edged by heather. Its greens are generally small, sloping and difficult to hold, particularly in dry summer conditions. (One green is a double, serving the 4th and 14th.) No hole is without considerable challenge. But some are more memorable — nightmarish? — than others.

• Hole 1: "Cup", 401 yards, Par 4, 10th handicap. The serpentine Barry Burn first appears here. Ten feet wide and with sheer banks, this creek in a ditch affects play in a dozen holes, including the finishing three. Here the creek is less a threat than a distraction, but the hole is not easy. Its bumpy fairway — called an "elephant’s graveyard" by Hale Irwin — and a blind second shot to an unseen green foretell of some of the difficulties ahead.

 

• Hole 6: "Hogan’s Alley" (formerly "Long"), 520 yards, Par 5, 2nd handicap. The tight, long, 6th at Carnoustie is one of golf’s great par-5’s. Properly played as a double dogleg, the 6th is bordered along the left with an out-of-bounds, has a ditch to avoid, then a narrow squeeze to a slick 2-level green guarded with serious pot bunkers. With an out-of-bounds tight all the way down the left-hand side and bunkers in the middle of the fairway off the tee, the "safe" line is to play the hole as a double dog-leg.

 

THE 8TH GREEN AT CARNOUSTIE — NASTY CAN BE BEAUTIFUL. HOLE 8: 167 YARDS, PAR-3.
Photo courtesy Carnoustie Golf Links

 

• Hole 8: "Short", 167 yards, par 3, 18th handicap. Carnoustie’s first par-3 offers no relief for short-hitting higher handicappers owing to its usual cross winds and small green surrounded with trouble.

 

• Hole 10: "South America", 446 yards, Par 4, 3rd handicap. Off the tee bunkers flank the right side and tough rough the left. If you keep your first shot in the fairway with some distance, a daunting long second shot to the green awaits. The Barry Burn snakes almost completely around the 10th green. Better lay-up and pitch.

 

THE 13TH GREEN AT CARNOUSTIE — BUNKER MENTALITY. HOLE 13: 161 YARDS, PAR-3.
Photo courtesy Carnoustie Golf Links

 

• Hole 14: "Spectacles", 483 yards, Par 5, 1 handicap. One of Scotland’s most pivotal holes. Plagued with vicious gorse and heather rough, made tight with an out-of-bounds, and with a green guarded by its namesake spectacle-shaped bunkers, this short par-5 has made or broken Open Championship rounds by Nicklaus, Player, and Watson wish they had stayed "Home".

 

THE 15TH GREEN AT CARNOUSTIE — EXPECT HEAD WINDS OFF THE NORTH SEA TO MAKE REACHING THE GREEN IN TWO SHOTS DIFFICULT FOR MOST GOLFERS. HOLE 15: 459 YARDS, PAR-4.
Photo courtesy Carnoustie Golf Links

 

• Hole 18: "Home", 444 Yards, Par 4, 11th handicap. One of golf's great finishing holes, Carnoustie's 18th is one of the course's "unfair" holes, having formerly been a par-5. The treacherous Barry Burn affects tee shots and shots to the green. Impossible rough, nasty pot bunkers, and an out-of-bounds running the length of the hole's left side add to the challenge, as do notorious cross winds. All of these factors have left many players dreaming of home while up to their ankles in the Barry Burn. Right Jean Van de Velde?

 

THE 18TH HOLE AT CARNOUSTIE — WHERE JEAN VAN DE VELDE MET THE BARRY BURN
AND LOST THE OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP.
HOLE 18: 444 YARDS, PAR-4.
Photo courtesy Carnoustie Golf Links

 

TRAVELING TO SCOTLAND TO PLAY GOLF?
Let
HOME AT FIRST make your advance tee-times at Carnoustie Golf Links and many other Scottish golf courses as part of your pre-reserved Scottish trip itinerary. There’s no extra charge for this service.

MORE RESOURCES:
• Golf in Scotland
• Home At First's
SCOTLAND travel program

Want to learn about other courses throughout the British Isles
including some of the greatest tests of golf in the world? See our
SCOTLAND, IRELAND, ENGLAND, and WALES
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