Carnoustie Golf Links
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The Championship is one of the most feared tournament courses in the world; 1999 Open winner Paul Lawrie emerged victorious from what was effectively a war of attrition, after Jean Van de Velde's hopes drowned in the Barry Burn. The course was lengthened for the 2007 tournament to add to the already abundant history, which includes Ben Hogan's famous performance in 1953.
Past Open Champions at Carnoustie include Tommy Armour (1931), Sir Henry Cotton (1937), Ben Hogan (1953), Gary Player (1968), Tom Watson (1975), Paul Lawrie (1997) and Padraig Harrington (2007). With the Claret Jug due to return in 2018 to Carnoustie, it is safe to presume that the player who triumphs will join an illustrious list of winners.
For many Lawrie's win will be Carnoustie's most famous due to his sensational closing round of 67 and Van de Velde's triple bogey 7 on the 18th hole to force a 3-way playoff between Lawrie, Van de Velde and Justin Leonard. Lawrie's closing birdies on 17 and 18 to win the playoff and claim the trophy should've been the lasting memories of the 1999 Open but the sight of Van de Velde in the Barry Burn with his shoes and socks off are the enduring images here.
2007 was a slightly less dramatic affair with Padraig Harrington and Sergio Garcia being left tied on 277 after 72 holes. Both had chances to win in regulation play with Harrington finding the Barry Burn twice on 18 before scrambling to save a double-bogey 6 while Garcia was left ruing a missed par putt on 18 which would've seen him claim his maiden Major. The 4 hole playoff on holes 1, 16, 17 and 18 was won by Harrington following 1 birdie, 2 pars and 1 bogey, Garcia's 1 bogey and 3 pars left him one-shot shy and Harrington claimed the Claret Jug which he would successfully defend at Royal Birkdale the following year.
Those playing the Championship course at Carnoustie are in for a memorable round of golf. The course has a reputation as being one of the toughest in the world and whilst this is certainly true from the championship markers, from the yellow tees of the day the course is a manageable 6692 yards at a par of 70 (holes 12 and 14 are par-4's off the yellows rather than 5's off the whites). You'll be left enjoying landmarks such as Hogan's Alley on the superb par-5 6th hole, Nicklaus' bunker on the par-4 9th and Miller's bunker on the right of the 18th fairway where he took 2 to escape which enabled Tom Watson to claim the Open in 1975.
The closing 5 holes are without doubt some of the finest in golf. The 14th, a par-5 measuring just shy of 500 yards, Spectacles requires an accurate drive up the right hand side of the fairway avoiding bunkers lining the left, while a blind approach over the famed Spectacles bunkers will hopefully leave you with eagle or birdie attempt. The 15th is a display of golf course design at its finest. With bunkers lining the raised fairway on the right, combined with a drop off on the left hand side it is imperative that you find the fairway off the tee. If you keep it too close to the left hand side of the fairway you'll be met with a tricky approach with the ball below your feet which will encourage your shot into the bunker located short and right of the green. The par-3 16th looks an easy prospect from the tee, it is however protected by both length and undulations which will catch any shot pitching short of the putting surface meaning anyone scoring a par on this hole is sure to pick up a shot on their playing partners. It is not just the tee shot which is key to playing the 17th, with the Barry Burn meandering along and through the fairway finding the short grass is a very difficult prospect, keeping it left off the tee will give an easy route to the green but brings more of the Burn into play and will leave you with a longer approach. Take aim at the Clock on the hotel on 18 and just hope that you've given yourself a chance to pitch it onto the green in 2 for any shot falling short will find itself in the Barry Burn, and afterall no one likes to end their golf holiday like Jean Van de Velde do they!
The Burnside Course is often overshadowed by its more illustrious neighbour, but it is full of character and represents a good test of golf from the back tees. Particular highlights are the short holes, including the tricky 5th and 14th.
The third course on the links is the Buddon, which has undergone some significant improvements since Peter Aliss and Dave Thomas' original 1979 design. Now much tougher, especially around the turn, the Buddon is a good challenge for any golfer.
- Championship Standard Course
- Club House
- Practice Area
- Pro Shop
- Putting Greens
- In House Bar
- In House Restaurant
- Conference Facilities
As soon as you step on the first tee, the historic stories this great course has staged come flooding back. Watson first Open, Garcia v Harrington and of course fateful Jean. The 16th, 17th and 18th are very difficult and 3 pars are like gold dust.
My Caddy Tip - "Study the course guide the entire round. Especially 17 and 18."
Stableford Score - 38 points
Handicap - Scratch or better.