Known as ‘Golf’s Greatest Test’, Carnoustie, the venue of three outstanding golf courses, The Championship Course, The Burnside Course and The Buddon Links is a place where legends are born. Tom Watson won his first of 5 Open Championships here and Ben Hogan won his only Open Championship there. For golfers everywhere Carnoustie is a magical destination. It is considered to be the most challenging place to play golf anywhere. It is a personal challenge and tests every part of your game. That’s because it has been planned that way, the courses have been created and refined by some of the most iconic names in golf history to make the most of the dramatic natural elements in this incredible location.
The Championship Course
The Championship Course has hosted eight Open Championships, one Women’s British Open and two Seniors Open making it one of the very few to have done so in the UK. It is one of the three courses used for the annual Dunhill Links, the others being Kingsbarns and the Old Course in St Andrews and in 2018 The Open Championship returned to the course. In 2018, the Championship Course was voted Best Golf Course in Scotland over £100 by the general public, the second time it has won the award in the past three years. As one of the oldest courses in the world, Carnoustie Championship Course has been played by all the greatest golfing names. But Ben Hogan’s memorable 1953 performance sealed its reputation as a legend. In 2003 the sixth hole was officially named ‘Hogan’s Alley’ to commemorate the outstanding way he negotiated the perilous par 5 during his famous victory. With a daunting cocktail of gales, thick rough and devilish bunkers, all set against a stunning Scottish landscape, Carnoustie has earned its reputation as one of the most challenging courses in Britain. According to Golf Digest in June 2011, it's also one of the top 50 UK and Ireland Links courses.
The Championship Course at Carnoustie boasts the infamous 18th hole has a par 4 and is a whopping 444 yards long. The Barry Burn crosses the fairway, then re-crosses it, delivering punishment to unwary hookers and slicers as well as a challenging obstacle for the second shot. Jean van der Velde fell afoul of it, and it cost him the Claret jug. How will you fare? If you survive all that, the fairway bunkers to your right plus the legendary powerful wind blowing in from the North Sea see most amateur players happy with an eight. The Course is par 72, coming in at 6353 metres, and was designed by Allan Robertson, Old tom Morris & James Braid.
The Burnside oozes character and from the back tees is a splendid test of golf. Many of the short holes could grace the top links courses around with the 5th and 14th in particular providing dramatic challenges for the player who strives to gain his par 3. The finish is also strong with the 17th proving to be one of the hardest par 4’s that can be found anywhere in golf and many-a-score has been ruined by the out of bounds fence at the 18th. It was on this course in 1953 where the great Ben Hogan shot 70 to help him qualify for the Open Championship which he subsequently won. The short holes are a real feature on the Burnside and the 158-yard 5th, named “Burn” and 228-yard 14th, called “Scoup” would not be out of place on any championship course. A strong finish is to be faced, with the long par four 17th – “Sinkies” – measuring all of 473 yards and as difficult a par four to be found anywhere. No respite either at the 307-yard, par four, 18th hole, called “Lismore” where the out of bounds fence has wrecked many a scorecard. The Burnside course is par 68, coming in at 5512-metres, and was designed by James Braid.
Buddon Links Course
The newest of the three courses at Carnoustie, originally designed by Peter Alliss and the late Dave Thomas on land that was formerly part of the ladies’ course and Ministry of Defence land, hence the reason why the holes are named after battles. The course was opened for play in 1981. Since then many changes have taken place including the most recent investment in two new holes in 2014 bringing the course up to a very testing par 68. It provides golfers with some of the best views of the beach and sea the Angus town has to offer. Built on former Ministry of Defence land, each hole is named after a famous historic battle and over the years the course has undergone a transformation ensuring the course is an enjoyable challenge for all. Far shorter than either the Championship or the Burnside, the Buddon Links course has seven par threes and only one par five and is therefore a much less demanding test of golf that provides an enjoyable round for all standards of golfers. The Buddon Links Course is par-68, at 5414-metres. It was designed by PeterAllicss & Dave Thomas.
You'll find the restaurant on the upper floor of Links House at Carnoustie Golf Links, enjoying expansive views over this iconic golf course and to the sea beyond. Carnoustie Golf Links has everything you’d expect from a world class golfing complex. They feature a fully stocked pro-shop, practice facilities, lockers, changing room, a clubhouse and of course, rental equipment. It’s not just outdoor golf that is on offer to visitors at Carnoustie these days. Situated within Links House – the new Golf Centre opened in April 2018 – are seven state-of-the-art indoor golf simulators, allowing visitors to practice their swing or test themselves on some of the best courses around including the Championship Course and Pebble Beach. The simulators are available for everyone to enjoy, whether it’s your first time picking up a club or you want to try something different with the family.