Carnoustie has many names that it is recognized by: “Car-nasty’, “the nasty noustie’’ or “the beast”. The reason for these names is that the course is a monster. It’s a difficult, sometimes vindictive course and also a very long links golf course. Even off the ladies’ tees, the course measures 6127 yards, which is often as long as many men’s tees on some of the other great Scottish courses. It is nearly always windy at Carnoustie because it is located at the northern tip of the Tay estuary where the Tay River meets the North Sea. However, it can also be among the most exhilarating golf experiences. There are many famous holes to look out for at Carnoustie: Hogan’s Alley, the Spectacles and the finish of the 16th, 17th and 18th make Carnoustie one of the most exciting golf courses to play. Tom Watson, on all four days of the 1975 Open Championship, missed the 16th green but always made par and went on to win the Championship. 1999, Jean Van de Velde teed off on the 18th 7 shots clear of the field and finished the hole tied and lost in a playoff to Paul Laurie, a momentous golfing moment.
Carnoustie is also the course where my great uncle, Tommy Armour, won his Open Championship in 1931, and is consequently one of my favourite courses.
Situated only 35 minutes from St Andrews, it is easy to include in a hook of Fife tour.
To read a review of this course by John Huggan, golf writer, please click here.