The Carnoustie Championship course is one of the five Scottish links venues that are on the current Open Championship rota. In 2007 Carnoustie became the longest ever course to host the Open Championship with a total length of 7,421 yards. The visiting golfer may be playing a course that shaves around 800 yards off that distance but that is more than test enough for most. The weather can have a big part to play in just how challenging the experience may be. It is often windy here.
The Championship course is considered by many to be one of Scotland's most difficult golf courses. The closing four holes have a reputation for being a particularly tough stretch of golf with the Barry Burn frequently coming in to play – regardless of which teeing point you may be using. Carnoustie does not have the scenic setting of say Turnberry, or the ups and downs of Muirfield as it is a relatively flat stretch of ground with few distinguishing pretty landmarks. But as a golf setting it has seen more than its fair share of excitement. Ben Hogan, Jean Van de Velde, Paul Lawrie, Padraig Harrington and Sergia Garcia have all played their part in dramatic Open stories at Carnoustie.
The 2018 Open, won by Francesco Molinari, came very close to being the 4th Open in a row on the Carnoustie Championship course to end in a play-off.
Golf has been played at Carnoustie for well over four centuries. Carnoustie Golf Club was formed in 1839 at which time the course was 10 holes. Old Tom Morris extended it to an 18 hole layout in 1867 but it was James Braid’s influence in 1929, when he was involved in major changes to the course, that created the layout largely still played today.
The golf course has a reputation for being harsh but fair. Huge bunkers can present considerable challenge, such as the two testing the second shot at the famous 14th hole, 'Spectacles'. It was here that Gary Player made an eagle 3 as part of his winning score in the 1968 Open.
Of the five Open courses in Scotland Carnoustie is the easiest on which visiting golfers can secure a time. More information is under the Detailed Information section.
Carnoustie is the easiest of the Scottish Open Championship courses for visitors to secure a time. The course accepts visitors throughout the week on a straight first come, first served basis. Bookings open in the summer of the year before play and it is generally best to plan well ahead.
However, the adjoining Carnoustie Golf Course Hotel has a daily allocation of tee-times for residents. Should all of the allocation not be used by hotel guests the times are returned to the course management for release to the public. This tends to happen about 8 weeks or so ahead of play – so this offers an alternative way to try and secure a tee-off on the Championship course.