OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP VENUE
Golf is recorded as having been played on the hallowed Links at Carnoustie since 1560. Robert Chambers an Edinburgh author and publisher laid out the first course in 1834. The Carnoustie Golf Club was formed 5 years later. The First 10 holes were actually created by Allan Robertson Scotland’s first professional golfer who made a living from club making, caddying, and playing for money. Incredibly he never lost!. His apprentice at that time was none other than Tom Morris aged just 14 years old.
The course evolved significantly when George Morris became the greenkeeper in 1855 before his younger brother Tom Morris created the first 18 hole course in 1867. The course stayed the same until 1926 when the legendary gold architect James Braid was brought in to upgrade the course to the standard required to host the Open Championship. The game of golf has played an important part in the town’s life ever since.
Since then, Carnoustie’s Championship Course has become known for its wonderful conditioning and it is widely recognised as the toughest Open Championship Course. Over the years the club has removed thousands of pine trees that were planted after the war leaving a beautiful links that will hold your interest throughout.
Expect to play one of Scotland’s very best, toughest, and historic links courses. There are no wonderful views here to behold. Just an authentic golf experience that is bigger, grander, and more majestic than many of the world’s top courses. There are no weak holes either and you are likely to be astounded by one of the best and toughest finishes in world golf. Just remember that things can go very badly here for you in a heartbeat so stay focused until you safely walk off the 18th green. There is after all a reason that this course is affectionately known as ‘Carnastie’.
On a good day, if you can avoid the bunkers, Carnoustie can sometimes be surprisingly scoreable as many of the links fairways are reasonably wide and don’t have many hanging lies. The routing of the holes also changes direction and means that the wind will sometimes be with you so you’re not getting beaten up for 18 holes. On any given day, the weather will play a significant role in your overall enjoyment of the course.
Most golfers do enjoy the layout of the course. The bunkers are really well placed off the tee to stop and make you think. Each hole can be played in a variety of ways so you really need to be sensible and keep your wits about you if you want to score. The greens and surrounding areas are immaculate so it’s always possible to run a 7 iron up onto the green.
The Feature Hole at Carnoustie is the No. 6 hole with its Risk or Reward option from the Tee. It is a tough par 5 with a split fairway and deep bunkers. The safer percentage play is going up the much wider right side of the fairway but the landing area is very small. The left side of the fairway has a much better line for the approach shot into the green. However, with out-of-bounds and deep bunkers in play, it is very risky to take this on.
In 1953, during his only appearance in the British Open, Ben Hogan played up the more dangerous narrow left fairway bunkers on one side of the tight landing area, out-of-bounds on the other—all four rounds of the tournament. All four days he hit his target. And he won the tournament. After that, the hole became nicknamed “Hogan’s Alley.” In 1953, and for many years after, the hole’s official name was the much plainer “Long.” But during a ceremony in 2003, Carnoustie officially renamed the hole Hogan’s Alley. Today there is a plaque on the hole, also commemorating the golfer’s British Open win in 1953.
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