Carnoustie Golf Course has hosted the British Open a total of 7 times so far between 1931 and 2007.

carnoustie golf course 13th hole with bunkers

The Open returned to Carnoustie after a break of 24 years in 1999 and was won by Aberdeen’s Paul Lawrie, who won from an exciting three-way play-off with France’s Jean Van de Velde and American Justin Leonard. His triumph was the first by a Scot on home soil since Willie Auchterlonie in 1893.

Carnoustie is also famous as the course where the famous America golfer Ben Hogan not only played in his only British Open but also won it in 1953.

playing carnoustie

Carnoustie golf course is a huge course that rewards good play. From the championship tees it is now 7,421 yards in length. The hazards can be severe and it is a true golfing challenge. It is one of the more accessible of the "big five" Scottish courses so it is worth including on your itinerary.

carnoustie golf course

The Carnoustie course has on occasion been called "Carnasty" because of the challenges it presents to a golfer. At the turn of the 20th Century the local golfers here had to adopt a much stronger swing in order to deal with the course, this was dubbed the "Carnoustie Swing" and this swing did in fact spread and it became part of the development of the golf swing we see today.

To play here, the handicap limit for play here is 28 for men and 36 for women. Please bring a handicap certificate for play on this course.

There are also two sister courses alongside, the Burnside and the Buddon. The Burnside is a challenging course which has featured as an Open championship qualifying venue.

history of carnoustie

Golf is recorded as being played at Carnoustie, on the nearby Barry Links as far back as around 1527 by Sir Robert Maule.  However the history of the current Championship courses goes back to when Allan Robertson from St Andrews was asked to lay out a ten-hole course here between 1839 and 1842 by the recently formed Carnoustie Golf Club.  "Old" Tom Morris extended the Carnoustie course to 18 holes in 1867 and in 1926, James Braid was involved in redesigning the Championship Course.

Carnoustie has also marked some important moments in British Open HIstory. The famous American golfer Ben Hogan played in only one British Open and that was when he won the 1953 Open at Carnoustie by four shots. Four years earlier he had survived a serious car crash and had to learn to walk again, yet managed to play in the following year's US Open. In 1953 he had captured both the Masters and the US Open before he came to the Open at Carnoustie. Hogan was known as a very accurate golfer and it was said that he would land a shot in the divots he had created from the previous round ! A daring birdie shot on the sixth hole where he followed a narrow route between the out-of-bounds are and the bunkers led to this hole being renamed "Hogan's Alley" ! Hogan won the Open by four shots, including a final round with a course record of 68. In doing this he also won the third leg of the "Grand Slam" that year and to date is the only man to have done so !

In 2007, Carnoustie was the longest course in Open Championship history at 7,421 yards in length.

staying nearby

Carnoustie has a number of hotels including the Carnoustie Golf Hotel, which is situated on the edge of the Carnoustie Golf Links Championship Course.

Carnoustie Golf Hotel

The Golf Hotel is less than 200 metres from a sandy beach and has a heated indoor pool, sauna, spa, steam room and gym in its leisure centre.

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breaks based at the Carnoustie Golf Hotel

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things to see in the area

Carnoustie itself is very scenic and Montrose as well is worth a visit. There is a newly converted seafront playpark area at Montrose. If you are visiting Arbroath make sure and taste the local speciality Arbroath Smokies ! 

Pictavia is worth a visit if you are interested in Scottish history and would like to learn about the Picts who inhabited this area ! The Romans' advance north was stopped when they encountered the Picts! Click here to find out more.

Glamis Castle is well worth a visit and is a 5 star rated tourist attraction. To find out more click here.