Carnoustie Golf Links, Championship, Burnside, & Buddon Links, Carnoustie, Scotland
“A Monster”—this is the term most associated with the Carnoustie Golf Links’ Championship Course, nearly universally acknowledged as the most difficult course in Scotland. After being off the Open rotation for nearly a quarter-century, due to the closing of a hotel in town and the condition of the links falling into disrepair, Carnoustie leapt back to the forefront of elite courses after the 1999 Open Championship, thanks in part to Jean Van de Velde’s folly on the 18th (Allez Jean!). In Jean’s defense, we could never have managed even a double-bogey in that situation, as even in a casual round, the 18th, with its famous Barry Burn, is one of the hardest holes we have ever faced. Other features such as the wee Pow Burn, Hogan’s Alley, the Spectacles bunkers, and the Island formed by the Barry Burn on 17, combined with the fact that Hogan, Player, and Watson have all won Open Championships here, make Carnoustie one of the most memorable courses in all of golf. Today, with the wonderful new hotel behind the 18th green, an overnight stay is as much a part of the experience as the Turnberry Hotel is to the Ailsa Course. And if you are up for a second round, the challenging Burnside Course can be added to a day ticket for a mere 5 pounds or so! End the day with a visit to either the Caledonia or Carnoustie Golf Club, where you will be welcomed as a temporary member. Simpson’s Golf Shop, in between the two, has been around forever and is definitely worth a look. We encourage you to come up and stay here, and do it right!