Golf is recorded as having been played at Carnoustie in the early 16th century. Carnoustie first played host to The Open Championship in 1931. In 1890, the 14th Earl of Dalhousie, who owned the land, sold the links to the local authority. It had no funds to acquire the property, and public fundraising was undertaken and donated to the council. The original course was of ten holes, crossing and recrossing the Barry Burn; it was designed by Allan Robertson, assisted by Old Tom Morris, and opened in 1842. After extension to 18 holes in 1867, two additional courses have since been added: the Burnside Course and the shorter though equally testing Buddon Links.
On 3rd May 1845, seventeen gentlemen attended a meeting and agreed to form the Panmure Golf Club. It is interesting to note that the Constitution agreed to at the first meeting differs little from the one that pertains today.
The course has been modified and lengthened over the years, several of the holes according to suggestions proposed by James Braid in 1922. The last major change was to re-site the 14th green (from what is now used as a winter tee for the 15th), producing a far more interesting and challenging hole.
The two Monifieth courses offer golf for all levels with the larger course, The Medal, elected by the Royal and Ancient GC of St. Andrews as a final qualifying course for the 2007 Open Championship.
The home of golf and the old course. In addition to golfing attractions, St Andrews also boasts a long sandy beach, numerous shops and restaurants and the third-oldest University in the english-speaking world.
If on a golfing holiday, Carnoustie provides an ideal location from which to explore the variety of golf available in Angus and Fife. Morven House over looks the Carnoustie Championship Course and from the front facing bedrooms on a fine day, the Old Course, St. Andrews is visible on the opposite bank of the Tay estuary. The Old Course can be played by visiting golfers through a ballot system. Details are available on request. Bookings for The Carnoustie Championship Course may be made on their website.
Of course Carnoustie is most famous for Golf and The Championship Course. Some may not be aware that many courses in Scotland, including Carnoustie and St. Andrews, are public courses. At a length of 7397 yards the Carnoustie links course is one of the greatest tests of golf and if the wind is blowing, an even greater test of your own stamina. In 1975 Tom Watson conquered the course and the elements, to become the 5th Open Golf Champion at Carnoustie.
In 1994 the links management committee together with Scottish Enterprise put in place a plan to restore the course and promote it as The Links Course, providing a natural and challenging test for every golfer. The reward for this work was the 1995 and 1996 Scottish Open Championships. Both tournaments were very closely fought with the course arguably being the winner on both occasions. Wayne Riley and Ian Woosnam claimed the trophies.
Perhaps beyond everyone’s expectation was the announcement that Carnoustie would host the 1999 Open. The wind blew on the first two days and many established golfers, most notably David Love III, were quick to blame the green keepers for manipulating the course to make it even harder than usual. Even the new breed of young golfers found the going tough with Garcia failing to live up to his considerable promise and no one heard the Tiger roar
Instead it was left to two unlikely heroes to stage what must be one of the most remarkable finishes in tournament history. John Van de Veldt, 3 up and heading for the 18th. After ignoring the fairway completely as he headed for the green, his third shot found the Barry Burn. A drop and a penalty stroke was the only option, but John decided to provide the fans with the a performance that demanded a stage, as he removed his shoes and socks, rolled up his trousers and headed into the water.
Some three hours earlier Paul Lawrie had left the course and under instructions from his coach headed for the practise ground, in golf anything can happen and on this Sunday it did. The three way play off over the 16th, 17th and 18th gave Lawrie his first major tournament win and stardom for this previously, little known golfer from Aberdeen.
The Open returned to Carnoustie again in 2007 and whilst there was another play off there was little to match the drama of 1999, the victor was Pádraig Harrington.