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Carnoustie Golf Links

Carnoustie, Scotland

Even without the constant wind Scotland is well-known for, Carnoustie golf course lives up to its nickname “Carnastie.” Considered one of the most difficult courses on the modern Open Championship rota, conquering Carnoustie Golf Links is high on most players’ lists for a St Andrews Golf Tour.

Located only 45 minutes across St Andrews Bay from the “Home of Golf”, Carnoustie golf club is made up of 4 quality courses – The Championship Course, The Burnside Course, The Buddon Course, and The Westie – a short course designed for juniors beginning the game, and others looking to hone their short game.

Course Details

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World Top 50 Golf Course
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Open Rota Venue
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Designed by Old Tom Morris
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Founded in 1842
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Ideal Location for a St Andrews Tour
Carnoustie Burn

The History of Carnoustie

Golf is in the DNA of Carnoustie residents. Like most areas of Scotland, the playing of “gowff” or “gawf” predates formal courses and in the case of Carnoustie links it can be traced back at least to the 16th century. The Carnoustie Golf Club, the oldest “Artisan” golf club in the world, was formed at Carnoustie in 1839.

Anyone that plays golf in the United States owes a debt of gratitude to the former golfers of Carnoustie. In the beginning of the 20th century over 300 proficient golfers immigrated from Angus to Australia and the United States.

It was the golfers from Carnoustie that helped establish the PGAs of both America and Australia. Their knowledge of the game was legendary, and the great Bobby Jones was taught by a Carnoustie native, Stewart Maiden at East Lake. Perhaps Carnoustie’s finest – the Smith brothers – Willie, Alex, and MacDonald won three US Opens between them and contended in many others.

The original Carnoustie Championship course started with 10 holes designed by Allan Robertson, considered the greatest golfer of his day. In 1867 Old Tom Morris extended the links to 18 holes, and in 1926 James Braid made extensive changes to the layout in advance of the 1931 Open Championship.

A favorite story is how the 10th hole “South America” got its name. According to locals, a former caddie was intent on going to the southern continent and set off with a bottle of scotch to keep him company. Sadly, he only got as far as the 10th hole when they found him the next day.

There have been many historic moments in Carnoustie’s Open Championship history with winners including Tommy Armour, Gary Player, Tom Watson, and Padraig Harrington, however two stand out. Ben Hogan won the 1953 Open as the third leg of a Grand Slam he couldn’t complete, as he couldn’t get back to the United States in time for the PGA Championship. Anyone who has played the 18th at Carnoustie can sympathize with Jean Van de Velde, who found a watery grave in the Barry Burn to lose the 1999 Claret Jug to Paul Lawrie.

Carnoustie Golf Links is a public facility that, like St Andrews, has several clubs that play it as a home course, making advance tee times highly recommended in planning your Scotland golf trip.


Links House, Links Parade, Carnoustie DD7 7JE, UK
The Old Course at St Andrews in the bright evening sunlight

Take a St Andrews Golf Tour

The Birthplace of Golf

Stay and Play at the home of golf, from the Old Course to the modern icons of Kingsbarns and Dumbarnie Links.

7 nights 4* accommodation and 6 rounds of golf

Prices starting from $5,720

Natural layout of Carnoustie Golf Links

The Great Carnoustie

Carnoustie Golf Links, the site of the 147th Open Championship is often referred to as “Car-Nasty”.

For good reason, too.

Carnoustie Reviews

Amazing time

Rated 4.0 out of 5
July 5, 2024

The 3 golf courses we played were a real highlight – we liked the experience of the different kinds of courses and must say, that Kingsbarns was amazing! What an experience!

My husband and son played Carnoustie on Sunday as well and liked it a lot – they had a day of sunshine out there.


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Carnoustie FAQs

Dundee Airport is the closest airport to Carnoustie, but it is a small airport with limited flights. Edinburgh Airport is a larger airport with more flights, but it is a 1-hour and 20-minute drive from Carnoustie.

Carnoustie is widely regarded as one of the toughest courses in the world. It has hosted The Open Championship 14 times, and it is known for its demanding conditions, especially in strong winds.

You will need to provide a handicap certificate of 28 or below to play the Carnoustie Championship Course. This is because Carnoustie is a very challenging course, and the club wants to ensure that players are of a high enough skill level to enjoy their round.

Premier Golf offers St Andrews golf tours which include Carnoustie tee times. These tours are a great way to experience some of the best golf courses in the world, and Premier Golf can help you book tee times, arrange transportation, and book accommodations.

Yes, all Premier Golf packages include tee times and accommodation. This means that you will not have to worry about booking tee times or finding a place to stay.

Yes, Carnoustie is a public golf course that welcomes visitors. This means that anyone can play Carnoustie.