Carnoustie – The Championship Course

Situated on the Angus Coast between Dundee and Arbroath, Carnoustie is widely recognised for being one of the world’s-leading golf destinations and can be described as one of ‘Golf’s Greatest Test’. 

In this blog post, we’ve shared some of our favourite places to eat, shop and visit in this unique Scottish town – and of course, our top tips for playing The Carnoustie Championship Course as part of the Old Tom Morris Trail… 

Course Overview

Carnoustie Championship Course
AddressCarnoustie Golf Links,20 Links Parade,Carnoustie,Angus,DD7 7JF,Scotland
Location 12 miles East of Dundee
Style Links
Length7,402 yards
Championships HostedBoys Amatauer, British PGA Matchplay, Men’s Home Internationals, Scottish Amateur, Scottish Open, Senior Open, The Amateur, The Open, The Women’s Amateur, Womens Open
World Ranking28th
UK Ranking10th
Recent awards/ AccoladesEnvironmental Golf Course of the Year 2018Best Golf Course in the World 2019Scotland’s Best Golf Experience 2019

Course design

The Carnoustie Championship course can be recognised as one of the finest golf courses in the world and welcomes players from all across the globe. Starting off on a blind green which requires a shot over a high mound, this course is immediately set to test any golfer’s ability. 

This course has hosted eight open championships and is known as one of the toughest on the open rota due to the difficulty of the last three holes which all include the famous Barry Burn – the meandering bed of water frames the fairway and has taken many a victim including Paddy Harrington in 2007 and Jean Van De Velde in 1999.

Jean Van De Velde in 1999

Course history

Golf has been played at Carnoustie for over four centuries, the first indication of this was recorded in the Parish Records of 1560 where there was a mention of the game of ‘gowff’. However, the history of the Carnosutie is not well recorded making it difficult to pinpoint milestones such as the first golfer or exact opening date. 

In 1839 Carnoustie Golf Club was formed, making it the oldest artisan club in the world. During this time the course was made up of 10 holes, laid out by Allan Robertson, a famous golfer at the time. It was not until1867 when Old Tom Morris extended the course to 18 holes. Skipping forward to 1926, the course was dramatically changed by James Braid who made the course Open Championship ready. 

Regional history

The first mention of the village of Carnoustie dates back to the 1700s, where linen weaving was a prominent feature in the local industry alongside agriculture and fishing. Despite being the youngest town in Angus, it is certainly not short of history and heritage. 

The opening of the Carnoustie station in 1838 as part of the Dundee and Arbroath Railway was a key component in the expansion of the village, giving those from Dundee a chance to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and relax by the seaside. 

Local hospitality and retail

Where to stay

Offering luxury suites with exceptional views stretching across the championship course and the North Sea, The Carnoustie Golf Hotel is located in the heart of town, making it the ideal location for those looking to be close to the world famous course. Besides golfing, the hotel offers an incredible range of facilities including a heated swimming pool, gym and steam room- the perfect way to relax after a long day on the course. 

The Carnoustie Golf Hotel

The Aboukir Hotel is another fantastic local hotel owned by local properiertors Phil & Martha. The hotel is within walking distance of the high street and golf course, making this a perfect spot for those looking to explore the local area by foot. 

Where to eat

With beautiful views across the course and the sea, The Rookery showcases the best of Scottish produce, from delicious scotch sirloin steak to classic fish and chips. Open for both lunch and dinner, the restaurant offers guests a place to enjoy their food while receiving exceptional service. 

Maxibell is a quirky French inspired restaurant serving a range of food options, including tapas.. With live music playing every Friday and Saturday evening, there is no better place to enjoy an ice cold beer or cocktail while listening to some good music. 

Where to shop

In true Scottish fashion, you are never short of a local tipple in Carnoustie. Both family run businesses, Carnoustie Distillery and Toll House Spirits offer a fantastic range of hand crafted spirits, from dark rum to fruity gins.

Toll House Spirits

Quirky is a local shop on Carnoustie high street selling everything from unique jewellery to handbags and keepsake gifts. Whether you are looking for a gift to bring back for a loved one or just want to treat yourself, Quirky is sure to have something to catch your attention. 

If you are looking to get your hands on some golfing gear, the professional shop located at the Carnoustie Golf Links is the only place in the world where you are able to pick up the official carnoustie golf links branded merchandise. 

Iconic landmarks

Immerse yourself into the history of carnoustie by taking a trip to Barry Mill. Once an important part of the rural community, this working water-powered mill produced oatmeal and other foods alongside providing for hundreds of years.

If you are looking to embrace Scotland’s beautiful woodland and wildlife, then Monikie Country Park is the perfect place to do so. From guided walks to adventure play parks, Monikie offers something for all of the family to enjoy. Why not try your hand at some watersports on the reservoir including windsurfing, kayaking or dingy sailing. 

The best photo spots

  • Carnoustie Beach
  • Monikie Country Park
  • Barry Mill
  • Affleck Castle

Our top tips for playing this course

  • Have your name embroidered on a cap at the professional shop – put your order before you go! 
  • There is no range but you can use indoor simulators within half an hour of your tee time
  • Challenge yourself against the final four holes
  • Hit the 16th green with your tee shot! 
  • Enjoy the 19th hole – great views over the course 

Watch Stephen Proctor’s Askernish Golf Club Dispatch here

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