Get Acquainted with Car”NASTY”
They call it “CarNASTY”, “The Bear” and sometimes ‘a monster’. It’s long. It’s narrow. It’s subject to strong winds and horizontal rain. It’s not fair. The Carnoustie Championship course can be your worst nightmare, right Jean Van de Velde?
The Frenchman had a three-shot lead coming up the last at the 1999 Open. He famously ended up in the Barry Burn (a river that runs across the course) and attempted to hit a shot out, to the astonishment of everyone on the planet except himself. He ended up carding a triple bogey and losing in a playoff to Paul Lawrie. It is to date one of golf’s most tragic, yet iconic moments.
Jean’s name does not feature on the championship cup but his mark will live on forever on the course. You’ll find his name engraved by a greenskeeper on an ancient stone on the banks of the Barry Burn river, right where the historical moment unfolded.
There is so much history at Carnoustie. Hogan, Player, and Watson have all won Open Championships here. Nearly every Open Championship contested on Carnoustie ground has had an amazing moment or story behind it. Perhaps the most famous Carnoustie Open win was Ben Hogan’s win in 1953. This was the ONLY Open Championship Ben Hogan ever played in. There’s a plaque on the 6th hole at Carnoustie, a 578 yard par-5, denoting the hole’s name, “Hogan’s Alley.”
The course is a great challenge and an absolute pleasure to play. It may lack some of the sex appeal of a Turnberry, but Carnoustie has as many outstanding holes and is one of the most memorable courses in the world.
THE CARNOUSTIE FACTS
- Built in: 1842, but extended to full 18 holes in 1867
- Designer: Allan Robertson, Old Tom Morris, James Braid
- Rank: #31 in the world (Golf Digest), #23 in the world (Golf)
- Location: Carnoustie, Angus, Scotland
- Slope: 145, Rating: 75.1
- Website: http://www.carnoustiegolflinks.co.uk
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