Golf has been played over the links at Carnoustie since the 1500’s but the present course came into being in 1850 when it was designed by Alan Robertson of St Andrews. Some 20 years later the legendary Old Tom Morris improved and extended the course to 18 holes and in 1926 the famous architect James Braid redesigned the Championship course extensively.
James Braid’s work was universally acclaimed, but it was still felt that Carnoustie Championship course had a weak finish. Prior to the 1937 Open Championship the final 3 holes at Carnoustie were redesigned by James Wright, a local man, and he produced what has come to be regarded as the toughest finishing stretch in golf.
The course as it was in 1937 is much as it is today and the challenge the modern golfer takes on is the one which confronted the player nearly 75 years ago.
Carnoustie is a public links, and the opportunity is there for everyone to play the Championship course. There are many local golf clubs, all of which have playing rights over the course and the clubs themselves have a proud and interesting history.
Carnoustie’s contribution to golf has not just been the Championship course, but also its people. In the early 1900’s many young men from Carnoustie emigrated to the United States of America and took with them not only club making skills but golfing talent in abundance. Many golf clubs in the United States can trace a direct line to Carnoustie through the contribution given by these immigrants from Scotland. The most famous coach was Stewart Maiden from Carnoustie who was the first and only teacher of the incomparable Bobby Jones.
Carnoustie Championship course is now in the finest condition it has ever been. Not only does it offer the ultimate challenge to every golfer but it provides a playing quality second to none. The Barry Burn eases it’s way through the final 3 holes, quietly awaiting the shot that is slightly less than perfect. It was there in 1999 that Frenchman Jean Van de Velde lost the chance of being Open Champion and a place in history.