Carnoustie Championship Course Review

Carnoustie is one of the toughest courses on The Open rota. When the Championship was played there in 1999 not a single player finished under par after the R&A ordered the greenkeepers to let the rough grow. It won't be quite as ferocious when you play there, but you can be 100% certain that you will face a proper test.

It measures 6,948 yards and is a par 72. The finishing stretch is classic links. The 15th is a par four and it measures 472 yards from the championship tees. Miss the fairway and you could run up a telephone number. Thick rough and gorse on the left is to be avoided, and don't find any of the fairway bunkers on the right either. You then have to negotiate a series of bunkers around a narrow green. A par is a great score.

The 16th is a 245-yard par three with a green protected by savage bunkers. The 17th is a 464-yard par four with the Barry Burn twisting its way across the fairway - it must be avoided. And then there is the gorse and a well-protected green.

Survive all of that and you reach the 18th, a par four measuring 499 yards off the championship tees. The Barry Burn has to be crossed twice and there are five terrifying bunkers - three at driver distance, two around the green. This is the hole that cost Jean Van de Velde The Open in 1999. Needing a six, he ran up a triple-bogey seven. 

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Derek Clements

Author, Derek Clements

Derek Clements is a golf journalist - he has covered many Open Championships and European Tour events, as well as The Masters. Born in Glasgow, he writes for The Sunday Times and Golfshake, and has also written for Today's Golfer, the Daily Mail, Swing by Swing and many other golf websites, magazines and newspapers. He has played golf all over the world and numbers Gleneagles, Kingsbarns and Aldeburgh as his three favourite golf courses in the United Kingdom. He lives in Suffolk, is a member of Waldringfield Golf Club and has a handicap of nine. He had lessons from the late Bob Torrance and has worked with Jean-Jacques Rivet, one of the world's leading golf biomechanists.