Scotland Golf Trip – Round At Carnoustie Otherwise Known As Carnastie


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The Carnoustie Golf Links is a historic championship course located in Angus, Scotland. Otherwise known as Carnastie due to the blistering winds and close proximity to the Barry Buddon rifle range.

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After a short drive from Southport and a great happy hour evening at the St Andrew’s 18th green restaurant it was time to wake up early and drive the short 45 minutes up to Carnoustie.

Carnoustie Drive From St Andrews

This was the 3rd round of 4 that we would play during our ultimate guys golfing trip to England and Scotland. The first round was at Royal Birkdale, the second at Royal Lytham St Annes, this one was the third prior to our final round at St Andrews Old Course. So it was important to me to play well and be in position to win more rounds than my brother during the trip. At this point, I was two rounds ahead of my brother after having scored better than him at Royal Birkdale and Royal Lytham.

But I was a bit concerned after arriving at the course. The course is nick named “Carnastie” for a reason. The “gentle breeze” on this day as the caddie would call it, was about 20 miles per hour. I was concerned to say the least given my high trajectory of ball flight and my brother’s generally low shot off the tee with his ace in the hole hybrid wood he usually hits off the tee.

Our journey to the course was easy.  We crossed over a body of water and through a few small towns before we arrived at the course which was settled against the shore.

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We walked up to the golf club where we would pick up some memorabilia including shirts, ball markers, a few hats and other things to help remember our trip.

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The club house was modern and fit right in with the surroundings. A very cool clubhouse.

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One thing we were surprised about was the lack of warm up facility. There was no practice range, only a rifle range in the distance and a small practice net to hit balls into. Our nerves were building as we approached the first tee box. The shot off the first tee was directly into the wind. Not a particularly long hole, but given the tight fairway and water to the left, it was challenging. I shot down the left side of the fairway, a 6 iron short of the green and a chip and two putt would give me a bogie for the hole. Not a bad start.

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The Club House had a listing of all the champions and as importantly all their local caddies who carried the clubs and advised the players on their rounds. We each had our own caddie and I would highly recommend one for any golf round at this course.

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One of the most famous holes on this course is Hogan’s Alley. He was the open champion in 1953, and was famous for his shot on the 6th hole, a long par 5 with a tight alley between bunkers and out of bounds on the left side of the fairway. The safe shot is to play short and right, but he’d rip it down the left side of the fairway, splitting the white markers and the traps giving him the advantage. Both my brother and I attempted this shot on 6, but only my brother was successful in keeping his shot in bounds.

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Making the turn to the back nine I knew my brother was in the lead and upon coming up to the final few holes, I knew he’d secured a better score than I for the day, but we were both a few strokes behind our father, who used only one ball for the entire round – he didn’t lose one ball and played as good as you can at Carnastie.

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He was on his game and birdied 2 of the last 4 holes on the course. So he shot the lowest score between us and went into the final round with 1 win vs my 2 wins. But this was one of the most challenging courses in golf I’ve ever played. The wind, the rough, and the setting all made this a tough course for our third round. But it was one that we’ll remember for years to come.

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Our next day, we’d gear up for our final round at St Andrew’s Old course prior to heading down to Edinburgh for our last night happy hour.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or suggestions expressed on this site are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

About The Weekly Flyer

The Weekly Flyer writes about travel from a business traveler perspective. He travels the world every week accumulating points and miles along the way. Feel free to reach me at theweeklyflyer@gmail.com

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