Carnoustie Golf Links

Carnoustie Golf Links

Carnoustie Golf Links in the Royal Burgh of Carnoustie, Angus, in the east of Scotland is one of the venues in the Open Championship rotation. Golf is recorded as having been played here in 1527, earlier than at St Andrews, where the first record of golf dates from 1552. In 1890, the 14th Earl of Dalhousie, who owned the land, sold the links to the people of the town, to be kept available for their recreation in perpetuity. While the townspeople are the owners, today the links are administered on their behalf by Angus Council.

The original course was of ten holes, crossing and recrossing the burn. The opening of the coastal railway from Dundee to Arbroath in 1838 brought an influx of golfers from as far afield as Edinburgh, anxious to tackle the ancient links. This led to a complete restructuring of the course, extended in 1867 by Old Tom Morris to the eighteen holes which had meanwhile become standard. Two additional courses have since been added - the Burnside Course and the shorter though equally testing Buddon Links.

Carnoustie first played host to The Open Championship in 1931, after modifications to the course by James Braid in 1926. The winner then was Tommy Armour, from Edinburgh. Later Open winners at Carnoustie include the Englishman Henry Cotton in 1936, Ben Hogan (USA, in 1953), Gary Player (South Africa, 1968), Tom Watson (USA, 1975) and Paul Lawrie (Aberdeenshire, 1999).

In North America, the course is nicknamed "Car-Nasty" due to the famously difficult conditions. The term Carnoustie effect dates from the 1999 Open, when many of the world's best players, reared on smooth American courses, were frustrated by the unexpected difficulties of the links. One much-fancied young favourite, the then 19-year-old Sergio García, went straight from the course to his mother's arms in tears.

That Open may best be remembered for the epic collapse of French golfer Jean Van de Velde, who needed only a 6 on the par-4 18th hole to win the Open—and proceeded to shoot a triple-bogey 7, eventually losing a playoff to Paul Lawrie, whose 72-hole aggregate score was 290, 6 over par. The Open Championship will be played at Carnoustie again in 2007.

The "Carnoustie effect" is defined as "that degree of mental and psychic shock experienced on collision with reality by those whose expectations are founded on false assumptions." This being a psychological term, it can of course apply to disillusionment in any area of activity, not just in golf. (Credit: wikipedia)




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