Monday June 3 Carnoustie
Carnoustie Championship Course (18 holes)
Today we make the 30 minute drive north of St Andrews into Angus Scotland to play on one of the world’s most famous and toughest golf courses, Carnoustie. I guess any course located in a town called “Angus” should be pretty tough right? Carnoustie has been around for a long time. The original course opened in 1842 was just ten holes, designed by Allan Robertson and assisted by Old Tom Morris. The course was then extended in 1867 again by Old Tom Morris to 18 holes, and modified once more in 1926 by James Baird. Carnoustie is one of the courses used in the Open Championship rotation, holding the first of its seven Open Championships in 1931. The great Ben Hogan himself won his Open Championship on this very ground back in 1953. How cool is that being able to walk in the footsteps of the great Hogan! The Golf Channel filmed its fourth season of “The Big Break” here and my PGA teacher and friend TJ Valentine was one if its participants. TJ made it all the way to the semi- finals match too that season! Without a doubt though the most famous and utterly humiliating Open contested at Carnoustie was held in 1999. That Open is remembered for the epic collapse of French golfer Jean Van de Velde, who needed only a double-bogey six on the 72nd hole to win the Open Championship, his first ever Major title. He proceeded to score a triple-bogey seven, with what can only be described as some “sloppy” course management. Do you remember him contemplating to hit a shot from the bottom of the Barry Burn? He ultimately lost the Open in a playoff, losing his only chance at a Major too. He has yet to recover. Ouch! My hope is to play #18 a little better than he did. With meltdowns like that it’s no wonder Carnoustie has the reputation it does, with American golfers have infamously nicknamed it “Car-nasty”. Well we shall see. Regardless this will be a treat to play from that opening tee shot on #1 until the final putt drop in on #18. I’ll keep you posted on how I play #18 too. wish me luck!