Carnoustie Golf Links Championship Course: Review, Green Fees, Tee Times and Key Info

Carnoustie delivers a complete test of golf with a fabulous selection of uniquely memorable holes

Carnoustie Golf Links pictured
The famous Spectacles on the 14th at Carnoustie Golf Links Championship Course
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Top 100 Courses UK & Ireland 2023/24

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Carnoustie Golf Links Championship Course Key Information

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Header Cell - Column 0 Header Cell - Column 1
AddressLinks House, Links Parade, Carnoustie DD7 7JE
Phone Number01241 802270
Green Fees£198-£282
Visitor TimesContact club
Slope Rating139 (White), 135 (Yellow), 130 (Green), 126 (Men's Black), 140 (Women's Green), 135 (Women's Black)
Designed byAllan Robertson, Old Tom Morris and James Braid
Golf Monthly Verdict

Carnoustie's Championship course

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Golfing purists love this links test. A challenging layout with one of the great finishes in golf. 

The Championship course at Carnoustie delivers one of the sternest yet measured tests of golf of any layout in the world. It’s a course that demands both skill and strategy.


– One of the strongest tests of golf on the planet

– A championship layout with tremendous heritage

– Some of the most pristine putting surfaces you'll find on any links


UK & Ireland Top 100 Golf Courses 2023/24 - 7

There’s a strong case for saying that Carnoustie’s Championship Course may be the most challenging in the country.

When it comes to quality, it is certainly one of the best golf courses in Scotland and one of the best links courses in the UK. It delivers a complete test of golf as displayed each time a Major championship visits, whether that be The Open Championship, or the AIG Women's Open.

Francesco Molinari won over baked fairways in 2018 with the ball running like a scalded cat upon landing. Padraig Harrington came through an epic tussle with Sergio Garcia in 2007. But, for many Carnoustie will always stir memories of 1999, Jean Van de Velde’s 72nd hole collapse, and Paul Lawrie’s famous comeback victory. Anna Nordqvist won a memorable AIG Women's Open at Carnoustie in 2021.

There may be no views of the sea around the course at Carnoustie but the terrain is pure links. The turf is firm and sandy over natural bumps and hollows. The narrow fairways are protected by gorse, streams and magnetic bunkering as they pick their way carefully towards the vast, supremely maintained, greens.

Carnoustie 18th hole

The finishing hole

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There are no weak holes on the course, which ranks 5th in the most recent Golf Monthly UK&I Top 100 course rankings, with each demanding excellence. Whether the requirement is solid, accurate ball striking, as on long par-4s like the testing 2nd and 15th, or a more strategic approach, as on the short but very well protected 3rd.

Golf at Carnoustie began in the 16th century but the first course didn’t appear until 1850 when legendary St Andrews professional Alan Robertson designed a 10-hole track. It was Robertson’s protégé Old Tom Morris who extended the layout to 18, but the Championship course as we know it didn’t really begin to take shape until 1926 when James Braid oversaw extensive modifications.

Prior to the Open Championship of 1931 it was decided the finishing holes were not challenging enough so, local man James Wright redesigned the final three. It’s fair to say he was successful. Wright, arguably, created the toughest closing stretch in British golf.

What The Top 100 Panel Said

Nicholas Hercules UK&I Top 100 panel
Nicholas Hercules

It is just a hard course but whilst on the one hand it is masochistic, on the other it is a wonderful way to be beaten up. But what I love about Carnoustie is there are plenty of bailout options for the weaker golfer. There are simply so many memorable world-class holes in addition to the renowned 15, 16, 17, 18 finish. There are no weak holes.

Richard Healy UK&I Top 100 panel
Richard Healy

To follow in the steps of giants is an honour, with little wind it seemed such a nice course, when it blew a couple of hours later we saw a glimmer of its teeth; we were found wanting.

Carnoustie Golf Links Location

Carnoustie Golf Links Championship Course Green Fees

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31st March to 30th April£198
1st May to 15th October£282
16th October to 31st October£198
Junior (14-18) all year£141
Juvenile (13 and below) all year£70.50

Visit the Carnoustie Golf Links website for more information.

Carnoustie Golf Links Championship Course Scorecard

Carnoustie Golf Links Championship scorecard

(Image credit: Carnoustie Golf Links)

Best Courses Near To Carnoustie Golf Links Championship Course



In 1953 Ben Hogan travelled to the UK for his one and only Open appearance at Carnoustie, he prepared around the links at Panmure. The Texan’s favourite hole at Panmure was the sixth and the bunker short and right of the green was added at his recommendation. It’s still referred to as Hogan’s bunker.



Edzell Golf Club lies where the fertile lowlands of Strathmore meet the foothills of the Grampian Mountains. It’s a breathtaking spot and ideal terrain for a golf course.The fairways are springy and fast running in summer. The greens are famous for being amongst the slickest and smoothest in the north east of Scotland. 

For all the best courses north of the border check out our best golf courses in Scotland

Best Places to stay near Carnoustie Golf Links

The Carnoustie Golf Hotel - Book now at
Stay right on the edge of the famous links and you could enjoy a room with views of the famous Barry Burn and the challenging 18th hole. There's a spa facility, a gym and a comfortable bar.

19th Hole Hotel Carnoustie - Book now at
Less than half a mile from Carnoustie Golf Course, the 19th Hole Hotel provides decent sized rooms with 32-inch TVs and even cosy bathrobes. The full Scottish breakfasts are famously good and you're just 300 yards from the town centre.

Forbes of Kingennie Country Resort - Book now at
A selection of luxury lodges within easy reach of Dundee and Carnoustie. Some lodges even have their own hot tubs.

Carnoustie Golf Links Championship Course Gallery

Tournaments Hosted at Carnoustie

  • The Open Championship - 1931, 1937, 1953, 1968, 1975, 1999, 2007, 2018
  • AIG Women's Open - 2021
  • The Senior Open - 2010, 2016
  • The Amateur Championship - 1947, 1966, 1971, 1992, 2015

Carnoustie Golf Links Historical Top 100 ranking UK&I

  • 2023/23 - 7
  • 2021/22 - 5
  • 2019/20 - 5
  • 2017/18 - 5
  • 2015/16 - 6
  • 2013/14 - 8
  • 2011/12 - 7 
  • 2009/10 - 7

Frequently Asked Questions


Carnoustie Golf Links is open to the public, just like all of the Open Championship venues in the UK. Visitor days are Tuesdays and Thursdays, with mornings reserved for fourballs and afternoons available for foursomes play. Male golfers must have handicap of 28 or less, and women must have a handicap of 36 or less.

You can book a tee time on the Carnoustie website


The Championship Course at Carnoustie is one of the toughest golf courses in the British Isles and is regarded as one of the hardest courses on the Open rota, hence the 'Carnastie' nickname. 

The men's par is 72 from the Whites and 70 from the other tees, and the ladies' par is 74 from the Green tees and 74 from the Blacks.

  • White tees: 6,945 yards (Slope Rating: 139, Course Rating: 75.2)
  • Yellow tees: 6,589 yards (SR: 135, CR: 73.6)
  • Green tees: 6,139 yards (SR: 130, CR: 71.5)
  • Ladies green tees: 6,139 yards (SR: 140, CR: 77.3)
  • Ladies black tees: 5,610 yards (SR: 145, CR: 74.4)


Carnoustie Golf Links has three courses - the world famous Championship Course as well as the Burnside Course, which Ben Hogan played to qualify for the 1953 Open that he subsequently won, and Buddon Course, the newest of the three, which is a Peter Alliss and Dave Thomas design. 

Fergus Bisset
Contributing Editor

Fergus is Golf Monthly's resident expert on the history of the game and has written extensively on that subject. He is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and the history section of "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin , also of Golf Monthly. 

Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?