A hidden gem course that oozes character. Favourite of the locals and a true test of golf.
The charm of the Burnside Course is somewhat of a local secret. A favourite among the local Season Ticket Holders, the 6,028 yards par 68 course is a stern test that oozes character and from the back tees is a splendid test of golf. Many of the short holes are worthy of gracing some of the top links courses around, with the 5th and 14th in particular providing dramatic challenges for the player who strives to gain his par 3. It was on this course in 1953 where the iconic Ben Hogan shot 70 to qualify for The Open Championship which he famously subsequently won.
The origins of the Burnside course go back over 100 years. In 1882, 9 holes were laid out as an ‘Auxiliary’ course, to relieve pressure on the 18-hole course and allow visitors a more gentle and convenient way to be introduced to the pleasures of golf. This was one of the first instances of a club adding a second course – pre-dating the New Course at St Andrews by two years. The course evolved over time, eventually getting to 18 holes in 1914. At that time, the course measured 5,151 yards, and occupied pretty much the same land as it does today, curled up inside the Championship Course. The next major change to the course was in 1934, when it was lengthened and strengthened and finally given a proper name – The Burnside.
The course, now measuring just over 6,000 yards, is a tidy and challenging venue-very much one of the ‘hidden gems’ that Scottish golf is blessed with. As its name suggests, the course winds over and around the Barry Burn, and is protected not only by that feature, but also by the small greens and narrow fairways which are bordered by heather and rough whins. The bunkering is minimalist, but all are well placed to influence the golfer’s strategy - a trademark of all three Carnoustie layouts.
Carnoustie is home to three outstanding courses, more indoor virtual simulator bays than any other course and exceptional hospitality showcasing the best Scottish produce