Architects’ role in Carnoustie Country courses

The 16th at Edzell Golf Course, one of Carnoustie Country�s historic gems. Photo courtesy of www.carnoustiecountry.com

The 16th at Edzell Golf Course, one of Carnoustie Country�s historic gems. Photo courtesy of www.carnoustiecountry.com

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Over the centuries, legendary course architects such as Old Tom Morris and James Braid have played their part in establishing the outstanding pedigree of Carnoustie Country’s historic golf courses.

As Scotland celebrates the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, what better time to experience playing golf on courses which epitomise the very best of golf course design?

Old Tom Morris playing golf at Montrose Links. Photo courtesy of www.carnoustiecountry.com

Old Tom Morris playing golf at Montrose Links. Photo courtesy of www.carnoustiecountry.com

Golf has been played in this corner of Scotland for over 450 years and the 34 golf courses which fly the Carnoustie Country banner have an excellent reputation, attracting top tournaments and the world’s best golfers.

In July, the Senior Open will see many of the golfing greats of recent years playing over some of Carnoustie Country’s best known and oldest courses.

Downfield, Monifieth, Montrose and Panmure will host the qualifying rounds, while Carnoustie Championship is the venue for ‘The Seniors’ from July 21 to 24.

The renowned Open venue Carnoustie Championship was designed in 1842 by Allan Robertson, who was widely regarded as the best golfer of his generation. Allan Robertson’s version of the Championship course only featured 10 holes – an additional eight holes were added when Old Tom Morris of St Andrews fame stepped in with a few suggestions.

Then, in 1926, James Braid was commissioned to ‘tweak’ the course so Carnoustie would be considered for the Open Championship - a job he clearly did very well as the Open returns to Carnoustie Championship in 2018.

Old Tom Morris also designed the golf course at Forfar, creating the world’s first 18-hole golf course in the process. He then focused his attention on the golf links at nearby Arbroath, where he laid out the 18-hole course which clings to the stretch of coastline between Arbroath and Carnoustie.

Edzell’s golf course has a well-deserved reputation as one of the prettiest courses in Scotland. It was originally designed by course designer, golf club maker and golf professional Bob Simpson, who helped Tom Morris with his redesign of Carnoustie.

James Braid, who was a professional golfer and course designer from Fife, won the Open five times and made a major contribution to how several hundred golf courses look today, including the Carnoustie Country courses of Downfield, Kirriemuir, Brechin, Panmure (venue of the World Hickory Open 2016), Monifieth and Scotscraig.

Blairgowrie Rosemount, venue of many major tournaments over the years, was originally designed by Dr Alister Mackenzie, the famous course designer responsible for America’s Cypress Point and Augusta National. The course was later redesigned by James Braid, who also added Blairgowrie’s Lansdowne course.

Golfers have been playing their favourite game on Montrose Links for over four and half centuries and Tom Morris, Willie Park Junior and Henry Colt – designer of Royal Lytham and St Annes, Sunningdale, Wentworth and Muirfield - all played a part in the layout of the course now called Montrose Medal, another of Carnoustie Country’s Open qualifiers, and also its very near neighbour, Montrose Broomfield.

Carnoustie Country is easy to get to, with a wide range of accommodation, including stay-and-play packages, available. To find out more about playing on Carnoustie Country’s historic golf courses, visit www.carnoustiecountry.com.

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