The Open Championship: Carnoustie hole-by-hole course guide

Carnoustie, home of the 2018 Open Championship
Carnoustie, home of the 2018 Open Championship

Press Association Sport provides a hole-by-hole guide to Carnoustie, host of the Open Championship.

  • Holes ranked from 1 (most difficult) to 18 (least difficult) based on how the course played in the 2007 Open.

1st (Cup), 396 yards, par 4

The Barry Burn down the left is out of bounds and caught out Tiger Woods in 2007. A bunker lies in wait for any drive leaked a little right and the higher left side of the fairway gives a view of the sunken green over a ridge with bunkers short right.

2007 average: 3.93 (rank 15)

2nd (Gulley), 461 yards, par 4

Braid's bunker is in the middle of the fairway, but at 215 yards out it is not the same danger as the traps left and right further down. The narrow green, guarded by more bunkers, is 57 yards long and has out of bounds beyond.

2007 average: 4.13 (rank 11)

The second hole at Carnoustie
The second hole at Carnoustie

3rd (Jockie's Burn), 350 yards, par 4

A new area of fairway has been added to the right of the central bunkers, but the severely sloping green is protected by more sand and Jockie's Burn in front.

2007 average: 4.19 (rank 8)

4th (Hillocks), 415 yards, par 4

A slight dogleg to the right with a ditch awaiting any drives hit too far left and over a fairway bunker. Bunkers narrow the entrance to the only double green on the course, shared with the 14th.

2007 average: 3.90 (rank 16)

5th (Brae), 412 yards, par 4

Jockie's Burn cross the fairway at 300 yards and just before it are two bunkers. The hole dog-legs right and the two-tier green is 57 yards deep with bunkers short and left.

2007 average: 4.33 (rank 5)

6th (Hogan's Alley), 580 yards, par 5

Named after Ben Hogan for his preferred route close to the out-of-bounds fence left of the bunkers in the middle of the fairway. A ditch runs down the right, 80 yards short of the angled, undulating green.

2007 average: 4.83 (rank 17)

7th (Plantation), 410 yards, par 4

The out of bounds fence is still on the left, but this time there is rough separating it from the fairway. Bunkers on the right may see many keep their driver in the bag depending on the wind.

2007 average: 4.03 (rank 12)

8th (Short), 187 yards, par 3

Long wait for the first par three, but it is a real tester. Heather and gorse in front of the tee, out of bounds left again, a hollow short of the green and two bunkers either side.

2007 average: 3.14 (rank 10)

9th (Railway), 474 yards, par 4

Played the toughest hole in 1999 and described as one of the hardest driving holes on any course in the world by eventual champion Paul Lawrie. Three bunkers - two right, one left - are at driving distance and trees line the left-hand side and frame the long, narrow green.

2007 average: 4.22 (rank 7)

The ninth hole at Carnoustie
The ninth hole at Carnoustie

10th (South America), 465 yards, par 4

A cluster of bunkers down the right and one at almost 300 yards on the left tighten the driving area. There are also trees flanking the left, but the large one short right of the green, just over the Barry Burn, impacts more, as do two more bunkers on the left.

2007 average: 4.34 (rank 4)

11th (John Philp), 382 yards, par 4

Renamed in 2012 in honour of a former course manager, the 11th gives players the choice of laying up short of the fairway bunkers or trying to clear them to get closer to a deceptively long green.

2007 average: 3.97 (rank 13)

12th (Southward Ho), 503 yards par 4

Plays as a par five off the back tee for members, but becomes a really tough par four for the Open. Craig Parry had a triple bogey here when leading on the last day in 1999. Left is best off the tee and the green lies over bunkered mounds.

2007 average: 4.38 (rank 2)

13th (Whins), 175 yards, par 3

A large horseshoe bunker is positioned before a green 43 yards long, but it is the two bunkers pinching into the middle area of the green and the slope from back to front which really adds difficulty.

2007 average: 2.95 (rank 14)

14th (Spectacles), 513 yards, par 5

An almost blind tee shot over gorse and rough to a fairway which turns left by the largest of four bunkers. The feature of the hole, though, are the two deep Spectacles bunkers 50 yards short of the green.

2007 average: 4.54 (rank 18)

The 14th hole at Carnoustie
The 14th hole at Carnoustie

15th (Lucky Slap), 472 yards, par 4

The start of arguably the toughest finish in golf. Fairway tilts from left to right towards bunkers and the approach has to be really well-struck to avoid more sand short on both sides.

2007 average: 4.34 (rank 3)

16th (Barry Burn), 248 yards, par 3

In two Opens here, including one he won in a play-off, Tom Watson failed to make a par once. The length makes it hard enough, but the green is raised and bunkers short narrow the way in.

2007 average: 3.31 (rank 6)

17th (Island), 460 yards, par 4

The Barry Burn is in front of the tee and then twists back, coming in from the left and cutting the fairway in half. A long approach also has to carry bunkers short of the green.

2007 average: 4.17 (rank 9)

18th (Home), 499 yards, par 4

Forever to be remembered for Jean Van de Velde's triple-bogey seven on the 72nd hole in 1999, when a six or better would have given the Frenchman the title. Van de Velde got away with a pushed drive but eventually saw his hopes sink in the Barry Burn which runs in front of the green.

2007 average: 4.61 (rank 1)

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