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Carnoustie Buddon Course Feature Review

By: Andrew Picken | Mon 05 Aug 2019

Known for its legendary Championship Course, Carnoustie Golf Links is also home to the Burnside and Buddon. Golfshake Ambassador Andrew Picken had the opportunity to play the Buddon during a visit in June 2019.

The Buddon was first opened in April 1981 based around the designs of Peter Alliss and Dave Thomas. However, the course we played has had many subsequent transformations developing it into a thoroughly demanding layout that is a challenge to all levels of golfer.

In 2014 it was further extended to bring it to the same length as its brother course, the Burnside. It is a living, breathing tribute to sacrifice and duty. Uniquelly, each of the golf holes is named after a major military action involving UK forces. It is a beautiful tribute to veterans of past generations with plaques featuring detailed inscriptions sitting on every tee.

My previous work with Golfshake has led me to uncover some interesting war related memorials. Golf is such a community activity that non sporting issues creep into the fabric of the club and its membership. The series of previous war memorials related to golf led to some interesting discoveries and some that were not known to the Imperial War Museum.

These memorials were a focal point for grief as many of those lost were not brought back home and there were no remains for relatives acknowledge and grieve over.

Many clubs have a single hole dedicated to the fallen but I have not come across an entire golf course that is a living memorial to those whom fell in war.

The Buddon Course

Looking at the course itself, I had previously visited Carnoustie and stayed at the hotel, sampling the excellent food and facilities but didn’t have the time to play the Championship Course so I was very excited at the prospect of returning.

But I did not however expect the Buddon to be as good as it was. I expected it to be superbly conditioned. It was. I expected it to be a real challenge. It was! The course has heavy traffic from the locals and rightly so as it is a great layout but offers excellent value for money given the green fee and ease of access.

The infrastructure supports all the courses. The staff were friendly, knowledgeable and welcoming. The professional shop has the biggest floor space in Scotland and is exactly what you would expect from a global leading golf facility.

Everything from the moment of parking the car to leaving the course was superbly professional but friendly. I have been to certain high-profile venues that do not have this feeling of welcome for the visiting golfer and it certainly enhanced the overall experience for our group.

Very few courses can lay claim to this sort of deep history and heritage.

We dropped our bags at the bag drop area and each was labelled and our reservations checked. The staff ensured we were given all the options available to us including access to the state-of-the-art golf simulators that are available in the new Links House, providing a different style of pre-round warm-up.

Course Highlights

1st, Alma, 423 Yards, Par 4

The fairway is deceptive as any shot left leaves a blind shot into the very well protected green. I knew this and pushed my shot right and found some very thick rough. This is an excellent opening hole giving an idea of the style of challenges to be followed.

2nd, Corunna, 171 Yards, Par 3

A very well protected green. Bunkers short protect the green with swales and runs guarding anything right.

3rd, Wadi Akarit, 364 Yards, Par 4

Out of bounds runs down the entire right-hand side of this hole. The dreaded white posts loom large when setting up on the tee box so don’t be surprised at a shot that goes left. Be mindful of the grass bunker provided for this very purpose that is supported by deep, grabby rough. A lovely but difficult golf hole.

5th, Kohima, 323 Yards, Par 4

Another hole that is guarded by out of bounds to its entire length on the right. A slight dog-leg left with bunkers situated perfectly at the elbow of the hole to catch the tee shot. A kidney shaped green is protected by a pot bunker left and swales to the right and rear. Not the longest hole but still a real challenge.

11th, The Hook, 411 Yards, Par 4

This is the first of the new holes. Unusually there is a body of water that is definitely in play to the right for the tee shot. Two bunkers left require accuracy form the tee. The green is substantial but well protected.

14th, Waterloo, 399 Yards, Par 4

Another tough hole with a trail of white picket fence along its entire length guarding yet more out of bounds. The heather is also in clear view off the tee making this a visually intimidating shot. This is a great golf hole and a par here is a real achievement.

17th, Tobruk, 159 Yards, Par 3

This is a beautiful golf hole with a real linksy feel to it. There are no bunkers. It doesn’t need any given the topography of and the rough and grasses that provide more than enough protection for any shot slightly off line.

18th, Rhine, 422 Yards, Par 4

A simply stunning setting taking the golfer back to the clubhouse. The views from this tee are breathtaking and you should really try and give yourself time to savour them.


Playing at this venue is something that I can thoroughly recommend. The Buddon Course is exceptionally well kept. Its layout is a real challenge and it is great fun. It is Carnoustie in everything that it offers the visiting golfer. No pretensions, simply a wonderful golfing experience.

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