Ben Hogan shot 70 here in a qualifying round for the 1953 Open Championship. Although often overshadowed by its famous big brother, the Championship Course, the Burnside has many holes which would not be out of place on any championship course. The 158 yard par 3 5th (Burn, pictured right), and the long par 4 17th (Sinkies, pictured below) are two fine examples.
Hole 1 – Peninsula
324 Yards – Par 4 – Stroke Index 18
A gentle introduction to the course, the first hole is driveable in certain conditions. Care must be taken however not to push the drive as 2 cleverly positioned fairway bunkers will catch any ball heading right.
Hole 2 – Ravensby
450 Yards – Par 4 – Stroke Index 4
A tough, challenging par 4 that could hold it’s own on any links course in Britain. The drive must be long and accurate and avoid the bunkers on the right hand side of the fairway. The 2nd shot normally requires a long iron to a green protected by only 1 bunker but which is very close the out of bounds fence on the right.
Hole 3 – Fence
175 Yards – Par 3 – Stroke Index 16
A testing par 3, with the green well protected by bunkers and also the out of bounds will catch any sliced shot.
Hole 4 – South America
460 Yards – Par 4 – Stroke Index 2
Another tough par 4, which generally requires a long 2nd shot to a raised green, which tends to throw the ball off to either side.
Hole 5 – Burn
158 Yards – Par 3 – Stroke Index 10
Reminiscent of the 17th hole at Sawgrass, this par 3 is surrounded by the Barry Burn on 3 sides. Only a well-struck shot with the right club will find this green and anyone scoring 3 here can be highly pleased.
Hole 6 – Camp
348 Yards – Par 4 – Stroke Index 14
A short par 4 well protected by fairway bunkers and thick rough on the right hand side. A good drive will leave a short iron to a reasonably generous green.
Hole 7 – Shelter
360 Yards – Par 4 – Stroke Index 12
A tough drive to a narrow fairway well protected by trees on the left hand side and a ditch on the right. The 2nd shot must be threaded between 2 greenside bunkers to a green which slopes from back to front, making putting difficult.
Hole 8 – Battery
432 Yards – Par 4 – Stroke Index 6
Trouble waits with gorse bushes on both the left and right hand side of this hole. The 2nd shot is usually a mid iron to a green which is nestling in a hollow. The 2nd shot must not go left as bunkers, gorse and heather await.
Hole 9 – Grog
163 Yards – Par 3 – Stroke Index 8
Another excellent par 3, the green sits on top of a small hillock, anything missing the green long, short, right or left will roll to the bottom of the slope and leave a very difficult up and down.
Hole 10 – Kopje
336 Yards – Par 4 – Stroke Index 15
A short par 4 but one which requires a straight drive, once that has been accomplished the 2nd shot is usually a short pitch onto a receptive green.
Hole 11 – Deil’s Ha
375 Yards – Par 4 – Stroke Index 7
A challenging drive with gorse, whin and heather on both sides of the fairway. The 2nd shot is reasonably straightforward but the green provides the hardest putting to be found anywhere in Carnoustie with a severe slope from back to front, 2 putts on this green is an excellent result.
Hole 12 – Heather
386 Yards – Par 4 – Stroke Index 13
A bunker smack in the middle of the fairway will catch the well-struck straight drive, which can prove very frustrating to the player. The 2nd shot is straightforward except if the pin is back left when bunkers have to be carried and the ball landed on a narrow plateau.
Hole 13 – Punchbowl
382 Yards – Par 4 – Stroke Index 5
The drive is not too challenging on this par 4 but the 2nd shot is a blind one to a green where only the top of the flag can be seen. Very often a ball will kick awkwardly off one of the slopes and leave the player much further from the pin than he expects.
Hole 14 – Scoup
228 Yards – Par 3 – Stroke Index 1
A par 3 of well over 200 yards this shot normally requires a fairway wood or even a driver into the wind. The ball must not go left as whins and gorse await, anything pushed right will result in a very difficult up and down. Anyone making par 3 here has good reason to be very pleased.
Hole 15 – Sou’ Western
500 Yards – Par 5 – Stroke Index 11
At 500 yards this is a short par 5 by modern standards. However the severely contoured fairway means that you will be playing your 2nd shot with the ball either well above or below your feet and this will make it difficult to hit the straight shot required. Two good hits however should get you home and a birdie secured.
Hole 16 – Whins
163 Yards – Par 3 – Stroke Index 9
A more straightforward par 3 than the others but still capable of giving the player a nasty shock if he pushes his tee shot too far right where a huge bank of gorse and whin awaits. A well-hit shot with a mid iron, however, should secure a par 3 with no great difficulty.
Hole 17 – Sinkies
473 Yards – Par 4 – Stroke Index 3
One of the great par 4’s of any course at Carnoustie and one which would easily grace the Burnside’s more illustrious neighbour, the Championship course. The drive must be struck long and straight in order to get close enough to the Barry Burn to allow the player to get home with the 2nd shot. Too far however and the ball will disappear into one of the folds of the burn. Once the drive is safely on the fairway the player then has to face a 2nd shot of well over 200 yards crossing the Barry Burn twice in order to reach the green. Although not too difficult if played as a 5 a par 4 here is a magnificent result.
Hole 18 – Lismore
307 Yards – Par 4 – Stroke Index 17
A classic little par 4 with the green driveable on occasions but the out of bounds fence is an ever present threat on the right hand side of the hole and many a score has been ruined by a sliced tee shot on this hole.