Golf Links in the Royal Burgh of Carnoustie, Angus,
in the east of Scotland is one of the venues in the
Open Championship rotation. Golf is recorded as having
been played here in 1527, earlier than at St Andrews,
where the first record of golf dates from 1552. In
1890, the 14th Earl of Dalhousie, who owned the land,
sold the links to the people of the town, to be kept
available for their recreation in perpetuity. While
the townspeople are the owners, today the links are
administered on their behalf by Angus Council.
original course was of ten holes, crossing and recrossing
the burn. The opening of the coastal railway from
Dundee to Arbroath in 1838 brought an influx of golfers
from as far afield as Edinburgh, anxious to tackle
the ancient links. This led to a complete restructuring
of the course, extended in 1867 by Old Tom Morris
to the eighteen holes which had meanwhile become standard.
Two additional courses have since been added - the
Burnside Course and the shorter though equally testing
first played host to The Open Championship in 1931,
after modifications to the course by James Braid in
1926. The winner then was Tommy Armour, from Edinburgh.
Later Open winners at Carnoustie include the Englishman
Henry Cotton in 1936, Ben Hogan (USA, in 1953), Gary
Player (South Africa, 1968), Tom Watson (USA, 1975)
and Paul Lawrie (Aberdeenshire, 1999).
North America, the course is nicknamed "Car-Nasty"
due to the famously difficult conditions. The term
Carnoustie effect dates from the 1999 Open, when many
of the world's best players, reared on smooth American
courses, were frustrated by the unexpected difficulties
of the links. One much-fancied young favourite, the
then 19-year-old Sergio García, went straight
from the course to his mother's arms in tears.
Open may best be remembered for the epic collapse
of French golfer Jean Van de Velde, who needed only
a 6 on the par-4 18th hole to win the Openand
proceeded to shoot a triple-bogey 7, eventually losing
a playoff to Paul Lawrie, whose 72-hole aggregate
score was 290, 6 over par. The Open Championship will
be played at Carnoustie again in 2007.
"Carnoustie effect" is defined as "that
degree of mental and psychic shock experienced on
collision with reality by those whose expectations
are founded on false assumptions." This being
a psychological term, it can of course apply to disillusionment
in any area of activity, not just in golf. (Credit: