I stumbled upon a great little nugget of information the other day when planning my upcoming Scotland golf vacation. I was trying to make a tee time at The Championship course at Carnoustie Golf Links, which we've described before as "the most challenging course you can play on a Scotland golf vacation." Unfortunately, when I called Carnoustie to make reservations on The Championship Course, they had no available tee times.
Who can forget the 2007 Open Championship at Carnoustie? Like Jean Van de Velde's unforgettable meltdown in 1999, it ended in dramatic fashion as Padraig Harrington, leading by one shot with one hole to play, dunked two balls into the drink, opening the door for Sergio Garcia. Snakebit Sergio went on to bogie the 18th hole and ultimately lost in a playoff. Who can forget? Apparently, nobody. This nail-biting theater has made Carnoustie even more of a must-play for those on a Scotand golf vacation...which is why I got squeezed out.
The good news is, and this is the nugget, the 85-room Carnoustie Golf Hotel, located directly behind the 18th green, has special access to prime tee times on the Championship Carnoustie golf course: a one-hour window in the morning and another in the afternoon. So, I booked a night at the hotel and secured a precious 9:00 am tee time for the next day.
If you have your heart set on playing this awesome Carnoustie golf course, this little tip could be a lifesaver for your Scotland golf vacation. It certainly saved mine.
By the way, this arrangement is not unique to Carnoustie. It can be found at other great courses, including some on the Open Championship rota. For example, did you know that Royal Lytham & St. Annes (which last hosted in 2001 and will host again in 2012) has its own Dormy House steps from the first tee? Guests get preferred tee times, reduced green fees and experience the true ambiance of the club (snooker anyone?). In true dormy house fashion the bathrooms are down the hall (sorry, no ladies allowed).