Carnoustie golf heralded a bright new era at the end of last month when its revamped Buddon Links was officially opened for play in time for the start of the 2014 season.
The extended course was opened by Angus Provost, Helen Oswald, together with new Carnoustie Golf Links Management Committee Chairman, Pat Sawers, who hit the first shot on one of the new holes.
The ceremony was also attended by Buddon Links Head Greenkeeper, Steve Mitchell, and his staff who have been responsible for overseeing all the changes.
The £500,000 revamp of the Buddon Links was the handiwork of Mackenzie & Ebert Ltd, who have designed well over 60 courses worldwide and in recent years have been responsible for major overhauls of the four Open Championship courses at Turnberry, Royal St George’s, Royal Lytham & St Annes and Royal Troon.
Ebert & Mackenzie were brought in to reconfigure the Buddon Links after its opening par-4 had to be reduced to a par-3 in the aftermath of the construction of the town’s new Golf Centre. They recommended the first hole should be removed and that the original 9th and 10th holes be merged into the new par-5 9th hole. They also designed two completely new par-4s with all the changes resulting in the overall length of the course being increased from 5,420-yards to 6,088-yards and the par of the course changing from 65 to a challenging 68.
The ladies par has gone up from 64 to 67 with the total yardage increasing to 5,035 yards.
“We are delighted to announce the revamped Buddon Links is now officially opened for play in time for the start of the 2014 season,” said Sawers, who was recently voted on as the first-ever female Chairman of the Carnoustie Golf Links Management Committee.
“The changes have proved very popular with both locals and visitors and should help to relieve pressure on our Burnside course.
“The decision to remove what became the par-3 1st hole after we built our new Golf Centre has also freed up space to develop a short game practice area.
“Combined together the changes can only help to reinforce Carnoustie’s reputation as one of the world’s premier golfing centres,” she added.
Provost Oswald praised the Carnoustie Golf Links Management Committee for its vision and suggested the changes would result in an increase in visitors to the town.
“I was very impressed with what I saw and congratulate the head greenkeeper and his staff for doing a great job,” she said.
“It has been a substantial investment so that’s good for the local economy and the changes are sure to attract golfers from far and wide.”
The Buddon Links was originally designed by Peter Alliss and Dave Thomas and was opened for play in 1979.