The Buddon course opened for play as an 18-hole layout back in 1981 when Dave Thomas and Peter Alliss laid out the fairways on former Ministry of Defence land, next to the 2,300-acre Barry Buddon rifle range and training area.
All the holes are named after battles that have taken place during various war campaigns, in recognition of the near neighbours who have been in residence since the late 1890s. The course lies to the south and east of the property managed by the Carnoustie Golf Links Management Committee
The Buddon starts and finishes as a links layout, with several fairways in the middle of the round venturing into tree-lined territory. Mackenzie & Ebert completed a renovation in 2012, when the new clubhouse was being built, resulting in the loss of the opening hole as the par was increased from 66 to 68.
The old 9th and 10th holes were merged to create a new hole and two new holes were fashioned to form a new 11th and 12th in the southwest corner of the estate, bringing a new ecological benefit through the creation of wetlands, ponds and new areas of heathland.
A strange hybrid course extending the links with trees that the other two Carnoustie 18's are. MUCH prefer Champ and Burnside and feel this has been created to increase volume....and revenue.
First is a bit struck on to make up the numbers..... but can be a brutal start with wind off the sea.
Second is a par 3 that the wind dictates what sort of hole it is. Next three play alongside Champ...short par 4, par 3, short par 4.... a good start is advisable as hereafter the course changes.
Turning right, alongside the Champ 8th suddenly this "links" becomes a forest course, a narrow line no par 4, then a decent par 3, then a par 5 past a lake.... hang on isn't this a links course ??? And it isn't the only lake ! All I can reference it to is Links at Casa de Campo in Dominican Republic... that has lakes as well.
Were this course NOT part of an Open rota venue I think I would appreciate that it more for its wide variety of holes, challenges and mix of links, heath and parkland round lakes.
To me it is NOT what Carnoustie is about but if it gets the line caps a game when the other two are packed with tourists I get it !?
The Buddon is a course of two halves, starting and ending as pure links and running nicely alongside Hogan's Alley and the Championship course's 7th. This is the Buddon's 5th hole, but sadly after this you are out into the trees and ponds until the 16th.
Like the Burnside, the short yardage does not make for a pushover. I don't think there is an easy hole among Carnoustie's 54. The usual wind make the course's parkland half especially treacherous. These aren't bad holes and the ground is fairly firm, but it’s not quite what you want during a Scottish trip. I had this included with my Championship booking which was fine, but pick the Burnside if you can only choose one extra 18.
What the Buddon does have however, are a couple of seaside holes and the 18th tee has the best view on site - an elevated tee looking over the courses, clubhouse and town, with this long par 4 dropping to a beach-side green.
Overall I don't consider this a fun layout, but it is a test and varied mix, plus being Carnoustie it’s obviously well kept. I'd recommend it if you can get a deal, otherwise you can find better golf not far along the coast in either direction.
Yes just done my review, and missed out the 18th....that is a good hole with, as you say, the best links view in town