I admit to being biased having grown up in Angus. However, having played the full top 100 in Scotland and debating all the courses at length in terms of my own thoughts Carnoustie is often on top.
Deceptively due to the hosting of The Open the course often feels smaller and almost normal when you play it, like any other classic links but the accumulation of 18 great holes and in particular the finishing four holes the course challenges you with every shot and seems to stand above the rest for me.
The turf here, as with near neighbors, Panmure and Monfieth, isn't your normal sandy links, it is more of a peaty soil, hard to describe but it plays well.
I have enjoyed every round I have played here and have played off the various tees and in very different weathers. I have always relished the challenge and have never quite cracked the course.
A quirk of the course, which I find similar to Royal Troon is that despite the grand reputation both courses surprise me in their tightness and in particular the small green sizing, which just adds to the challenge.
A tip for booking is to get our very early or later in the day, to try and avoid slow play which I am afraid the vast amount of visiting 4 ball groups can create.
The course is definitely an equal to Muirfield/Royal Troon and Turnberry but I would say it takes more cunning to avoid all the course hazards and make a great score and for this, it is my number 1.
Date: November 12, 2020