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As the fickle eye of golfers flit around the world following one tour to the next, adding more exceptional golf courses to their ever growing bucket list to play, eyes will soon come to rest on Carnoustie in Angus for the AIG Women’s Open.

But before we make a bee line to Carnoustie Championship; a wonderfully challenging links course in its own right, maybe we can stop and take stock of what we might be missing on route?

Driving over the bridge from Fife, you’re in Carnoustie Country, and the upcoming yet relatively understated city of Dundee, the fourth largest city in Scotland.  Recent additions to help Dundee grow into a tourist attraction are the likes of the imposing and uniquely designed V&A museum.  The first design museum outside London stands proudly on the riverside. Dundee is cited as having some the friendliest people, it is hardly surprising it is in the 84th percentile of safe cities.  Roots in jute (for ropes), jam and journalism, shows its diversity as a destination with a unique and evolving heritage.

Before you leave the bosom of Dundee, eager to play some golf, try one called Downfield – a good challenging 18 hole championship parkland course to break you in.  With the rush to play seaside courses, neat parkland course like Downfield often get overlooked, but for a good all-round experience of Scottish golf, moreover golf in Carnoustie Country, give it a go!

Along the coastline the golf offering is as diverse as it is challenging with the likes of Monifieth, Panmure and into Carnoustie itself before travelling a little further North to Montrose.  Monifieth Medal with its 6 opening holes following the railway line, are a wake-up call to links golf. Panmure screams deep rooted history playing those first few holes, lulling you into a false sense of security before it spits you out on the 18th for being too complacent!  Carnoustie has three courses, but the most iconic one is the Championship Course, with such known holes as Spectacles and of course the iconic closing holes of 17 and 18.  Buddon and Burnside are also good golf courses and compliment the Championship without challenging its strength.  They certainly aren’t the ugly sisters of the mighty Championship course.

On route to Montrose, call off at Arbroath, home of the Arbroath Smokies.  Still a thriving industry of dried haddock with a freshness of taste to die for.  You can see the wood smoking kilns where freshly caught fish is been dried.   You can even request vacuum packed fish to delight your relatives back home, if you can resist opening it up before getting home!

Montrose 1562 course is a delight.  For your first game you are not aware of its splendour until you finish hole one and the sea views open up as you walk over the crest to tee box number two.  Even though I’ve played Montrose more than once, that moment never fails to surprise and delight me.

What else can you do in Carnoustie Country – Glamis Castle is an interesting place to visit.  The Queen Mother and Princess Margaret shared a common love of Glamis, and you can see why with its historic links and chic opulence.

With so many stunning beaches and myriad of open spaces, even the family is catered for when visiting.

Who can resist an ice cream on the beach, or better still go for freshly picked Scottish raspberries in the sweet creamy Cranachan, but don’t forget to ask for one without whisky for the children!

Sarah Forrest
aka Travelling Lady Golfer

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