The Nestie is a 6-hole short course operated by the Carnoustie Golf Links Trust and opened in May 2014 as part of a wider redevelopment of the Buddon Course at Carnoustie. The Buddon now has 2 new holes and the Nestie was built on what was formerly the Buddon's 1st fairway, immediately to the left of the 1st hole on Carnoustie's Championship Course. The Nestie is described by the Trust as a junior course, but it's also open to adult members and non-members alike and is only reserved for juniors at specific times. As such, it's a good practice facility for anyone playing one of Carnoustie's three main courses and being free, with clubs available for hire from the adjacent Pro Shop, it's ideally located for casual play by any visitors to the town and for complete beginners to learn the basics. See the Buddon Course 1st tee and Championship Course 1st tee webcams on www.carnoustiegolflinks.co.uk for aerial live streaming showing the Nestie Course. This is a photo I took from the 1st tee. Note the greenkeepers hard at work in the background.
I'd arranged to meet Craig at Noon on 11 May 2016, who as regular readers of the blog will know, is one of the 2 guys that I'm playing all of the Scottish courses with. Craig lives within a Par 5 of the 1st tee on the Championship Course and is a member of one of the 5 clubs that have playing rights over the Carnoustie Links. The 3rd and 4th Holes were closed for maintenance when we met up, so it initially looked as though my 210 mile round trip might have to be repeated at a later date. Craig and I played the 4 remaining holes that were open and I practiced for a while around the old 1st green of the Buddon Course, now used for general practice. Thankfully the Greenkeepers finished their work pretty quickly and the Nestie was fully open by 1330 hrs. This is a view of the 3rd Hole, looking back to the Championship Course 1st Tee and the iconic hotel that overlooks the Championship Course.
As the photo above suggests, the Nestie wasn't in great condition. The fairways had been heavily scarified and the greens were pretty bumpy and slow. Scoring was generally difficult, as balls would take unexpected bounces and putting was really tricky. This was my score on the completed full round -
Hole 1 - 65 Yards, Par 3 Score was 4, with 2 putts
Hole 2 - 66 Yards, Par 3 Score was 3, with 2 putts
Hole 3 - 64 Yards, Par 3 Score was 4, with 2 putts
Hole 4 - 44 Yards, Par 3 Score was 4 with 2 putts
Hole 5 - 55 Yards, Par 3 Score was 2 with 1 putt
Hole 6 - 40 Yards, Par 3 Score was 3 with 2 putts
So, 20 strokes in total with 11 putts on a course measuring 334 Yards in total. Not the most demanding or interesting course I've played on my travels around Scotland, but good practice nevertheless and I'm glad that the Links Trust had the wisdom to add this little course to the excellent facilities at Carnoustie. This is me on the 1st tee. I don't know exactly when my next new course will be as I've got a golfing holiday to Turkey coming up later in the month. At least I'm back playing again and looking forward to more trips around some of the more remote parts of Scotland on my continuing quest to play every course.
For any readers who have not played the Carnoustie Courses before, the Championship Course can be an absolute beast and the Buddon and Burnside courses are also challenging in their own right, particularly on windy days! Even if you're not playing, a trip to the Pro Shop beside the Championship Course 1st Tee is quite an experience - particularly if you're not expecting to pass what I assume is an exact replica of the Claret Jug!