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The Carnoustie Golf Club Announces Plans for International
Membership and Clubhouse Development

The Carnoustie Golf Club, established in 1842, has announced the launch of an International Membership Club, and plans for a major development of its clubhouse facilities, to coincide with the last Open Championship of the millennium, which will take place over the Carnoustie Championship course from July 15th-18th.

The Carnoustie Championship course is steeped in the history and traditions of the game. At 7,361 yards, it will be the longest ever Open layout and is also recognised as being one of the best and most demanding courses in the world.

Extensive renovation work has taken place since the Open was last played at Carnoustie in 1975, when Tom Watson defeated Jack Newton by one shot in a tense 18 hole play-off. Several greens have been altered, existing bunkers have been re-shaped and a number of new bunkers introduced. While a state-of-the-art irrigation system has ensured that the greens, fairways and the rough will be in perfect condition when the Open field tees off.

Commenting on the condition of the Championship course in a recent newspaper article, Sir Michael Bonallack, the outgoing R&A Secretary said: "Carnoustie is back to being one of the world's premier courses. The transformation has been unbelievable."

As part of Carnoustie's rejuvenation, a new international hotel has recently been built overlooking the first tee and 18th green of the Championship course. And with Scotland's four other Open venues at St. Andrews, Muirfield, Turnberry and Royal Troon, not to mention the majestic Gleneagles Hotel, all within driving distance, Carnoustie is now once again firmly established as a prime golfing destination.

The final part of this historic rejuvenation, is the re-birth of the Carnoustie Golf Club and its exciting plans to create an International Membership and also further develop the existing club facilities.

International Membership will be limited to 350 and will cost 5,000, with an annual subscription of 500. It is hoped that new members will come from all the major golf playing nations throughout the world.

The Carnoustie Golf Club is the first golf club at any Open Championship venue to offer International Membership and its associated privileges.

In return for helping The Carnoustie Club achieve its goals and also gain the recognition the Club deserves for the role it has played in the development of the game throughout the world, international members will be able to enjoy special privileges.

These will include the opportunity to play the Carnoustie Championship, Burnside and Buddon courses, along with invitations to introduce guests to the Club at any time. International members will also have access to the Carnoustie Club Hospitality Tent at the 2000 Open at St. Andrews, plus a host of other exclusive benefits.

Talking about the Club's future plans Club Captain, Dave Mitchell said; "The Carnoustie Golf Club has a rich and fascinating history. For example, we were the first club to perfect the standard scratch score system of handicapping. The Club also had a considerable influence on the development of the game throughout the world."

He continued: "We also have an outstanding collection of historical and unique golfing memorabilia, which has been gathered from all over the world. Our members are proud of the club's history and also passionate about sharing and promoting the traditions and friendships of the game into the 21st Century as part of our vision for the future."

Mr Mitchell concluded: "To realise these goals one of our main objectives is to work towards creating clubhouse facilities of a standard that will reflect and compliment the world class golf course on our doorstep and also the newly-built Carnoustie Hotel."

With the plans for the improved clubhouse facilities in the early planning stages, the International Membership Club initiative will be an important factor in achieving the club's vision for the future and helping to generate sufficient funds to assure the Carnoustie Club's long term financial stability and security.

The last three holes on the Carnoustie Championship course are recognised as being the most difficult finishing holes in the world. The Championship has been staged at Carnoustie on five previous occasions and the list of winners reads like a 'Who's Who' of golf. The first man to win the famous claret jug at Carnoustie was American Tommy Armour in 1931. Henry Cotton claimed the title in 1937 and the great Ben Hogan was victorious in 1953, which was the only time he played in the Open. South African Gary Player triumphed in 1968 and Tom Watson won the first of his record-equalling five Open titles at Carnoustie in 1975.

Between the end of the last Century and the early 1920's, over 300 sons of Carnoustie left their native soil to teach the game of golf in all four corners of the world. Many of them, who had been members of the Carnoustie Golf Club, were also among the founding fathers of the American and Australian PGA's.

The club's extensive collection of historic golfing memorabilia includes such priceless items as Willie and Alex Smith's US Open winners medals. Also on show is a set of clubs belonging to their brother MacDonald Smith, who twice finished runner-up in the US Open and also won numerous tournaments in America. The great Arnold Palmer has been a member of the club for over 20 years.

The Carnoustie Club Golf Memorabilia Collection and details of the exclusive International Membership will be shown at a special Marquee, which will be situated on the front lawn of the Carnoustie Clubhouse during the week of the Open Championship.

For further information contact Helen Heady on 0181 743 7797.