The unique pro-am format of this annual bunfight along the coastlines of Angus and Fife pretty much guarantees the tournament will unfold with all the febrile urgency of an arthritic sloth, but it's hard not to warm to an event where one of the competitors is saddled with the magnificently naughty name of Mustafa Koc. As if that wasn't mirthful enough, the schoolboy tittering in the Carnoustie press tent reached unprecedented levels when someone noticed that the fellow in question, an Istanbul businessman, also happens to be chairman of a company called Koc Holdings.
Fortunately, there are some who treat this tournament with more respect than any gathering of golf hacks will ever muster - and Sir Steve Redgrave is one of them. The rowing knight was a participant at the very first Dunhill event, in 2001, and he has clocked up 13 consecutive appearances since then.
That he even reached two may have been a surprise, given the weather that graced that inaugural tournament. Indeed, there was so much water on the fairways that year that Redgrave must sometimes have felt that he should have had Matthew Pinsent as his playing partner rather than the pro he was allocated.
"Carnoustie used to be my least favourite course," recalled Redgrave yesterday after he and playing partner Jamie Donaldson had moved into a tie for seventh in the pro-am event. "In 2001 it was set up like it was for the 1999 Open and we had 60mph wind, freezing cold, thick fog and it was raining. I was thinking, 'This isn't fun. What the hell am I doing here?' But over the years I've come back a few times and I enjoy it."
That much was obvious as Redgrave, whose intensity in his own sport was almost a species of rage at times, beamed from ear to ear as he stood outside the recorder's hut. Yet as much as he enjoys his autumnal jolly in Scotland, he is respectful of the fact that there is a serious professional tournament going on while he has his fun.
"This is one of the biggest money earners on the European circuit so it's a big deal," said the 51-year-old, the third most decorated British Olympian behind Chris Hoy and Bradley Wiggins. "There are players who are trying to hold on to their cards, and for others it's about pushing up the Order of Merit and getting the chance to win some serious money, world rankings and everything else."
It is not much of a secret here that the professionals would sooner be accompanied by another sportsman than an actor or business figure. There is a kind of mutual understanding and appreciation there, and Redgrave admits that his own competitive juices start flowing again in the heat of competition.
"There isn't another sport that you can play with the best in the world and be part of it," he said. "No other sport can do that. Golf is something where you feel you can be part of the group, whatever level you're at. But with your pro you have to make sure that you're out of the way of the day-to-day job of what they're doing. I'm always competitive whatever I'm doing. That's just an instinct that is ingrained in me. I think we are all competitive in our own right. People may say they are not, but they will get competitive in the right environment. It's a human instinct.
"We put pressure on ourselves to try and perform, and when you have crowds watching it puts you a little on edge. Normally, when you are in your own sport, you know what you're doing and you're trying to stay calm. I think sports people do that quite well. I think some of the entertainers sometimes struggle with the pressure that's put on them. But it's a joy and I'm always itching to be part of it."