Gleneagles

James Braid's inland moorland masterpiece is a must-visit!

Gleneagles

Perth & Kinross, Scotland

Overview

Gleneagles is known as the Riviera of the Highlands.

The King's Course is genuinely one of the greatest inland courses in the world. How good is it? I would swap any number of better-known links in Fife for this one... with the exception of the Old Course. Harry Vardon felt the same. In 1919, he wrote the King's was as good as any golf course in the UK or Ireland.

The famous Gleneagles poster with an eagle perched on the crags of a Scottish glen has painted by none other than Harry Rountree.


Golf Course Review

Gleneagles has been called The Glorious Playground. The country estate is a luxury 5-star hotel with no equal. A British institution, the hotel is not only one of the best resorts in Scotland and the UK but also the world.

The hotel and resort are first and foremost a golf destination. Located in Auchterarder, Perthshire, the resort lies on the main road between Stirling and Perth. Established in 1924, the first course was the King's Course, followed by the Queen's Course, and finally the PGA Centenary. There is also the Wee Course and PGA Academy.

Gleneagles King's Course

It was reported that the location of the resort was advised upon by Harry Colt. (The Times May 1921) However, the first golf course, Gleneagles Kings, was designed by James Braid. Alister MacKenzie felt the King's Course was James Braid's best work. (Perthshire Advertiser 19 March 1921) With 400 courses under his belt, it is indeed a compliment to call the King's Course his crowning achievement. Opened in 1919 after the Great War, it has always been known to exceed expectations. Sutton's Seeds were used to sow the courses.

In 1920, two new one-shot holes were incorporated into the design. A single par 3 replaced the original 12th and 13th holes and a new par 3 was added between the 16th and 17th. The 11th and 16th are the two holes from 1920 that exist today.

Het Girdle Kings Course

Patric Dickinson wrote that "Gleneagles is something that was created, and exists, sheerly to please." Frank Pennink said that the greenkeeping was second to none with 'immense vistas from elevated tees, big greens, and springy turf - a swirling wind can turn this gentile course into a real challenge.' Scale, width, and elevation changes are the overwhelming trademarks. Uniquely, the bunkers have their own distinctive shape and style.

Gleneagles Kings is one of Scotland's best golf courses, which is a ringing endorsement seeing as it is an inland course. Perhaps only rivaled by Loch Lomond, Gleneagles King's is an institution and an iconic course that is worthy of all the praise heaped upon it.

How good is it? Having played the majority of big-name links in the vicinity, I would gladly swap most of them for a round on the King's.

King's Course Reviews

Take Sean Arble's tour of The King's.

Gleneagles Queen's Course

The Queen's Course is the second oldest probably second best behind the Kings. It is considered by some to be one of the best courses in the UK & Ireland.

It is a James Braid and CK Hutchinson design. The original nine holes (now holes 1 to 4 and 14 to 18) were opened in 1919. In 1925, the second nine (now holes 5 to 13) was added. Holes 6 and 17 are considered to be of note.

It was Alister MacKenzie who advised Gleneagles to extend the course from 9 to 18 holes. (Perthshire Advertiser March 1921) However, it would be James Braid who eventually carried out the works.

Gleneagles Queens

Jack Nicklaus' PGA Centenary

Acclaimed golf course architect, Jack Nicklaus, created the course which became the venue for the 2014 Ryder Cup. It is a typical 1990s Nicklaus golf course design. Despite hosting both the Solheim and Ryder Cups, for most purists, James Braid's King's Course is the one of choice.

Ranked45/100in GB&I
Colourised portrait of James Braid.Evalu18

Featured Architect: James Braid

James Braid moved very little earth due to technological constraints. Minimal artificial features are present. Putting greens must be well guarded, often by dykes, directly in front of greens. Green size is governed by the length of the approach. Alternative tees are provided to allow play in all conditions. Bunkering...

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At a glance

Architects

  • James Braid
  • Hutchison, Major Cecil Key (CK)
  • Matheson, Donald

Facilities

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Contact Details

Perth & Kinross, PH3 1NF, Scotland

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Colourised portrait of James Braid.Evalu18

Featured Architect: James Braid

James Braid moved very little earth due to technological constraints. Minimal artificial features are present. Putting greens must be well guarded, often by dykes, directly in front of greens. Green size is governed by the length of the approach. Alternative tees are provided to allow play in all conditions. Bunkering...

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