Few hotels can boast such a great golf course as Gleneagles Kings at 6504 yards and par 70. Considered a "parkland" course, as opposed to most Scottish courses being "links", The Kings Course requires good judgment to navigate the hills, bunkers, sloping fairways and tricky greens. There are plenty of good caddies here, and pull carts can be managed quite easily. Known for its superb maintenance condition (for a Scottish course), Gleneagles Kings features a tough uphill first hole and two fine finishing holes, the dogleg 17th where your tee shot cannot run to the right, and the downhill 18th toward the stately hotel in the distance. In between are a series of beautiful holes that require accurate shotmaking and constant course management to navigate the ever-present trouble spots. The course can be played as a par 68 from the white tees, and a par 70 from the championship tees the clubhouse at Gleneagles features a nice modern pro shop with many quality items, and a nice grill (called The Dormy House). In addition, for years the Kings Course was site of the Scottish Open held typically the week before the British Open
Gleneagles - PGA Centenary Course
Site of the 2014 Ryder Cup
When Jack Nicklaus was asked to design the third major course at Gleneagles Hotel, it continued a tradition of champions. James Braid, who created the King's and the Queen's, was the first golfer to win the Open Championship five times. Nicklaus is universally acknowledged as the greatest champion the game has ever produced. So here, in this spectacular Perthshire glen, the three Gleneagles courses now offer an accumulation of golfing acumen spanning more generations than perhaps any other on earth. Even for a champion and acclaimed golf architect like Nicklaus, the PGA Course was a challenge. It had to be unique, a course in the modern design ethos that at its fullest stretch tests the greatest players, while, in the immortal phrase of Bobby Jones, "offering problems a man may attempt according to his ability... never hopeless for the lesser player nor failing to concern and interest the expert." From the back tees, the PGA measures 7,081 yards - the longest inland course in Scotland. However, the tees are graded at each hole in five stages, including a challenging 6,551 yards from the white markers down to 5,065 from the red. The putting surfaces are among the best and fastest in Scotland. (PGA Centenary offers the use of carts or “buggies” – the other Gleneagles courses do not).
Gleneagles - Queens Course
The Queen's Course, in its long history, has played host to some of the world's golfing greats. The beautiful settings and the challenge of the golf have attracted such top golfers as Johnny Miller, Greg Norman, Seve Ballesteros, Tom Watson and Lee Trevino. Threading through high ridges on the north and west sides of the estate, the Queen's offers lovely woodland settings, lochans and ditches as water hazards, as well as many moorland characteristics. At 3192 yards long, the challenge of the first nine can be deceptive, with even some of the best players finding it a test to make par in a fresh southwesterly breeze. Do not be lulled into a sense of false security as you stand on the first tee. The 'Trystin' Tree', or lover' meeting place, after which the hole is named, is a challenging opener. The ground falls away at your feet, the fairway swings round to the left and slopes to the trees, and there are a couple of cunningly-placed bunkers testing your approach into the minuscule green. There are two testing par 3s in the outward nine, and the only par 5 on the course is number seven, a swinging downhill dogleg strategically bunkered at the elbow with a well-protected kidney-shaped green. Two demanding par 4s, both requiring fine approaches, complete the first half. The homeward nine offer great satisfaction as a fortunate player can swoop home in a flurry of birdies. The 13th and 14th, around Loch-an-Eerie - a pretty loch and islet tucked into a nook of the hills - offer two opportunities to improve the card, and the 15th also offers another chance if you are on good form. The final par 3, the 17th, deceptively named 'Hinny Mune', can set you back again unless you find the long, crescent-shaped green with your tee shot. The Queen's concludes with an exhilarating drive across a small lochan to a generous rolling fairway ending in a large green under the hospitable windows of he Dormy House with its welcoming bar, fine restaurant and comfortable locker rooms. All-in-all, then, an unforgettable landscape of golfing enchantment, as easy on the eye as it is warming to the heart. "If heaven is as good as this" said Lee Trevino, "I sure hope they have some tee times left".
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