The luxurious country hotel of Gleneagles was conceived in 1908 by Donald Matheson, general manager of the Caledonian Railway Company.
Located near Glasgow and Edinburgh, Matheson wanted to attract wealthy train travellers to a quality getaway in the hills.
To that end the 850 acre estate offers guests a myriad of outdoor pursuits including tennis, shooting game, fishing, flying a Harris Hawk, off road driving and of course- golf!
Golf came to Gleneagles with both the King’s and Queen’s Courses opening in 1919.
Both were designed James Braid.
A third course designed by Jack Nicklaus and called The Monarch opened in 1993.
It has hosted both The Ryder Cup and The Solheim Cup. This course is now called the PGA Centara Course.
Not surprisingly, Gleneagles is considered to be one of the great golf resorts of the world!
The King’s Course
Since the opening of the first two courses it is The King’s Course that has been regarded as ‘the championship course’
It has hosted The Ryder Cup, The Curtis Cup, Dunhill Trophy, Scottish Open, and the WPGA Championship of Europe.
The King’s course occupies a particularly attractive corner of the vast Gleneagles estate.
It is a dramatic, picturesque undulating landscape.
And wildlife abounds!
The scenery is quite wonderful- it is just a lovely place to just be.
James Braid has used that ever-changing canvass to produce a golf course that moves with the land.
As a consequence there are a number of blind shots- both for tee shots and approaches..
It is fair to say that all players will benefit significantly from multiple plays of the course, so they have an idea of lines of play..
I found it an exceptionally interesting course, with lots of variety.
And I felt the design used the natural terrain nicely.
I wasn’t crazy about the uphill par 4 first hole, though.
It was a brutal start into the breeze!
I am an advocate for easing the player into the round, and keeping the field moving..
With a huge gaping bunker set into the hill in front of the green and slick back to front sloping green, there will be many who start their round badly and slowly!
Personally, I prefer links and heathland courses- but it is a joy to experience quality golf in different settings.
Scotland is blessed with so many world class links classes and they will always draw me back
But variety is the spice of life, they say..
The King’s Course is one of the better inland courses in Scotland, and a nice change from the links.
The Gleneagles Hotel and facilities are first class- there is an old world elegance about the place.
It’s a beautiful part of the world.
What's not to like?
Notable holes include:
- hole 3 (Silver Tassie), a mid length par 4. with a blind approach to the green over a significant ridge.
- hole 5 (Het Girdle), a challenging little par 3 with a raised green that is long and narrow..(see pic mid page)
- hole 7 (Kittle Kink), a longer, challenging dogleg par 4.
- hole 8 (Whaup's Nest), a mid length par with a shallow left to right angled green
- hole 9 ( Heich o'Fash), an undulating shorter par 4 with with a raised green
hole 14 (Dent Den), a driveable short par 4 with a raised green protected by deep pot bunkers
hole 15 (Howe o'Hope), a shorter par 5 with an undulating fairway and slick, split level green.
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For suggested destinations see: Golf Destinations- Scotland
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