Gleneagles Golf Resort King's Course Review

Nowhere gives you the chance to pit yourself against Braid’s design mind in quite as gloriously serene a setting as Gleneagles King’s course

Gleneagles King's Course
Photo: Getty Images

Nowhere gives you the chance to pit yourself against Braid’s design mind in quite as gloriously serene a setting as Gleneagles King’s course

Gleneagles Golf Resort King's Course Review

Top 100 Ranking 2021/22 - 38

Previous Rankings 2019/20 - 37 2017/18 - 37 2015/16 - 40 2013/14 - 36 2011/12 - 27 2009/10 - 20

Summer Green Fees

Round: £140-£200; Day: £195-£300

Visitor Times: Every day

Medal Tee: Par 70 – 6,471 Yards

Website: www.gleneagles.com/golf/the-kings/

Changes since previous ranking

No significant changes since 2019 advised.

Gleneagles Golf Resort King's Course Review

James Braid’s long-revered Perthshire masterpiece enjoys quite simply one of the most beautiful settings for golf in the UK&I. Carved through the pine trees, the King’s rises and falls over springy moorland turf.

Gleneagles King's Course

Looking down on the 6th to 10th holes (Photo: Getty Images)
(Image credit: Getty Images)

It may not be the longest (though longer than the Queen's), but with blind shots, humps, hollows and sloping greens, this is a course that will only reward precise and considered play.

Related: Top 100 Courses UK and Ireland

The opener is a stirring sight well-known to a certain generation of golfers who may never even have visited, courtesy of the popular Pro-Celebrity Golf series hosted by Peter Alliss in the 1980s.

This modest par 4 rises steeply at the far end to a shelf green protected by a deep central bunker and several others to immediately gain elevation and further enhance the views.

Gleneagles King's Course

The stirring sight of the 1st viewed across the 18th green (Photo: Getty Images)
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The 3rd is then played totally blind over a steep crest, and whatever you may feel about such challenges, you’ll still experience a real sense of excited anticipation as you come over the brow to find out if you picked the right club and your approach is as good as you thought it was.

Braid’s playground

Of course, no-one would design such a hole these days, but this is Braid’s playground, and over recent years the resort has re-introduced a number of other long-lost Braid features to take fuller advantage of the King’s course’s heritage.

Gleneagles King's Course

The 8th hole on the King's Course (Photo: Getty Images)

It has also been mowing the fairways wider to enhance playability over terrain that is presented to play like an inland links, weather conditions permitting.

The King’s opened for play in 1919 and has frequently been used for big events, among them several stagings of the Scottish Open.

In 1921, a group of American professionals, including Walter Hagen, took on a team from Britain around the King’s course, a contest that would prove the testing ground and forerunner to a little event you may have heard of called the Ryder Cup six years later.

The majesty of the glorious Perthshire countryside makes any round here an unforgettable experience over an historic and highly enjoyable Braid course held in near-universal high esteem.

Golf with a majestic backdrop of Perthshire hills (Photo: Getty Images)
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Assessor Feedback

The King’s is a wonderfully undulating piece of land that offers visitors a tranquil experience. It is a golf course of true quality and achievable challenge in just the right measures.

There is no doubting which country you are in when you are here - it is so Scottish. I love it.

I could play the risk-reward short par-4 14th hole all day.

GM Verdict

Nowhere gives you the chance to pit yourself against Braid’s design mind in quite as gloriously serene a setting as Gleneagles King’s course.

 

 

Jeremy Ellwood
Jeremy Ellwood

Jeremy Ellwood has worked in the golf industry since 1993 and for Golf Monthly since 2002 when he started out as equipment editor. He is now a freelance journalist writing mainly for Golf Monthly across the whole spectrum from courses and Rules to equipment and even instruction despite his own somewhat iffy swing (he knows how to do it, but just can't do it himself). He also edits The Golf Club Secretary Newsletter, has authored or co-authored three books and written for a number of national papers including The Telegraph and The Independent. He is a senior panelist for Golf Monthly's Top 100 UK & Ireland Course Rankings and has played all of the Top 100 plus 89 of the Next 100. He has played well over 900 courses worldwide in 35 countries, but put him on a links course anywhere and he will be blissfully content. On his first trip to Abu Dhabi a decade ago he foolishly asked Paul Casey what sort of a record he had around the course there. "Well, I've won it twice if that's what you mean!" came the reply...