The two iconic Scottish golf courses celebrated their centenary at the start of May.
Gleneagles King’s and Queen’s Courses Celebrate 100th Birthday
Designed by James Braid, the two courses were created using manual labour as well as horse and cart. Thanks to his design, both courses have built up significant history and quality reputations.
For example, in 1921 a group of American professionals, including Walter Hagen, took on a team from Britain around the King’s layout. The result was a resounding win for the home side but, more importantly, the event was a forerunner for the Ryder Cup six years later.
Additionally, the King’s course famously hosted a match in 1966 which has never been bettered. The big three of the era, and three of the greatest golfers ever, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Gary Player played against one another on the famous course. Additionally from 1987 to 1994, it hosted the Bell’s Scottish Open which was the second largest spectator event after The Open Championship. The 1992 edition was particularly memorable as Australian Peter O’Malley played the final five holes in seven-under par to win the tournament.
The Queen’s course has also significant star power to it thanks to great names like Sean Connery and astronaut Alan Shepard having played there. Out of the three Gleneagles courses, it may get forgotten in comparison however some Gleneagles aficionados would rate it the best, and indeed most delightful, of the estate’s courses, despite the scorecard not quite tip-toeing up to 6,000 yards.
Recently the two courses have gone under extensive renovation by Gleneagles’ new ownership Ennismore. This was designed to bring the courses back under the original vision of Braid – wider fairways, bringing strategically placed bunkers back into play and finally the re-introduction of Scottish heather to specific areas.
To celebrate the momentous occasion David Blackadder, Gleneagles’ Golf Operations Manager, and Golf Monthly Top 25 coach Peter Finch dressed up in traditional 1920’s golfing attire and played holes shots using hickory clubs.