The Gleneagles Hotel - King's Course
The five-star Gleneagles Resort is home to three heathland golf courses, two of which are James Braid-designed classics from the 1920s: the Kings and Queens courses.
While the 2014 Ryder Cup is set to be played on Gleneagles' modern PGA Centenary Course designed by Jack Nicklaus, resort golfers enjoy the traditional stylings of Braid, complete with large, menacing bunkers set through beautiful Scottish countryside. Gleneagles is also conveniently located less than an hour's drive from St. Andrews making it a favorite on many east Scotland golf tours.
|Blue M: 74.0/133||362||436||374||466||178||480||444||178||409||3327||499||230||442||464||309||459||158||377||525||3463||6790|
|White M: 73.0/131||362||405||374||466||161||476||439||158||354||3195||447||230||395||448||260||459||135||377||525||3276||6471|
|Yellow M: 71.0/126||352||386||360||443||149||455||430||155||335||3065||429||162||352||423||249||438||128||367||453||3001||6066|
|Green M: 68.0/114 W: 75.0/134||344||376||344||442||130||422||423||138||326||2945||410||156||346||418||241||431||123||359||444||2928||5873|
|Red W: 71.0/129||286||287||290||420||114||391||369||131||289||2577||371||114||332||360||215||402||113||329||407||2643||5220|
A non-links paradise in Scotland
Moorland, heathland, inland - I've seen all three words describe the King's course. I can add one more - special. It's tough for a non-links course to resonate with Americans visiting the Home of Golf, but this is one old-school classic that does.
The King's owes its impressive pedigree to James Braid, who took great advantage of the miraculous terrain carved by glaciers centuries ago. The first hole is the prime example with a rise to an elevated green that requires two to three clubs extra to reach in regulation.
Some of the views of the surrounding glens and mountains stretch for miles. The King's has hosted the Scottish Open and Curtis Cup, so it's a fine test of golf that's centrally located between the highlands and the Glasgow/Edinburgh airports.
A heathland gem
If you play one non-links golf course during your visit to Scotland, The King's Course at Gleneagles is probably your best option. It's an old world, James Braid design full of flavor. Bunkers are monstrous, there are blind shots and plenty of difficulty, but peppered in are some delightful shorter holes and an overall sense that this is the ideal amount of challenge one would want in a round of golf. The surrounding scenery is surreal and pace of play is excellent. The resort, of course, is 5 stars all the way. It's roughly an hour's drive from St. Andrews, so be sure to stop by for a round if you can.
Great golf, no links required
After travelling so much in Scotland I am often asked what are my favourite golf courses, and my response is always Royal Dornoch, Cruden Bay and North Berwick. I love links golf! Having said that, I have to say that The Kings Course at Gleneagles could easily be one of my top three. This is a championship quality golf course at a world class resort. Forget the Nicklaus designed PGA Centenary Course, who wants to play a typical US style golf course in Scotland. The Kings Course is a classic moorland (hilly) course with great sightlines, breathtaking views, and some great golf holes. The resort itself is high end, the golf course reflects this. If you're tired of the links I highly recommend this golf course!