The Gleneagles Hotel - The PGA Centenary Course
The PGA Centenary Course, created by Jack Nicklaus at the Gleneagles Hotel property, is a modern classic. Even for a champion and acclaimed golf architect like Nicklaus, the PGA Centenary Course was a challenge. It had to be unique enough to test the greatest players.
The tees are graded at each hole in five stages, including a challenging 6,804 yards from the white markers down to 5,263 from the red. Fittingly, the golf course begins by playing southeast toward the glen, sweeping up the Ochil Hills to the summit of the pass below Ben Shee, which joins it to Glendevon.
A feature of the PGA Centenary Course is the feast of views of the spectacular countryside in which Gleneagles is set. Putting on the two-tier second green, golfers can be distracted by the lush panorama of the rich Perthshire straths. Over the next few holes, the rugged Grampians come into view on the right, then distantly purple ahead, Ben Vorlich and the mountains above the Trossa.
|Green (W)||72||5904 yards||136|
|Blue M: 77.0/145||426||516||431||239||461||201||468||419||618||3779||208||350||445||481||320||463||543||194||513||3517||7296|
|White M: 74.0/141||394||501||388||211||423||176||406||392||564||3455||190||326||445||464||308||436||518||179||483||3349||6804|
|Yellow M: 72.0/137||363||472||369||187||386||160||385||342||535||3199||160||307||419||440||287||404||490||167||453||3127||6326|
|Green M: 70.0/133 W: 75.0/136||349||456||318||177||360||160||374||316||505||3015||146||276||374||440||269||375||440||144||425||2889||5904|
|Red W: 72.0/128||301||431||298||148||272||138||340||277||465||2670||125||256||348||396||232||327||393||123||393||2593||5263|
Top quality course but very tough for the high handicapper. Would advise a buggy for anyone who isn't the fittest. It's a long track with many holes far from each other. Overall wonderful course with many lovely holes. Plus you can recreate Jamie Donaldson's approach at the 15th from the plaque on the fairway. Personally........I failed miserably
A Ryder Cup experience at Gleneagles
The critics will say: Why play such an Americanized course when you're touring Scotland? There is some truth to that, but the reality is that the modern Jack Nicklaus design is such a great change of pace to the resort's heathland King's and Queen's courses.
The Centenary course is the rare Ryder Cup venue you can play, so that gives it celebrity status on par with some other bucket-list courses in Scotland.
My 10-handicap game tends to melt when faced with such championship tests. In that regard, the Centenary can feel like a "slog" at times. The nice views of the surrounding glens - especially at no. 8 and no. 13 - and plenty of interesting twists of strategy throughout the day help overcome that fact.
I'd probably put it in third place among the resort's other offerings, but that speaks more to the quality of the golf at Gleneagles than the lack of character at the Centenary.
Will an American resort course help the underdog Americans in the Ryder Cup?
You'll probably hear the criticism regarding the Ryder Cup host at Gleneagles over and over: It's too American a design. That's true. The Jack Nicklaus design is not a magical links. The PGA Centenary course looks like a dozen or more resort tracks I've played in America. That doesn't mean it's a bad layout. It's just not what American tourists pay big bucks to play during an overseas links golf adventure. It will be, however, a great match play venue. Water hazards on the par 5s (likes holes 2 and 9) and cross bunkers (like the par-4 8th and par-5 16th) will force some risk-reward decisions. The tees of the short par 4s at No. 11 and No. 14 could be moved up to tempt players to drive the green. A hidden ditch makes the decision on No. 11 particularly dangerous.
Sweeping elevation changes will look great on TV and add to the experience for spectators. The 18th green was redesigned just for the event. Its severe slopes will kick balls into deep collection areas and bunkers. Don't be surprised if an unlucky bounce on an approach shot swings a key match.