Gleneagles, the world-famous Scottish hotel, sporting estate and host venue of the Solheim Cup, has released images of the re-invention of two much-loved Par 3 holes on its James Braid designed Queen’s Course
The striking images, which were taken by golf photographer Dave Cannon, celebrate the completion of the detailed works to the par-3 13th and 14th holes, showcasing the construction of new strategically-placed tee boxes and the introduction of native Scottish heather.
The Queen’s is one of the UK’s finest par-68 courses, a regular feature of many Top 100 ranking lists, and this detailed transformation, which started last winter, has seen the same team of five greenkeepers complete the project from beginning to end.
The 140-yard 13th now benefits from an additional tee to the left of the original – which is still in play – but perhaps more strikingly, the approaches to the tight, well-protected putting surface approximately 130 yards away are now bathed in native Scottish heather, with walkways intersecting passage to the green.
On the 14th hole, a series of new tee positions have been created to the right of a picturesque loch, bringing the water directly into play, and giving golfers access to the green via a new footbridge.
Gary Silcock, Director of Golf at Gleneagles, commented: “These significant enhancements to already beautiful holes, are part of our ongoing plans to elevate the golfer experience at Gleneagles, not only on The Queen’s Course, but across all three championship courses. Our members and guests are already enjoying the new challenge these great holes create and also, from a practical perspective, it is also giving our greenkeeping team the ability to switch play between existing and new tees, when necessary, to ensure conditions remain first class.”
Introducing Scottish heather to the 13th is part of a wider project at Gleneagles being overseen by Director of Agronomy and Estates Scott Fenwick, a 39-year veteran at The Glen, and Golf Courses Manager Craig Haldane.
Silcock added: “As part of their research work, Scott and Craig have visited some of Surrey’s classic heathland courses to learn more about how heather is managed and grown on these sites and we now plan to gradually re-introduce it to areas of The Queen’s and The King’s golf courses, lining walkways in particular, over the coming years and adding to the ‘inland links’ feel.”
Extensive restoration works to The Queen’s Course actually commenced in 2016, with all 89 bunkers being lined with specialist Capillary Concrete to help maintain perfect playing conditions and drainage. The course also saw its fairway lines taken back to architect James Braid’s original designs of 1919, after the team studied historic photographs in the Gleneagles archive.
Next week sees Gleneagles host the Solheim Cup on its Jack Nicklaus-designed PGA Centenary Course, the same venue that hosted the 2014 Ryder Cup.