pictured above: Golf professional and golf vlogger, Peter Finch, and Gleneagles’ Golf Operations Manager David Blackadder, testing out a traditional hickory putter on the 18th hole of The Queen’s Course, as part of Gleneagles’ centenary celebrations for the King’s and Queen’s Courses, which officially opened on 1 May 1919
Gleneagles, the world-famous Scottish hotel and sporting estate, celebrated the 100th birthday of its King’s and Queen’s Courses in style yesterday [May 1], with key members of the venue’s staff donning traditional attire of the post-war era and taking to the links with hickory clubs.
Designed by James Braid, and created using nothing more than manual labour and horse and cart, both courses, which were officially opened on 1 May, 1919, boast an illustrious history.
The King’s Course hosted a famous match between the ‘Big Three’ of Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Gary Player in 1966, as well as the popular Bell’s Scottish Open on the European Tour from 1987-1994, the largest spectator event after The Open at the time.
The Queen’s Course has also hosted great names from entertainment and sport, including Sean Connery and Alan Shepard, the only man to hit a golf shot on the moon.
In recent times, and under Gleneagles’ new ownership by Ennismore, both courses have benefitted from extensive renovation projects that have seen them re-aligned to Braid’s original design vision with wider fairways, bringing strategically-placed bunkers back in play, and the re-introduction of Scottish heather in key areas.
Gary Silcock, Director of Golf at Gleneagles, commented: “2019 is special for Gleneagles in so many ways. It marks a celebration of everything that makes it an important pilgrimage for golfers across the world, underlines the historical importance of The King’s and The Queen’s courses to the growth of golf in Scotland, and also enables us to look forward to the next 100 years with excitement and anticipation.”
Along with its hosting of the Solheim Cup in September on its PGA Centenary Course, Gleneagles has a programme of celebratory events planned to mark 100 years of golf. These include events for members, visiting golfers and hotel guests. Gleneagles also plans to mark the special occasion during the week of the Solheim Cup, September 9-15, and across the week of its International Pro-Am Tournament, which is staged July 23-26.
The International Pro Am is a unique tournament, affording guests an outstanding sporting challenge across The King’s, The Queen’s and The PGA Centenary courses, and blending exceptional golf with luxury accommodation and some of Scotland’s finest food and beverage experiences.
Conor O’Leary, general manager at Gleneagles, added: “We are custodians of an important piece of golfing history in our King’s and Queen’s courses, and our celebrations will appropriately recognise the contribution these hallowed fairways and greens have made to the world of golf, and Scotland as an international visitor experience.”
For more information, visit www.gleneagles.com.