Colin Montgomerie has greeted the decision to make Gleneagles the home of the PGA National Academy for Scotland as a welcome and much-needed initiative to grow the game in the country.
Gleneagles, which has three Championship courses and will stage the 2014 Ryder Cup on one of them, already enjoys a reputation as a golfing mecca. And for Montgomerie, one of Scotland’s most renowned golfers, the move to site the country’s PGA National Academy there is as timely as it is fitting.
He said: “Golf in Scotland will get a huge boost when the Ryder Cup is contested on Gleneagles’ PGA Centenary course in four years time. The PGA National Academy at Gleneagles should provide a very inspiring backdrop for the next generation of golfers and coaches who will be training there. It is one of many important grass roots initiatives being put in place to ensure we grow the game in Scotland and capitalise on the benefits of hosting the Ryder Cup.”
As well as staging the Ryder Cup in 2014, Gleneagles has been the venue for the Johnnie Walker Championship since 1999 and has agreed to stage and support the Scottish PGA Championship for the foreseeable future.
The resort is also a PGA Partner of long-standing and the Association’s chief executive Sandy Jones said: “We’ve enjoyed a fruitful relationship with Gleneagles for many years and our Scottish regional office has been based there since 2002. We’re delighted with the latest development as we see it as a natural progression of our partnership.”
Bernard Murphy, Gleneagles general manager, echoed those comments and added: “We are absolutely delighted to have been selected as the venue for the PGA National Academy for Scotland. We continually strive to improve all aspects of our golf experience and very much look forward to being able to enhance and develop all areas of tuition at the resort in partnership with the PGA.”
In addition to its three 18-hole courses, Gleneagles boasts a nine-hole course – the Wee – and state of the art golf academy, both of which are in line for major investment as part of the resort housing the PGA National Academy for Scotland.
Commenting on the plans, Colin Pearson, The PGA’s strategic head of golf development (Scotland), said: “The addition of the PGA National Academy at Gleneagles is a fantastic boost to the many exciting developments that are already happening in Scottish golf at the moment.
“This facility will provide an excellent opportunity for players and coaches to work together to develop their skills and expertise, and over time can potentially provide a focal point for the development of coaching and education in Scotland.
“This further strengthening of the link between the PGA and the 2014 Ryder Cup venue will be of great interest to the many new coaches and young players in Scotland who have particularly benefited from the clubgolf programme which is evolving into a great Ryder Cup legacy for Scotland.”
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