Gleneagles, the world-famous Scottish hotel, sporting estate and host venue of The 2019 Solheim Cup, has commissioned critically acclaimed golf photographer, David Cannon, to capture the re-invention of two much-loved Par 3 holes on its James Braid designed Queen’s Course.
In a suite of rich, striking imagery, Cannon celebrates 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 golf 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 hole 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 – unusually the course has back-to-back Par 3s – 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, sympathetically-designed footbridge.
Director of Golf at Gleneagles, Gary Silcock, commented: “These significant enhancements to already beautiful holes, are part of our ongoing plans to elevate the golf 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 hole 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.
Gary 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.
Born in St. Andrews, Scotland, the Home of Golf, Kenny Nairn, a PGA of Great Britain & Ireland Professional and Golf Channel Lead Coach, added, “The Queen’s is truly one of my favorite Scottish inland courses. During my time at Gleneagles, I would always use the Queen’s course as a tune-up for events as it demands a premium in many ways. These new enhancements are just another WOW factor as the new tee locations look as if they were meant to be where Braid designed them.” Nairn is Managing Partner at CFLGOLF which includes Eagle Creek, Kings Ridge and Red Tail golf clubs in Central Florida.
Extensive restoration works to The Queen’s Course actually commenced in 2016 with all 89 bunkers being lined with special 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 Gleneagles, a member of the Leading Hotels of the World, which is currently celebrating its golfing centenary, welcomes The Solheim Cup on its Jack Nicklaus-designed PGA Centenary Course, the same venue that hosted the 2014 Ryder Cup.
The 850-acre Perthshire estate becomes the only venue in Europe to have hosted golf’s blue-ribbon professional team events for men and women.
1 – Scottish heather now surrounds the approaches to the beautiful par 3, 13th hole on The Queen’s Course.
2 – Additional, new tee boxes create a spectacular ‘across water’ challenge on the 14th hole.
3 – The 14th hole also boasts a severe two-tier green, often giving golfers a putting conundrum to make par.
The Gleneagles Hotel
An iconic country estate set beneath the beautiful Ochil Hills, The Gleneagles Hotel has been a luxury destination for nearly a century. Located just one hour from Glasgow and Edinburgh airports and with its own railway station, Gleneagles offers the perfect retreat for those looking for relaxation, fun and adventure.
Three championship courses have established Gleneagles’ reputation as a golfer’s paradise but the hotel offers so much more than golf. The 850-acre estate epitomizes the natural beauty for which Scotland is famed and offers guests a glorious playground of country pursuits and activities.
Whether you come to fly a Harris’ Hawk, ride horses, play tennis, go off-roading, train gundogs, shoot game, fish, enjoy the only 2 star-Michelin dining in Scotland, or relax in an award-winning spa, Gleneagles offers a world of unforgettable experiences.