Gleneagles vies with Loch Lomond for the title of Scotland’s premier inland course. The Gleneagles golf resort has a trio of championship courses and although no formal hierarchy exists a recent poll amongst members suggested the Kings Course was held in the highest regarded, with 43% of the vote, the Queens course wasn’t too far behind with 38%, whilst the Centenary (Ryder Cup course) managed 19%. To some extent this might be down to historical preferences or the slightly contrarian nature of the golfer who wants to take an alternative view. It’s also true of course that the Centenary course has an ‘American’ feel to it, so perhaps isn’t quite in the tradition of Scotland. What we do know is the name has become synonymous with luxury and class

Gleneagles Golf Resort

The courses themselves


Kings Course

Founded 1919
Yardage white tees 6471 yds
Par 70
Scottish Ranking 14th
Handicap Restrictions No handicap restrictions apply


The first thing to note is that this is a moorland course. Although courses aren’t really globally ranked by types, there is a body of opinion that would nominate the Kings Course the best of its ilk in the world. Indeed, Lee Trevino remarked, whilst standing on the first tee, that, “if heaven is as good as this, I sure hope they have some tee-times left”


Many of the greens form natural amphitheatres or wickedly exposed plateaus

The ninth is the signature hole on the Kings, and quite probably the resort

Selecting the right club for each approach shot is the secret on the King’s. It is certainly one of the most beautiful and exhilarating places to play golf in the world, with the springy moorland turf underfoot, the sweeping views from the tees all around, the rock-faced mountains to the north, the green hills to the south, and the peaks of the Trossachs and Ben Vorlich on the western horizon.

The eight green

James Braid’s plan for the King’s Course was to test even the best players’ shot-making skills over the eighteen holes, and this is what he’s widely regarded as having achieved. It’s a classic synthesis of design and landscape combining to produce a symphony of nature. Pines, gorse, wild rough, and the purple/ lilac hues of Scotland’s signature heather lend the course a patchwork of colour set in a beautiful frame.




Queens Course


Founded 1922
Yardage white tees 5965 yds
Par 68
Scottish Ranking 23rd
Handicap Restrictions No handicap restrictions apply


The Course itself


Threading through high ridges on the north and west sides of the estate, the Queen’s golf course offers lovely woodland settings, lochans and ditches as water hazards, as well as many moorland characteristics.


Gleneagles, Queens Course

The ninth hole


At 3,192 yards long, the challenge of the first nine can be deceptive, with even some of the best players finding it a test to make par into a fresh south westerly breeze. Do not be lulled into a sense of false security as you stand on the first tee. The “Trystin’ Tree,” or lover’s meeting place, after which the hole is named, is a challenging opener. The ground falls away at your feet, the fairway swings round to the left and slopes towards the trees, and there are a couple of cunningly placed bunkers testing your approach into the miniscule green.


The Queens course is the shortest of the Gleneagles trinity, but it is widely regarded as being the most aesthetic. For these reasons, I’m afraid we’re amongst those who’ve been seduced and confess to it being our favourite, albeit the team have a split jury on this (with the author of this piece getting the casting vote!)


The punchbowl green on the 17th




Ryder Cup Course / Centenary Course


Founded 1993
Yardage back tees 7296 yds
Par 72
Scottish Ranking 50th
Handicap Restrictions No handicap restrictions apply


The Course itself


Course architect, Jack Nicklaus, described the Centenary as “The finest parcel of land in the world I have ever been given to work with” when he set about designing Gleneagles’s third course. It’s the longest inland course in Scotland, and although the general advice is to over-hit, given that most of the trouble lies in front, this is often easier said than done. The course became familiar in 2014 when it hosted what was probably something of an underwhelming Ryder Cup (more fireworks in the press conference than the course!).


The 2nd green is one of the most spectacular and sets your journey of exploration beautifully


Fittingly, the course begins by playing southeast towards the glen, sweeping up the Ochil Hills to the summit of the pass below Ben Shee which joins it to Glendevon. A feature is the feast of views of the spectacular countryside in which Gleneagles is set. Putting on the two-tier second green, you are distracted by the lush panorama of the rich Perthshire straths. As you move westwards over the next few holes, the rugged Grampians come into view on the right, then in the yonder distant purples of Ben Vorlich and the mountains above the Trossachs.


The Centenary course was purpose built with match-play in mind as the closing holes offer all sorts of scoring opportunities with two par 5’s, at 16 and 18, and a driveable par 4, further back on 14. It’s perhaps a little bit unfortunate that the Ryder Cup didn’t really serve up the drama that we’d hoped for. Patrick Reed’s miss of a tiddler on the 16th is perhaps the most remarkable miss you might like to test yourself on and put right, albeit there were a couple of duffed chips on 18 to try as well


The 18th hole on the Ryder/ Solheim Cup course looks a lot less intimidating with the grandstands



Buggy hire, Trolleys, Caddies and Clubs

Driving Range Available Yes
Rental Carts Available No
Rental Trolleys Yes
Caddies Yes
Rental Clubs Available Yes
Pro Shop Yes



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