Gleneagles Hotel: King's

Auchterarder, Scotland


Constructed just after the First World War by James Braid, with the assistance of then-budding designer C.K. Hutchison, and studiously preserved for the last hundred years, the King’s Course at Gleneagles Hotel has been overshadowed in recent times by the emergence of the resort’s Jack Nicklaus-designed PGA Centenary Course, which hosted the 2014 Ryder Cup. But to golf architecture fans, and Golf Digest panelists, the King’s is still king, (Braid, by the way, always considered King’s to be his best work.) The course meanders along novel topography, full of odd elephant-shaped mounds, humps and abrupt gulches, lined with pine, fir, heather and bracken. It’s a pleasant stroll but a difficult test of golf. Over the decades, various publications have listed various Gleneagles holes as Best in the World, including the long, uphill par-4 fourth, the dinky “Denty Den” 14th, now a drivable par 4 thanks to advanced technology, and the short par-4 17th with its wasp-waist of a fairway. But the hole everyone must see to believe is the par-3 fifth, “Het Girdle,” its green a frying pan turned upside down with bunkers gouged into its sides.


Holes 18
Length 6790
Year Opened 1919
Designer James Braid, C.K. Hutchison (1919)


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