Golf History

The Gleneagles® Hotel’s Grand Opening Gala was on 7 June 1924 but its history commenced 14 years prior to that momentous day. In 1910 Donald Matheson, General Manager of the Caledonian Railway Company, was on holiday in Strathearn. His railway line ran through the valley and, as it was the era of ‘Grand Hotels’ he was so impressed by the surrounding countryside in Scotland that he conjured up the vision of a large country house hotel, built in the style of a palace which would provide leisure in the form of golf to the travelling public.

 

Perhaps this concept can best be described as "guests will travel on our trains, to stay in our hotel, to play golf on our courses". In keeping with his plans for the excellence of the concept, Donald Matheson looked for the best in the creation of two golf courses. He engaged James Braid, one of the golfing greats, to design and create the King's and Queen's Courses in the grounds of the hotel. Braid had won five Open Championships between 1901 and 1910 and then turned to golf course design. The King's and Queen's, created out of a wilderness using manual labour, pick and shovel, horse and cart, were ready much earlier than the hotel and began to make their name between 1918 and 1924.

The Gleneagles courses, although not by the sea, resemble the older links golf courses in Scotland in that they are built on sand and gravel, which were deposited when the last ice sheet finally melted some 15,000 years ago, leaving long ridges, flat-topped mounds and enclosed hollows. Braid turned this dramatic landscape into the King's and Queen's Courses. The result is an idyllic golfing landscape where many of the fairways and greens, particularly on the King's are isolated from neighbouring holes by the gravel ridges, so giving golfers the luxury of feeling they are playing on their own private course. The turf on these older courses is firm and springy and, therefore, never tiring to play on.

The summer of 1928 saw the opening of a third course of nine holes. This was known as 'The Wee Course' and was designed by the head greenkeeper, George Alexander. The Wee Course was lengthened to the full eighteen holes in 1974 and renamed Prince's. A fourth course, Glendevon, was opened in 1980.

When Jack Nicklaus created the Monarch's Course in the early 1990s it was over the eighteen holes of the Glendevon Course and some holes of the Prince's Course (the remaining holes of the Prince's Course were incorporated into a new nine-hole 'Wee Course', designed by the Gleneagles greenkeepers, recalling the original Wee Course of the 1920s). The Monarch's Course was renamed The PGA Centenary Course in February 2001 to celebrate the centenary year of The Professional Golfer's Association and is the selected venue for the 2014 Ryder Cup.

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Championships

There have been many legendary and prestigious golf tournaments held here in Scotland at the Gleneagles® Hotel.

The first tournaments were held in the 1920s and 1930s. By the 1960s the Gleneagles Hotel had hosted the British Ladies Open, the Dunlop Tournament and several major Pro-Am Foursomes.

Since the 1980s Gleneagles has been the venue for world class tournaments such as the Dunhill Trophy, Bell's Scottish Open, the PGA Cup and McDonald's WPGA Championship of Europe.

The Johnnie Walker Championship was held on the PGA Centenary Course from 1999 to 2013.

Past Tournaments

1920s and 1930sGlasgow Herald Tournament
1925 - mid 1960sSilver Tassie
1936Curtis Cup
1948Swallow Penfold
1953 - 56Gleneagles Saxone Pro-Am Foursomes Golf Tournament
1957British Ladies Open
1958Gleneagles Hotel Pro-Am Foursomes Golf Tournament
1960Dunlop Tournament
1974,76,77Double Diamond Team Championship Skol Individual Tournament
1975,77,79-82Pro Celebrity Golf Tournament
1981WPGA Carlsberg European Championship
1982 - 1991Silver Tassie (Revived as a foursomes knockout event)
1984Dunhill Trophy - UK v Japan
1987 - 1994Bell's Scottish Open Golf Championship
1996 - 1999McDonald's WPGA Championship of Europe
1996PGA Cup
1999 - 2001Scottish PGA Championship
1999 - presentGleneagles Scottish PGA Championship
2001WPGA International Match Play Championship
2002Diageo Scottish PGA Championship
2003 - 2004Diageo Championship at Gleneagles
2005 - 2013Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles
2014Host Venue of The 2014 Ryder Cup

Hall of Fame

Sir Nick Faldo: Where it all began

In August 1977, a 20-year-old Nick Faldo won his first tournament as a professional when he took the Skol Lager Individual on the King's Course. The event was reduced from 72 holes to 36 holes and was settled in play-off with Craig Devoy and Chris Witcher. This was the launch pad for the most remarkable career we have seen in the British game in the modern era. Faldo went on to win 26 more times on the European Tour and clinched six majors. In 2008 he was back at Gleneagles when announcing his wild card selections in his capacity as European Ryder Cup captain.

Jack Nicklaus: Centenary Man

"I have always thought Gleneagles is one of the greatest places in the world to play golf," said The Golden Bear. In 1991, he got the chance to design his first golf course in the country where he won his three Open championships and where the people love him as if he was one of their own. In creating the PGA Centenary Course he left an indelible mark in Perthshire. The course that Jack built will reach the ultimate high in 2014 when it hosts the Ryder Cup matches.

Paul Casey:  Hot shot rookie

In his rookie season of 2001, Paul Casey, like Nick Faldo before him, recorded his first professional victory at Gleneagles, when edging out the German, Alex Cejka, by a shot to win the Scottish PGA Championship on the PGA Centenary. What puts Casey among the elite of Gleneagles is that he went back there in 2006 for the Johnnie Walker championship and he won all over again, once again by a single stroke.

Adam Scott: Sweet 63

Arguably the most astonishing performance ever seen at Gleneagles was put up by the young Australian, Adam Scott, at the Diageo Scottish PGA Championship in 2002. Scott blitzed the quality field with four-round total of 23-under, shooting four rounds in the 60s including a 65 in his second round and a stunning 63 on final round. Scott won by 10 shots, the biggest winning margin we have seen here.

Junior Ryder Cup 2010

USA retain Junior Ryder Cup

The United States retained the Junior Ryder Cup after beating Europe 13½-10½ at Gleneagles, Scotland despite the hosts winning the third and final session 7½-4½.

Leading 9-3 from the first day, when the USA won the morning foursomes 5-1 and the afternoon mixed fourballs 4-2, the visitors clinched the contest with successes in the singles for Jordan Spieth over Albert Eckhardt (3&1), Doris Chen over Klara Spilkova at the 18th and Justin Thomas over Moritz Lampert (4&2).

Chris Lloyd, out first for the Europeans, won 2&1 against Anthony Paolucci and in the second match Wales' Amy Boulden earned a half against Emma Talley to give the hosts some hope of a revival, but ultimately the disappointing first day left them with too much ground to make up.

Kelly Tidy notched another point for Europe with victory over Kristen Park, and Juhana Kukkonen triumphed 2&1 over Oliver Schniederjans as the Europeans avoided a repeat of the landslide 22-2 defeat two years ago at Olde Stone in Kentucky.

Europe racked up more points through Manon Mollé's 5&4 demolition of Alison Lee, Manon Gidali's victory over Ginger Howard (2&1) and Thomas Detry's win against Denny McCarthy, while Kristoffer Ventura of Norway added a half after finishing all square with Jim Liu and Sweden's Isabella Deilert came back from four down at one stage to halve with Cassy Isagawa at the last.

The result means the USA have levelled the series in the competition, which officially started in 1997. America won that match before Europe edged the following three, and the 2006 contest was halved at The Celtic Manor Resort.

European captain Gary Stangl said: "After the disappointment of yesterday the players did brilliantly today to get themselves back in it. They were fantastic and it was a much better today. It was very close in the end."

Stangl's honorary vice-captain, Tommy Horton, a former Ryder Cup player and record winner on the European Senior Tour, said: "It has been a pleasure to spend the week with these young people and I think all of them can have successful careers. It has been a revelation to me, this competition and to see these young people play. The future of golf is in good hands."

USA captain M G Orender said: "It's been a great competition and congratulations to Europe for making it a lot tighter than I would've liked. My team have been fabulous and they are not only champions on the golf course, they are champions in life."

Lloyd, who last week qualified for European Tour Second Qualifying Stage, said: "It was nice to get the win today and I knew, being out first, I had to do that to have any chance of us getting back in it."

On Wednesday both teams will travel to The Celtic Manor Resort to meet The 2010 Ryder Cup Teams and to play in the Friendship Bowl on Thursday. The Friendship Bowl will be played over nine holes of The Twenty Ten Course and the players from each continent will be mixed up into six fourballs.

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