Gleneagles Golf Club
Auchterarder, Perthshire PH3 1NF, Scotland, United Kingdom
Kings course is a beautiful and one of the most exhilarating places to play golf in the world. The course has springy moorland turf underfoot, the sweeping views from the tees all around, the rock-faced mountains to the north and the green hills to the south.
Designed by James Braid, the Kings Course is a pastoral retreat located in the foothills of the Scottish Highlands, offering the sturdiest challenges on the par 4s, The eccentric 3rd hole, at 375 yards, is fairly short, but has a large hill immediately fronting the green. The blind approach is similar to those at Prestwick’s 5th and 17th, two infamous holes of the hit-and-hope variety that didn’t faze architects of Braid’s era.
Two par 4s on the back nine are worthy of special attention. The brutish 10th is the only “flat” hole on the course, but it plays 447 yards into the west wind. And the 13th is a real monster at 448 yards. A deep bunker juts into the landing area and a false front tricks players into thinking they can run the ball onto its slightly elevated, well-bunkered green.
Not to forget the Par 3’s the most famous is the 5th, which is dubbed “Het Girdle,” Hot Griddle. It has a severely punched-up green fronted by massive bunkers and draped with a daunting and shaggy slope. The home hole, a par 5, is a wonderful driving hole from a high tee to an enormous fairway that provides plenty of run. Tom Watson is said to have smacked a drive 486 yards down this runway.