Just outside of Auchterarder is the Gleneagles Hotel, “The Palace of the Glens,” opened in 1924 and built by Donald Matheson, general manager of the Caledonian Railway Company. There you’ll find three golf courses of exceptional quality: the King’s Course, the Queen’s Course, and the PGA Centenary Course, formerly known as the Monarch’s Course, venue of the 2018 Ryder Cup.
Many golfers who have played all three Gleneagles golf courses would likely give the edge to the King’s Course as being the best of the bunch. Designed by James Braid with assistance from Matheson and Major C.K. Hutchinson, this parkland course plays as good as it looks, pairing bouncy turf, raised greens, and deep bunkering with panoramic views of the Ochil Hills, as well as of the peaks of Ben Vorlich and the Trossachs.
From beginning to end, the King’s Course is a joy to play. It opens with a tough uphill first and closes on a downhill 18th, with the stately Gleneagles Hotel off in the distance. All of the holes have evocative and historic Scots names, adding to the experience. For instance, the first hole is named “Dun Whinny” after the Scots word for gorse, “whin,” and the Gaelic word for hill, “dun.” It’s a small touch, but a welcome one nevertheless.
The name of the 18th hole, “King’s Hame,” seems almost to act as a reminder to golfers that it’s time for some well-earned relaxation back at the hotel. With amenities ranging from a variety of restaurants and watering holes to a pro shop stocked with high-quality gear, you’ll feel right at home at Gleneagles no matter how far you traveled to get there.