Gleneagles (King's) - Perth & Kinross - Scotland

Gleneagles Hotel,
Auchterarder,
Perthshire,
PH3 1NF,
Scotland


  • +44 (0) 1764 662231


Visit Golfbreaks.com for a golf holiday at Gleneagles

In 1908, the idea for an hotel at Gleneagles came to Donald Matheson, general manager of the Caledonian Railway Company. He had a dream to build a “Palace in the Glens” which would attract noble and wealthy railway travellers. James Braid (the five times Open Champion) was commissioned to design the King’s course, assisted by Major C.K. Hutchison and Matheson himself.

In 1919 the championship King’s course opened for play and in 1921 the King’s course hosted the first informal Ryder Cup match between Great Britain and the USA. No half points were awarded for this fledgling event and a strong British team that included James Braid won the competition 9 points to 3.

Gleneagles is the perfect mountain setting for a game of golf; the King’s course is surely the best moorland track in the world. The sweeping views of the Ochil Hills and the peaks of Ben Vorlich and the Trossachs are simply ravishing.

Braid was given the most perfect terrain upon which to build a golf course and he built a very special golf course. The holes blend perfectly into the landscape. The springy fairways wind their way through punishing rough, strewn with heather and gorse. Many mature pines, silver birch and rowan provide natural amphitheatres on a number of the holes.

You cannot help but be enchanted by this golf course. Even the named holes are evocative: Silver Tassie, Blink Bonnie and Wee Bogle. But it’s the views that will probably interrupt your concentration on the game. In Golf Between Two Wars, Bernard Darwin wrote: “The beauty of the place is beyond all question; the exact merits of the course perhaps more difficult to decide”. Darwin went on to say that the ground was once slow; this made the course very long, even for the likes of J H Taylor and Sandy Herd. Then the ground hardened under the feet of thousands, and the ball ran further and further and consequently the scoring became lower.

The book, Classic Golf Holes, features the 18th hole: “From the tee boxes beside the little hut just beyond the 17th green, the drive should ideally clear the crest of the ridge over a line between the twin bunkers. It will then catch a downslope which will speed the ball on towards its ultimate destination. Thereafter, again ideally, the player will repair for the night to the splendour of the hotel.”

In a recent poll we asked: “Have you played all three courses at Gleneagles? If so, which one do you prefer?” The King’s came out on top with 42.9% of the vote followed by the Queen’s with 38.1% whilst the PGA Centenary could only manage 19%.

A number of important events have been played over the King’s course, including the Curtis Cup, Dunhill Trophy, Scottish Open and the WPGA Championship of Europe. Lee Trevino, standing on the 1st tee of the King’s course, remarked: “If heaven is as good as this, I sure hope they have some tee times left”.

In October 2016, Gleneagles staged the 100th edition of the Scottish PGA Championship. The event was played on the King’s course, which has been returned to how it was 100 years ago. The restoration work has reversed most of the changes that were made in the late 1980s with the most significant alteration focusing on fairway width – increased by 40% – resulting in bunkers moving from the rough and back into the fairways.

Gleneagles is one of our Top 100 Golf Resorts of the World

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Reviews for Gleneagles (King's)

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Description: Gleneagles is the perfect setting for a game of golf and the King’s course is surely the best moorland track in the world. Rating: 7.9 out of 10 Reviews: 36
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Ian Smith
A late March trip to Gleneagles was always going to be a risky proposition but I was tempted by the greatly reduced green fee to have a go at this Braid classic. Unfortunately the weather was not kind and a fierce north westerly wind meant the golf was a struggle. It was still possible to appreciate some great golf holes carved into the Perthshire hills. It was a lot more open than I had anticipated but it is designed in such a way that you very rarely see other golfers. That feeling of solitude when playing a hole was very appealing. The course was in good condition for the time of year and not as wet as I had expected. My main gripe would be how far forward the yellow tees were. It meant the course was playing only 6100 yards, par 68 which left me feeling I wasn't getting the full King's experience. Several par 3's in particular were playing too short. They look completely different - and better - off the regular tees. The facilities and welcome you get are everything you would expect from somewhere like Gleneagles. I would love to play again in mid-summer but could never justify the peak season green fees. I would still rate Blairgowrie Rosemount as the best inland track I've played in Scotland.
April 01, 2009
6 / 10
Gleneagles (King's)
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David O
Played the King's on 27th February, in fairly mild weather (for February in Scotland) with a stiff but fair breeze.The course was undergoing a major overhaul with heavily sanded greens and the rough and ferns cut back severely. I joined up with two members for the last couple of holes and they told me that they had never seen the course this open. Combine this with the fact that the only set of tee markers available were yellows (6100 yards par 68) and the course played extremely short and easy.I admit that in common with other reviewers, the scenery is excellent but the course is a little underwhelming and there are a lot of blind or semi-blind approach shots - I agree with Jim McCann that the 3rd is a little unfair. Enjoyed some of the holes more around the turn (8-13).Would like to return in summer to play from at least the white tees with the rough more encroaching to see if my first impression is wrong.
March 04, 2009
6 / 10
Gleneagles (King's)
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David Redwood
There is no disputing the quality of the Gleneagles experience and playing in March enabled us to get a very good deal. However, although I thought the course was very good and the scenery stunning, I was left feeling slightly underwhelmed as I expected more. Not a patch on Ladybank and there are numerous other much less vaunted courses that I would recommend over the Kings.
April 01, 2008
6 / 10
Gleneagles (King's)
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colin
I played here 2 years ago, and was disappointed. I found the scenery pleasant rather than stunning, not a patch on Loch Lomond, and the course a decent rather than great challenge. Stand out hole was Braids Brawest - the 13th i think. What a great par 4 that is. I'm certainly not saying it's a bad course, it's very good in many ways. Just not great.
October 26, 2007
6 / 10
Gleneagles (King's)
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Dan Flanagan
This is a truly fantastic golf course. I lost count of how many times my jaw dropped when I walked on to a new hole. The design is superb, views spectacular and the course was in immaculate condition. I can hardly remember a more enjoyable round of golf. Probably the best inland course I have played, and that includes Wentworth and Woodhall Spa. The Queens is also very nice (although abit short) but give the PGA a miss.
May 03, 2007
10 / 10
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Alex Westenfield
Played in June 2006. Simply put, my favorite course I've played in Scotland(and I thoroughly enjoyed St Andrews Old & New, Carnoustie, Kingsbarns, Muirfield, Queens here as well). Beautiful scenery, great welcome from the staff and starter, an awesome view up the first and down the eighteenth with some absolutely great and some very challenging golf holes throughout. If coming back, I would play Kings twice, Queens once and skip the PGA Centenary.
February 21, 2007
10 / 10
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Richard Smith
Although I try to confine my golf in the UK to links courses, I can unreservedly recommend the King"s course to anyone playing golf in Scotland. The King"s course rambles through rolling terrain and presents one great challenge after another. We played from a more forward set of tees, and the course played to the sternest par of 68 that one could imagine. Although I've only played the Kings course one time, I can remember almost ever hole with clarity and fondness. The King's course deserves it high ranking and should be sought out and played. The resort is outstanding in it's own right and a bit of heaven if you have been staying in Bed and Breakfast inns on your trip. As for the other courses, I didn't get the chance to play the Queen's, although I will try to do so in the future. I have a low opinion of the Nicklaus course, and I would spend my time on the King's and Queen's courses, regardless of the fact that the Ryder cup is being played on the Nicklaus course. Richard Smith Knoxville, Tennessee
June 04, 2006
10 / 10
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Jim Huton
I am a big fan of James Braid. This course if a masterpiece. Get the first hole out of the way and it seems that you have the course to yourself. A great mix of long and short holes and a very memorable finish. My trouble is I can't decide if I like this more than the Queen's course. Play both before you die.
April 24, 2006
10 / 10
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Mark Eley
I had been looking forward to playing this course for some time and it did not disappoint. The hotel and clubhouse facilities are excellent and the staff helpful as you would expect. There were very few weak holes on the King's, perhaps the Par 3 8th being the only one to disappoint on my visit. The real stand out holes for me were the 3rd, 7th and 15th but the rest were not far behind. Pay the money and get up there is my advice.
April 14, 2006
8 / 10
Gleneagles (King's)
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papa rabbi
A lovely track, but not as good as I had hoped for. It reputation is outstanding but I didn't think that it lived up to it. The views are superb and the layout of the holes is both interesting a challenging. There are some great risk/reward holes that you just have to go for. If I were in Scotland again I'd go elsewhere.
February 25, 2006
6 / 10
Gleneagles (King's)
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