Shocking! I don’t normally believe in writing negative reviews of anything but in this instance I feel it is necessary. The PGA Centenary course is set in stunning scenery with many visually appealing holes but woefully let down by its condition (in early September 2011). I learnt the game on a course which resembled a bog in winter so am used to muddy conditions. I also paid low green fees in line with the poor conditioning. All golfers have the right to expect better conditions in return for Gleneagles’ level of green fees. Casual water squelched up from my feet on every fairway. On the 4th green I managed to plug a 3 iron shot in its own pitch mark. The fifth fairway moved under foot like stepping on a blancmange as if damaged by frost. Many tees were hollow tined which I understand is necessary work (but this was not advised at time of booking or before starting play) but combined with soft conditions made teeing off more perilous than necessary. Due to tour schedules the upcoming 2014 Ryder cup cannot be held during the dry of high summer so I fear course conditions could be worse than 2010. I suspect both captains will load their teams with bombers and gougers in order to compete on this ‘everything-through-the-air’ course. The 17th and 18th are unlikely to provide dramatic finishes although the 16th may compensate to some degree. It seems to me that the course looked great on paper during the design stage but with little consideration to drainage and Scotland’s weather. Perhaps the other courses at the resort started life this way too.
Date: September 14, 2011