Gleneagles (PGA Centenary) - Perth & Kinross - Scotland

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


  • +44 (0) 1764 662231


Gleneagles played host to the 2014 Ryder Cup matches between the USA and Europe. Team Captains were Tom Watson (US) and Paul McGinley (Europe). After a 41-year gap, the Ryder Cup returned to the “Home of Golf” and the heartland of Scotland. In the end, the event was a rather one-sided affair where the rookies on both teams played a significant role. Jordan Speith and Patrick Reid gave the USA hope after the Friday morning fourballs, thrashing Ian Poulter and rookie Stephen Gallacher 5&4. But after the Friday afternoon foursomes the momentum had swung in Europe’s favour. The pattern continued on Saturday with the USA narrowly winning the fourballs but again losing heavily in the afternoon foursomes. With a 10-6 lead going into Sunday's singles it was rather a formality for Europe. Poignantly, the winning shot fell to another rookie, this time Europe’s Jamie Donaldson, who hit a magnificent approach to beat Keegan Bradley 4&3 giving Europe the crucial 14½ points. Europe 16 ½ - USA 11 ½. The Ryder Cup was played at Medinah in 2012 and was played at Hazeltine National in 2016.

Few places in Britain can boast three courses, let alone three nationally ranked Top 100 courses, but then, there's only one Gleneagles. James Braid and C.K. Hutchison were the master architects behind the King's and Queen's but the PGA Centenary is the course that Jack Nicklaus built with Ron Kirby, so it goes without saying that this is an American-styled layout.

The PGA Centenary (formerly known as the Monarch) opened for play in 1993 and it's a big stadium course. In fact, it's the longest inland course in Scotland, measuring nearly 7,300 yards from the back tees. There are five tee boxes to choose from, so select carefully to ensure maximum enjoyment. We're not buggy lovers, but there are some long walks between the greens and tees. If the PGA Centenary is your second round of the day at Gleneagles, a cart comes highly recommended.

“The finest parcel of land in the world I have ever been given to work with,” was how Jack Nicklaus described the rolling moorland. This is Nicklaus's first and only design project in Scotland and he's done a fine understated job. Only a couple of holes feature water hazards, and these are for practical, irrigation reasons rather than for effect. The PGA Centenary definitely complements, but also contrasts markedly with the King's and Queen's. The usual Nicklaus features are in place – huge undulating greens, bold bunkering and, of course, a number of risk and reward holes.

The key to scoring well on the PGA Centenary is to avoid coming up short with your approach shots. Invariably, much of the trouble is at the front of the greens, so take enough club. Our favourite holes are those adjacent to the King's course and the 5th is a cracker. The long par four is called "Crookit Cratur" – it's a fun rollercoaster of a hole with a bottle-necked entrance to the green. The 9th is also worthy of mention – a par five which has trouble in the shape of water and bunkers (one of which is huge) lurking down the right.

In consultation with Jack Nicklaus, the PGA Centenary course closed for renovation in October 2011 and reopened at the end of April 2012. Click here for full details.

We wonder what Bernard Darwin might have thought of the PGA Centenary course. We do know that he loved the King's and the Queen's. We suspect he might have said something along these lines: “The PGA Centenary course was intended to test the rampaging animal to the full. Jack Nicklaus has unquestionably made of the PGA Centenary a 'big' course on which it was enthralling to see the big men, from both sides of the Atlantic, stretch themselves during the 2014 Ryder Cup.” The PGA Centenary returned to centre stage in 2019 for the Solheim Cup, which Europe won by a single point. Europe 14½ USA 13½.

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

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Reviews for Gleneagles (PGA Centenary)

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Description: From the back tees, the PGA Centenary at Gleneagles is the longest inland course in Scotland. It was also the venue for the 2014 Ryder Cup. Rating: 5.4 out of 10 Reviews: 28
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michael ball
Wwould have played the King's but i had never played a jack nicklaus before and looking to play another, the course was immaculate, you would never known there was tour event here 3 weeks earlier and the front nine very tough in the wind, didnt play very well but birdied the 5th. over all a great deal only cost £40 each and they give you a course guide and stayed dry when it looked like it could have rained any second, the whole gleaneagles estate was excellent.
September 09, 2006
8 / 10
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Chris
I can believe my ears! Some of you guys have no understanding of what makes a great course. For e.g. Fantastic scenery, immaculate conditon all year round. Now i will agree that the 18th is a let down but for the Ryder Cup theyve already changed 3 holes and their are making further adjustments. Personally I love this course and with a handicap of 5 I am delighted to score under 80. A sign of a good course if you can be happy with a rubbish score. Best time to play this course is at night, get away from the americans and see the scenery
June 01, 2006
10 / 10
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Hugh
June 03, 2010
Didn't realise they'd installed floodlights at Gleneagles... nightime golf in Scotland, now there's an idea!
Mark Eley
One of the biggest disappointments of my golfing life. The third course at Gleneagles and by some distance the worst - the Gleneagles rankings are right on this website, except for the fact that this course should be significantly lower. Expectation unfulfilled. As I made the uphill walk from the 2nd green to the 3rd tee (I had plenty of time to think and it wasn't the last time !) I yearned to be back on the King's or Queen's which I had played on the previous two days. The word bland came into my mind early and never left. A satisfactory front 9 with the 4th, 5th, 6th and 9th being the better holes. I was appauled by the back 9. I have seen better Par 3's on a pitch'n'putt than the 10th. The 18th has to be seen to be believed - I think Nicklaus left before finishing it. It is a crying shame the 2014 Ryder Cup is to be held here - I'd rather have a few less spectators and play over the road on the King's or better still a composite course. The Ryder Cup remodelling has started but I just can't see how they can bring this up to standard.
April 13, 2006
2 / 10
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Jim Robertson
I can only echo other reviews. This is American golf design in the heart of Scotland. Sometimes it works, much of the time it doesn't. I actually think the 1st is the most interesting hole on the course with the signature 16th the most memorable. But the 18th may be the most boring finishing hole in golf and the par 3s lack variety, interest and shot-making challenge. Play it but you may well not want to repeat the experience.
February 04, 2006
4 / 10
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Richard Smith
This is a Jack Nicklaus course in Scotland; nothing more, nothing less. There is nothing unique about this course that is any different from one of the many Nicklaus projects in the States. If you are a fan of Jack's designs, then this course will not disappoint you. The holes are long and demanding with the par 5 holes being the best of the group. If you are in the area then I would certainly play this course. I would not take a trip to Scotland to play here, however. I think the King's course is a significantly better and more interesting layout. In addition, make sure you take a buggy (golf cart for us Americans). When the waiters at the hotel recommended buggies, I knew I had better take their advice. As in most Nicklaus courses you have to take a minor hike betweeen most holes, and if you walk this course you will wind up exhausted. I would give this course high marks for it's hole design but low marks because it is unwalkable and demonstrates a lack of imagination. Richard Smith Knoxville, Tennessee
December 04, 2005
6 / 10
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Peter
This course oozes quality but it lacks pleasure for the mainstream golfer. It would be my third choice of the three Gleneagles courses, with the Queen's being my number one. If I could offer three pieces of advice they would be as follows. (1). Play in July using the twilight offer of £40 a round if you play after 5pm. (2). Rent a golf cart, the walks between tees are substantial given the stadium layout. (3). Put your pride to one side and play off the yellow tees. I am a decent 12 handicapper, but this course will grind you down if you allow it the full distance. I can not emphasise this enough, do not allow the first tee to convince you otherwise as this is probably the second easiest hole after the eighteenth. You have been warned. This course swallows balls that other courses would leave in good positions. It is tight, long, and hairy (add your own punchline).
August 19, 2005
6 / 10
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Andy Newmarch
The third course at Gleneagles is a monster (must get a buggy next time !!). This is a toughie and is an obvious choice for hosting the Ryder Cup – Gleneagles quality remains but this is so so different from the two other ‘Eagles courses – This has been designed as a spectator watching golf venue and has got it spot on. All in all I rate this as highly as the King's but in a completely contrasting way. Holes that are most memorable for me are the 5th, 9th and 16th - One small criticism – The 18th needs a re-think before 2014 – a touch too straight forward, where will the drama come from ?
April 06, 2005
8 / 10
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Jim McCann

I played the Queen's on a morning in October 2003 as a warm up for the PGA in the afternoon. There could not be two more contrasting 18 holes at the one venue. The scenery may be the same but the whole ethos of layout, presentation and atmosphere are totally diffferent. Carnoustie has been described in the past as a great big shaggy monster.

Well, move over, pussycat, the PGA is the new contender for that title. It is enormous. The walks from green to next tee will tire you out, never mind the yardage on the course itself. I played with a single figure handicapper who revelled in the challenge (scoring especially well on the back nine) but this stadium golf leaves me cold.

I've spent time working in the Sahara desert in Libya and I thought I'd gone back there when I played the 9th hole here which has a bunker that must be 120 yards long by ten yards wide – an overblown, out of place design that doesn't quite fit its Perthshire surroundings.

As for the 18th, it will have to be completely flattened around the green for the Ryder Cup in 2014 as the hillocks do nothing for spectating – and one wee word of warning for that event; the weather can turn nasty here, even at the end of September so don't take for granted that there will be glorious sunshine.

If you like your golf big, bold and brash this is the course for you. The Dormy Clubhouse is a tip top place for changing, eating, drinking and relaxing but expect to pay a price for the pampering.

Jim McCann

January 25, 2005
4 / 10
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