18 holes - 6125 yards - SSS71

Gleneagles Kings

The King's Course, opened in 1919, is a masterpiece of design which has tested the aristocracy of golf, both professional and amateur.
When Lee Trevino first played the King's he memorably remarked:

"If Heaven is as good as this, I sure hope they have some tee times left."

James Braid's plan for the King's Course was to test even the best players' shot-making skills all the way. The world's greatest golfers when they play this course - as they did every July in the Bell's Scottish Open - almost universally admire the cunning and craft with which he achieved that goal.

You find out all about it with your first approach shot. If you have driven straight and long from the tee, you will have what looks like a simple pitch to the elevated green. But you must be sure to select the correct club, because the shot is always a little longer than you think, with the wind over the putting surface often stronger than you can feel it from the fairway. And if you do not make the severely sloping green, a bunker yawns twenty feet below.

Selecting the right club for each approach shot is the secret on the King's. It is certainly one of the most beautiful and exhilarating places to play golf in the world, with the springy moorland turf underfoot, the sweeping views from the tees all around, the rock-faced mountains to the north, the green hills to the south, and the peaks of the Trossachs and Ben Vorlich on the western horizon.

All the holes have evocative and pithy Scots names. For example, the fifth, "Het Girdle" (Hot Pan), is a challenging par 3 with trouble everywhere except on the green, while l7th's moniker, "Warslin' Lea" (Wrestling Ground), reflects the difficulty so many golfers have had with this long, sweeping par 4.