Updated: Jun 12, 2018
Location – 3/5 - The Gleneagles Estate including the Golf Course, Hotel and the other Gleneagles facilities (hunting, shooting, fishing, horse riding, off road driving) lies about an hour north of both Glasgow and Edinburgh Airports. Any easy drive from each location. I have scored this lower location wise than may be expected from this information as the location isn’t immediately one you would choose for winter golf. As Gleneagles is inland the courses can get heavy over the winter months, the greens aren’t always at their best. That said we 3 courses to choose from (plus the excellent “wee” Par 3 course) as along as the weather is reasonable the greenkeepers will always keep one course open.
Welcome Received – 5/5 Gleneagles is a world-class facility and as you would expect the welcome is excellent with the staff in the shop helpful and friendly, this was extended into the dormy house bar. (although they wont collect and deliver clubs to you as they might in the US).
Practice Facilities – Not used (as too cold) but the driving range and chipping areas are excellent with both mats and grass to hit off. There is also a decent covered short game and teaching area.
Club House – The dormy house was redeveloped for the Ryder Cup in 2014 and has 2 or 3 bar and eating areas which are extremely modern and comfortable. One is currently being modernised by the new owners, this should be completed by early spring 2018.
Course – 4/5 A revelation for me was the condition of the course. I have been visiting Gleneagles over the winter for around 20 years and rarely play golf (mainly due to the weather) but we had a fantastic day, clear skies and sunshine. Teeing off at 10:30am so the temperature had got to it’s maximum we got round the front 9 in a little under 2 hours, the fairways were damp and the greens in “winter” condition but for a brisk game in the winter the Kings course was magnificent, the views of the hills and surroundings are exceptional. In terms of the course itself the Kings is the Gleneagles course I have played least and I didn’t have great memories, but this round changed my mind and shot the Kings from number 3 to number 1 in my Gleneagles ratings.
Stuffiness – 5/5 Clubhouse is modern and staff are extremely pleasant and welcoming.
Thoughts – If you can find the perfect day (like we did) then I would drop everything and head out on the Kings course for the day. BUT I would make sure you have a backup plan for your trip (e.g head over to St Andrews) as playing in Perthshire is very hit and miss at this time of year. If you are looking for a “hidden gem” close by, look no further than Auchterader right next door the Gleneagles PGA course. Also, if you plan to stay in the hotel, make sure you have a strong credit card with you, the prices aren’t for the fainthearted although the “golfers fare” in the dormy house is more affordable.