Gleneagles’ Queen’s course taken back to James Braid’s original design

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    The Queen’s course was originally designed by James Braid

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    New drainage technology has been installed on the 16th green

Sean Dudley
By Sean Dudley

An 18-month renovation project at The Queen’s course at Gleneagles has now been completed.

The famous James Braid-designed course has undergone a series of subtle changes with the aim of enhancing playing conditions.

89 bunkers throughout the Queen’s Course have been lined with the Capillary Concrete system, helping to maintain playing conditions and drainage. The visibility of sand lines has also been enhanced.

“Our work over the last 18 months on The Queen’s Course has taken it back to how it would have been in Braid’s day,” said Scott Fenwick, Golf Courses and Estate Manager at Gleneagles.

“Braid’s bunker designs at Gleneagles were based on the courses supporting summer play only, so to bring them back to his original design concept, and make them playable all-year-round, marks a tremendous achievement.”

Archive photos and Braid’s original design plans were used as part of the project, which has seen fairway lines taken back to their original location – increasing the fairways size by around 40 per cent.

“On the 11th hole, for instance, we’ve removed one bunker and resurrected another that used to sit in the rough – bringing back into play a more strategic hazard and ultimately transforming how the course is played, giving golfers a more traditional experience,” Fenwick said. “Additionally, around the course, we’re re-introducing Scottish heather to frame the fairways and better reflect the course’s appearance in the 1920s.”

As part of the project, the bowl-shaped green on the sixteenth hole has seen the installation of Energy-Passive Ground Water Recharge Pump technology. This helps ensure equal moisture distribution throughout the depth of the bore hole, capitalising on the soils natural contraction and expansion.

The restoration and renovation work on the Queen’s Course follows on from similar projects on the club’s King’s and PGA Centenary courses – all of which have focused on restoring James Braid’s original designs.