Gleneagles in Scotland has reinvented its back-to-back par-three holes on the James Braid-designed Queen’s course.
Work on the thirteenth and fourteenth has included new tee boxes and the introduction of native Scottish heather. A team of five greenkeepers worked on the project.
The 140-yard thirteenth now has an additional tee to the left of the original (which is still in play), and the approach to the green now features an area of native Scottish heather, through which grass walkways have been routed.
On the fourteenth, a series of new tee positions have been created to the right of the loch, bringing the water directly into play. Golfers can access the green via a new footbridge.
Gary Silcock, director of golf at Gleneagles, said: “These significant enhancements to already beautiful holes are part of our ongoing plans to elevate the golfer experience at Gleneagles, not only on the Queen’s course, but across all three championship courses.
“Our members and guests are already enjoying the new challenge these great holes create and also, from a practical perspective, it is also giving our greenkeeping team the ability to switch play between existing and new tees, when necessary, to ensure conditions remain first class.”
Introducing Scottish heather to the thirteenth hole is part of a wider project at Gleneagles being overseen by director of agronomy and estates Scott Fenwick and golf courses manager Craig Haldane. Silcock said: “As part of their research work, Scott and Craig have visited some of Surrey’s classic heathland courses to learn more about how heather is managed and grown on these sites and we now plan to gradually reintroduce it to areas of the Queen’s and the King’s golf courses, lining walkways in particular, over the coming years and adding to the ‘inland links’ feel.”
In 2016, all 89 bunkers on the Queen’s course were lined with Capillary Concrete, and the fairway lines were taken back to Braid’s original designs of 1919, after the team studied historic photographs in the Gleneagles archive.
This week Gleneagles welcomes The Solheim Cup on its Jack Nicklaus-designed PGA Centenary course.