Comment: Martin Dempster says Queen’s at Gleneagles is a gem

The par-3, 17th hole (right) and par-4 18th, leading to the clubhouse with the greens on the par-3 2nd (bottom left) and par-4 16th (below) on the Queens Course at Gleneagles.  Picture: David Cannon/Getty Images

The par-3, 17th hole (right) and par-4 18th, leading to the clubhouse with the greens on the par-3 2nd (bottom left) and par-4 16th (below) on the Queens Course at Gleneagles. Picture: David Cannon/Getty Images

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It helps, admittedly, when Mother Nature is playing ball, as she did during the Ryder Cup two years ago, but is there really a better place to be out on a golf course than Gleneagles?

Yes, of course, you could just as easily say the same thing about so many other fine venues in Scotland, but there’s something about the Perthshire resort that makes just being there feel special.

For me, it starts when you drive up the A823 through Glendevon, get to the top and see Gleneagles, with Crieff in the distance, spread out before you in all its glory. It just edges coming out of Aberlady on the A198 and seeing Gullane Hill in front of you or taking either the A915 or A917 into St Andrews as my favourite golfing journey.

Being at Gleneagles last week for the 100th staging of the Scottish PGA Championship afforded me the first chance to see how the fabulous King’s Course has been restored to the challenge that was originally set by James Braid, and what a splendid job that Scott Fenwick and his team have carried out.

It also provided an opportunity for a first game on the Queen’s Course for a good few years, and what a little gem it is. It would be ripped apart by the big-hitters these days, but, at just 5,660 yards off the yellows, it’s a reminder that length alone shouldn’t be the sole criteria in course design. Far from it in, fact.

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