Gleneagles neighbour to stop play during Ryder Cup

Gleneagles will host the 2014 Ryder Cup.  Picture:  Ian Rutherford
Gleneagles will host the 2014 Ryder Cup. Picture: Ian Rutherford
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A golf course next to Gleneagles will put play on hold during the Ryder Cup to ensure stray balls do not interupt play.

Ryder Cup venues typically enjoy vast buffer zones to prevent any wayward hooks landing on the course during the competition but the 15th hole on PGA Centenary Course, which was designed by Jack Nicklaus, rubs up against the 509-yard par 5 6th hole at Auchterarder Golf Club.

David Smith, managing secretary of the Auchterarder Golf Club, said today: “We have been working closely with the officials from Ryder Cup Europe because they were aware early on that, uniquely, a private golf course runs up against the competition venue.

“Clearly that poses security issues as the idea is to make sure people can only enter and exit Gleneagles via the officially approved channels.

“The fact that we are so close to one of the key holes was obviously a concern and I have to admit it has been known for one of our wilder hitting members to stray onto the middle of the 15th.

“No one wants to contemplate a ball hitting Tiger Woods or braining one of the Team USA or Europe players as the focus of world golf is on them.

“That would not be good for them or us.”

Club members will have the unique chance to watch Ryder Cup play from their fairways.

Mr Smith said: “We will be allowing golf throughout the Ryder Cup but on what we call the old nine so members can take the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to watch the event at close range on the other side of a fence that is being erected.

“It was the sensible option.

“We have a view of just one hole but it could be pivotal in the matches.

“So it will be standing room only for our membership.

“We aren’t putting any stands up, despite conjecture.

“There will be some inconvenience and a pathway will close but it is only for three days and I am sure everyone appreciates the one-off.”

Captain Alan Watt said the club was preparing a programme of events and security details for members, which will be announced soon.

He said: “We want to make sure members and invited guests enjoy the party atmosphere which the Ryder Cup brings.”

Ed Kitson, Ryder Cup match director, said: “We are delighted with the relationship we enjoy with the members and officials of Auchterarder Golf Club and I am sure that will continue as the event gets ever closer.

“We have had constructive meetings with the secretary and captain.

“We will be working closely together and I am sure their members will enjoy the chance to watch the action from the fairway which overlooks the 15th on the PGA centenary course.”


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