Martin Dempster: Gleneagles still Scottish golf’s crown jewel

Gleneagles Hotel. Picture: PA.
Gleneagles Hotel. Picture: PA.
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T he King’s Course at Gleneagles, once a fantastic home of the Bell’s Scottish Open, is rarely showcased these days in comparison to its neighbour, the PGA Centenary Course, but it remains a damn good test of golf.

In last week’s Carrick Neill Scottish Open Stroke Play Championship, only seven players finished under par after 72 holes and that was despite the fairways having been made 40 per cent wider overall as part of some renovation work carried out on the course in recent years.

Only the winner, Frenchman 
Victor Veyret, could really claim he really mastered the test by finishing six shots clear of the field with a splendid 12-under-par 268 total, restoring some faith hopefully that courses aren’t necessarily being overpowered all the time in the modern game.

Throughout the week, there was also widespread praise of the condition of the greens, showing that money spent on drainage at the Perthshire venue is paying dividends, as was the case with an expensive sub-air system for the PGA Centenary Course for the 2014 Ryder Cup.

I’ve said it recently and will say it again: Gleneagles is the best overall tournament venue in Scotland and let’s keep the events coming there after next year’s Solheim Cup.