Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Gleneagles Centenary: Florida in Perth?

Great story in the Scotsman, in essence about Colin Montgomerie trying to get players to come for the Johnnie Walker Classic at Gleneagles' Centenary course, designed by Jack Nicklaus.
Interesting to note that the Centenary course is scheduled to hold the Ryder Cup in 2014, but the European PGA already thinks the course won't cut it and has hired David McLay Kidd, the man behind Bandon Dunes and the seventh course at St. Andrews, to rework it extensively.
The reality is that the Centenary course makes almost no sense at Gleneagles. The original two courses -- the Kings and Queens -- are classic old school James Braid designs set on amazing rolling hills. The Kings course is certainly one of the best parkland courses I've ever played.
But as you walk up the first fairway on the Kings and look to the east, you'll see the Nicklaus monstrosity -- with its electric carts, something unheard of in much of Scotland. So apparently the Euro PGA feels it needs to be altered, though I'm not sure what Kidd can do to make it that much better. It looks like a bad North American course plopped in the middle of Scotland. Ugh.
Best line in the story: The Scotsman's reporter talks about the recent Planet Golf ratings by Golf Digest that placed the Kings higher than the Centenary -- "Obviously, the essentially Scottish nuances of James Braid’s masterpiece impressed the American critics more than the Florida-in-Perth ‘feel’ of Jack Nicklaus’ original lay-out. "
Florida-in-Perth -- now that's a great line.

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