It's a long and not particularly shocking story but the saga of Gleneagles' Centenary course goes something like this: celebrity designer creates very modern design that doesn't go over well, new architect comes in and makes things worse according to players who might be future captains (here and here), celebrity comes back to restore his design and, voila, we have the many-times remodeled host of the 2014 Ryder Cup. And this week's Johnnie Walker Championship, the final 2012 Ryder Cup qualifying course.
Thanks to reader John for the European Tour update on the new (again) 18th hole unveiled on a soggy Gleneagles Centenary. Tournament director David Williams is happy:
“The 18th is now going to be very good as a tournament 18th and as a Ryder Cup 18th,” he said. “It is very birdieable but if you miss the green it is not that easy to up and down it.
“The hole has been shortened from 531 yards to 513, the tees have been raised and while the layup area to the green has been levelled, the green is raised and now fairly narrow. Ideally we want the longer hitters going in with a four iron or a rescue club, and we want everyone to be able to go at it in two so it becomes a risk and reward hole. There have also been some bunkers taken out and changed to run off areas to test the chipping.”
The best solution for what ails us--contesting the Ryder Cup on about the most inferior venue possible in a country loaded with fantastic courses--remains John Huggan's suggestion to create a composite course using all Gleneagles layouts.
The opening round scores can be viewed here.