Inspecting the new 18th hole at Gleneagles
THE management of Gleneagles were delighted to get the thumbs-up from golf legend and Ryder Cup course designer Jack Nicklaus.
Patrick Elsmie, hotel managing director, joined Nicklaus and estates manager Scott Fenwick on a tour of the tweaked PGA Centenary Course, which hosts the event in 2014, with special focus on the dramatically reconstructed 18th hole.
Elsmie was pleased to have the opportunity to show the 18-times Majors winner the makeover in person during the American’s flying visit to Scotland.
“We were delighted Jack had the chance to come here to see the changes we carried out over the winter to the course he designed more than 20 years ago.”
Gleneagles teamed up again with the Nicklaus organisation three years ago with the Ryder Cup in mind.
But the managing director stressed that visitors were able to sample the course the top US and European pros will play in two years time, and which will host the Johnnie Walker Championship in August.
The legacy, he said, would continue for many years to come.
“We wanted a golf course we could be proud of,” said Mr Elsmie who, along with Mr Fenwick, were congratulated on the project by Richard Hills of the European Tour.
Stuart McEwen, director of golf at Gleneagles, stressed: “The golf course looks in terrific condition and will only continue to improve.”
A four ball playing the 18th were shocked to see Jack Nicklaus watching their progress towards the green.
The golfing legend told one player to compose himself as he attempted to dodge a bunker en route to he green.
Three finely executed practice shots later and the guest played it for real, only to scud his chip into the sand.
On the plus side, the player secured the Nicklaus autograph for recounting the tale at his home club.