Gleneagles has completed an 18-month renovation programme to take the iconic Queen’s Course back to its design roots. The project includes the installation of innovative drainage technology, inspired by the heart’s response to atmospheric pressure.
The installation of the Energy-Passive Ground Water Recharge Pump technology on the 16th green of the Queen’s Course at Gleneagles, which was originally designed in a natural ‘bowl’ shape by James Braid, resolves a millennium-old drainage issue by siphoning water from saturated surface areas.
Designed to further enhance playing conditions, the non-intrusive drainage technology equalises moisture content throughout the depth of the bore hole and harnesses the natural contraction and expansion of the soil to return runoff water to the earth’s natural reservoir.
Gleneagles restoration project started in 2016
The extensive restoration project, which began in 2016, has also involved the lining of 89 bunkers with a specialist Capillary Concrete system. This maintains playing conditions and drainage. The project has also seen the course’s fairway lines being taken back to Braid’s original designs.
Scott Fenwick, Golf Courses and Estate Manager, said: “As with the relaunch of The King’s Course last summer, our work over the last 18 months on The Queen’s Course has taken it back to how it would have been in Braid’s day.”
Braid’s bunker designs at Gleneagles were based on the courses supporting summer play only. In the mid-1980s Gleneagles began changing the identity of The Queen’s, which included reshaping the course until the fairways became really narrow and the original bunkers were moved into the rough.
“Using archived photographs and Braid’s designs as our guide, we’ve reversed most of those changes, increasing the fairways by around 40 per cent. On the 11th hole, for instance, we’ve removed one bunker and resurrected another that used to sit in the rough – bringing back into play a more strategic hazard and ultimately transforming how the course is played, giving golfers a more traditional experience. Additionally, around the course, we’re re-introducing Scottish heather to frame the fairways and better reflect the course’s appearance in the 1920s.”
Originally opened as a nine-hole course in 1919 before launching as an 18-hole course in 1925, the Queen’s Course is one of the finest par-68 courses in the UK. It has played a key role in the history of Scottish golf, having hosted a multitude of legendary figures, from Seve Ballesteros and Sean Connery, to Apollo 14 astronaut Alan Shepard, the only man to have hit a golf shot on the moon.
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