The Ryder Cup

Gleneagles 2014

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Gleneagles in Scotland will provide the test for European and American golfers in 2014. Back in 1921, Gleneagles was the venue for an unofficial match between the professionals of Great Britain & Ireland and the US – an event that provided inspiration for the first Ryder Cup in 1927.

“Pretty as a picture”

This phrase was used by American golfer Walter Hagen as he looked out at Gleneagles in 1921, when he led the US Team in the first unofficial match between leading professionals of Great Britain & Ireland, and the US. This event is generally acknowledged as the inspiration for The Ryder Cup, which was established six years later. “The sun lit up the golden glory of the gorse,” reported The Scotsman newspaper.

In 2014, the US team led by Tom Watson will strive to win on European soil for the first time since 1993. The match will be played over The PGA® Centenary Course, which was created by Jack Nicklaus. The 18-time Major winner brought his vast Ryder Cup experience to the task. The course was previously known as the Monarch's Course and was renamed in 2001 to celebrate the centenary of The PGA. It has been redesigned specifically for The Ryder Cup.

Visitors to Gleneagles will doubtless agree with the views of Wild Bill Mehlhorn, one of Walter Hagen’s team who competed there in 1921. “If a man can’t play golf here then he can’t play,” said Mehlhorn. “Aye,” said George Duncan, his Scottish counterpart. “This is as beautiful as golf gets.”

Here is a flavor of what the players and fans can expect in 2014:

  • 10th hole: A 208-yard par 3 offering stunning views of the Grampians, reflecting Nicklaus’s own view of Gleneagles as “the finest parcel of land in the world I have ever been given to work with.”
  • 14th hole: In some ways, this 330-yard par 4 is a throwback to a previous era. But, despite its length, the hole shouldn’t be underestimated. Those tempted to drive the green must take into consideration six protecting bunkers. A great match play hole.
  • 17th hole: The name of the hole offers a warning: Ca’ Canny, translated as Be Careful. A par 3 of 194 yards, with a ridge lurking for anything that leaks away from the hole.
  • 18th hole: Many a Ryder Cup has been decided on the final hole, and the 533-yard 18th at The PGA Centenary Course awaits the teams in 2014. With two par 5s in the last three holes, Nicklaus has ensured that excitement and drama is all but guaranteed for the huge crowds that will gather around the final green.