FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Scotland, The Gleneagles Hotel, The Queen’s Course

Mar 1, 2004
2004 / March 2004

If asked, that’s how I’d describe The Gleneagles Hotel. A magnificent 850-acre estate in the Scottish Highlands, Gleneagles is less than an hour’s drive from either Edinburgh or Glasgow. Built by the Caledonian Railway Co., Gleneagles opened to much acclaim in 1924. Hailed for offering fine service and personal attention to guest needs, the resort featured its own rail station. As you may imagine, in the booming 1920s, golf courses were popping up all over the world. Gleneagles became a mainstay of the golf resort circuit and remained so for decades. Prior to a comprehensive renovation completed in 1986, Gleneagles was only open in the summer. Thanks to $46 million in capital improvements, the resort has been restored to its vintage glory and is now open year-round.

The roster of activities available at Gleneagles may be overwhelming. Choose from equestrian sports, shooting, falconry, fishing, off-road driving, tennis, hiking-or relax in the spa. The resort also offers a comprehensive children’s program. Still, golf is king at Gleneagles. Choose to play the 18-hole King’s or Queen’s courses, or get in a quick round on the nine-hole Wee Course. Itching for a challenge? Give it your best shot on the 18-hole PGA Centenary Course. Designed by Jack Nicklaus, the Centenary Course is slated to be the site of the 2014 Ryder Cup Challenge. During my last visit, I played both the PGA Centenary Course and the Queen’s Course. A Gleneagles driver met us at the airport in Edinburgh. We arrived at the resort 40 minutes later and were escorted to our rooms. I was pleased to discover I’d be staying in a gracious suite overlooking a perfectly manicured croquet court. Eager to hit the greens, we made our way to the PGA Centenary Course for a warm-up round. Because it’s set up for major tournaments that attract a large number of spectators, holes on the course are widely spaced. It’s not the best design for walking, but we managed. After play, we made our way back to the hotel before meeting for dinner at the resort’s Andrew Fairlie’s-a wonderful French restaurant with Scottish flair.

Up and at ‘em the next morning, we set off to play the Queen’s Course. Although we had the first tee time of the day, we arrived to find a lone golfer ready to tee off. We offered him the tee box and off he went, never to be seen again. American golfers be forewarned-speed of play is absolutely mandatory in Scotland. It’s essential to offer the right of way to any golfer who plays faster than you do.

The first hole on the Queen’s Course is lined with dense trees to the left and has little margin for error on the right. Keeping the ball in play is the key for the amateur golfer. Trystin’ Tree, as the hole is called, is an excellent starting hole with a small raised green. Other holes of note include:

Drum Sichty

(Hole 6)-This is one of the most memorable holes at Gleneagles. It is a long challenging hole with out of bounds up the entire right side. It is a narrow tee shot from the elevated tee box to the fairway below. The second shot is long with a wood/long iron that is played to a raised green.

Westlin’ Wyne

(Hole 7)-A par 5 on the outreaches of the Queen’s Course, it features magnificent views of the countryside. Maximize the vista by staying to the right side of the fairway and away from trouble in the thick ruff. Another elevated green awaits with tricky lies on its left-rolling fairway.

Stey Brae

(Hole 9)-A dogleg right that requires you to hit a long tee shot to get a view of the green for your second shot. Take enough club for your second shot; most players come up short due to the elevation and sloping green.

Pint Stoup

(Hole 10)-This is not a long hole, but it can be difficult around the green, which is sunken and surrounded by brush. Make an error on your second shot and you’ll be dropping a ball for stroke and distance.

Water Kelpie

(Hole 13)-This is a nice little par 3 with water on the right s ide of the green that shouldn’t come into play-but it did for my partner.

Leddy’s Ain

(Hole 15) -This hole is classic with an elevated tee box: Stay left! You’re a goner to the right, which slopes off into bramble. Not long at all, this hole certainly can be birdied-if you keep in play.

Queen’s Hame

(Hole 18)-Another elevated shot from the tee box over a small loch to an open flat fairway. Beyond your tee shot the fairway gets tricky, but the green is large and forgiving.

It is almost unfair to select one hole over the next. The entire course is magnificent. Make sure to stop at the halfway house. Pick up soup to go or stop for a drink and a sandwich.

Bottom line-Gleneagles is both a sportsman’s paradise and a sophisticated resort.

The Gleneagles Hotel
Auchterarder, Perthshire, Scotland PH3 1BR
tel 866 463 8734 or 44 0 1764 662231, www.gleneagles.com

Introducing

FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Feature
Nov 20, 2019

WOW Air to Return to the Skies

After going bankrupt in March, Iceland’s low-cost airline that boasted shockingly low fares between the United States and mainland Europe (with a connection in Reykjavik) may take to the skies once again.

Athens: A city that charms its guests and stirs their emotions

The city took its name from Athena, goddess of wisdom, strategy and war, and protector of the city. The financial, political and administrative center of the country and an all-powerful city-state in antiquity, Athens is a major center of culture. A visit to the first-ever museum dedicated to Byzantium, a stroll around the National Garden and a trip to the Olympeion archaeological site will take you back through time.

News
Nov 20, 2019

United Airlines Passengers Enjoy New Way to Beat Jet Lag

United Airlines teamed with Timeshifter, a sleep help app, to assist travelers battling jet lag. Timeshifter outlines the best times to see and avoid light, sleep and either enjoy or pass on caffeine to best avoid jet lag when traveling through time zones. The app is specifically targeted to those traveling across three or more time zones and customizes advice for each passenger based on his or her own sleep preferences and normal sleep pattern, as well as their particular flight.

Feature
Nov 20, 2019

Qantas Flies Upgraded A380 Planes

Qantas is flying the first of its upgraded Airbus A380 planes, which include multimillion-dollar upgrades. The new features include new business-class seats and a redesigned upper deck lounge.

Goway Offers Travelers Journey of a Lifetime

Since 1970, Goway Travel has been committed to providing customized travel experiences for world travelers. Few things are better evidence of this commitment than being awarded the 2019 Trazees award for Favorite Tour Operator. Goway Travel heartily thanks the readers of Trazee Travel for this honor and for their confidence in Goway’s work in creating travel memories that’ll last a lifetime.

Daily
Nov 20, 2019

Don’t Miss This Limited-Time Four Seasons Pop-Up Cocktail Lounge

Make sure you catch the new pop-up cocktail lounge at Four Seasons Residence Club Aviara in Carlsbad before it’s gone. Starry Nights, located on the Seasons Restaurant veranda, is open through Jan. 31, 2020.

eFlyer Deals
Nov 19, 2019

Curator’s Package in Dallas

When you travel to Dallas this year, go home with a new piece of curated artwork thanks to this offer from Canvas Hotel Dallas.

A Lighter Footprint

United Airlines’ environmentally friendly efforts lessen the impact on local U.S. communities.

eFlyer Deals
Nov 19, 2019

Capital Adventures in Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C., has tons of adventure for travelers exploring the nation’s capital.