The PGA Centenery Course at Gleneagles
An almost-locked door on the candy store
By Torleif Sorenson on 12/20/12
On Monday, Nathan told you about Merion Golf Club forcing members to play the course using portable artificial turf mats, in preparation for the 2013 U.S. Open Championship. (At least Merion's members still get to play the course!)

But for American and European golfers wanting to get some tournament-pressure experience at Gleneagles Resort in Scotland ahead of the 2014 Ryder Cup matches, the window has apparently slammed shut.

European Tour officials announced on Thursday that the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles will not be held in 2014, so that the course can be prepared for the Ryder Cup.

American golfers and at least some of the European Tour players can also forget about the 2013 Johnnie Walker (August 22-25), because that event conflicts with The Barclays, the first event in the PGA Tour's four-round FedExCup playoffs.

One could make the argument that in Scotland, golf courses are not always in pristine condition and that the 2014 Johnnie Walker should have been played anyway, but two chief mitigating factors exist:
  1. The big prize is the 2014 Ryder Cup, so it is understandable that the organizers want extra time to build seating areas, plan all of the security and logistics, organize food service, etc. - and not just "dress up for the grand ball."

  2. The PGA Centenery Course is a Jack Nicklaus design; most Nicklaus-designed courses require tremendous amounts of water, inputs, maintenance, and pampering to maintain the lush, green appearance that Mr. Nicklaus incorporates into his overall design vision.
At least golfers wanting to play PGA Centenery Course are able to do so, since it is part of a resort - albeit a somewhat expensive one. The Centenery is also one of the very few Nicklaus courses that even permits public play. Of the last eight United States courses to host the Ryder Cup, only two are open to the public: PGA National in Florida and Kiawah Island in South Carolina. But that access comes at a stiff price-tag.

At least those resort courses don't make you hit from a portable piece of artificial turf...

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Image via Gleneagles Resort

[ comments ]
joe jones says:
When Tom Watson was announced as Captain of the U S team he talked about having the team play the venue as many times as possible before the event. This leads to the question whether or not they will be restricted from playing. Does it also mean that the European team will also be barred?
[ post comment ]
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