Gleneagles: pioneering tournament goilf for 100 years

09 November 2020

With the announcement that Gleneagles, the iconic Scottish hotel and global luxury destination, will host the Senior Open Presented by Rolex in 2022, it marks the continuation of an incredible 100-year journey of competitive golf at the 850-acre Perthshire estate.

Gleneagles pioneered the growth of competitive golf in the UK, hosting its first event on The King’s Course in 1920 - the Glasgow Herald Tournament - that offered a winner’s purse of £650 (£20,000 in today’s money) which, at that time, was the largest first prize in British tournament golf. It is also the only venue in Europe to have staged The Ryder Cup (2014) and The Solheim Cup (2019) further cementing its position in competitive golf.

Gleneagles, currently ranked ‘#1 Golf Resort in the UK and Ireland’ by Golf World, has gone on to host over 30 high-profile professional tour events, including the Curtis Cup (1936), Women’s British Open (1957), Bell’s Scottish Open (1987-1994), McDonald’s WPGA Championship of Europe (1996-1999) and the Johnnie Walker Championship (1999-2013).

It also welcomed the Glasgow 2018 European Golf Team Championships, with Europe’s elite male and female golfers competing side-by-side for equal prize money for the first time. Tour professionals that have tasted victory at Gleneagles reads like a who’s who of golfing stars, including Major champions Sir Nick Faldo, Ian Woosnam and Paul Lawrie.

The 2022 Senior Open Presented by Rolex aligns itself to Gleneagles’ future vision for golf, reinforcing its reputation as a stage for the world’s greatest golf tournaments while, simultaneously, being open-to-all to enjoy the health, social and wellness benefits of playing golf.

Conor O’Leary, managing director at Gleneagles, commented: “The Senior Open Presented by Rolex will mark another important milestone in the history of tournament golf at ‘The Glorious Playground’, and it is fitting this event, that will feature so many of the game’s iconic Tour professionals, will take place on the very same course where it all started in 1920.”

The King’s Course, also a feature of Golf Digest’s ‘World Top 100’ ranking, was designed by the great golf architect, James Braid. In recent years, it has undergone a beautiful renovation, returning it to the creator’s original ‘inland links’ vision with fast-running, open fairways, lined with strategically placed bunkers to capture errant tee shots.

Historic Gleneagles Facts

  • Donald Matheson, general manager of the Caledonian Railway Company, was inspired to create Gleneagles while on holiday in Strathearn. He was so impressed by the local countryside that he conjured up the vision of a palatial country house hotel with a golf course.
  • Matheson engaged James Braid, a five-time winner of The Open, to design and create The King’s and The Queen’s courses in the hotel grounds. Forged out of the rugged terrain using manual labour, horse and cart, both courses (The Queen’s was initially a 9-hole course) were opened on May 1, 1919, five years before the hotel.
  • In 1921, Gleneagles made sporting history when it hosted the first international match between American and British professional golfers, in what is regarded as the precursor to The Ryder Cup.

Modern day golfing aficionados wishing to plan their 2021 golf break can experience a round of golf on one of Gleneagles’ three 18-hole championship golf courses and a one-night stay at the award-winning Hotel, with a special ‘Tee it up’ package from £395 per person.

Interested customers should call resort sales on 0800 704 705 (UK) or +44 (0)1764 662231 to check availability of tee times prior to making a reservation.


Picture captions:
1 – Group of ladies – 1936 British Ladies Curtis Cup Team. The event was played on The King’s Course.
2 – Harry Vardon, Ted Ray, James Braid and JH Taylor in 1921 at the Glasgow Herald 1,000 Guineas tournament.
3 – The British Team from 1921 international match with the USA, a precursor to The Ryder Cup
4 – The American Team from the 1921 international match.
5 – The King’s Course, Gleneagles (5th green).

For more information please contact:
John McKenzie
Landmark Golf Marketing & Communications
T: +44 (0)7595 906196

About Gleneagles
Since opening its doors in June 1924, Gleneagles has been one of Scotland’s most iconic hotels and sporting estates. Set beneath the Ochil Hills, in the heart of Perthshire, it has been the must-go destination for travellers for nearly a century. Beginning its life in the glamorous age of travel when guests arrived in great style at Gleneagles’ very own train station, the 850-acre estate epitomises the natural beauty for which Scotland is famed. With its glorious playground of country pursuits and activities, the hotel is reclaiming its position on the social calendar. Now under new owner Ennismore, Gleneagles has enlisted the skills and expertise of some of the UK’s most acclaimed designers including David Collins Studio, Timorous Beasties, and Ennismore’s own in-house design studio – with the aim to create designs and spaces that celebrate the rich, glamorous heritage and beautiful architecture for which the hotel is famed.

Instagram: @thegleneagleshotel / Twitter: @gleneagleshotel / Website:


Billy Murray - Marketing
The Gleneagles Hotel