Perthshire resort is ‘ready’ to stage Europe-US battle, says head pro
GLENEAGLES’ Head PGA Professional Andrew Jowett has told Scottish Club Golfer that Gleneagles is ‘ready’ to welcome the Ryder Cup and everyone at the resort will ‘treasure’ the experience.
Speaking with just over a month until the event, Jowett says the course is in ‘fantastic’ condition and on-site preparations are well under way for the event.
“It’s overwhelmingly exciting that we’re hosting the third biggest sporting event in the world and certainly the biggest golf event in the world,” he said. “The infrastructure is taking shape and everything is feeling a lot more real. It’s bringing a lot of excitement to the people that work here, but also all of the golfers that are coming to play the courses in the months leading up the match. It’s definitely a time we’ll treasure for many years to come.”
Ryder Cup Europe have been on-site at Gleneagles, pictured, since the end of June, building all of the hospitality units, grandstands and the other infrastructure needed to host such an event, but the resort’s preparations have been a number of years in the making.
Various aspects of the PGA Centenary course have been tweaked with the assistance of original designer Jack Nicklaus, and the greenkeeping staff devised a comprehensive maintenance programme over the last few years to ensure the course was in the best possible condition, and it can respond to any inclement weather that might fall during the week of the Ryder Cup. Jowett continued: “All eyes are going to be on us and how we can present a golf course. We’re exceptionally confident that we’ve done everything in our power to prepare diligently for it.
“You can’t weatherproof a golf course, but certainly the things that we’ve done will ensure that the golf course will recover as soon as possible should the weather play a part.”
A number of sporting events have already captured the imagination of the Scottish public this year, including the Commonwealth Games, and Jowett is certain that the Ryder Cup will have a similar impact.
He added: “I think there’s just a genuine excitement at the moment among people, no matter if they have a ticket for the event or are looking forward to watching it on television.
“The Commonwealth Games created a major buzz around Scotland and the UK as a whole, and whenever people watch that level of performance, they are encouraged to get out and try it for themselves.
“From our point of view, the Ryder Cup comes with a legacy and we’re looking to grow the game of golf as well as hosting
one of the biggest sporting events in the world.
“From an academy point of view, we’ve definitely seen an uptake in lessons and the number of people who want to get involved in the game and give it a go.”
Jowett also believes the academy will play a major part in adding to the heritage and history of Gleneagles once the Ryder Cup
circus has left town.
He continued: “I think we’re really fortunate. Gleneagles as a brand is very strong. Whether it’s hosting tournament golf or being a leader from a tuition provision and experience point of view.
“We’re also really fortunate that we have three great championship golf courses, a really good golfing academy, a nine-hole executive course in the form of the PGA National Academy course and a pitch and putt, so we’ve got something that caters for everyone.
“Obviously, the Ryder Cup is going to bring the golfing spotlight to Gleneagles, and all it’s going to do is enhance that rich history
that we’ve already got.
“The business on the books for next year is already buoyant, and it looks as though its impact will continue on well after September has come and gone.”