WITH just over two years to go until the Ryder Cup launches at Gleneagles, the course is almost ready – thanks to another £1million investment.
The late September date in 2014 leaves the event open to another 'Celtic Manor' soaking.
But, every effort is being made to ensure drainage will not be a concern, while the comfort, movement and enjoyment of spectators has also been upper-most in the minds of the people charged with ensuring Glen-eagles is seen in all its majesty.
The former Monarch's Course, designed by Jack Nicklaus, has had much more than a makeover, and what is now the PGA Centenary Course has been reopened and is already proving a big hit with those lucky enough to have played it.
The most dramatic changes have been reserved for the much-critcised 18th hole, and the par five is almost unrecognisable from the uphill slog it once was, while the ninth has also undergone extensive remodelling to present another risk-and-reward gem.
However, it is the introduction of a sub-air system at every green which will prove to be the biggest benefit to the course.
The PGA Centenary Course is the first in Britain to be able to boast this system throughout, and the investment is expected to pay huge dividends in terms of improved surfaces, more playability – even in the wettest conditions – and a level of control which previously green-keepers could only dream of.
The course is receiving very favourable reviews. But the most critical players will arrive in August when the Johnnie Walker Championship is staged there.
Scott Fenwick, the Gleneagles golf courses and estate manager, is sure the greens and the other changes will be a major boost to the course's reputation and said: "There were lots of Americanisms about the Monarch's Course, the big bunkers and that sort of thing.
"Gradually we have taken the American-style out and it looks more natural, like it should be in this landscape. It's dramatically different."