Centenary Golf Course Criticised by Clarke

Darren Clarke was in the news again today when he slammed the Gleneagles Centenary course as a venue for the 2014 Ryder Cup Matches. The Centenary course was designed by the legendary golfer and course designer Jack Nicklaus, however Clarke’s comments after his first round on the course, while playing in the Johnny Walker Championship, are bound to spark controversy…

Darren was very clear in his criticism of the course as a venue for the Ryder Cup:
“I think it is unbelievable they (the Ryder Cup committee) have chosen this course to stage the 2014 match.

“Scotland is the home of golf. There are two better ones here at Gleneagles. We shouldn’t play on an American style course. It’s beyond my comprehension.”

“Gleneagles is a wonderful venue but this is the wrong course,” Clarke said. “The Ryder Cup is steeped in history and I just can’t see it here.”

Clarke has a great Ryder Cup record, he has played in the last 5 Ryder Cup Matches and was on the winning team 4 out of 5. So he’s well qualified to know what makes a good Ryder Cup course (and what doesn’t!).
His comments raise the old questions around the selection criteria for Ryder Cup courses – are courses being selected on the basis of golfing merit or commerce? Furthermore are the key golf courses of the world now all being turned into bland clones of one and other with the inexorable rise of the celebrity course designer?

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