The only time most Americans see Scottish or English golf courses is during the British Open. The courses in the Open rotation (run by the Royal and Ancient) are all private–the definition of private actually. The crown jewel, St. Andrews, is so backwards-ass and insular that it only voted to allow women to become members this fall–like two weeks ago! Even Augusta had women members first. But this week’s Ryder Cup features a different kind of course. Say what you will about unbridled capitalism, but at least it usually doesn’t care who it gets its money from–black, white, male, female, gay, straight, martian–or Dennis Rodman, who may be all of the above! Everybody’s money is the same. And the Gleneagles Resort in Perthshire in central Scotland, where Bubba Watson and Captain Tom Watson go against Rory McIlroy and the rest of Europe this weekend, is a resort. It’s built for profit, not exclusive camaraderie. It’s not, in the old sense, a club. (You can join, but it’s just a money thing, not a status thing.)
Gleneagles Resort is a business. Its third course, the PGA Centenary Course where they’ll compete for the Ryder Cup, opened in 1993. It was designed by Jack Nicklaus. The Americans should feel right at home. You and your husband or wife (and Dennis Rodman if you like) can play there. As long as you pay. Book a trip. Play like the pros without all the stuffiness. Tradition is great, but this much is tradition enough.