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‘Braining Tiger Woods would not be good’ neighbouring golfers will down clubs during Ryder Cup

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A Perthshire golf club which lies adjacent to Ryder Cup venue Gleneagles is suspending play during the September tournament for fear of a wayward drive hitting international stars.

However, to make up for missing out on their games, members of Auchterarder Golf Club will be able to use an out-of-action fairway for a close-range view of the sporting contest.

The solution solves the headache for Ryder Cup security officials which the close proximity of the Auchterarder course to the PGA Centenary Course posed.

Normally ring-fenced, Ryder Cup venues enjoy vast buffer zones but the fifteenth hole on the Gleneagles course designed by Jack Nicklaus abuts the 509-yard, par-5 sixth hole at Auchterarder.

David Smith, managing secretary of Auchterarder Golf Club, said: “We have been working closely with officials from Ryder Cup Europe because they were aware early on that, uniquely, a private golf course runs up against the competition venue,” he said. “Clearly that poses security issues.

“The fact that we are so close to one of the key holes was a concern and it has been known for one of our wilder-hitting members to stray on to the fifteenth.

“No one wants to contemplate a ball hitting Tiger Woods or braining one of the Team USA or Europe players as the focus of world golf is on them. That would not be good for them or us.”

Mr Smith said club members are looking forward to the chance to watch Ryder Cup play from “a great vantage point”.

“We will be allowing golf throughout the Ryder Cup but on what we call the old nine so members can take the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to watch the event at close range on the other side of a fence,” he said.

“We have a view of just one hole but it could be pivotal in the matches. So it will be standing room only for members. There will be 40,000 people on the other side of the fence. We aren’t putting any stands up, despite conjecture.

“There will be some inconvenience but it’s only for three days, and I’m sure everyone appreciates this is a one-off.”