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Glacier Club - Glacier Nine Holes Review

Texas Outside Rating: 9.2

Golf - Private Course · 27 Holes · Par 72
Durango, CO
Website
Date Last Played: June 25, 2013

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Glacier Club - Glacier Nine Holes Review

Review of Glacier Club's Glacier Nine Holes

Located about 20 minutes north of historic Durango and surrounded by awe inspiring glacially striated cliffs and the peaks of the San Juan Mountains that rise to 14,000 feet, Glacier Club is an exclusive and upscale private golf course and golf community that has been carved dramatically from 1,000 acres above the cascading Animas River.  Amenities include a beautiful clubhouse, world class restaurant, pool, fitness center, tennis courts, and 27 holes of outstanding golf that wind through towering ponderosa pines, dramatic cliffs, stunning granite formations, and mountain streams and ponds. 

Each of the courses at Glacier Club have been chiseled out of the mountains and trees and the designers leveraged the natural terrain to create several natural hazards, unique challenges, and unparalleled scenic vistas. 

Glacier Club is home to three stunning nines, each of which has its own unique personality and characteristics:

  • The Hermosa Nines is a true mountain links course
  • The Cliffs Nine is like two different nines, one of which plays along some dramatic cliffs soaring above the fairways and the other which plays through a forest of towering ponderosa pines, mountain cedar, and aspen trees.
  • The Glacier Nine plays through some rugged mountain terrain with dramatic elevation changes, high Alpine meadows, protected wetlands, and glacial ponds

Unfortunately, we didn't have time during our trip to Durango to play the Hermosa Nine, but here is a link to the review of the Cliffs Nine which we also loved.

The Glacier Nine at Glacier Club is the newest of the nines and generally regarded as the toughest of all three nines.  What makes this nine both challenging and intriguing is that it has been chiseled out of some rugged mountain terrain and as such you'll need to manage elevation changes that require you to club up or club down, some tight rolling and contoured fairways that if you miss you'll most likely need to take a penalty or if you find the ball it will be a very tough recovery shot, several dog legs and forced carries, and tough approach shots to challenging green complexes.  Just driving the cart along the course is a beautiful and fun experience as you ride up and down the hills through towering trees, across wooden bridges, and past some stunning homes and enjoy some scenic vistas.

This is a very picturesque nine with the majestic San Juans framing some holes, huge beautiful mountain homes, sparkling ponds, and towering trees.  And the names of the holes describe what to expect, for example:

  • Fairway to Heaven is a 442 yard par 4 with stunning scenery
  • Narrow Gauge has a wide landing zone off the tee box which is followed by an uphill shot to a fairway that turns right and is pinched as it leads to a skinny oblong well guarded green
  • Glacier Pond is a 194 yard par 3 with a carry across a sparkling clear pond to a green with significant slope
  • Glacier Cliffs is appropriately named as you hit past glacier carved cliffs
  • Showdown is an excellent finishing hole - a fantastic 612 yard par 5 that's very scenic with the mountains and trees as a backdrop and some beautiful mountain homes and it's challenging thanks to 9 bunkers and a demanding green 

The course is very well maintained and manicured and when we played in July, even though Colorado was suffering through a severe drought, the fairways on the Glacier Nine were in near perfect shape.  The fairways are somewhat generous off the tee box, have lots of slope and contour, and some get a little tight on the approach to the green.  The roughs were also in great shape and varied from thin and playable to a little tough.  Miss both the fairway and the rough and it may be difficult to find your ball.

The Glacier Nine greens were near perfect, ran at a great speed, and held the ball well.  The greens range in shape and size from small to huge and all of them are raised, well guarded, and have plenty of slope and contour. 

The bunkers at Glacier Club were also in excellent condition with soft, thick sand. 

Bottom line - you need to do what you can to play this exclusive private course that is in excellent condition, very scenic, fair but demanding, and a joy to play. 

Better yet, why not buy a lot and become a member - read more about why we were impressed with the Glacier Club and all it has to offer.

Read all about this fun trip to Southern Colorado/Northern New Mexico where this is one of the courses we played.

Head Pro's Corner


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Course Slope & Ratings

Tee Box Yardage Rating Slope
Gold 3,583 72.4 144
Blue 3,349 70.6 137
White 3,157 67.2 120
Red 2,445 64.0 113

Course Information

Course Architect:
Hale Irwin
Greens Type:
Bent
Greens Condition
9.5
Greens Difficulty
8.8
Fairway Condition
9.3
Bunker Condition
9.3
GPS:
No
Walkable:
Hilly
Scorecard
Course Map
Beware of water on 1 holes and the 30 sand traps.

Texas Outside Rating

Overall Rating:
9.2 out of 10
Beauty:
9.8
Difficulty:
9.0
Variety:
9.0
Fun to Play:
9.5
Value:
8.5
Condition:
9.5
Front Nine Rating:
9.3
Back Nine Rating:
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FEES & AMENITIES

Initiation Fees: $55,001 to $70,000
Monthly Dues: $401 to $600

The state-of-the-art practice facility offers putting and chipping greens, bunker practice, and 13 acres of turf with target greens. The pro shop is well stocked with everything you need, the carts are new, and the staff provides first class friendly service. The clubhouse is magnificent and you can’t beat the restaurant, bar, and outside patio with a panoramic view of the beautiful San Juan Mountains.

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Here's How Texas Outside Determines the Scorecard Rating

The Texas Outside rating scale ranges from 1 to 10 – a perfect 10 course would be something like this:  links along a cliff overlooking the Pacific ocean and bordered by tall trees; lush fairways on rolling hills with lots of natural hazards; water (which is crystal clear) on most of the holes; immaculate greens (but they are undulating and tough); lots of variety and character (each hole is completely different and includes blind shots, elevation changes, doglegs, and significant challenges); perfectly manicured traps with the whitest and prettiest sand you’ve ever seen; a nice club house with great food and a 19th hole; a GPS; plenty of beverage carts or your own cooler and ice; and it only costs $40 bucks! What this means is that you probably won’t find any 10s in Texas – try Cabo San Lucas, Pebble Beach, or some of the Hawaii courses! 
Texas Outside rates courses on the following:

  • Beauty – tall trees, rolling hills, beautiful houses, waterfalls, and similar stuff would score high; a 1 would be flat, bushes or cactus instead of trees, and some grass but mostly weeds
  • Difficulty – a straight, 300 yard par 4 with no traps or hazards, no out of bounds or water would probably get a 1; if it is a 460 yard par 4 over two ravines, with water along one side, natural hazards on the other, strategically placed traps or that dreaded tree right in the middle of the fairway, we are talking a 10. 
  • Variety – what would you give a course where all the holes looked and played exactly the same (“I thought we just played that hole!”); were side-by-side, which is good for finding or dodging other people’s balls, but not much fun; and you can see the flag from every tee box?  That’s right, it gets a 1.
  • Fun Scale – a 10 is where you walk off the course and say “now that was fun” and you can’t wait to get back, or you immediately turn around and play another 18 holes
  • Value – a 5 is $50 to $60, a 10 is $20 to $30, and 1 is $200 or so – of course all of this is dependent upon how you liked the course.  For example, if a run down, boring municipal course, with six players on each hole was only $10; it would still get a value rating of 1.
  • Condition – this one’s pretty easy – what condition are the fairways. A 10 commands very lush perfectly manicured fairways, compared to a 1, which has fire ants, weeds, and more dirt than grass!
  • Condition of Greens and Difficulty – very hard to read greens with lots of undulation and tough pin placement, rate very high on the difficulty scale.  Condition is self-explanatory.  

All of the above determines the overall score for the golf course.  In other words, we like courses that are pretty, fun, very challenging with a lot of variety, and fairways and greens in excellent condition – all for $40.  We also tend to play the courses that are affordable for the masses, which means in the $30 to $80 range. We rate hard and we haven’t found a 10 in Texas yet – don’t worry we haven’t given up and we’re still looking.