Gleannloch Pines - Gleann Nine Holes Review

Texas Outside Rating: 8.6

Golf - Public Course · 18 Holes · Par 35
Spring
Website · Locate This Course
Date Last Played: May 29, 2015

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Gleannloch Pines - Gleann Nine Holes Review

Review of Gleannloch Pines' Gleann Nine Holes

Gleannlock Pines is a semi-private golf club that is home to 28 holes of great golf which were designed by Jay Riviere and opened for play in 1999.  The 28th "Challenge Hole" is a beautiful 165 yard par 3 with an island green (modeled after the 17th hole at Sawgrass) that is used for tournament shoot outs. 

Formally known as Gleannloch Farms Golf Club, when Tour 18 purchased the course in 2007 they renamed it Gleannloch Pines to match its sister course Augusta Pines.  They also made significant improvements, some of which included: renovated bunkers, new TifEagle greens, the "Challenge Hole," a new short game area, and a new private men's locker room. 

Each of the nines at Gleannloch Pines is unique and has it's own personality: 

  • Pines Nine - is a parkland style nine that is the longest of the nines and is considered the toughest of the three nines thanks to 27 strategically placed bunkers and water on 6 holes
  • Loch Nine - is a links-style nine with wide open fairways, very few trees to protect you from the wind, and typically requires a very good approach shot to the green - read or review of the Loch Nine to learn more
  • Gleann Nine -a par 35 parkland style course that is the shortest of the three and has tight tree lined fairways

Common to all three nines are reasonable rates, good service, very good conditions thanks to an "unlimited maintenance budget," and challenging green complexes.  Generally speaking, all three nines are somewhat straightforward and traditional with the flag in view from the tee box and "what you see is what you get."  What you can't see and what makes all three nines demanding are the greens which are well guarded with grass and sand bunkers and multiple tiers!  Knowing the greens and accuracy on the approach shots is critical to scoring well. 

Gleann is the shortest of the three nines - 4 tee boxes with yardages of 2387 to 3355 yards - and it's a par 35 with three par 3s, two par 5s, and four par 4s.  Water can come into play two holes and you need to do whatever it takes to avoid the 31 sand bunkers and multiple grass bunkers. Some of the fairways are a tad tight and some have plenty of contour and mounding and trees along the sides. 

Some of the holes that we really like on Gleannloch Pines Gleann Nine included:

  • #1 a 176 par 3 got a "wow" - it's not real long from any of the 4 tee boxes but it's surrounded by 4 big and intimidating bunkers
  • #2 is a 394 yard par 4 with a pond on the right side waiting for a bad tee shot, a tight tree lined slight dog leg left fairway that plays through a valley of mounds, and a big bunker on the right side
  • #4 has a wide open fairway just waiting for you to pull out the big dog and let it rip, but the green is guarded by 3 nasty bunkers and has a huge tier and lots of slope
  • #9 is a 598 yard par 5 that twists and turns left through a minefield of 5 fairway bunkers and two more guarding the green

We played in May just after several days of heavy rain and the fairways were soaking wet with several pools of standing water.  Outside of being wet and giving us no roll they were in near perfect condition as was the first cut.  The fairways are a tad tight and the first cut is playable, but that and you may have trouble finding your ball under the trees and dense grass.  I can't wait to pay it again when the fairways are dry.

The greens on Gleannloch Pines' Gleann Nine are a variety of sizes and shapes and range from 24 to 44 yards deep - averaging maybe 29 or so.  Most have multiple tiers and plenty of subtle break and they normally run around a 10 - plus they are raised and well guarded with mounding and grass and sand bunkers.  To score well you need to place the ball in the right place based on pin placement and avoid the bunkers.  The greens were in near perfect condition and they are soft, hold the ball well, and run smooth and true - if you can read the breaks!

The Gleann Nine bunkers range from smaller pot type bunkers to some huge monsters.  The faces are 3' or more and manageable but don't miss.  When we played in May, most of the bunkers were swimming holes and the sand was wet and unplayable - which sure helped my score!  However, I did a great job of finding all of the grass swales/bunkers that surround a lot of the greens.

Bottom line - a great nine holes that affords a chance to score well and a it's a nine that won't beat you up until you get on the green - study them carefully and you'll do fine.

The slope and rating are based on playing the Gleann and Loch nines together - which is the easiest of the two nine combos. 

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Course Slope & Ratings

Tee Box Yardage Rating Slope
Black 3,355 72.9 129
Gold 3,091 70.0 120
Blue 3,751 67.4 116
White 2,387 69.5 114

Course Information

Course Architect:
Jay Riviere
Greens Type:
TIF Eagle
Greens Condition
9.7
Greens Difficulty
9.3
Fairway Condition
9.0
Bunker Condition
8.8
GPS:
No
Walkable:
Easy
Scorecard
Beware of water on 2 holes and the 31 sand traps.

Texas Outside Rating

Overall Rating:
8.6 out of 10
Beauty:
8.8
Difficulty:
8.3
Variety:
8.0
Fun to Play:
8.8
Value:
8.8
Condition:
9.5
Front Nine Rating:
8.6
Back Nine Rating:
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FEES & AMENITIES

Approximate Weekend
Rates:
$49.00 to $69.00

Service is good and friendly, the pro shop is well stocked, the practice facilities are good, and the grill has breakfast and lunch (sandwiches, burgers, and more cooked to order).

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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. 

 

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