Gleannloch Pines - Loch Nine Holes Review

Texas Outside Rating: 9.1

Golf - Semi Private Course · 9 Holes · Par 36
Spring
Website · Locate This Course
Date Last Played: May 29, 2015

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Gleannloch Pines - Loch 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
  • Gleann Nine -a par 35 parkland style course that is the shortest of the three and has tight tree lined fairways - read our review of the Gleann Nine to learn more

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.

The Gleannloch Pines Loch Nine is a links style layout with wide fairways, very few trees to block the wind, some nice homes to avoid, yardages ranging from 2616 to 3604 (second longest of the three nines), and raised well guarded tiered greens.  This nine has water that can come into play on 4 of the nine holes and 37 bunkers plus lots of grass bunkers and swales that you need to avoid unless you like to buy the drinks in the clubhouse after your round. 

Some of the holes that we liked on this nine include:

  • #1 is a 459 yard par 5 that turns left around 3 oval bunkers on the left and a huge bunker on the right side plus a raised sloping green with 2 bunkers on the right and a steep grass bunker on the left - a great risk reward shot off the tee box if you think you can carry the cluster of 3 bunkers and some small trees to shorten the hole
  • #5 is a 502 par 5 that's straight ahead but trees line the entire right side, homes line the left side, and there are 6 nasty bunkers to avoid plus a multi-tiered raised and guarded green
  • #8 is a beautiful par 3 that's all carry (114 to 178 yards) over a lake to a green with a huge grass bunker in front and large sand bunkers on the left and right front
  • #9 is fun and requires an accurate tee shot to avoid overrunning the fairway and into the creek, stay out of the the large left side bunker, and to give you a reasonable approach shot over the creek to a tee-shaped tiered green with 3 big bunkers in the front of it

We played Gleannloch Pines after 3 days of heavy rain and the fairways were very wet and some still had standing water.  Even with the water, they were in near perfect condition - lush and plush and a joy to hit from when we could find a dry spot.  Most of the fairways are wide and forgiving (let-er-rip with the big dog!) plus they have a wide first cut that is very playable.  Generally speaking they are flat and straight-ahead and the pin is within view from the tee box - and what you see is what you get. 

The greens at Gleannloch Pines were also in near perfect condition - smooth, fast (normally a 10), and held the ball well.  The greens will make or break your round - they are raised, well guarded, a variety of shapes, and have multiple tiers plus some slope and contour.  They can be challenging to read and pin placement can be tough.  Practice your short game and putting before you head out.

The bunkers range from small ovals to some large nasty monsters with faces that are 2' to 5' tall.  When we played, the rain made a number them swimming pools and the rest were so wet they weren't playable.  We were told that normally the sand is great - soft, fluffy, and deep. 

Bottom line - a great nine that puts a premium on the approach shot, putting, and avoiding the bunkers. 

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Course Slope & Ratings

Tee Box Yardage Rating Slope
Black 3,604 72.9 129
Gold 3,310 70.0 120
Blue 3,111 67.4 116
White 2,616 69.5 114

Course Information

Course Architect:
Jay Riviere
Greens Type:
TIF Eagle
Greens Condition
9.5
Greens Difficulty
9.3
Fairway Condition
9.5
Bunker Condition
9.0
GPS:
No
Walkable:
Easy
Scorecard
Beware of water on 4 holes and the 37 sand traps.

Texas Outside Rating

Overall Rating:
9.1 out of 10
Beauty:
9.0
Difficulty:
8.8
Variety:
8.7
Fun to Play:
9.2
Value:
9.2
Condition:
9.5
Front Nine Rating:
9.1
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 grill serves breakfast and lunch (sandwiches, burgers, Philly cheesesteaks, and more), and the practice facilities are adequate.

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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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