Glenlakes Golf Club - Dunes Nine Review

Texas Outside Rating: 9.2

Golf - Semi Private Course · 9 Holes · Par 36
Foley, AL
Website
Date Last Played: February 11, 2012

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Glenlakes Golf Club - Dunes Nine Review

Glenlakes Golf Club with 27 holes of great golf is widely regarded as one of the Gulf Coast's premier golf facilities and best values.  Each of the three nine hole courses is unique and different from it's sister courses:

  • Vista makes for an enjoyable and relaxing warm up round as it plays through the trees with wide open let-er-rip fairways but watch out for water on six holes, raised greens, and some strategically white sand bunkers - here is a link to our review of the Vista Nine at Glenlakes Golf Club
  • Dunes has a Scottish links feel and is a spectacular layout and a true test of all of your golf skills thanks to strategic dramatic mounding, extensive bunkers, ups and downs, and undulating fairways and greens
  • Lakes is a resort style nine and at 3019 yards from the tips is the shortest and most golfer friendly of the three nines with generous fairways but water on nine holes and 29 bunkers that can come into play - read our review of the Lakes Nine at Glenlakes Golf Club

To us, the Dunes at Glenlakes Golf Club is one of those "wow" courses that you'll either love or hate - we absolutely loved it and can't wait to play it again, and again, and again!  Some of the reasons we thoroughly enjoyed playing the Dunes includes:

  • it's clearly unique with dramatic and huge mounds/dunes lining the fairways and presenting significant challenges if you land on or in front of these steep faced and tall monsters
  • each hole is different from the previous hole and has something new and exciting to keep you on your game
  • you'll need good course management and club selection skills to score well
  • there are several holes that after playing them we looked back and said "wow, that was tough but fun" or "next time I'll play that hole differently"
  • you'll need to manage the wind (which was a bear when we played), uphill and downhill shots, dog legs, several risk reward opportunities, blind shots, water, bunkers, tough approach shots to raised greens, and some tight fairways

All of the above can make playing fun, frustrating, and memorable.  And don't let that keep you from playing this nine - it's demanding but manageable and just too much fun to pass up! 

Some of the unique holes include:

  • #1 (a 550 yard par 5) sets the stage for this nine - it's a fairly tight fairway that passes through huge and numerous mounds on both sides of the fairway on the way to a sightly uphill green with a huge bunker protecting the front
  • #2 gives you a choice - take the high road and try to hit the uphill fairway with a couple big bunkers in the landing zone that dog legs right to a well guarded green or take the low road known as "the valley of death" as it plays through a narrow playable rough with dramatic mounding on both sides and a tough uphill shot to the green
  • #5, the 439 yard par 4 #1 handicap, has a blind uphill shot along a tight fairway (with lots of tall mounding) followed by a downhill shot to a green with a very tough approach thanks to the lake and two bunkers and dramatic mounding
  • #7 is a 521 yard par 5 with a lake on the right from 200 yards out to in front of the green - you'll have an opportunity to go for the green by flying the lake from 200 to 60 yards out depending on your risk reward tolerance

The fairways range from ample to tight with most of them being tight thanks to dramatic mounding with some steep faces you need to avoid.  The rough is ample but after that you're in deep trouble.  The fairways at Glenlakes Dunes course were in above average condition when we played. 

The greens are about average size and were in very good condition.  Most have slope and undulation including one or two tiers. They were a tad slow but ran true.  Approach shots are demanding because most of the Dunes greens are raised and well guarded.

The bunkers have soft white sand that's thick and the lips are manageable.  We found that they were relatively easy to avoid. 

Bottom line - this can be a frustrating and demanding nine, but it's a unique nine that we loved.

The above Rating and Slope are based on playing Vista and Dunes Nines. 

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Course Slope & Ratings

Tee Box Yardage Rating Slope
Gold 3,554 72.8 124
Blue 3,289 70.1 122
White 3,003 68.3 117
Red 2,577 70.6 115

Course Information

Course Architect:
Bruce Devlin & Robert Von Haggee
Greens Type:
Champion Bermuda
Greens Condition
9.0
Greens Difficulty
8.3
Fairway Condition
8.3
Bunker Condition
9.0
GPS:
Yes
Walkable:
Yes
Scorecard
Beware of water on 4 holes and the 29 sand traps.

Texas Outside Rating

Overall Rating:
9.2 out of 10
Beauty:
8.3
Difficulty:
9.3
Variety:
10.0
Fun to Play:
10.0
Value:
9.0
Condition:
8.5
Front Nine Rating:
9.2
Back Nine Rating:
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FEES & AMENITIES

Approximate Weekend
Rates:
$30.00 to $65.00

Service is good, the pro shop has a limited amount of gear, and the we didn't have a chance to try the grill. The practice facilities are good.

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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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