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Glenlakes Golf Club - Vista Nine Review

Texas Outside Rating: 8.4

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

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Glenlakes Golf Club - Vista 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
  • 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 - read our review of Glenlakes Golf Club's Dunes to learn more about this outstanding layout
  • 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

Glenlakes Golf Club Vista nine provides an enjoyable warm up round for the challenging Dunes nine.  With five sets of tee boxes and yardages ranging from 2200 to 3358 yards Vista is in the middle between the shorter Lakes nine and the longer nine of the Dunes.  Vista is considered the easiest of the nines and suitable for all levels of play.  This is a nine where you can let-er-rip on the wider more forgiving fairways but if you spray the ball on some of the holes you'll be lost in the tall pine forest that lines both sides of holes 2 through 6. 

Although this is the easiest of the nines, it still has some interesting holes that are fun and somewhat demanding.  You'll find:

  • water on five holes that can come into play particularly on #3 the 195 yard par 3 with water on the right from tee to green
  • three dog legs including #7 which takes a 90 degree turn left and offers a great risk reward shot to try and fly more of the lake to shorten the hole and give you a shot at a birdie
  • some tough approach shots (#2 and #6 for example) to raised greens that are guarded by water, bunkers, and mounding leaving little room for error
  • greens that are average to large but require some study and good putting skills to manage the slope, undulation, and subtle breaks

Generally speaking the fairways are ample and forgiving with a wide playable rough.  When we played they were going dormant but in very good condition.  Most are fairly flat and traditional with what you see is what you get. 

The greens were also in very good condition with an average speed.  The slope and undulation can cause some subtle breaks that surprised us and cost us an extra stroke.  They were smooth and held the ball well.

The white sand bunkers were in very good condition and the sand was soft and thick.  Most of them are guarding the greens putting a premium on accuracy. 

The above Rating and Slope are based on playing the Lakes/Vista Nines

Bottom line - Vista is a good quality layout that is suitable for all levels of play and a round here is fun, relaxing, and potentially low scoring.

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Course Slope & Ratings

Tee Box Yardage Rating Slope
Gold 3,358 70.6 118
Blue 3,071 67.6 115
White 2,861 65.2 109
Red 2,614 67.9 112

Course Information

Course Architect:
Bruce Devlin & Robert Von Haggee
Greens Type:
Champion Bermuda
Greens Condition
8.8
Greens Difficulty
8.0
Fairway Condition
8.5
Bunker Condition
8.5
GPS:
Yes
Walkable:
Easy
Scorecard
Beware of water on 6 holes and the 24 sand traps.

Texas Outside Rating

Overall Rating:
8.4 out of 10
Beauty:
8.3
Difficulty:
8.0
Variety:
8.5
Fun to Play:
8.8
Value:
8.5
Condition:
8.8
Front Nine Rating:
8.4
Back Nine Rating:
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FEES & AMENITIES

Approximate Weekend
Rates:
$45.00 to $65.00

Service is good, the pro shop is limited to the basics, and the practice facilities are good. We didn't have a chance to try the grill which has sandwiches, burgers, and more.

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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.