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:
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:
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.
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.
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!
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.