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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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.