This Greg Norman-designed course at The Glades Golf and Spa opened in 2000 and is considered to be one of the Great White Shark’s better golfing projects. Located just off the Gold Coast in the southern end of Queensland, the course is laid out in a valley between Robina and Mudgeeraba and the natural wetlands within the property have been preserved as a wildlife sanctuary.
Measuring over 7,000 yards in length, it is a challenging course with a par of 72. As there are almost a hundred bunkers in play, you will do very well to avoid them all during a round here. Another hazard, in the shape of ponds or creeks, comes into play at several holes and the 162-yard, par three, 17th hole, in particular, is played over a large expanse of water to a narrow, island-like putting surface.
Back-to-back par fives are punishing on any course but the Glades course has them on both the front and the back nine! The 517-yard 6th hole is immediately followed by the monster 578-yard 7th (with water all the way down the right of the fairway) and a pair of pars on the card here is good going. Likewise, the 528-yard 11th hole precedes the even tougher 541-yard 12th which is not only longer but more intimidating too.
At the signature hole, the 190-yard par three, 5th hole, the tee shot must carry an enormous area of wetland and a huge 80-yard bunker to reach a green with a large swale and small pot bunker to the right.
Glades Golf Club have agreements with local hotels in regard to stay and play facilities so you do not have to travel too far to get to the first tee in the morning!
This was flood-prone, kikuya-infested grazing land before Greg Norman and Bob Harrison transformed it into the highly-strategic, fun and visually impressive track that The Glades is today. With bent-grass green complexes that are chock-full of interesting swales, bowls and ridges, plenty of short grass to sweep errant balls away from holes, and enough width to entice all players to really open their shoulders, the course has more than enough interest and intrigue to ensure that good scoring is still tough but not so penal as to dampen enthusiasm. A course that you'll happily play again and again. In my view, the most fun to be had on the Gold Coast anywhere south of Hope Island.