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. Other hazards, in the shape of ponds or creeks, come 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!
The Glades was designed by Greg Norman & Bob Harrison, and opened for play on 2000.
The low lying site is a natural wetlands, and has been preserved as a wildlife sanctuary.
The course has been routed to start out through the wetlands, then move through some slightly higher rolling terrain, and back again into the wetlands to finish.
Off the back markers it is a championship course- long and challenging, as you would expect from Norman & Harrison.
The middle section of the course in the higher ground emphasises this with length and accuracy at a premium.
But for me the more interesting holes are those interacting with the wetlands.
The combination of the trademark Norman/Harrison bunker clusters with natural water hazards puts strategic play to the fore.
That suits me just fine!
Notable holes include:
- hole 1, a short par 4, with the elevated green a testing target to hit first up..
- hole 5, a mid length par 3 with bunkers dominating the line of vision from tee to green. Oh, and there is quite an expanse of water to carry as well!
- hole 16, a short par driveable by the long hitters, yet tempting for the not so long. A lake dominates the view from the tee. How much do you take on?
- hole 17, a gorgeous longer par 3 over water to a green projecting out into the marshlands..
- hole 18, a strong par 4 to finish, with water bordering the left side of the hole and a green well protected by an attractive cluster of bunkers.
The Glades is one of the most interesting courses on the Gold Coast.
It has a combination of long strong challenging holes and some exciting shorter par 4's and 3's.
Any golf trip to the Gold Coast should include The Glades.
Peter Wood is the founder of The Travelling Golfer – click the link to read his full review.
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.