One of the reviews about Gleneagles stated, “getting there, you need to venture through a sketchy neighborhood”. We didn’t think that much about it until we saw the crime scene tape wrapped around the area just behind the first tee box. We asked the pro what had happened at this spot. His answer was frightening!
A fungus had invaded the grass.
Seriously, I love reading reviews about courses. As I have said many times before, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Here are just a few of the comments I read: Good value; nice, little 9-hole course; fun, tricky local course; why bother; like hitting off concrete; nice little hideaway; best shape in years; total disaster; and a decent track, fun but only for the advanced golfer.
The overall rating on GolfNow was 3.5/5, let’s see how we at Always Time for 9 judged the course.
Playing off the blue tees (yellow for back 9), Hole #1 is a tree-lined par 4 of 345 yards. A perfect beginning hole for the big slice you will encounter on the first drive of the day (and the first drive of the trip). If you keep your first two shots out of the trees, a par will be a good score here. Dave and I felt good about bogeys on the first hole of our Northern California Buddy Trip.
Another tree-lined fairway at the par 4, 322 yard second hole. Tree-lined fairways will be the theme of the day (and week). If the trees don’t give you fits here, the four bunkers surrounding the green will. Hole #3 is a beautiful downhill par 4 from an elevated tee with, you guessed it, trees crowding the fairway on both sides.
Hole #4 is the first par 3 and as the fairway drops dramatically to the green, your eyes rise to the scenic backdrop of the hills of the city. Mr Woody lived up to his name as his drive caromed off a felled tree (or did his explosive tee shot topple it?) at Hole #5. There is a big difference between the blue (292 yards) and the yellow (379 yards) tees that will make this hole play quite differently when playing 18.
Time to muscle-up at the first par 5. I hit two reasonably good shots and still could not get to the dogleg on Hole #6. Time to replace my 10 year old driver (or my 67 year old body)! Hit your drive to the right on Hole #7 and let the big slope of the fairway carry your shot down to the middle of the landing area –easy!
From the blue tees, the par 3 eighth hole is the easiest of the day. All you have to do is avoid the bunker to the right of the green. Let me repeat this, all you have to do is avoid the bunker to the right of the green. Next time I will adhere to this warning. You will end your round with a difficult, uphill par 5 and just how you started – playing through the trees that line the fairway.
Birdie: We agreed with most of the aforementioned reviews, except the “sketchy” neighborhood – shame on you! Yes, the course was a little rough when we played, but remember, water is in short supply in California. If you are looking for a “country club” experience, Gleneagles may not be the course for you. If you are seeking a fun and challenging track, give it a try.
Since we arrived first thing in the morning and played in about two hours, we had plenty of time to explore other activities in the city. We spent part of the day eating our way around Fisherman’s Wharf before we took an Adventure Cat sailing cruise on San Francisco Bay. The bay was very choppy that day, so for the inexperienced sailors, you may want to take Dramamine before the cruise!
2100 Sunnydale Ave., San Francisco, CA 94134; 415-587-2425; www.gleneaglesgolfsf.com