One of Plano’s oldest, private and most prestigious golf clubs has one of its newest courses after the recent renovation of the Kings Course at the 36-hole Gleneagles Country Club in West Plano.
First opened in 1985 by golfer Bruce Devlin and architect Robert von Hagge, the courses and large clubhouse remain one of the most poular private club options for local golfers.
“We have to keep it up to make sure every member, guest and potential member gets a premier experience when they get here,” said Gleneagles Director of Golf James Williams.
Improvements shut down the Kings Course for almost 13 months. The biggest changes to the Kings Course were new Bermuda Champions G12 grass on all 18 greens. It’s more of a dense turf grass which produces a truer putting surface. The fairways were reseeded with Tiftuf Bermuda grass.
In addition, they rebuilt the bridges that span White Rock Creek, which winds through the course on both sides of Park Lane at several junctures. Gleneagles logos were placed on several of the stone and metal bridges, along with general cleanup of the area bounded by trees, parks and huge houses.
Among the best holes on the new Kings Course is the par-5 8th hole where White Rock Creek snakes through both sides of the fairway, forcing a driver to be extremely accurate on their tee shot and approach to avoid the water.
The par-4 14th hole is another good one on the Kings, with lots of water on the left side of the fairway and in front of the green with rough and a large building on the right. The par 3-15th hole is another short, watery challenge with the par-5 16th hole a long drive to a huge tree in the middle of the fairway with water all around the green.
Water is a common theme at Gleneagles with it coming into play on 34 of 36 holes. (The Queens course isn’t any easier with more water, deep bunkers and signature 17th par-3 which requires you to carry the ball almost the entire length from the tee box to the green or risk another watery re-tee.)
The par-71 Queens Course is known for less trees, more wind and more water. A case in point is the par 4 12th hole. A golfer can find the water off the tee with a wayward tee shot, take a drop, and find the wet stuff again on their approach as the water curls around the putting surface. The closing holes, 17 and 18 can certainly sink any promising round. The 18th finishes up in sight of the massive clubhouse, with the water all along the right side up to the putting surface, if can be a somber watery closing challenge.
There is also plenty of elevated greens here along with usually more wind on this side with the lack of trees compared to the Kings Course.
Of course, all of that challenging golfing can make a person hungry and that’s where the large, shaded Kings Table with all manner or food and drink plus the Queens Table come in.
There is also a large indoor fitness facility, a separate teaching facility to work on your game andmultiple dining options inside the clubhouse, plus lighted tennis and pickle ball courses.
The familiar Plano premier golfing pastime has constantly improved and expanded with the times and as a result remains as popular as ever.
“One of the biggest advantages at Gleneagles is you have two different courses. We can have an event or tournament and still have the other side open for play. It’s a fun difference that the members really like,” Williams said.
Ball Count Needed: Two sleeves should be fine here for most golfers with lots of water and trees.
Toughest Hole: The par-3 11thhole (Kings) with water from White Rock Creek all along the left side and a large drop off if you try to find your misplaced tee shot. A large green, but the tee shot, which stretches to more than 200 yards from the back tee, over the back of the green can be lost as well.
Best Non-Golf Option: The men’s 19th hole/locker room has a unique two-story structure with several huge screen TVs mounted on the wall to watch the latest sports. There is an on-site barber shop and extensive shower facilities. The drink of choice here? The Metzarita named after longtime bartender Jeff Metzger.
Par: 72 (Kings) 71 (Queens)
Yardage 7,021 to 4.532 yards (Kings). 6,877 to 4,878 (Queens)
Gleneagles Country Club
5401 W Park Blvd
Plano, Texas 75093
Phone (972) 867-8888,