GLENMAURA NATIONAL GOLF CLUB
Course Architect: Dr. Michael Hurdzan (Larry Mize, consultant)
Year Opened: 1994
Location: Moosic, Pennsylvania
Slope: 149. Rating: 75.4
Hole-by-Hole: 1 - Par 5 589 Yds 10 - Par 5 542 Yds
2 - Par 3 205 Yds 11 - Par 3 152 Yds
3 - Par 4 463 Yds 12 - Par 4 413 Yds
4 - Par 4 405 Yds 13 - Par 4 387 Yds
5 - Par 4 430 Yds 14 - Par 5 581 Yds
6 - Par 5 548 Yds 15 - Par 3 240 Yds
7 - Par 3 193 Yds 16 - Par 4 460 Yds
8 - Par 4 417 Yds 17 - Par 4 384 Yds
9 - Par 3 196 Yds 18 - Par 4 385 Yds
Par 35 3,446 Yds Par 36 3,544 Yds
Key Events Held: BUY.COM Steamtown Classic (2000-01),
BUY.COM Northeast Pennsylvania Classic (2002),
Nationwide Northeast Pennsylvania Classic (2003-07),
NCAA Tournament - East Regional (2000),
Pennsylvania Middle Amateur (1995).
Awards Won: Best New Private Course (1995) by Golf Digest.
Ranked Best in State (1997-2002) by Golf Digest.
HISTORY: Building this course was no small task, as Glenmaura National was
crafted on a mountain. It took an amazing engineering feat to preserve the
natural beauty of the Pennsylvania mountainside, which includes waterfalls,
massive trees and babbling mountain brooks. GNCC is a very exclusive private
club, owned by its members. Joining the club is by invitation only and must be
extended by the Board of Directors.
Course designer Dr. Michael Hurdzan, a two-time winner of the Golf Course
Architect of the Year award, had his hands full. Hurdzan, who designed such
gems as Fieldstone Golf Club (Wilmington, DE), Naples National Golf Club (FL)
and StoneWater Golf Club (Highland Heights, OH), faced a difficult challenge
due to the vast amounts of wetlands and solid granite areas and virtually no
topsoil on the site. Work on the location was restricted due to the protected
environmental areas and it took over 100,000 cubic yards of rock blasting to
carve the course. The first nine is routed over the side of the mountain while
the back nine plays through a valley at the foot of the slope. Stone is
featured all over the course in the form of outcroppings, old walls and brook
boundaries and waterfall backdrops. There are actually three natural
waterfalls on the course. Wildlife is abundant and it is not surprising to see
a black bear on one hole or fox, deer and beavers on the next. The elevation
changes are amazing, as the highest point is 360 feet above the lowest. The
course possess 93 sand bunkers, most artistically shaped, including the mouse-
sculptured ears on the par-5 sixth. There are no parallel holes, so the venue
plays to a peaceful crescendo, rarely encountering other players, just
Within two years of the course opening, the club played host to the
Pennsylvania Middle Amateur. At its full length, only 23 of the 82 contestants
broke 80. In fact, one player made a 14 on one hole. If he had only made a 10,
he would have qualified for the match play segment of the championship.
Glenmaura annually is host to the Nationwide Tour's Northeast Pennsylvania
Classic. Winners of the tournament include Jeff Hart, Jason Hill and Gary
Hallberg, who shot a final round of 64 to capture the event in 2002. Glenmaura
National is listed regularly as one of the most difficult on Tour. In fact,
playing at a par of 70 in 2001, the course played to a scoring average of
72.140, third most difficult on Tour.
REVIEW: The course begins on the Mountain nine, with a stern 589-yard par
five. Playing downhill for most of the hole, the player must first negotiate a
fairly wide landing area off the tee, guarded by bunkers and out of bounds on
the right. From a plateau, the second shot must carry a ravine to set up a
short iron approach to an uphill green, just 27 yards deep and guarded by
three bunkers. Most par fives are birdie holes, however par is a good score.
The par-3 second plays extremely difficult due to the severe slope left of the
green and the 40-yard deep putting surface. To make matters worse, three large
bunkers guard the green with a grass swale on the left.
The longest par four on the course is the third hole. Bending left to right
from an elevated tee, the player is greeted by three beautiful sights. First
on the list is the magnificent vistas of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area.
Second is the design of the hole which features a rock-carved wall on the left
side of the fairway. And finally, the majestic mansion of NHRA drag racing
driver Joe Amato situated atop a bluff overlooking the hole. Although very
long, the hole plays shorter than the yardage due to the elevation and the
fairway is quite wide, so getting home in regulation should not be an issue.
Another trio of bunkers guard the oval putting surface, which slopes from back
to front and features a hogback in the rear portion of the green.
The shortest par-4 on the outward nine is the fourth at just 405 yards from
the tips. A carry over wetlands is required on this dogleg right hole which
possess a sloping fairway toward the tall pines guarding the right side all
the way to the green. A three-metal off the tee will set up a medium to short
iron to an uphill, two-tiered green.
Rock croppings appear on the right side of the straightaway, par-4 fifth. A
driver is needed here for a medium iron to a difficult green. Miss the fairway
left and it's jail, miss it right and a favorable bounce is needed off the
rocks just to stay in play. The putting surface falls off severely on the left
to a bunker and a bunker short and right of the green, so just getting on will
not guarantee par.
The sixth is a reachable par-5 with a catch. The tee ball must split the
flanking bunkers and tree-lined fairway. The fun begins with the second shot,
as a ravine about a hundred yards short of the green must be cleared with a
long iron or fairway metal. The thought process will be tested, as going for
it and missing will result in tragedy. Hit it thin and the ball is in the
gully, miss right and it's in the creek, and left, sand awaits. Getting home
in two should result in a birdie, although the putting surface has a ridge in
the front portion and the green runs away toward the back.
The signature hole could very well be the seventh. The great par three is just
193 yards, but features a creek running in front of the tee and all along the
left side through the green, with a 30-yard bunker protecting the left putting
surface. The green itself is 43 yards long with a huge hump in the center,
making club selection key. Missing right is no bargain either, as a bunker and
grass swales protect the bail out area.
The eighth is another signature hole with a quarry along the right side
featuring a large rock wall. The tee shot must play left, setting up a short
iron over part of the quarry to a back-to-front sloping green. Missing the
fairway right will obviously produce problems, however a tee shot missing the
quarry altogether will catch the two strategically placed bunkers below. There
is plenty of room to miss left of the green, so avoid the bunkers and the rock
The nine concludes with the third par-three on the front. This beaute
necessitates a mid-to-long iron to a long 42-yard narrow green with four
bunkers surrounding the surface. Miss left and you'll fall off the face of the
course, right and you'll find yourself amongst a rock wall or worse, on top of
a hill with a native American figurine guarding the spirits.
The back side is played on the Valley nine stretching to more than 3,500
The par-5 10th enables the player to get a shot back after a difficult nine
holes. The hole bends toward the water, which traverses all along the right to
the green and beyond. Bailing out left will only bring in numerous bunkers, 11
in fact, with the final four guarding the putting surface.
The shortest hole on the course is the 11th at just 152 yards. The difficulty
here is correct club selection due to pin placement. The largest bunker on the
course guards the front and right while the green is two-tiered with a severe
slope. The left side is protected by a small bunker and a slope which will not
allow a chance for an up and down. Take three and move on.
The phrase "signature hole" can be used frequently on this course and another
case in point is the 12th. Just 413 yards, this par-four features a rock wall
on the right side of the fairway. But the key for success here is to avoid
missing the landing area. Rocks await right, but left is dead as the fairway
drops off severely to trees and wetlands. The circular, flat green is very
accessible to a short iron, thus enabling a good chance at birdie.
Another birdie chance is the 13th at just 387 yards. A fairway metal will
leave a short iron to another easy green, just 32 yards in depth. This narrow
surface is bunkered left and slopes slightly to the front.
The next three holes could be the most difficult on the course.
The 14th is a massive par-5, generally not reachable in two, let alone three.
From an elevated tee, the fairway is ample, however trees and a huge slope are
right and bunkers are left. The lay-up shot should favor the right side, thus
setting up a simple pitch of 100 yards to a green that is set off to the left.
The left side near the green is protected by tall trees, a creek and a pair of
bunkers. The putting surface is raised and only 31 yards in length with
deceptive breaks and slopes.
Although the 15th is rated as the 13th handicap hole on the card, this par
three is enormous at 240 yards from the black tees. To top things off, the
green is the largest at 44 yards. Missing right will find either a pot bunker
or a grass swale, while left is double-bogey territory.
Probably the hardest of this trio is the 16th. For starters, a carry over 200
yards is needed just to reach the fairway and accuracy is a must. Miss right
or left and it's water and trees. Water will come into play on your approach,
as the green is protected by a brook left and back leading to a waterfall. So
narrow is the green, that one pace left off the surface will be wet. Try
bailing right, sand or another rock wall.
The final two holes feature beauty and strategy.
The 17th is the shortest par four on the course at just 384 yards. However,
length is not needed to provide fits. Playing uphill, the tee shot must split
the fairway, as missing right will find rocks and water, while left is
wetlands. Just a wedge remains to a rectangular green fronted by the creek and
three bunkers around the right and back. The putting surface is large at 37
yards with a huge swale, center-right. The putting is treacherous with many
bends and breaks.
The 18th is very unique, yes, another signature hole. The golfer must clear
wetlands of over 200 yards to a deceiving fairway featuring grass and sand
bunkers. From there, just a short wedge remains, depending upon which green is
in use. Yes, the final hole has two greens, equally difficult in size and
slope. Both are surrounded by the wet stuff, sand and the logo waterfall and
both are small with slopes and swales. Choose wisely, or your final shot will
be a watery one.
OVERALL: Beauty and brawn are both key elements of Glenmaura National Golf
Club. While standing on the tee of each and every hole, one wonders, how in
the world did the designer come up with that idea. Incorporating the beauty of
the region with the length of a championship venue. It's no surprise that all
players who come to visit and experience the course say that this is the
finest course that the Nationwide Tour competes on.
Wetland areas appear in front of all the tee boxes. Most of the fairways are
generous, but lined by rocks, trees and streams. One ingredient to the success
of the course are the numerous sets of tee boxes, allowing even the less
skilled player a chance to enjoy the challenge. To make matters more
accessible, on 10 holes the front of the green is open, enabling the shot that
lands short a chance to bounce and skip its way back to the hole. Don't
overlook the danger of the course. Water comes into play on 10 holes and
missing the fairways will make you pay, as your ball will disappear down a
rocky slope or worse, gnarly rough. The greens are certainly no bargain
either. Like all of Hurdzan's greens here, they are clever and crafty, with
borrows both subtle and bold.
A yardage book is necessarily not needed, as markers are spread wisely
throughout the course, however all yardages are to the front of the green, not
the center. It might take you few holes to remember, so don't forget. The
practice facility is excellent with many targets to choose from and an area
for your short game, however it is located near the 10th tee. Originally, the
Valley nine was the outward nine, but was switched so that the finishing hole
would end at the clubhouse. The main building a traditional in design,
featuring natural cedar siding and native stone, over 25,000 square feet in
In just a short period of time Glenmaura has gained a great reputation and
rightfully so. From top to bottom, the course is A+ all the way and is one of
those tracks that you won't tire from. That is, if you get the chance to play