Diamond Creek Golf Club is set into the Blue Ridge Mountains at an elevation of 4,000 feet. The mountain scenery here is nothing short of breathtaking and it’s hard to concentrate on the golf in these lovely surroundings.
The Tom Fazio-designed golf course at this high-end, private residential facility opened for play in 2003 and Fazio literally moved mountains to create the course, which winds its way, occasionally precariously, across the mountainous landscape.
This is not an easy walking course, which measures 7,175 yards from the back tees, however most members use carts. Unusually, there are no tee boxes here at Diamond Creek, simply distance markers, so you are not entirely sure which course you’ve played. Fazio shaped the holes such that each visually makes the most of the mountain backdrop. With bent grass from tee to green, bluegrass rough and blinding white sand in the bunkers, the par 70 Diamond Creek does its level best to compete with the natural backcloth.
Fazio believes that classic tension in golf course design is not between risk and reward but between playability and difficulty. We place Diamond Creek firmly in the difficult category. The gauntlet is thrown down from the off, a brutal 500-yard par four from the back (championship) tees, with a tough uphill approach shot.
The uphill par four 9th is consider to be the signature hole at Diamond Creek and it’s a three-shotter for most golfers, measuring 515 yards from the back tees. You need a to hit a solid drive to clear a scary waste area between tee and fairway (aim for the clubhouse in the distance) and you’ll then require a career approach shot to reach the dance floor in regulation.There is much to admire at Diamond Creek, not least the earth-moving task required to build this golf course. The impeccable quality of the playing surfaces is a joy to experience and the views are at times heart stopping. Throw wonderful service into the mix and you have all the ingredients for a thoroughly agreeable day on the golf course.
July 27, 2015