Operated by Troon Golf, the course at Fieldstone Golf Club nestles a mere ten-minute drive to the northwest of downtown Wilmington, within a 184-acre property in the rolling Piedmont and Woodland Hills.
Designed when Dr Michael Hurdzan and Dana Fry were still in architectural partnership back in 1987, this 6,748-yard course is laid out on largely hilly terrain, with dramatic changes in elevation occurring with regularity during the round.
Hand-laid rock walls (which were in place before the course was built) were conserved and integrated into the design, as were the stone ruins on the double fairway that’s shared by the 12th and 14th holes.Notable holes include, on the outward half, the water-fronted par threes at holes 6 and 8 whilst, on the back nine, the pond-protected par four 15th and uphill closing par five (which plays to a crescent-shaped home green) vie for recognition as best hole on the card.
When the tandem of Dr. Michael Hurdzan and Dana Fry were working together they were quite successful in bringing to fruition a number of quality layouts. One of the courses that has not received much attention is their effort at Fieldstone in Wilmington, DE.
The land is the story of the design -- moving in a range of ways -- and requires golfers to be able to adjust constantly.
Rock walls, which were on property prior to construction, were kept and used well as a design element on a few holes. Fortunately, the 184-acre site allows for sufficient spacing so the design is not clustered too tightly with one hole cramped to another.
The course plays less than 6,800 yards from the tips and the range of shots encountered is quite fun. Knowing how to position one's golf ball is the central elements of Fieldstone.
Why the course has escaped notice makes me seriously wonder if many people have even heard of the layout -- much less having played it. The I-95 corridor between Baltimore to New York is home to a number of outstanding courses and while Fieldstone is not in the extreme upper echelon it still has plenty of qualities meriting a visit. Without question, the course is clearly one of the best in Delaware with fun golf being its center point.
by M. James Ward