Diamondback Golf Club has been given a 4 star rating by Golf Digest in 2002, 2004, and 2007 and rightly so. This is a fun yet challenging course that is in good condition and offers plenty of variety at a very good value. The course was built and designed by Charles Coody 1999. Charles is the owner and he was also the winner of the 1971 Masters.
We didn't have high expectations for a course in Abilene and pictured it to be arid, windy, and flat. It was a little windy, but we were pleasantly surprised with the condition, trees, and elevation changes. The course winds it's way up and down the gently rolling hills and has a creek the meanders thru the course and across a number of the fairways.
Diamondback is 6977 yards from the tips and offers golfers a little bit of everything – elevation changes, some ups and downs, dog legs, creeks and ravines, cactus spines if you go for your ball in the rough, wide open to narrow fairways, and some well protected greens. Take #17 for example, a 571 yard par 5 that needs a perfect shot to pass through a narrow tree framed slot and cross a ravine 300 yards out – only the brave would try this, so most of us lay up, then need to worry about our second shot going into another ravine in front of a well protected table top green – miss it and you're in the trees, sand, or cactus.
The fairways were in very good shape with a good mix of pretty tight to let 'er rip wide open. We played in October and were amazed at the amount of roll we got, which according to the assistant pro is nothing compared to the summer roll. The majority of the fairways are tree lined, included a number of trees in the middle of the fairway or the near sidelines about where my ball always wanted to land.
The greens were in excellent condition, soft and held the ball, and included a lot of slope and undulation. A majority of the greens were turtle top – which means short is a problem and that there is a tendency for your ball to roll back down the hill. Overshoot the greens and you'll be in for some big trouble on most of the holes. Hole 8 is a good example, what looks like an easy par 3 of 177 yards from tips is deceivingly difficult – four feet from the rather small oblong green is a sand trap that wraps three quarters of the way around the green and a lake that does the same another foot in back of the trap. Speaking of traps, you need to try to avoid the traps because the sand was crusty when we played.
This is an interesting golf oasis in the heart of west Texas with good value, variety, and condition. Good club selection and good course management can result in a good score on Diamondback – practice putting before you head out. We heard one person describe it as a "Steak course in a hamburger town!" Diamonback is well worth playing!