Devil's Thumb Golf Club Review

Texas Outside Rating: 9.5

Golf - Public Course · 18 Holes · Par 72
Delta, CO

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Devil's Thumb Golf Club Review

Devil's Thumb is a unique, remote and beautiful course.  I played it again on day 2 of a 5 day golf road trip.  The greens were in super shape in spite of the very dry winter.  They'd actually hauled truckloads of water to the course in the winter to keep it in good shape. 

Taking the gravel road entry to Devil's Thumb made us wonder if there really could be a golf course in this remote area years ago but it's paved now.   But indeed there is and it's a real treat.  The surrounding landscape looks like something one might expect on the moon.........or the mesa of Western Colorado. 

Rick Phelps did a great job of carving a fun 18 hole track through some deep valleys and ravines.  Lucky hole 13 is a classic.  I liked the risk/reward off the tee but the pin was set on the crest of a ridge on the green that made the approach almost impossible to hold.

The 10th hole is a great driving hole dogleg right.  Bite off as much as you dare by flying the pond and cattails.  And 18 is a nice par 5 finishing long as you avoid the pond on your right and in front of the green.

The fairways are lush and fairly wide.  The roughs are very dry and rocky but recovery shots aren't too difficult in most cases.

The Devil's Thumb is visible on several of the holes. 

I look forward to playing it again.

Sam Sherstad

Writer, Recreation Travel Reviews

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Course Slope & Ratings

Tee Box Yardage Rating Slope
Black 7,176 72.9 132
Blue 6,190 67.6 122
White 5,686 65.7 112
Gold 6,750 70.3 125
Red 5,180 68.9 120

Course Information

Course Architect:
Rick Phelps
Greens Type:
bent hybrid
Greens Condition
Greens Difficulty
Fairway Condition
Bunker Condition
yes, but quite difficult
Beware of water on 3 holes and the 0 sand traps.

Texas Outside Rating

Overall Rating:
9.5 out of 10
Fun to Play:
Front Nine Rating:
Back Nine Rating:



Here's How Texas Outside Determines the Scorecard Rating

The Texas Outside rating scale ranges from 1 to 10 – a perfect 10 course would be something like this:  links along a cliff overlooking the Pacific ocean and bordered by tall trees; lush fairways on rolling hills with lots of natural hazards; water (which is crystal clear) on most of the holes; immaculate greens (but they are undulating and tough); lots of variety and character (each hole is completely different and includes blind shots, elevation changes, doglegs, and significant challenges); perfectly manicured traps with the whitest and prettiest sand you’ve ever seen; a nice club house with great food and a 19th hole; a GPS; plenty of beverage carts or your own cooler and ice; and it only costs $40 bucks! What this means is that you probably won’t find any 10s in Texas – try Cabo San Lucas, Pebble Beach, or some of the Hawaii courses! 
Texas Outside rates courses on the following:

  • Beauty – tall trees, rolling hills, beautiful houses, waterfalls, and similar stuff would score high; a 1 would be flat, bushes or cactus instead of trees, and some grass but mostly weeds
  • Difficulty – a straight, 300 yard par 4 with no traps or hazards, no out of bounds or water would probably get a 1; if it is a 460 yard par 4 over two ravines, with water along one side, natural hazards on the other, strategically placed traps or that dreaded tree right in the middle of the fairway, we are talking a 10. 
  • Variety – what would you give a course where all the holes looked and played exactly the same (“I thought we just played that hole!”); were side-by-side, which is good for finding or dodging other people’s balls, but not much fun; and you can see the flag from every tee box?  That’s right, it gets a 1.
  • Fun Scale – a 10 is where you walk off the course and say “now that was fun” and you can’t wait to get back, or you immediately turn around and play another 18 holes
  • Value – a 5 is $50 to $60, a 10 is $20 to $30, and 1 is $200 or so – of course all of this is dependent upon how you liked the course.  For example, if a run down, boring municipal course, with six players on each hole was only $10; it would still get a value rating of 1.
  • Condition – this one’s pretty easy – what condition are the fairways. A 10 commands very lush perfectly manicured fairways, compared to a 1, which has fire ants, weeds, and more dirt than grass!
  • Condition of Greens and Difficulty – very hard to read greens with lots of undulation and tough pin placement, rate very high on the difficulty scale.  Condition is self-explanatory.  

All of the above determines the overall score for the golf course.  In other words, we like courses that are pretty, fun, very challenging with a lot of variety, and fairways and greens in excellent condition – all for $40.  We also tend to play the courses that are affordable for the masses, which means in the $30 to $80 range. We rate hard and we haven’t found a 10 in Texas yet – don’t worry we haven’t given up and we’re still looking.