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!
Rates: $59.00 to $59.00
Service is good, the pro shop has a limited supply of equipment, and the snack bar has burgers, hot dogs, and a few other items.
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!
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.