Course Review: Diamond Back in Myrtle Beach
06 Sep 2012
by Benjamin Larsen of amateurgolf.com

see also: Diamond Back Golf Course at Woodland Valley Country Club, All Course Reviews

LORIS, S.C. (Sept. 5, 2012) -- The sign on the first tee at Diamond Back Golf Course warns golfers that, while the rattlesnakes found throughout the course’s many wetlands won’t attack, they’ll most certainly defend themselves if provoked. Interestingly enough, it’s typically the golfers defending themselves as they trek the winding and tight 6,907-yard (from the Championship tees) Diamond Back Course at Woodland Valley Country Club. Set in the woodlands approximately 20 miles from North Myrtle Beach, Diamond Back tests golfers of all kinds with its length and required capacity for target golf. It also provides Myrtle Beach-bound golfers a test much different than the courses seen on the Grand Strand.
COURSE LAYOUT & DESIGN As previously mentioned, Diamond Back is challenging mostly for it’s tight fairways, narrow landing areas and the importance it puts on ‘target golf.’ The Russell Breeden design features Jensen Ultra Dwarf greens and supreme conditions throughout. Unlike most courses in the Myrtle Beach area, Diamond Back hasn’t experienced real estate development and offers golfers quite the scenic round --- rattlesnakes, banana spiders, turtles and deer included. After a welcoming opener --- the 432-yard par-4 first --- Diamond Back quickly begins to show its teeth. No. 2 is a 591-yard par-5 with trouble on both sides off the tee and the third, a 395-yard par-4, is another tough driving hole where placement off the tee is crucial. The theme continues on Nos. 4 (194-yard par-3 over marsh), 5 (long par-4 with trouble left the length of the hole) and 6 (a 439-yard par-4 that punishes those who go too long off the tee. The 500-yard par-5 7th offers a bit of respite to the bombers, who can get home in two, as does the 150-yard par-3 8th hole. The front nine ends the way it started with a seemingly simple 378-yard par-4 where there are scoring options for golfers of all lengths. Unfortunately, the rest ends quickly after the turn as No. 10 presents a number of challenges --- even more than meets the eye for a 540-yard par-5 that turns nearly 90 degrees to the right. No. 11 bends the other way in the form of a 406-yard par-4 where driving accuracy and distance control is key. The 12th is the third terrific par-3 on the course --- a 144-yarder with wetlands and plenty of wildlife on both sides. Target golf and distance control continues on the 338-yard par-4 13th and 368-yard par-4 14th, which is a downhill tee-shot to a relatively (for this course) unguarded green. No. 13 requires another precise tee shot to a right-to-left turning fairway. The angle you leave yourself with is most important if you're trying to make the most of your opportunities on these playable holes. On the 540-yard par-5 15th, put your thoughts of reaching home in two right back into the bag as your tee shot is challenged by bunkers on both sides of the fairway and the green is guarded well by water and sand. The 16th is the final par-3 on the course and doesn’t let up, checking in at 209 yards with water and sand guarding the small green. The 17th is narrow off the tee with trouble throughout the 384-yard par-4 but No. 18 closes the book nicely with a 370-yard par-4. The dogleg left gives players beaten down by Diamond Back’s length and narrow corridors a chance to head to the clubhouse with a bit of pride remaining. DRIVING RANGE AND PRACTICE AREA Diamond Back features a full driving range with plenty of room to maneuver and warm up before your round. Designated chipping and putting practice greens also serve a weekend warrior well as the course’s relatively new Jensen Dwarf --- also the first course in Myrtle Beach to use the type of Bermuda --- as they’ll have ample opportunity to get used to the roll. CLUBHOUSE & ACCESSIBILITY Being a short ride from the Grand Strand, Diamond Back is typically playable. With advance planning, golfers should have no problem getting a tee time. Greens fees are reasonable, ranging from $55-$65 depending on season. Note that there are seasonal inclusions such as free range balls or food and beverage that are incorporated into the greens fees at the recently-remodeled clubhouse and 19th hole. According to club management, Diamond Back is a favorite destination for golfers heading to and from the beach and Strand-area courses. An easy drive from the Beach, Diamond Back is a great way to either start or end your golf vacation. IF YOU’RE STAYING Diamond Back is part of the Sands Resorts family. With six resort locations throughout the Myrtle Beach area, Sands Resorts can double as a perfect place to stay. Between the Sands Ocean Club, Sands Beach Club, Ocean Dunes, Sand Dunes and the Ocean Forest Plaza and Villas, there is an ideal place to stay for any type of golfer. Those looking to enjoy their post-round time should be sure to check out the Sands Ocean Club, which hosts a party each day and night at the famous Ocean Annies Beach Bar. Open to the public and tailored to guests of the Sands Ocean Club, Ocean Annies has two separate live acts playing daily and keeps the drinks flowing well into the evening. Stay for the nightly fireworks show and dance the night away at one of the Grand Strand’s most popular clubs. To book a tee time at Diamond Back, call the pro shop at (877) 600-3264 or visit the course's official website. For more information on Sands Resorts and Ocean Annies, visit SandsResorts.com or OceanAnnies.com
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