A historic

Renovation is underway.

For over 100 years, Diablo Country Club has been a true test of golf and recognized as one of the most desirable courses to play in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Originally designed by Jack Neville and William Watson, these men went from Diablo to projects creating Pebble Beach Golf Links and the courses at the Olympic Club. Today, we reverently respect the past as we bring a new and dramatic improvement to our members, one designed to preserve Diablo’s reputation as the treasure of the East Bay.

The historic Diablo course was designed in what most consider to be the golden age of course architecture. It showcased well-bunkered, small greens and fairways lined with majestic oak trees, whose ages are still measured in hundreds of years. The course also featured stunning views of the countryside, spectacular vistas of Mt. Diablo and the Las Trampas Range. Diablo has served as host to Professional Exhibitions, the Northern California Open Championship, USGA Amateur Championship qualifiers and US Senior Open qualifiers.
Course Update October 2019
A Renovation with a

Passion for Preservation

Drag to see before & After Improvements
Let's Roll

New & Improved Greens

All greens will be rebuilt to USGA greens specifications, and seeded to bent grass. The improved specifications will significantly improve the playability of the greens and the overall health and conditions in the root zone. This will provide for a more resilient and consistent playing surface throughout the year. All greens will be enlarged moderately, restoring lost hole locations. These changes will make the new course a delight to play every day, as pin locations and green surrounds will add variety and challenge at every turn.

Reshaping Our Future

An amazing 11 U.S. Opens have been played on courses designed by Watson and Neville. Diablo Country Club proudly celebrates its place in history as the only course in the world that can enjoy the work of both designers. Members will soon enjoy exclusive access to these beautiful 18 holes set in the East Bay hills. 

Next up

On the Tee

Tees will be rebuilt, laser-leveled and reshaped into a more informal and natural style and sodded to a new Bermuda grass surface. Most holes will have larger but fewer overall tees, simplifying the aesthetics and offering more variety in setup and improved durability in wear and tear. Selective new tee locations will add length to the back tees and an additional set of forward tees will be added, often seamlessly incorporated into the fairway in the same height of cut.

The Fluff

Bunker City

All bunkers will be rebuilt. Many are proposed in the same location, some are proposed as shifting to nearby locations and select bunkers will be removed. A number are being restored to original locations, lending a historic character to the new design. Our bunker work will include reshaping of all bunkers and their surrounding turf area to better blend into the natural landforms. These modifications will align the course more to its highly praised historic model. Ingress and egress will be improved significantly, with the front of the bunkers just a slight drop from the entry. Proper drainage will be installed along with a polymer liner and new sand for a longer life and improved conditions and playability.

Around the Greens

Short-Cut Chipping Areas

Short-cut chipping areas will be added to selected areas adjacent to greens, highlighting the design features of the ground and the interesting contours around greens. These are proposed in the same bent grass as the new greens, and will be kept at a low height. Many will continue through and tie into the next tees to provide a seamless walking experience and flow from green to tee. Multiple short-game options will be possible with this feature and improved surface, including putting, bump and runs, pitches and flop shots. Consequently, greater playability will be realized as well.

A better approach

Fairways & Roughs

Fairways will be widened to increase strategic play, such as favoring one side of the fairway to gain an advantage into the green. This will also add necessary playability and improve the aesthetics throughout the course. Existing grasses will be removed from all fairways and replaced by new hybrid Bermuda grasses that will provide more density and better lies. The rough grass would likely be grown in with “sprigs” and in a different variety of Bermuda grass than the fairways, offering a different texture and color, and be more playable at rough heights. A major benefit to moving to hybrid Bermudas is reduced water use, a major goal of the club going forward. Another characteristic of the newer Bermuda varieties such as these is a shorter dormancy in the winter. New fairway lines will be fitted to reflect new bunker locations, and “tie in” to new green approaches.

Fescue Grassland

As part of the club’s well-known plan to reduce water use into the future, many acres of manicured turf will be replaced with drought-tolerant fescue grasslands in lesser-played areas. These areas are predominately on the outskirts of the property, in large voids between holes, and occasionally between tee and fairway. The goal for establishing these fescue areas is to do so slowly so as to promote space between plants and overall playability for the golfer. From an aesthetic standpoint, these areas will provide a nice contrast to the manicured turf areas with their texture and color. Over time, additional drought tolerant or native plants will be added in these areas to further naturalize the aesthetics and provide select screening.

The Mighty Oak

Trees & Limbs

Tree removal and new plantings will take place over time, but in unison with the goals of the project. Select tree removal is an absolute necessity for a number of reasons, but most notably agronomic. Sun and air flow is particularly vital to turf health and the overall conditions and aesthetic of the course. Other trees will be or have been already removed if diseased, dead or dying. New trees will be added in the landscape zones where appropriate. Some will be introduced during the project, and others added over time, after establishment of the new turf. New tree species will focus on what is native or adapted well to the site and region. Oaks will be the majority of plantings, in multiple varieties, as many of the beautiful oaks throughout the site are well aged, and also due to the adaptability of oaks in drought conditions.

The Warm-Up

Outdoor Practice Areas

The new course plan maximizes improvements to the existing practice areas that will improve the existing facility in many ways. The tees will be expanded to their maximum width to increase hitting areas and shifted back approximately 10-15 yards, adding depth. The practice area greens will be rebuilt to be more representative of the course, including bunkering. The upper chipping green will be expanded greatly.  This will allow shots to be replicated that more closely resemble those played on the course, and will allow more golfers to use the area at one time. The practice tee on Hole 18 will be expanded to more than three times its current size.

Course Construction

Progress Gallery


Keeping It Real

The incredible Diablo groundskeepers are out early every day, helping to accelerate our construction progress and ensuring that the grow in goes according to plan. They’re shaping the jewel that they’ll be ready to debut early in 2020.