A historic renovation is complete.

It’s time to tee it up.

We’ve completely renovated Diablo’s fabled course, and members can honestly attest that their home course now offers the best golf in the region. Members now have exclusive access to a course that has truly reclaimed its golden age. Greens were restored to their original size. Bunkers were recreated, and tees relocated. Drought-tolerant grasses have been planted throughout.

One feature that hasn’t changed is the routing, which remains as challenging as it was when Jack Neville and William Watson first designed the course, with its stunning views of the countryside amid massive oaks, and spectacular vistas of Mt. Diablo and the Las Trampas Range.

Diablo has hosted Professional Exhibitions, the Northern California Open Championship, USGA Amateur Championship qualifiers and US Senior Open qualifiers. The next championships on this magnificent course will take competition to a whole new level – something our members enjoy every day.

 

Once the playground of San Francisco’s Big Four, Diablo Country Club has been a sanctuary for golfing families for more than a century. This extensive renovation will preserve Diablo’s reputation as the treasure of the East Bay for the next 100 years.

A Renovation with a

Passion for Preservation

Drag to see before & After Improvements
Let's Roll

New & Improved Greens

All greens have been rebuilt to USGA greens specifications, and seeded to bent grass. The improved specifications significantly improve the playability of the greens and the overall health and conditions in the root zone. This provides for a more resilient and consistent playing surface throughout the year. All greens have been moderately enlarged, restoring lost hole locations. These changes 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 can now enjoy exclusive access to these beautiful 18 holes set in the East Bay hills. 

Next up

On the Tee

Tees have been rebuilt, laser-leveled and reshaped into a more informal and natural style and sodded to a new Bermuda grass surface. Most holes now 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  add length to the back tees and an additional set of forward tees have been added, often seamlessly incorporated into the fairway in the same height of cut.

The Fluff

Bunker City

All bunkers have been rebuilt. Many are in the same location, some have been shifted to nearby locations and select bunkers have been removed. A number have been restored to original locations, lending a historic character to the new design. Our bunker work included reshaping of all bunkers and their surrounding turf area to better blend into the natural landforms. These modifications align the course more to its highly praised historic model. Ingress and egress have been improved significantly, with the front of the bunkers just a slight drop from the entry. Proper drainage has been 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 have been added to selected areas adjacent to greens, highlighting the design features of the ground and the interesting contours around greens. These are in the same bent grass as the new greens, and will be kept at a low height. Many continue through and tie-into the next tees to provide a seamless walking experience and flow from green to tee. Multiple short-game options are possible with this feature and improved surface, including putting, bump and runs, pitches and flop shots. Consequently, greater playability has been realized as well.

A better approach

Fairways & Roughs

Fairways have been widened to increase strategic play, such as favoring one side of the fairway to gain an advantage into the green. This also adds necessary playability and improves the aesthetics throughout the course. Existing grasses were removed from all fairways and replaced with new hybrid Bermuda grasses that provide more density and better lies. The rough grass was grown in with “sprigs” and in a different variety of Bermuda grass than the fairways, offering a different texture and color, and is 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 have been fitted to reflect new bunker locations, and “tie in” to new green approaches.

Scenery

Fescue Grassland

As part of the club’s well-known plan to reduce water use into the future, many acres of manicured turf have been 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 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

Select tree removal is an absolute necessity for a number of reasons, but most notably agronomic. Sun and air flow are particularly vital to turf health and the overall conditions and aesthetic of the course. Trees have already been removed if diseased, dead or dying. New trees have been added in the landscape zones where appropriate. Some were introduced during the project, and others will be added over time, after establishment of the new turf. New tree species focus on what is native or well adapted to the site and region. Oaks are 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 maximized improvements to the existing practice areas and improved the existing facility in many ways. The tees have been expanded to their maximum width to increase hitting areas and shifted back approximately 10-15 yards, adding depth. The greens have been rebuilt to be more representative of those on the course, including bunkering to match the course. The upper chipping green has been expanded greatly. This allows shots that more closely replicate those on the course, and allows more golfers to use the area at one time. The practice tee on Hole 18 was expanded to more than three times its former size.

THE TEAM

Keeping It Real

The incredible Diablo groundskeepers are out early every day, helping to finalize construction and ensuring that the grow in goes according to plan. They’re polishing the new jewel because first impressions only happen once.