El Diablo

Par 27

Level 3 from 811 – 1,486 yards

You can have a devil of a time playing the El Diablo course.  That’s probably why the Developers chose the Spanish name for Devil for this course!  It’s all par threes.  And like the Devil himself, this course has no forgiveness.  Having at least one par four on an executive course gives me a breather, helps me stretch out my swing with a driver and simply score better.  Here’s a Fun fact:  El Diablo is one of just eight Level 3 or 4 courses with all par threes.  Can you name some of the others? (Quiz Question 5) The course’s final shots spiral around a deceptively tempting lake of fire.  Or maybe that’s just the sound of the fountain spraying?  This devil analogy is getting in my head - but I was hellbent on playing it well - now it’s time to turn off the heat and play some Diablo golf!  


The most obvious feature of #1 is something that will become all too familiar during your round – mounds.  Two of them on either side of the green.  In this case, the mounds are helpful as they lure your shots toward the center of the green!  On #2 the mounds are on the left with sand on the right, but again this hole has a saving grace – the shot is short and the green is flat.  #3 is the first real challenge.  It's an uphill target shot.  I usually allow myself one mulligan per round, but I took two on the 3rd – Flip Wilson said it best - the devil made me do it!  At least I resisted any foot-wedgie temptations!  The tests continue on #4.  The pin is tucked in behind a fully frontal trap and the obligatory mounds on the left – you’ll need an exact drop shot and a careful putt as the green has a long valley running through the middle.  #5 gives you the first glimpse of the water and Diablo fountain.  The flat plateaued green looks like an altar, but there I go again with this religious imagery! #6 is seemingly the easiest playing around 100 yards with sand and the lake on the right and a beach scene on the left.  But these short shots always seem to be my un-doing – I tend to get too loose with my swing on shorter shots.  In this case, I get too Loooocifer!   I need to remind myself to just take a shorter backswing and fully swing through the shot. 


You'll stay in the hot zone on Diablo's 7th - the toughest hole of the day.   The stretched sand trap guards the elongated green is in my slice zone.  But the picture-perfect scene is deceptively attractive, especially near sunset - you just “Kant” look away. (see the picture above taken of the lake from the green at 7) The next hole, #8 is another short shot but this time the greatest challenge is the green.  The mounds are not alongside the green, they’re in the green itself.  A deviant groundskeeper could wreak havoc with the pin placement.  It's one of the 9 hardest greens in town.  After enduring all these tests, the 9th tee box is your final reward and path to redemption.  Take a moment looking around - the 360-degree view is incredible!  Then turn to the green.  Your final drive of the day will be upward like a shot out of the depths, appropriately toward heaven.  At the top, enjoy one last view around this one-of-a-kind course and know that you gave the devil his due - but shooting for heaven is the right way to prey (or even pray) on El Diablo!

Toughest to Easiest:  

7, 5, 3, 9, 8, 1, 6, 4, 2 – toughest green - 8

From the blacks!   

Playing from the blacks will add plenty of brimstone to the El Diablo fire.  Four holes play longer than 170 yards.  The 7th is nearly 200 over water.  It's a great way to exorcise!  

Go Green!

On holes #3, 7 and 9 you’ll be singing the praises of the course designers.  Those are three of the hardest Diablo shots and each is far simpler from the green tees. 

What’s nearby?

El Diablo’s sister course is named El Santiago – love this combination of the devil and the saint!  El Santiago is designed for beginners - shorter holes, no water, few traps, large flat greens and 8-inch cups that would fit a volleyball.  Try to play the saint before the devil - even if you are not a beginner, you can use this course to improve your game. A helpful technique is to use just a 7 iron and putter.  Focus on your cadence and consistency to shoot knock down shots instead of high-trajectory drops.  This type of practice round can pay dividends on The Devil!    

The view near the starter shack is heavenly! 

Don't be deceived!  The 7th is 175 yards of perfect temptation because the Devil wants to Be Right - don't do it!!

The terrain and undulations make El Diablo 8 one of the toughest greens in town.

My impressions are based on playing from the Gold tee boxes.  The Black and the Green tee boxes pose different challenges or benefits described as well.  The rankings of the toughest to easiest holes are just my opinions - yours will be far different, as will your favorite courses and most difficult and attractive holes.  I welcome your opinions or thoughts on any of this - click to leave a comment.