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SPORTS WEEKEND | Southland Focus

June 27, 1997|MIKE JAMES, 11 handicap

A weekly look at golf courses open to the public in Southern California.

DIAMOND BAR GOLF COURSE

Address: 22751 East Golden Springs Drive, Diamond Bar.

Green fees: $19-23.

Phone: (909) 861-8282 or (818) 964-0300.

Tee Times: One week in advance.

The facility: The course has tree-lined fairways, some hilly terrain, substantial length (particularly considering how the kikuyu grass reduces roll), and several challenging holes that require thought and precise shotmaking. But it practically sits on the shoulder of the Pomona Freeway, and the noise hovers like search helicopters overhead that refuse to give up a chase.

The good: Strong finishing holes to each nine. No. 8 is a 90-degree dogleg left, with at least a long iron second shot over a creek and through an opening in the trees. No. 9 is a long, uphill par three over water. The 18th hole is probably the toughest on the course, demanding a big tee shot and a second shot that carries to an elevated green. Par is an excellent score on any of those holes.

The bad: Very erratic conditions, course sometimes floods during heavy winter rains, poorly maintained sand traps. Noise.

The score: Ahhh, the subtle sounds that make golf special. The ping of a well-struck drive, the rattle of a 15-foot putt curling into the cup, the roar of an 18-wheeler downshifting at 55 mph. If this course were in a quiet setting, its challenging layout would be an attraction; if it were in better condition, that layout might be strong enough to offset the din from the freeway; if the bunkers were tended more diligently, there's enough sand in most of them to play a real sand shot. But as it is. . . .

Overall rating: One ball.

* One ball: No-frills golf.

** Two balls: Worth an occasional round.

*** Three balls: Like shooting four strokes under your handicap.

**** Four balls: Where the golf gods play.

*--*

Hole Back Tees Middle Tees Par Front Tees 1 476 449 5/4 365 2 387 382 4 324 3 191 180 3 119 4 559 552 5 538 5 338 365 4 354 6 480 416 4/5 412 7 391 374 4 346 8 420 399 4 368 9 188 161 3 142 Out 1,470 3,268 36 2,968 10 345 344 4 320 11 424 410 4 350 12 530 518 5 487 13 197 181 3 163 14 354 343 4 332 15 486 476 5 463 16 414 401 4 397 17 150 140 3 123 18 440 404 4/5 406 In 3,340 3,207 36/37 3,041 Total 6,810 6,475 72/73 6,009

*--*

Rating/Slope Back--72.8/125, Middle--70.4/119, Front--73.9/122

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