This is the most bizarre course in pro tournament golf

March 29, 2019

For those golf fans understandably caught up in this week’s WGC-Match Play, you just might be missing the most bizarre course in tournament golf. This week’s European Tour event, the Hero Indian Open, is played on an uber-modern design that pops off the television screen. Here’s what you need to know about the course.

The History

DLF Golf and Country Club opened in 1999 with an Arnold Palmer-designed course. There were plenty of modern amenities that came with the course, including an official golf academy and an option for floodlit night golf. The course went on to host many of India’s flagship events, including the Johnnie Walker Classic, the Women’s Indian Open, the Indian Open and the Avantha Masters.

But the resort’s second golf course was intended to outshine the first. In 2015, Gary Player’s design firm opened a new 18-hole signature design, a 7654-yard, par 72 designed for big-time tournament play. It incorporated some of the old Palmer holes and added, well, a lot of everything, making it arguably the most bizarre course in pro golf.

 

The features

Features. Lots of ’em. What kind? Let’s take a walk-through. We’ve got waterfalls:

There are plenty of lakes, including one that houses the island green at the par-3 5th:

The par-3 5th at the Hero Indian Open is surrounded by water.
DLF Golf and Country Club

Cityscape views:

And that’s without even mentioning the two most notable features: the “quarry” and the bunkers. Each deserves its own section.

The bunkers

Chances are, you’ve never seen bunkers pop quite like these. That’s because they’re lined with geotextile bunker faces that allow the walls to rise essentially straight up out of the sand. Those are some steep lips! In addition to the aesthetic, these walls ideally require less maintenance than more traditional bunkering.

That unique look comes from the ridging on the walls, which can be seen more clearly from close up.

Oh, and some of these things are really high!

The quarry

DLF is comprised of two extremely distinct sides: The “Lake Nine” and the “Quarry Nine.” They’re aptly named. The front nine works its way through a series of lakes, including the island green at No. 5. But it’s the back nine that is particularly eye-catching.

Rather than a typical quarry, which is a land feature formed from the process of stone extraction, this one was built from the ground up. Thousands and thousands of individual boulders were brought in and stacked, one on top of the next, to produce something you’ve really never seen before.

“Spot the pin” is right. This thing looks like a Golden Tee hole! But it’s undeniably dramatic. Bernd Wiesberger posted a video from his practice round.

This anti-minimalist design turns plenty of heads, though it may not be everyone’s cup of tea. We’ll give the last word to Eddie Pepperell.