Diamond Run Golf Club
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Development of Diamond Run Golf Club began in 1992, backed by Hartley King of King’s Family Restaurants, Gary Sheffler of Sheffler Survey and Engineering, Dion McMullen of Londonbury Homes, and Tom Kniss of Kniss, Kletzi & Associates. After contacting top course designers from around the United States, the four developers, collectively known as Diamond Run Associates, chose to work with the Gary Player Group of West Palm Beach, Florida.
With Player, the winner of three Masters Tournaments and a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame, visiting the site and remaining personally involved throughout the design phase, Diamond Run received the Gary Player Signature Course designation. The construction of the course neared completion in late 1993 and early 1994, with real estate in the area developed to complement the course design. During construction, approximately 850,000 cubic yards of earth were moved to build the course, with 200,000 cubic yards alone moved on No. 16, the course’s signature Hole.
With an invitation-only crowd of about 400 on hand, the course officially opened on Wednesday, September 14, 1994, when Player joined local celebrities and golf enthusiasts to play the course’s baptismal round. Player shot an unofficial nine-under for the round, scoring 63 from the par 72 tees (currently the blue tees). According to an article by Pittsburgh Post-Gazette sports writer Gerry Dulac, “The round wasn’t official because he played other players’ shots on a few holes.”
In May 2001, the Pittsburgh Business Times ranked Diamond Run Golf Course No. 10 on its list of “25 Most Difficult Courses in Western Pennsylvania” based on slope. While it does present a stiff challenge if played from the black championship tees with the rough grown in, the course was designed with five sets of tees of varying lengths to increase playability for all skill levels. Despite its location in hilly Western Pennsylvania, the course truly plays into the hills only three times: No. 12 plays uphill, with a 70-foot elevation increase from tee to green (the same uphill slope as No. 8 at Augusta National in Georgia), while Nos. 9 and 14, both par 5, play downhill.
Diamond Run Golf Club is planning for future successes that will embrace and surpass those of the past.