Discovery Bay Golf Club - Diamond & Ruby Course

Course Data
Location Hong Kong
Yardage 6673 yards Par 72
Course Rating 73.4
Playing Date 23 Jun 2007
Designer Robert Trent Jones Jr.
Opened 1983
Caddie No
Golf Cart Yes
Overall Rating
Course Layout
Difficulty Level
Greens Condition
Fairways Condition
Landscaping & Views

This is a challenging course located on a hill along the coastline of Landau Island. well designed on difficult terrain, provides a superb view of mountains and the ocean. The course offers a 360-dgree panoramic view in which one can enjoy breath-taking views of Lantau Peak cliff on the mountain side and Kowloon, Hong Kong Island & Disney Land over the bay on the ocean side. You never get tired of the layout, as it offers new challenges each time you play. The harder the winds blow, the more difficult it is to select a right club. There are three distinct 9 holes, Diamond, Ruby & Jade. Diamond & Ruby is a tournament course and the Diamond Course is the most distinguished among them.

A view

A view seen from the 7th tee

A view seen from the 12th green

A view seen from the 12th green

16th green & Disney Land

1st Par 4 369 yards

1st Par 4 369 yards (2)

1st Par 4 369 yards (1)
A right dogleg, an uphill hole. The tee shot is over a ravine onto a narrow landing area with bush on both sides. The green is shallow but wide. If the tee shot is successful, the second shot isn’t difficult. Just be careful of hitting short of the green as the approach shot is to be hit from a steep uphill lie.
2nd  Par 3 159 yards

2nd green seen from the side

2nd Par 3 159 yards
The hole drops down 15 yards from tee to green. The distance is short and looks deceptively easy. But the club selection from PW to middle irons is very important on this hole because the wind shift frequently. If the flag position is on the left, this hole becomes difficult. There is only 20 yards from the deep bunker in front of the green to the OB line at the back of the green.
3rd  Par 4 419 yards
A challenging hole, uphill for the first shot and slightly downhill for the second. On the second, you need middle irons or fairway woods to aim at the double tire green which is 20 yards deep by 50 yards wide. It also has a big slope from right to left. If the flag position is on the left, a pond in front of the green intimidates you and if it is on the right, where green becomes elevated, you need to hit a high ball and stop it.

3rd Par 4 419 yards (3)

3rd Par 4 419 yards (2)

3rd Par 4 419 yards (1)
5th  Par 4 383 yards

5th Par 4 383 yards (2)

5th Par 4 383 yards (1)
A short downhill but difficult par 4. There are hazards on the right side from the tee to the green. Although the hole is beautiful, it is very tight and accuracy is a must for the first as well as the second shots. Two big bunkers, one on the fairway bunker and the other at green side, and a pond, 90 yards from the green, are nicely arranged.
7th Par 4 423 yards
A very tight fairway for this hole, too. The right side of the fairway faces a cliff. If you hit to the left side, the rough with steep slope tends to catch your ball, which makes the second shot very difficult. The green is elevated, 50 yards in width, and undulated from the left to the right, so it will be nervous putting if the ball is far from the pin. If the pin in on the right side, this hole becomes extremely difficult. The reason is that the green depth is only 20 yards and if your second shot is short, a chest-deep bunker waits for the ball. If you are over the green, the ball rolls down a steep slope, which makes it difficult to t save par. There is a great see view on the right side from the tee.

7th green seen from the side

7th Par 4 423 yards (2)

7th Par 4 423 yards (1)
10th Par 4 364 yards

10th Par 4 364 yards (2)

10th Par 4 364 yards (1)
A dogleg to the left, a strong uphill. Although it is a short par 4, it is demanding as the holes climb and the narrow fairway is guarded by a ravine on the left and 2 bunkers and trees on the right. The longer drive is, the tighter landing area becomes. It best suits a right to left shot from the bunkers off the tee. The green is highly elevated and you can’t see the green face from the second shot area. When your shot is short of the green, the ball will roll down a steep slope to the fairway or be found in one of 2 bunkers in front of the green, and a chip shot from either place isn’t easy.
11th Par 3 187 yards

11th Par 3 187 yards (2)

11th Par 3 187 yards (1)
A par 3 over a ravine. The green is wide and slopes strongly from back to front. A bunker on the left, another bunker in the front or the ravine on the right will come into to play depending on the pin position. If the pin is cut on the far right end , one must play against a strong wind, you are tested not only to find the right club selection but also to exercise the course management whether to aim at the pin or safely the center of the green.
12th Par 5 517 yards
A dynamic downhill par 5. It is not a well designed hole (not the original hole of Robert Trent Jr.) but you feel a great rush hitting a driver toward Hong Kong’s high-rise buildings that can be seen across the ocean. Because it is downhill, you may hit the green in two thanks to the short distance. However, the fairway and the green are extremely narrow with OB to the left and bushes or the bottom of the steep slope of the elevated green to the right. The green is egg shaped, 40 yards in depth and the width is only from 18 to 23 yards. A misplaced approach shot, for example 15 yards off from the center of the green, will penalize you as OB or a ball down the steep slope. So, you need to make a good decision to aim at the green in two or lay up. Even though you lay up, the landing area of your second shot is not so big and the third shot to the green is also difficult.

12th Par 5 517 yards (3)

12th Par 5 517 yards (2)

12th Par 5 517 yards (1)
18th Par 5 536 yards

18th hole seen from the green
A slightly dogleg to the left, a great par 5. A cliff on the right side runs from the tee into the green. When you hit the tee shot, you need to be careful of OB to your left, too. It is a slightly uphill for the second shot. Fairway bunkers on both sides off the tee and a large fairway bunkers on the left, when you lay up, on the second shot come into play. This finishing hole not only has style but the view is excellent. Especially when you play at sunset, you can enjoy a fantastic atmosphere.

18th green seen from the side

18th Par 5 536 yards (2)

18th Par 5 536 yards (1)

Jade Course

A view from the 6th hole

A local pro, not Robert Trent Jones Jr., designed the 7 holes excluding the 1st & 9th hole. I feel some holes from the 2nd to 8th are forcibly built on unfavorable terrain. Some holes are not fair since you can’t see the landing areas from the tee shot. On the other hand, Picturesque views seen from the 5th green and the 6th hole are impressive. Although a couple of holes in the Jade Course are impressive, my rating of the Diamond & Jade Course is 4.05 and one of the Ruby & Jade Course is 3.85 compared to 4.40 of the Diamond & Ruby Course mainly because of relatively poorer layout of the Jade Course.

1st  Par 5 545 yards
A double dogleg, difficult hole. Initially the hole doglegs to the left followed by another one to the right. You need to hit 3 good shots to get a birdie on this great par 5, or you end up easily with a par or a bogey.

1st Par 5 545 yards (3)

1st Par 5 545 yards (2)

1st Par 5 545 yards (1)
2nd Par 4 427 yards

2nd Par 4 427 yards (2)

2nd Par 4 427 yards (1)
A dogleg to the right, a tough hole. The landing area on a slightly downhill tee shot is narrow with trees on both sides. It is regrettable that the left side of the fairway is blocked from the tee by a hump protruding into from the left side. The second shot is a slight uphill. This is the hole where accuracy and distance are required off the tee.
3rd Par 3 182 yards

3rd Par 3 182 yards
A downhill par 3 with the right half of the green bordering water. The green slopes from back to front and is guarded by a bunker on the left. Although it is a good hole, you can’t see the left edge of the green and the left bunker, which is a demerit.
9th Par 4 428 yards

9th Par 4 428 yards (2)

9th Par 4 428 yards (1)
A dogleg to the right, a downhill hole. An OB on the right and trees & water on the left come into play off the tee, requiring an accurate tee shot. The second shot is also demanding as you hit from a downhill like to a slightly elevated, narrow green with the water on left, a creek in the front and a bunker on the right.
19th hole

My home course and it takes only 10 minutes from my house to go to the golf course by a golf cart. This picture from the 18th tee is the residential area of Discovery Bay. Around 20,000 people live in this area and it is said that Discovery Bay has the biggest green per population in the residential areas of Hong Kong. To protect the environment, private cars are not allowed. The transportation is limited to buses, taxis and golf carts.

Discovery Bay seen from 18th tee

Menbers's Lounge

Swimming pool

In principle, visitors are not allowed to play on weekends but can play on weekdays. To get to the course, you need take a 30-minute ride on a ferry from a pier in the Central district of Hong Kong. At the Discovery bay end, a club bus will bring you to the golf club within 10 minutes. To use a ferry to get to a golf course is a unique way of traveling, characteristic of the Hong Kong that is famous for its harbors. Direct buses, 30 minute ride, from airport to Discovery Bay are available, too.

The other Robert Trent Jones Jr. designed courses in China are Spring City (春城) G&LR – Lake Course, Sunshine (陽光)GC, Shanghai International (上海國際) CC, Harbour Plaza (東筦海逸) GC, Trans Strait (海峡奥林匹克) GC and Yalong Bay (亞龍灣) GC.