I've played DarkHorse three times as part of an annual tournament.
The first year we played (2004), it was definitely a top 100 course. The clubhouse facilities were not finished (still aren't), but the service and condition of the course were excellent. The greens were fast and true and the fairways were in great shape.
We played again in 2005 and 2006 and the condition of the course has deteriorated considerably. Both years, the fairways were spotted with bare patches and hardpan that had not previously been there and do not belong on the fairway. There were patches of dead grass and ground under repair on almost every hole. One should not be penalized for a well hit shot that lands on the fairway, just because the course has not been maintained properly. In 2005, the greens had recently been plugged, but even taking that into consideration, they were beaten up and unhealthy. 2006 saw the return of fabulous greens that rolled fast, but true.
Overall, this is one of the most well designed courses I have played; difficult, yet fair if you strike the ball well and play smart. However, the lack of course maintenance shows. I have played many municipal courses that are in better shape than DarkHorse.
Service was fair. The bar only serves beer and wine and the food is overpriced and substandard. I ordered a polish dog that included kraut (this was the only way to order it) before the 8th tee from the menu that popped up on the GPS computer. When I picked up my order, the bun was a soggy mess resulting from the cook not draining any liquid from the kraut before putting it on the dog. If you are going to have a kraut dog on your menu, you need to know how to serve it properly. The bar cart provided excellent service.
The lack of clubhouse facilities is disappointing. There is a sign posted in front of the clubhouse trailer showing an artist's rendition of the clubhouse that will be, printed on the sign in bold black letters: "coming next year." That sign has been there since 2004.
Overall DarkHorse is a wonderfully designed course, but poorly maintained. It is not worth the drive or the money.
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