Pin Hunting: Cripple Creek Golf & Country Club
Winding through a peaceful housing community just off of Route 26, a few minutes outside of Bethany Beach, Cripple Creek Golf & Country Club brings golfers along the backwaters of the Indian River Bay and Holts Landing State Park.
The private course has been recognized as one of the most pristine courses in the state, playing host to a number of tournaments and events throughout the year and serving as the home links to Indian River High School’s varsity golf team.
“One of the most common things we hear about our course is that the conditioning is fantastic,” noted Brian Trout, Cripple Creek Golf’s general manager and PGA professional. “The maintenance is incredible, and the greens are kept very well. They run quick here, but people enjoy the challenge.”
In 2005, the club hosted the Delaware Open Championship, presented by the Delaware State Golf Association (DSGA), and it has since been the site for tournaments including the 2009 Men’s and Women’s State Amateur Championships, the Beebe Medical Progress for Prostate Tournament and a variety of other amateur and junior competitions.
Cripple Creek plays a formidable 6,667 yards from the back tees, giving golfers an open front nine along the bay, which quickly tightens up amid the trees on the back nine.
“But there’s plenty of water to contend with, wherever you are on the course,” Trout noted.
One of the most appealing aspects of the course is its playability while maintaining a new experience each time.
“It’s not one of those courses that’s going to beat you up,” said Trout. “People enjoy coming back out because you can play the course over and over and over again, and it’s going to play differently each time. The wind coming off the bay can turn a short hole into a challenging par-3. But people enjoy it every time they’re out here. It’s definitely a fun course to play.”
While Hole No. 4 — a classic par-3 with a green surrounded by a pond to the left, wetlands to the right and Indian River to the back — provides guests with one of the most classic and scenic views on the course, it’s not their most infamous. That reputation would belong to Hole No. 8, a grueling par-5 that requires both accuracy and discipline.
“Hole No. 8 is definitely our most talked-about hole,” said Trout. “It’s our most intimidating one out there. You’ll definitely be tested on this one.”
At just over 600 yards, Hole No. 8 is the longest at Cripple Creek. Water to the right, running the length of the hole, and a boundary marked by trees to the left demand a careful approach. Golfers are forced to cross over water again before landing on a tricky sloping green, all of which makes this one the signature hole at Cripple Creek.
For more information about Cripple Creek Golf and Country Club, including membership information, visit www.cripplecreekgolf.com or call the club house at (302) 539-1446.