Course Architect(s): Arthur Hills and Steve Forrest
Year Opened: 2005
Location: Wilmington, Delaware
Slope: 140. Rating: 75.0
Par: 72
Yardage: 7,007
Hole-by-Hole: 1 - Par 4 417 Yds    10 - Par 5 582 Yds
                      2 - Par 4 382 Yds    11 - Par 4 444 Yds
                      3 - Par 5 593 Yds    12 - Par 4 314 Yds
                      4 - Par 3 243 Yds    13 - Par 3 190 Yds
                      5 - Par 4 400 Yds    14 - Par 4 375 Yds
                      6 - Par 4 491 Yds    15 - Par 5 550 Yds
                      7 - Par 3 221 Yds    16 - Par 4 392 Yds
                      8 - Par 5 515 Yds    17 - Par 3 183 Yds
                      9 - Par 4 343 Yds    18 - Par 4 372 Yds
                      Par 36  3,605 Yds     Par 36  3,402 Yds

Website: www.whiteclaycreekcc.com

HISTORY:  When  a course  is opened  for a  short period  of time, most expect
plenty  of growing pains. Not White Clay Creek at Delaware Park. Open for play
in  June of 2005,  WCC is already drawing rave reviews. "We asked Arthur Hills
and Steve Forrest to design a course that would complement and not disturb the
existing  natural  environment," said Bill  Fasy, COO for Delaware Park. "They
did a terrific job and the course has a very mature feel already."

Hills  and  Forrest have  crafted over  180 courses around  the world, such as
Collier's  Reserve in  Naples, Florida,  Oitavos  Golfe Quinta  da Marinha  in
Cascais, Portugal and The Links at Lighthouse Sound in Ocean City, Maryland.

Designing  the  WCC was not  that easy,  as the course  was built in the flood
plain  around  the meandering  tributaries of  White Clay  Creek. With that in
mind,  the opening  of the course was  delayed due to heavy rains which caused
flooding  in 2004.  The  added delay  however, enabled  Hills  and Forrest  to
address  some of the worst-case scenarios for drainage. "Because almost all of
the  golf  course was built in  the flood plain, to  get the permits we had to
design  all the tee and green sites seven feet above the creek banks," Forrest
explains. "That meant that all the green features are at least five feet above
the  flood  level, above the creek  banks. It was a fixed design consideration
for  us, but  one of which we took  good advantage. Any time you can create an
elevated  tee situation,  like we did throughout the White Clay Creek project,
it gives you a better, more compelling view of the target area and the overall
golf hole itself."

White  Clay Creek  features 48 bunkers and  water on 16 of the 18 holes. "Most
courses  are lucky  to  feature  a single  river  crossing,  maybe two,"  said
Forrest.  "We  were fortunate at  White Clay Creek  to incorporate four on the
back nine alone."

REVIEW:  Most courses,  especially of the public variety, start the player off
with a simple opening hole. This is not the case at White Clay Creek. Although
just  417 yards  from  the back  tees, this  straightaway  par four,  requires
pinpoint accuracy, not to mention plenty of skill. Despite a wide fairway, the
short  grass  is protected  by a single  bunker, located in  the center of the
landing  area, requiring a 185-yard carry. Driver, however is taken out of the
mix,  since  the fairway  ends abruptly at  the namesake of  the course, as it
meanders  throughout  the venue. Three-metal  down the  left side and a medium
iron  to the  green is the play.  The putting surface is quite long and slopes
from back to front and left to right, making club selection key to making par.

Another,   somewhat   benign  hole,  the  second,  is  quite  straightforward,
stretching  just  382 yards and devoid  of fairway sand. The objective on this
hole  is hitting  the fairway off the  tee. Tree-lined on both sides, your tee
shot must carry the creek to reach the landing area. Just slightly left of the
fairway  is deep rough,  which could result in a lost ball, while right of the
target is water. A short iron will remain to a green guarded on the left-front
by a deep trap. The putting surface stretches from right to left and is one of
the  smallest on the  course. A back-left pin could require an extra club, but
be careful, as anything long will make a difficult up and down.

Not only the longest hole on the course, but the third most difficult at White
Clay  Creek, the  third is a bear of  a dog-leg left par five. Don't be lulled
into  a false sense  of enjoyment, as you drive a couple of minutes to the tee
listening  to the  stables and the horses  from within. The drive alone to the
tee box is some 700 yards. Standing on the tee, you'll realize right away that
a  big drive  and second is a must.  Once again, left of the landing area will
present  problems, so  bail out right and leave yourself a longer second shot.
Your layup will need to be accurate, as a large lake guards the right side and
sand  and deep rough  flank the left. The green is slightly elevated and quite
receptive,  despite  its narrow features. Sand  guards the left and a chipping
area  gathers missed  shots to the right. The putting surface slopes from left
to  right and  features a ridge down  the left-center. A good hole to make par

All  you need to know on the fourth is that it's a whopping 243 yards from the
gold  tees.  The best play  might be to  just layup short  of the green in the
fairway  leading up to the putting surface. This can set up a short chip in an
effort to save par. If you feel bold, take out your three-metal and rip it. No
sand,  but mounding left and a grass bunker, short and right. The green is not
too  tricky, but a  back-right flag will require a driver to reach. Making par
on four will be an extraordinary feat!

Not  known  as a signature  hole at White  Clay Creek, the  fifth is one of my
favorites.  A sharp, dog-leg right, this hole is only 400 yards from the tips,
but requires a carry over a ravine, as it plays slightly uphill. The key is to
aim  at the  Delaware Park water tower  and cut it back towards the hole. Just
remember,  too much  right and  tall trees  will come  into play.  Two fairway
bunkers  down the  left side could catch  the long hitter who runs through the
fairway.  A short iron will remain to a green that's quite long and features a
deep trap, short and right of the putting surface. The slope of the green runs
from left to right and is quite slick.

You'll  know  if you chose the  right tees to play  when you get to the sixth.
Just  shy  of 500  yards, this  par four  is quite  spectacular and very, very
difficult. Your tee ball requires a 250-yard rip just to reach the fairway and
it  must  avoid the deep rough  and trees on  both sides. The creek wanders in
front of the fairway and down the right side to make things interesting and if
that  wasn't enough,  a 20-yard wide trap  looms in the center of the fairway,
reachable  from the  forward tees. Since the  hole is so long, three traps are
placed  strategically  down the fairway, some  50-75 yards short of the green,
while three additional bunkers surround the putting surface. For good measure,
the  green is  the longest on the front  nine and tilts from left to right. If
you  didn't figure it out already, this is the number one handicap hole on the

A  classic par three, the seventh is a beaute, stretching 221 yards. This hole
is  framed exquisitely by the trees beyond the green, not to mention the three
traps  guarding  the entrance to the  putting surface. This green is very long
and  slopes  from back to front  with a humpback  in the middle. Avoid the two
bunkers  on  either side  of the opening  portion of the  green and you should
walk away with par.

Waterloo  best describes  the par-five eighth hole. Four fingers of water from
White  Clay  Creek jut out  into this dogleg left,  as you attempt to traverse
this  gem.  The play off the  tee is down the  right side of the fairway, thus
avoiding the water, although bringing a pair of traps into play. Decision time
awaits  your  next shot.  Go for  the green with  a fairway  metal or layup in
between  two of the fingers of water. Most would layup, leaving a little wedge
to  a  fairly, descent sized green.  However, the aggressive play should be to
go  for the  green in two, as there  is plenty of room, short and right of the
green  to bail  out. Devoid of sand  at the green, a simple chip remains, thus
setting up birdie.

One  of  the easier  holes on  the course,  the ninth  is a  mere 343 yards in
length.  Not so  fast. Despite  an overly  wide fairway,  the landing  area is
guarded  entirely down  the right side by  the large lake that appeared on the
third hole. The key is to choose the correct club off the tee, setting up your
most  comfortable  distance to the  green. The difficulty  of the ninth is the
putting  surface, which is severely elevated and features a pair of traps just
left  of  center. Another tiny  green, the  most difficult pin is short-right,
which  will play havoc with any approach not struck cleanly. Even from the red
tees,  which are located near the third green, it requires a direct carry over
the lake to the fairway. A fun hole to complete the opening nine.

The  inward nine opens  with a lengthy par five, bending to the right with the
creek  running down the entire right side. Off the tee, avoid at all costs the
three  fairway bunkers down  the left side, not to mention the trees down both
sides  of the landing  area. Your next shot must carry over a tributary of the
creek  and either  play short of or  carry over the enormous fairway trap that
juts  out into  the landing zone. Your  approach shot is made difficult by the
narrowness  of the  green. Although quite long, the putting surface is only 10
paces  wide and  slopes  from  back to  front.  Distance  control can  produce
positive results.

Another  exciting hole on the course, the 11th is great dogleg right par four,
that  bends with the flow of White Clay Creek from tee to green. A strong fade
is  the  play off the tee,  as you carve  your first shot towards the fairway.
Don't be too greedy, as water looms large right and crosses the fairway closer
to the green. Your approach shot with a short to mid-iron must avoid the long,
greenside bunker on the left. The putting surface is quite long, making second
shots difficult to get close. A tough hole to birdie, let alone par.

If  the wind is  right and the conditions are firm, then the 12th could be the
most  exciting hole on the course. Just 314 yards in length, this par four can
be  reached with one precisely struck shot. However, certain key elements need
to be in place for this to occur. First of all, a nice breeze behind your back
for  starters.  Second,  a high,  solid  blast  with  a  driver to  carry  the
meandering  creek  that runs  down the right  side and in  front of the green.
Finally,  a little luck.  The sensible play, is an iron or fairway metal short
of the creek, leaving 100 yards to the smallest green on the back nine. Either
way, this is a definite birdie chance.

The par-three 13th can certainly be unlucky if your tee shot misses the green.
Three bunkers are featured prominently, short and left of the putting surface.
Second,  the green is very long and undulating and third, trees and White Clay
Creek flank the right side. To make matters worse, any shot long and left will
result  in bogey  or worse, as the slope  to the side of the green, repels all
balls toward the deep rough.

It's time to be aggressive in an effort to get one back, as you play the 14th.
Just  375 yards  is all that stands in  your way to make birdie. Lock and load
with  the big  stick as  you play  this slightly  downhill par  four. Just  be
mindful  of the  creek that  encompasses  the entire  right side  and the  two
fairway traps down the left. A short iron awaits to another slender green that
is  protected by a  pair of deep traps, short and left of the surface. Certain
pin positions can make this green quite tricky.

The  final four at White Clay Creek provide a stern test as you head for home.
First  up is the 550 yard, par five 15th. Doglegging sharply to the left, your
opening  shot requires a  sweeping draw from the back tee, cutting off as much
of the lake in front of you as possible. Going for the green in two is not the
prudent play, as the fairway and green are very narrow. With that in mind, the
proper shot would be to layup, short of the fairway bunker, leaving yourself a
nice  full wedge  to another narrow green. Complications could arise, as water
remains down the entire left side and out of bounds down the right.

What makes the 16th hole difficult is the importance of accuracy. To start off
with, water guards the left side of the landing area, jutting out right to the
edge  of  the fairway. Bailing  out right will only  result in a longer second
shot, or worse, an approach from the rough. Your second shot must carry across
two  fingers of water and deep rough en route to the green which is protected,
front-right by sand and left by, you guessed it, water. The putting surface is
again long and narrow, making your approach even more difficult.

The  final par three  on the course is certainly the most dramatic, with water
down  the entire  left side of the  hole. The raised mounding behind the green
makes  for great theatre,  as players come down the stretch and head for home.
With  the  wind up, this  can be  a three-to-four club  swing, as there are no
trees  to protect from  the elements. A mid to long iron should suffice to the
biggest  green  on the course,  at least  25 paces in  length. To err right is
human, to miss left is jail.

Last  and certainly  not least, the 18th hole epitomizes what White Clay Creek
is  all about,  accuracy and control. Although  the tee box area is wide open,
the landing area is very narrow, with trees both right and left and of course,
water  to cross. Just 372 yards from the back buttons, the finale at WCC still
requires  driver off the  tee to clear the creek and reach the landing area. A
flip  wedge will remain to a long, narrow green with sand on both sides of the
putting  surface. The slope  of the green is from back to front, so play below
the hole to set up your best shot at birdie, a great way to finish your round.

FINAL  WORD: It's  only a  matter of  time until  White Clay  Creek begins  to
receive  accolades  from around the golfing  community. The course is a first-
class  venue  complete  with  a  Golf Academy,  indoor  and  outdoor  practice
facilities,  an  exercise center and  a 40,000 square-foot clubhouse, complete
with  250-person  banquet room.  The factors  that make  this place unique are
numerous.  First  of all, this  course is for all  types of players. With five
sets  of tees,  ranging  from 4,827  yards  to  just over  7,000,  WCC is  for
beginners,  as well as  the best of players. Secondly, the track is spread out
over 230 acres, surrounding Delaware Park, the only thoroughbred race track in
the state. Next, White Clay Creek wanders throughout the course, playing havoc
on every hole. The conditioning of the course, even though opened only a short
period  of time,  is outstanding to say  the least. How about the flag sticks?
Sitting  on top of each flag pole is the club's signature jockey's helmet, the
"Cap."  Finally, it's public! Yes, everyone can play this course and the price
is  right. From  a low of $65 in  December to a high of $110 during the summer
months,  WCC  is most definitely affordable.  To play the course, players must
first  be a registered  member of the Delaware Park Player Rewards Club, at no
cost.  This  of course, is  one way of  enticing you play  at the track or the
slots  casino. Most courses  try to nickle and dime you, not White Clay Creek.
With  your green fee comes use of a golf cart, range balls and full use of the
locker  facilities, including  the fitness center and sauna. Racing from April
through  November,  slots every  day of  the year and  golf from March through
December, the bottom line, White Clay Creek is a winner.