|Review by: Reed H. Galinac
||Having grown up about a driver and a wedge from DH (two generations of my family are buried across the street from No. 11), I can tell you that DH is the area's greatest golfing paradox. Here's a championship calibre layout (playing 7,000+ from the tips) of unlimited potential in a superb location...maintained and managed like Tin Cup's dusty driving range. Every time I play here I end up shaking my head in wonder -- like how a course of such high challenge and enjoyability can have such poorly manicured greens. They've NEVER been maintained in a manner befitting the course, and, according to my aching back after every round here, DH has to rank first in the area in unrepaired ball marks. (How can players who have access to such a beautiful course treat it like a beginner's par three?) As for amenities, the clubhouse complex was once the home of the Bethlehem Steel Management Club and hosted countless weddings, dances, etc. So with such ready-made facilities, one could only assume that in its 10-year history, the course has developed into a dining/event destination even for the non-golfing public, right? WRONG. This past August, my buddy and I made the turn at about 6:30 pm on a glorious 90 degree summer evening, only to find the bar shuttered and dark. Say what?
Despite its flaws, DH continues to be worth playing, especially when compared to over-rated, over-played West Shore courses like Armitage, which can't carry DH's bag. With the attention and management it deserves, DH would vie for billing as the area's best public course. I rated DH at 3 stars, though the layout itself is easily a 4. Sadly, the perennial condition of the greens precludes a 4-star rating.
If the new DH management asked me to write an HONEST tag line for their course, it might go something like this: "Play Dauphin Highlands -- A Great Course, Despite All Our Efforts to the Contrary." (Maybe that's why I'm not in advertising...)