Golf course fits Utahns to a T

By By Marco Villano

By Marco Villano

Built in 1991 through the marshes of Salt Lake City, Wingpointe Golf Course is reminiscent of a European links-style golf.

A course in which trees aren’t a factor, Wingpointe features native grass and water that give players second thoughts about pulling out their driver on many holes.

The first things you’ll notice when pulling up to the golf course are the airplanes that are practically flying on top of you. With their loud jet engines only a couple hundred feet above, you would think that this would be a major distraction, but once you stand over your ball and peer down the narrow fairways, the sound of the planes is the last thing on your mind.

Most holes feature a half-pipe shape. The hitting fairways are key components to scoring well at Wingpointe. If players find themselves in the rough, they will be guaranteed an uneven lie, which can be brutal when approaching the greens. The putting surfaces are surrounded by bunkers, mounds or water-a classic component to links-style golf, making the golfer think about attacking or just playing it safe with a shot to the middle of the green.

With the addition of wind that typically howls out in the flats of Salt Lake City, this course will surrender many high scores and devour a few bucks’ worth of golf balls.

The whole course will pose a problem for the average golfer, but the holes that can really freak a player out are holes No. 3, 4, 8, 12 and 14. Holes three and four introduce a lake that bothers the tee shot for both holes.

No. 3 is a dog-leg left par 4 that calls for both a demanding tee and approach shot. The angle from the back tees will test a player’s will, because with a lake on the left and difficult pot mounds on the right, a straight tee shot is an absolute necessity.

No. 4 is a par 3 that plays completely over water. With a front pin location, players will typically bail out to the right where there are mounds that penalize those who are afraid of the water.

No. 8 is also a par 3 that plays over water, but is much shorter than hole No. 4. This hole is more difficult because there isn’t much room for error on this tight little par 3 and when the north wind kicks up, it’s vicious.

No. 12 is a long par 4 in which the proverbial risk-reward shot comes into play. It’s a dog-leg right that dares players into cutting off some of the hole by taking it over the corner with a slice shot. The native grass and bunkers will shy most players away from taking this risk, but it’s a fun hole that will make you, as a golfer, think.

No. 14 is a par 5 that is lined with what used to be a water-filled lake. The dry lake bed can still cause troubles for most-how many amateur golfers can hit off of cement? Not many. Although the hole plays just 540 yards from the tips, it’s not a wise choice to go for the green in two, unless the hole is playing downwind, because the lake cuts in front of the green, which will lead to an impossible green-side dry-lake bunker shot.

Wingpointe is home to a couple of Utah Golf Association tournaments during the summer. Both will draw large playing fields.

The first tournament that Wingpointe hosts is the Wingpointe Amateur, which will take place on Sunday. The Amatuer will draw many locals who play the course on a regular basis and possibly a few avid Utah amateurs’ tournament junkies.

It’s a fun prep tournament for the big one that is played in August: the Burton Lumber Salt Lake City Open. The Open is played between two courses: Wingpointe and Bonneville golf course, and is a tournament for the best amateurs who are looking to top the Player Performance Rankings. With this being the last PPR tournament of the season, the best of the best will be competing for the coveted honor of best amateur in the state of Utah.

Wingpointe is a fun course for golfers of all levels. If the wind is blowing, it can be extremely challenging, but with smooth greens, a European feel, and great views, most would have a nice round at one of Utah’s top municipal courses.

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Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation

Wingpointe Golf Course, located by the Salt Lake International airport, offers golfers a European links-style of golf.