River Oaks worst course in Utah

By By Marco Villano, Staff Writer

By Marco Villano, Staff Writer

A course that I grew up on and have always been a big fan of suddenly became a drag to play this summer. The course is River Oaks, and it gets my vote for worst course of the summer.

I remember playing the course in high school meets and loving every moment of it. The fairways and greens were always lush, never dry. It was a great course for anyone to play a few years ago because of its length and quality. What the hell happened?

This summer I played in two tournaments at River Oaks and contemplated walking off in both of them. The greens were in horrible shape, bumpy, brown and unreceptive. Imagine hitting a golf shot onto a parking lot and expecting it to stop. Then imagine having to putt on ice after a hockey game. Not a good combination when searching for red numbers.

In both tournaments, my playing partners were employees at the golf course and damn good golfers. They said they never play the course unless they have to for two reasons: the condition and the layout from the black tees. The course has some funky holes when playing the tips, and if players don’t have course knowledge, they will be guessing on a lot of shots.

The worst hole on the course is easily No. 10. From the tips, it’s almost impossible to know what to hit on that hole, and the driver has to be left in the bag. The two employees who were in my group hit the ball a mile. They both hit monster three irons at a big tree at the corner and came up short in the hazard. Then they re-teed and drove through the fairway into another hazard, an unfair hole that penalizes the big hitters.

Over the years, I have become longer off the tee, which might be another reason why I’m starting to dislike River Oaks. A 300-yard drive isn’t always good at this course because half the holes are short and narrow near the landing area. A hole on which you have to hit iron off the tee isn’t a bad thing, but having it on every other hole gets lame.

It was a sad time for golfers this summer when this course went to crap. The annual amateur tournament is usually a blast. However, when a course isn’t maintained, the last thing players want to do is play it competitively.

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Putting on the greens at River Oaks is like putting on a parking lot, making Utah?s worst golf course.