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The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Utah courses provide diverse golfing experiences

By Marco Villano

Most overrated: Thanksgiving Point

NBC commentator and Utah resident, Johnny Miller, designed a course in Lehi that gets a lot of praise for being a great one. The course is Thanksgiving Point, and the fact that it receives such graces every year is a joke.

Maybe my dislike of this course is because of my bias toward Miller and the fact that he’s the worst commentator on national television. More likely, it’s because of the triple-tiered greens in which the maintenance crew receives some sort of pleasure from putting the pins in absurd places. It should probably spend more time taking care of the course because it’s typically in mediocre shape. Supposedly being one of Utah’s “best courses,” it could probably do more to take care of it.
I will give it one thing, though. It is a tough S.O.B. from the tips. At 7,800 yards from the back tees, I felt the need to swing out of my shoes on every tee shot. With the length, Miller likely envisioned getting a PGA Tour event to make a stop there. Instead, he made a course that is unpleasant and over priced, thus securing a hold as my least favorite course in the state.

Most underrated

Ironically, the most underrated course in Utah is another Miller design8212;Stonebridge Golf Club.

I played this golf course for the first time this summer and was surprised that it was a really fun track. Before I had always assumed that it was a bad course because it’s in West Valley City, but props to it for being home to a gem.

Stonebridge features three separate par-9s, with each being at least 3,500 yards long. The course isn’t short, but length is the last thing to worry about when playing there. Water comes into play on just about every hole. If you aren’t hitting the ball straight, be ready to stop in the pro shop at the turn to buy some more nuggets.

Another reason I enjoyed this course so much is, there was nobody out there. My buddy and I played 18 holes in less than three hours, which makes the round so much more enjoyable.

Best bargain

Every season while working in the pro shop at Riverbend Golf Course, I hear customers complaining about the price of golf in Utah. This is always something that I am willing to debate with the customers because of the fact that about $40 is what they will pay at most courses in Utah. If they were to live in any other state, they would pay up to $80 for every round on a Utah-caliber track.

With this being said, the best bargain for golf in Utah is every course in Utah. Stop crying about prices going up for golf courses. It’s business. Although courses are doing things to please their customers, they are also trying to make money, which is something that everybody should understand.

Utah also offers a PGA passbook that has a ton of buy-one-get-one-free deals in it. The book costs $80 and pays for itself by offering four free rounds at great courses. Again, it proves Utah is home to the best golf deals in the country.

Most player friendly

There is more than one player-friendly course in Utah, but the top three are Glendale Golf Course, Murray Parkway Golf Course and Mountain View Golf Course.

Glendale is definitely a course in which anyone can have a career day. It’s flat, short and doesn’t have any holes that will really challenge players. They typically keep it in good shape and the greens are never too fast, something that the typical weekend golfer enjoys.

Murray Parkway and Mountain View are perhaps the easiest golf courses in the valley. They are a lot like Glendale in that they are flat, but they are much shorter and easier. Both Murray Parkway and Mountain View are listed as 6,800 yards from the blue tees but play more like 6,500 yards. There isn’t much to either of these courses, which makes for a fun day on the course.

If you are looking for courses to walk, these three would be my first choices. Not only does it save some money, but it’s always good to get in a little exercise.

Favorite Holes

Par 3: The best par 3 in the state is No. 5 at TalonsCove Golf Course in Saratoga Springs.

It doesn’t have anything funky like a lake in front of the green or hazards lining the hole. What is great about it is the length and the view. The hole is 250 yards long from the back tees and isn’t much shorter than the others. The tee is slightly elevated with players hitting toward a background of Utah Lake complemented with the Wasatch Mountains.

A sexy hole that will test golfers at the beginning of their round and can also be a good morale booster.

Par 5: Although this hole ate my lunch in the Salt Lake City Open, the first hole at Bonneville Golf Course is a great par 5.
Usually a short iron is all that is needed to reach this hole in two shots, but with early-morning wind coming from the east, the hole can be brutal. In the Open, the wind was blowing harder than I’ve ever seen on a golf course, and the hole turned into a real par 5.

Once players get to the green the fun really starts. If the green is rolling really fast, there is no way to make a putt if you are above the hole. The green is what really makes this hole, and it’s a fun way to begin a round.

Toughest greens

If putting on the side of a mountain is something that tickles your fancy, head on out to Bountiful Ridge Golf Course. I won’t see you there. The layout and conditions of the course are great. However, the problem is, the greens are so severely sloped, three putts should be expected.

I head to that course every year expecting to play better than the year before. What I always seem to forget is, many greens there have 15 feet of break, and most people are not that good at putting to make anything on them.

Not only do Bountiful Ridge’s greens have a lot of break on them, they are also ginormous. If you are on the opposite end of the green that the pin is on, you might as well pick up your ball and take a three putt.

On the ninth hole, I found myself on the bottom tier with a back pin. This green is triple-tiered and would be impossible to two putt, so I decided to chip on the green. Bad decision, but it’s just an example of the difficulty of these greens.

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