Don't put the sticks away during the winter months! Here is a quick look at some great golf courses to play during the cold grey days of Utah's winter.
Our criteria in choosing which golf courses to highlight wasn't all that scientific. If it was within a day's drive and it had 18 championship caliber holes in the sun, it made the list. The biggest challenges you may face in getting to these fairway oases are time off of work and clearing the Beaver, Utah mountain pass; small problems to be sure. So, load the clubs, pack the shoes and head south, there are tee times waiting for you.
Moab Golf Course: You will need to consult the weather gurus to make sure, but for most of the winter months the Moab Golf Course is open and operating with 11:00 a.m. shotgun starts. The course is a great mix of holes with many fairways guarded by cottonwoods or junipers and others flanked by red sandstone cliffs.Phone: 435-259-6488 Web site: www.discovermoab.com/golfing.htm.
Red Rock Golf Trail St. George: The golf courses in southern Utah are known for their challenging designs, affordable green fees, and their spectacular scenic features. In fact, several of the top rated courses in Utah are found in the St. George area. The Red Rock Golf Trail is comprised of eight great courses within the St. George area. Web site: www.redrockgolftrail.com
Coral Canyon: Designed by Keith Foster, Coral Canyon features emerald fairways, 55 sand bunkers, two lakes and a labyrinth of dry washes among the scenic red rock outcroppings of Southern Utah. Coral Canyon was designed to fit seamlessly into its beautiful natural environment. The course works its way around some of the area's natural land formations that give the course its personality. Phone: 888-345-2550 Website: www.redrockgolftrail.com.
Entrada at Snow Canyon: Entrada keeps you on your toes throughout your round. The challenge of the desert, the water hazards and the undulating greens make par a good score. Beginning with the 15th hole you will stand in awe of the unique lava beauty. The 15th, 16th and 17th holes cut through a massive lava field and leave little room for error from tee to green. The 18th is a great finishing hole with the beauty of Snow Canyon as a backdrop. Phone: 888-345-2550 Website: www.redrockgolftrail.com.
Sunbrook: The crown jewel of St. George City owned golf courses features three distinct nines. The Pointe, Woodbridge and Black Rock nines will offer any golfer plenty of challenge and beauty. Elevated tees, island greens, lava lined fairways all await you at Sunbrook. Phone: 888-345-2550 Website: www.redrockgolftrail.com.
Sky Mountain: Located in Hurricane, Sky Mountain is one of the best values in the area. The course is very unique with its rolling fairways and tabletop greens framed by red sand and lava rocks. The golf course is a great reward for those willing to leave the beaten path. You will need all the clubs in your bag.
SunRiver: The southern-most golf course in the St. George area offers a refreshing combination of challenging desert golf with generous fairways and true greens. This golf course is a hit with locals and visitors alike. Phone: 888-345-2550 Website: www.redrockgolftrail.com.
Dixie Red Hills: With spectacular red rock setting and playability, this course has been a favorite of recreational golfers of all abilities. The layout is a classic nine-hole golf course with smooth greens and tree lined fairways. Phone: 888-345-2550 Website: www.redrockgolftrail.com
St. George Golf Club: This unique design winds its way through the Ft. Pearce wash. The course is one of the better layouts in the area and is perfect for those golfers who like to walk. The par-3s will provide plenty of challenge on this 18-hole championship course. Phone: 888-345-2550 Website: www.redrockgolftrail.com.
Southgate: One of the most player-friendly courses in southern Utah. For those looking for an enjoyable round of golf as opposed to a brutal test of your skills, Southgate Golf Club fits you to a tee.
Phone: 888-345-2550 Website: www.redrockgolftrail.com
MESQUITE, NEVADA COURSES
The Palms: The Palms immediately earned rave reviews when the William Hull design opened and to this day is rated as one of the finest courses in the Southwest. The more than 200 palm trees of various types give the course its name and their towering presence the course's unique signature. But The Palms is really two courses, the front and back nines providing golfers with dramatically different experiences. Phone: 866-720-7111 Web Site: www.golfmesquite.com.
CasaBlanca: Like a parkland course in the desert, the CasaBlanca Golf Club entices players with a beguiling array of options. This Cal Olson creation is designed to be challenging to the good player but not daunting for the high handicapper. Some short par fours invite gamblers to go for the green, wetlands and lakes define holes and their hazards, long par fives give everyone a chance for a birdie. Phone: 866-720-7111 Web Site: www.golfmesquite.com.
Falcon Ridge: The latest addition to the magnificent Mesquite collection of championship golf courses is the Falcon Ridge Golf Club. Set in the rugged hills above Mesquite, the course soars and dives in and around the canyons with the grace and beauty of its namesake. Falcon Ridge is that rare combination of pure simplicity, spectacular views and demanding golf holes. Phone: 866-720-7111 Web Site: www.golfmesquite.com.
Oasis: The rugged hills, bluffs and red-rock canyons above Mesquite provide one of the most dramatic settings in all of golf. Holes plummet off cliffs to ribbons of lush fairways that wind around bunkers, desert, lakes and even a waterfall. The companion Canyon course will consist of the original nine-hole Vistas course and an additional nine holes to open in 2005. Phone: 866-720-7111 Web Site: www.golfmesquite.com.
LAS VEGAS COURSES
Desert Pines: Designed by Perry Dye it is a replica of the great golf courses in the Carolinas. There are over 4,000 pine trees that line the fairways and water comes into play on nine of the 18 holes. The up scale daily-fee course, located just minutes from the strip, offers a private club atmosphere. Phone: 702-450-8000 or 888-397-2499 Web site: www.lvgg.com.
Royal Links: This course offers the best holes of the British Open rotation. This links style course designed by Dye International offers such challenges as the Road Hole, Hell Bunker and the Postage Stamp. Phone: 702-450-8000 or 888-397-2499 Web site: www.lvgg.com.
Bali Hai: This is the only golf course located right on the infamous Las Vegas Strip. The course has earned national recognition as one of the Top 40 Best Courses in America. Golfers are transported to a tropical paradise with thousands of towering palms, tropical plants and seven-acres of water features. Phone: 702-450-8000 or 888-397-2499 Web site: www.lvgg.com.
* Story courtesy the Utah State Golf Association's Fairways Magazine *