The Golf Course at Sand Hollow Resort
Sand Hollow Resort is home to Utah’s #1 Public Golf Course. Award winning designer John Fought, drapes green grass across the native red sand perfectly blending with “Color Country’s” beauty.
At Sand Hollow Resort, think green, as in more grass than you’ve ever seen on a desert course. Designer John Fought clearly wants you to hit his fairways and greens. He does get a little cross, though, with those who don’t take advantage of his generosity. That’s why you also better think red, as in the deep orange red of the sand in the 90 or so vast and very deep bunkers that await shots that somehow stray from fairways and greens that are almost too big to miss. There’s also the red of the desert and the surrounding rocks, but at Sand Hollow there are no white out-of-bounds stakes. If you can find it, you can hit it.
The combination of red and green is not only stunningly beautiful–it makes a trip around Sand Hollow challenging, rewarding and, above all, enjoyable. My overall impression of the course is of bright waves of fairway, punctuated by bunkers, sweeping up and down the desert slopes to greens that are huge but not too severe. Every shot you hit rises against the mountains in the distance, or the massive red rocks and cliffs that dot the course, or simply the blue desert sky. A good example is number six, rated the number one handicap hole on the course. A dogleg left, the point where the sixth fairway turns is marked by a beautiful red boulder. Cut the corner by flying it if you can, or play right and look down from a hill top to a green guarded by bunkers on both sides. The flight of a well-struck second shot will be so enchanting that you’ll want to hit it again.
The front nine will make you smile, but eleven through fifteen on the back turn your smile into a thrill. Here is where red rock cliffs,(matched by the red sand bunkers) falling 200 feet to the Virgin River valley below, will make you stop and just breathe in the scenery. At the beginning of the round, the starter said, “Pace of play is approximately 4:40–faster on the front nine, slower on the back, giving you extra time to drink in the scenery.” Numbers 12, 13 and 14 play along the cliff, uphill and then back down, bring visual drama into every shot. But the real payoff is number 15, a breathtaking 160-yard downhill par three that inspires awe as your ball seems to hang in the air forever, before falling onto the emerald green.
You may think that no out of bounds, not a single tree, wide fairways–and no water–would make Sand Hollow a bit of pushover. Guess again. The cunningly placed and deep faced bunkers will take care of that notion, but it’s a challenge of the most enjoyable kind. And if you haven’t had enough fun after 18, Sand Hollow also offers an attractive, walkable nine-hole links style course and an 18-hole putting course called the Himalaya (yes, it’s that steep). The putting course alone may be worth the trip. This Championship Course’s hole #15 recently graced the cover of Golf Week Magazine “Best Courses” edition.
The Sand Hollow Resort golf course is a real bargain during the off season (mid-May through September 30)–only $50 including cart and range balls. Twilight fees are even less. The green fee doubles during peak season. High season is id=”mce_marker”00-id=”mce_marker”25
If you go:
435-656- golf (4653)
Coral Canyon Golf Club
Coral Canyon Golf Club, located in Washington UT, is just a few miles up the road from St. George. We are in a low lying desert and the design of this golf course truly reflects its environment. Coral Canyon has its share of drama–both the front and back nines begin on tees 75 to 100 feet above the fairway. These tee shots have hang time that would make an NFL punter proud. But the real strength of this course is its connection to its desert setting.
The challenge here is not only to keep your ball out of the desert that lines the fairways, but also to keep it out of the desert washes that cross the fairways. These washes are strategically placed to challenge your courage to carry them, especially if you haven’t hit your best tee shot. Don’t take these washes lightly. Not just sandy stream beds, they are filled with golfball-eating vegetation. On two of the par fives–two and fourteen–a weak drive will cause you to think long and hard about trying to carry the wash on your second shot. Hoping to avoid this dilemma, you may feel a little added pressure on the tees of these holes. But the most interesting use of these cross-fairway washes is on the 15th, an intimidating par four that requires you to carry washes on the drive and second shot. The hole is flat, so bushes may even interfere with your view of the green. Par is a really good score here.
Coral Canyon’s back nine is particularly interesting because it has 3 par threes, 3 par fours and 3 par fives. This may make things more enjoyable for the average golfer, since par threes and par fives are usually easier to play. Plus, they are usually the most interesting hole designs as well.
The service here is wonderful. Be sure to greet Jan, the outside services person, with a big smile when you arrive. They don’t get much friendlier or more helpful than Jan.
If you go:
Rates range from $48-id=”mce_marker”05 plus tax and range balls, depending on the season. You may reserve up to 60 days in advance
Accommodations: Mesquite, only 30 miles from St. George, has a couple casino hotels. We found a very nice two-bedroom condo in St George in Sports Village. The condo was clean and well equipped. The complex has a clubhouse, workout room, 3 swimming pools, hot tubs, racquetball, volleyball, tennis and other amenities. The rates are id=”mce_marker”20 per night in the high season, and id=”mce_marker”00 per night low season.Talk to the folks at www.fununderthesun.net about the four condos they have available in the complex.
There are many things to do in the St. George Area. You are 30 minutes from Nevada casinos and less than an hour from Zion National Park. In St. George you can visit the oldest Mormon Temple in the world and the winter home of Brigham Young, as well as St. George Dinosaur Discovery, where there are some of the best fossil footprints from the Jurassic period to be seen anywhere.