WASHINGTON, Utah -- Accuracy is the name of the game when players tackle Coral Canyon Golf Course just outside of St. George, Utah, a two-hour drive north of Las Vegas. The Keith Foster design provides 18 holes of exquisite golf challenges and scenic beauty -- all rolled into a lush paradise.
And as players step to the first tee and admire a 50-foot drop to the first fairway, they must realize they're in the scoring zone right away. Coral Canyon Golf Course opens with two great, par-5 birdie chances. The first hole, a 525-yard test from an elevated tee, typifies an outing at Coral Canyon. The extra-wide fairway is inviting, and big hitters can get home in two by avoiding huge bunkers left and right of the green.
But other holes stand out to players looking for great scoring chances -- if they take advantage of risk-reward opportunities.
To Myatt Green, head professional at Coral Canyon Golf Course, two drivable par 4s, the fifth and eighth holes, stand out.
"Both really require players to hit the driver very straight," Green said, "but both add excitement to the round -- especially if players go for it. It's definitely risk-reward, but it's a lot of fun if you're putting for eagle."
On the other end of the length spectrum sits the par-3 13th. Stretching to a gut-wrenching 229 yards from the tips -- the golf course reaches 7,029 yards, so bring your "A" game if you go all the way back -- this one requires length and pinpoint accuracy. Desert to left and a huge bunker to the right catch errant shots and make up and down a tough task.
"We really feel like it's one of the better courses in the area, and the layout is great," Green said. "It's just a great golf course that offers great views and is surrounded by national parks. It's a great setting."
One of the most discussed holes is Coral Canyon Golf Course's par-3 sixth. Playing just 122 yards, this one looks easy. But a couple bunkers, a cliff that guards the front of the green and a rocky hillside behind make it essential to pick the right club. Birdie is possible, but there have been plenty of "others" penciled on scorecards, leaving players to shake their heads as they head to the seventh tee.
Putting for dough at Coral Canyon Golf Course
The greens at Coral Canyon Golf Course are huge. Just reaching greens in regulation does not ensure a two-putt. Take the par-4 ninth, for example. The hole plays 433 yards from the tips and doglegs left around a desert area. But on the green, players will find the big test -- big, as in it's about 150 feet from the front-left corner to the back right. Yes, that's 50 yards of green. Like we said, two putts on most of these greens are a good thing.
"You really have to be on with your irons to score well," Green added. "You don't really want to have long putts on these greens all day."
But, to be fair, the greens offer a wonderful putting surface, just not from the 150-foot range.
Coral Canyon Golf Course's practice area
Like the golf course, the practice area is large. Players can spread out to warm up. Make sure to hit a couple practice putts on the putting green -- and be sure to try something from long range; you'll be glad you did.
Coral Canyon Golf Club: The verdict
Elevation changes, lush conditioning, a great staff and true shot-making chances equate to a must-play golf course. Add a well-appointed clubhouse and fine dining, and you've got a round of golf you won't soon forget.
"We're really proud of the course," Green said. "It's one players come back to play a lot, so we take a lot of pride in that."
Golf Mesquite Nevada
Coral Canyon is part of Golf Mesquite Nevada, which also includes Oasis Golf Club, CasaBlanca Golf Course, Coyote Springs Golf Club, Conestoga Golf Club, Sand Hollow Golf Course, Falcon Ridge Golf Course and Palms Golf Club. It's a golf group that will appeal to all players, with golf packages available for one-day outings to weeklong stay and plays.
Also in the area
Love the outdoors and want a break from golf? This is the spot for you. The natural wonders of Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park and the north rim of the Grand Canyon all await nearby and offer more amazing scenery.