South Mountain Golf Club
Designed by PGA Championship and US Open winner David Graham and amateur title holder Gary Panks, South Mountain Golf Course is one of the newer golf courses in the Salt lake area. It was built several years ago as an upper scale private golf course by Crown Golf Properties. It has since been sold to Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation and is one of premier courses owned and managed by them. Since the change in ownership a few of the amenities have been eliminated (e.g. bag attendants), but the green fees have been lowered and the course is still in excellent condition.
From the moment you drive up Rambling Road and catch a few glimpses of several holes on the back 9, you get the feeling that you are in for a great golf experience. Upon arriving at the parking lot you can pull up to the bag drop off area to unload your clubs.
The clubhouse is beautiful and well stocked with all your golf equipment and clothing needs in the pro shop. One half on the main floor is a restaurant with set tables and huge windows providing a view of the course and valley below.
After checking in and paying, take your receipt down to the waiting cart where an attendant will direct you to the practice area or the first tee. If you have paid for some range balls the attendant will provide them.
There are two reasons to show up early and practice. First is that the course is tough and it is important that you are warmed up before teeing off. The second reason is that the driving range and adjacent practice facility are some of the best you will ever see. There is a cart parking area in the center that is surrounded by several putting and chipping areas that are in perfect condition. To the right is the driving range with real greens for targets. The practice area also contains more club and ball cleaning devices than most golf courses.
The course's holes have been built out and back across the mountainside. A lot of expense went into the cart paths, bridges, tunnels and rock work that take golfers between holes. Because of the long distances and elevation changes between greens and tees it would be a very difficult course to walk. Anyway, carts are mandatory so that's not an option. Just be careful when driving the carts down some of the very steep downhill paths, especially those on the back 9.
The foothills that South Mountain Golf Club is cut from contains very few trees. But that does not mean that you can expect to find or play your ball from off of the fairway. The natural rough contains scrub brush, sage, long grass and wild wheat. Even if you can find your ball there is no guarantee you will be able to get a club on it. The wheat is especially tough to chop through when compared to similar length grass.
The course is built on soil which is very sandy. This makes for soft greens and fairways. Divots are easy to take and high shots will stick to the greens easily.
The course has a good deal of hole variety. Several long holes require both big drives and second shots to get home in regulation. Others are short but allow risk-reward decisions on the green. Many holes have blind shots and optional landing areas so course familiarity is a big plus. As a general rule the first time you play this course, hit a club that will keep you safely in the fairway.
The shorter holes are the most memorable. Number 1 is a short par 4 which requires an accurate drive to a small fairway that looks like a grass bowl. Go right or left and you're dead. Like several other greens on the course it is downhill and requires less club to reach.
Hole number 4 has a deep gorge in front of the green that will make long hitters think twice before using their drivers. A lay-up with an iron is the smart play and leaves a wedge to the elevated green.
Starting out on the back 9 is the longest par 4 on the course. Number 10 at 500 yards from the gold tees and 450 yards from the blue tees means two long hits are needed. Luckily the fairway is wide and forgiving allowing players to go all out.
Number 11 is the best looking par 3. The green sits out on a ledge tucked into a bend in the hillside. A high wall of large rocks fronting the green must be cleared our your ball will end up lost below.
Hole number 12 is the best short par 4 on the course. It offers a true risk-reward shot from the tee. The safe shot is to aim right at the corner of the dogleg and then hit a short second shot into the green. But the angle of the fairway creates the opportunity to carry a waste area and go for the green.
South Mountain provides a great overall golf experience. The course is beautiful and except for some turf and drainage problems on hole 14, it is well maintained and in great shape. If you are ready for a challenge in a great setting on a great new course give South Mountain a try.
|Red (W)||72||5165 yards||69.8||118|
|Gold M: 73.3/136||350||555||150||340||425||565||495||230||440||3550||500||155||390||605||395||520||140||370||455||3530||7080|
|Black M: 71.7/131||330||535||140||325||405||540||410||215||430||3330||450||145||370||570||375||490||125||360||430||3315||6645|
|Blue M: 69.4/126||310||510||125||290||375||500||365||185||405||3065||420||130||350||530||340||470||115||320||405||3080||6145|
|White M: 67.4/123||290||500||115||265||350||470||340||155||390||2875||400||120||310||500||320||445||95||285||380||2855||5730|
|Red W: 69.4/121||255||480||95||230||320||435||310||130||360||2615||350||100||275||460||290||420||65||255||335||2550||5165|
South Mountain is a very challenging layout, with uneven fairways, and 12 of 18 greens that are double tiered. It is a course where all the holes are different, and none of them abut others, so you don't have to worry about errant shots coming in from adjoining fairways. You have to hit all the shots on this layout, as each hole has very challenging angles into the green. There are no water holes, but enough bunkers to keep you thinking about your next shot. This is my favorite course in Salt Lake County, but is not for the faint in heart. Outstanding views of the Salt Lake Valley, as this course is situated high on the east bench in Draper.
If you want a course that tests your ability, and requires a lot of precision, this is for you.