Friday, December 11, 2009

Red Ledges - 3 Courses in One

Traditionally, most golf courses will follow a cohesive, similar thematic look as a whole. The new Jack Nicklaus designed Red Ledges near Park City, Utah does perhaps have similar look to the golf holes individually, but I personally think its like 3 different courses from to to bottom, and here's why.

With red rock outcroppings, rolling grassy meadows, and rugged mountain topography, these 3 different settings for the holes at Red Ledges combine for quite an adventure of a course.

Starting with the first tee, perched atop a red rock cliff-top ledge, the opening hole features a towering tee shot to a well bunkerd fairway some 150 feet below, and opens the course with an thrill. As the front nine unfolds, the holes jump in and out of the rock outcroppings and flow wonderfully through gently rolling meadows and blowing wispy grasses. Perhaps the highlight of the front nine comes at the par 4 eighth, an demanding uphill  hole surrounded by red rock and plays to a large blind green set into the main red ledge at the center of the property.

The ninth hole is a strange but interesting hole from the traditional look of a par 3. First,  the green is blind from the tee and it also runs away from the player, which feels and looks weird. But after a couple plays, it works nicely, and its proves to be a  refreshingly different type of hole which I personally enjoy, a bit of a change from the norm in one shoters.

The back nine starts off in a blowing meadow before heading up into the mountains for a tough 4-hole stretch. These holes make or break the round, and require patience and accuracy just to navigate the playing corridors.This is the mountain portion of the course I am talking a about, and it really has a different look and feel to the holes, since there is no presence of any of the red rocks on the front nine. This stretch of round deciding holes are beautiful, but require patience and skill to complete with a good score.

After coming down off the mountain, the holes go back into rolling meadows, and perhaps the best holes on the course are the closing holes. Number 17 will be a classic match deciding hole, playing on a gently sweeping downhill slope, this hole tempts players to hit a big drive into a pinching, funneling fairway that's difficult to hit, from there a tough approach to another running away green guarded by a deep front bunker will prove who is the best player in your group.

The final hole at Red Ledges is a spectacular finishing hole, and is the defining hole of the entire course. A mid length par 4 playing back into the red rock, was gently placed into the native rolling topography, artfully framed by bright white sand bunkers. Its a beautiful hole, and you can check it out here in a small photo tour of hole #18 at Red Ledges.

Red Ledges Golf Club will be a favorite of Park City and the Heber Valley in the years to come, the location and the top notch golf are superb. Currently they offered a limited stay and play package though a Park City Hotel which included a luxury hotel room and golf. Take advantage in the spring if they still offer the deal!

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