Above Par: Golfing in Park City, Utah

A vacation with my partner wouldn’t be complete without a round (or 10) of golf. While most people may go to Park City, Utah in search of adrenaline-pumping adventure activities, this ski resort town is also home to some fabulously scenic golf courses.

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Park City Golf Course

Adjacent to Hotel Park City, this course is great for so many reasons. First, it’s easily accessible. It’s located close to town and you can reserve your tee-time up to eight days in advance (using the online form), and it’s not unheard of to get same-day tee times. Second, it’s affordable ($70/person for 18 holes with cart) and the rates are even lower if you tee off after 4pm (in the summer you can easily play until 8pm).

The course snakes around homes, creeks and looming trees with mountain views, and offers wide greens dotted with hidden ponds. You’ll either love or hate hole #13 as you play for all the spectators enjoying a beer on the patio at Silver Star Café. After you conclude your round, head to Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse in the lobby of Hotel Park City or back up to Silver Star Café, to swap roles and become the spectator.

 

Wasatch Mountain Golf Course

Located in Wasatch Mountain State Park, the Wasatch Mountain Golf Course was voted by Golf Digest as one of “Utah’s Best Places to Play,” due in large part to the sweeping views. There are two separate courses, Mountain and Lake, each offering its own delights. Built on gentle terrain, the Lake course is considered to be the easier of the two courses, with several shorter par-5 holes, and eight scenic lakes and ponds along the way. The Mountain course, as the name suggests, is a classic mountain-style layout, carved from natural mountain contours. The first 9 holes travel two miles up the mountain with views of the Heber Valley (typically alongside wildlife) and the back 9 brings you back to the clubhouse. Because of this layout, only 18-hole rounds are allowed on the Mountain course. And watch out for wild turkeys, they feel at home there and like to distract you on the course.

The Mountain course, as the name suggests, is a classic mountain-style layout, carved from natural mountain contours. The first 9 holes travel two miles up the mountain with views of the Heber Valley (typically alongside wildlife) and the back 9 brings you back to the clubhouse. Because of this layout, only 18-hole rounds are allowed on the Mountain course. And watch out for wild turkeys, they feel at home there and like to distract you on the course.


Golfing, Elevated!

At first, you may forget you’re golfing at 6,000 feet elevation, but soon you might notice a few odd things as your round progresses. Here are a few tips to help you weather golfing at great heights:

  1. The ball travels farther: as a general rule, the ball will travel about 10% farther when playing at over 5,000 feet of elevation. 

  2. Trouble with the curve: the ball won’t curve as much at higher elevations; this totally works in your favor if you have straight greens.

  3. Try a softer ball: a softer ball will rotate less, thus making up for the increased distance due to elevation. 

  4. Hit it higher: if you have a hard time hitting softer to make up for the added distance, try hitting the ball higher instead.

  5. Choose your club wisely: because you know the ball will fly farther in increased elevation, choose the right club to balance the extra distance; and also get excited that you may reach the hole in fewer strokes!