Cool temps, thin air (just wait and see how far you can hit the ball up here at altitude), and a second-to-none mountain backdrop make it easy to see how Park City, well known for mountain biking, hiking, and special events, boasts another summertime claim to fame: golf mecca.
While many of the mountainside courses surrounding town are for members only, there is still ample opportunity for access to some stunning links without paying a hefty membership fee. In fact, Utah golf is among the most affordable in the country: greens fees typically start around $20 for nine holes. Following is a rundown of courses, and their accompanying après-golf amenities, located in and around Park City.
Park City Mountain has teed up its own public golf offering with the completion of the 18 holes designed by award-winning architect Gene Bates at Canyons Village. The course starts and finishes at the Grand Summit Lodge. This mountain and meadow course spans a 1,000-foot elevation change affording incredible views of all of Park City.
Park City Golf Club
The crème de la crème of Park City’s thriving golf scene is the Park City Golf Club nestled in town near the base of Park City Mountain Resort. At the “muni,” as it is fondly called by locals, players use all of the clubs in their bags to make their way through a tough-but-fair 18 holes. Be forewarned: on weekends and summer holidays, it can take up to six hours to play a round. But when the going gets tough, the tough go for cocktails. The course-side Hotel Park City is a convenient and inviting place to kick back with a post-round libation in the hotel bar or a big, fat steak dinner at the property’s on-site Ruth’s Chris Steak House.
Just 20 minutes from Park City in Euro-vibe Midway is the Crater Springs at Homestead Resort Golf Course. This picturesque, 18-hole track meanders up the mountainside, giving players sweeping views of Wasatch Mountain State Park and the Heber Valley. Generous fairways and tight approaches are the general rule here; the greens are small and tucked into thick foliage or along Snake Creek. Amenities at this well-kept, unpretentious course include newly revamped Fanny’s Grill and a golf cart GPS system that gives players an overview of upcoming holes, club recommendations, and pro tips. While there, be sure to leave time to check out Homestead Crater, a 55-foot-tall, beehive-shaped limestone rock filled with 90-degree, mineral-rich water open for soaking, scuba diving, or even paddleboard yoga classes.
Also in Midway, spanning 23,000 acres, is the popular Wasatch Mountain State Park golf course complex, where each layout has its own distinct feel and style of play. The championship 36-hole Soldier Hollow Golf Course is the park’s newest addition. (Soldier Hollow offers cross-country skiing in winter and was the venue for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games Nordic skiing events.) These two courses—fittingly dubbed Gold and Silver—feature treeless fairways separated by long-grass bunkers typical of links-style play. Book tee times for the morning, as the open topography gets breezy by early afternoon.
Wasatch Mountain State Park
At the state park’s northwest end are the Lakes and Mountain Courses both of which Golf Digest ranked among the best in the state. The mostly flat and open Lakes Course is very user-friendly, offering the best scoring opportunities while still allowing players to get out their “big dog” driver on most holes. The Mountain Course is more challenging, requiring shots played from downhill, uphill, and sidehill lies. (Motorized golf carts are mandatory on the Mountain Course.) Food and beverage services for both of these locations consist of very pleasant café-style eateries. For lunch or cocktails with a little more flair, opt for the nearby Homestead or Zermatt Resorts or the Blue Boar Inn.
The Outlaw Golf Club is a nine-hole short course tucked into the nearby Hideout Canyon community. This course offers accomplished golfers opportunities to sharpen their wedge games and short-iron approach shots, while at the same time giving beginners or shorter-hitting players an enjoyable round. Three new green complexes were built last winter on holes 3, 5, and 7. The views here are pretty spectacular, too, overlooking the Jordanelle Reservoir, Deer Valley’s Bald Mountain, and Mount Timpanogos.
Just a few miles outside of Park City toward Salt Lake City is Mountain Dell, spanning two 18-hole courses—dubbed Mountain and Canyons—just off of Interstate 80 in Parley’s Canyon. The first few holes are admittedly a bit run-of-the-mill, and freeway noise is an issue, but have patience. The course soon spreads out, play moves away from the interstate, and frequent sidehill lies keep things interesting. Services here are definitively old-school, cafeteria style. The best bet for grabbing a bite and a beer is 10 minutes away at Kimball Junction’s Newpark and Redstone shopping and dining areas.
For more information, go to parkcityutahgolf.com.