As the group America would sing in their song titled, “A ‘Course’ with No Name”…
The heat was hot, and the ground was dry
But the fairways were full of roll.
Starting temperature at hole #1 – 102 degrees! There are only three crazy people on the course this afternoon and we make up two of them. It’s mid-June, and I can’t imagine how hot it will be in mid-July. We didn’t just drive 6 hours to not play golf. Let’s grab plenty of water and hope the cart girl finds us on holes 3, 5, and 7.
It’s time to tee it high, and let it fry…I mean fly!
Standing on the first tee box, I always like to see a wide-open fairway and an opening par 5. There is a small creek that runs the length of this hole, so if you slice, aim left toward the fairway bunker. As you make your way down the fairway, it bends a little to the right. At the end of the fairway there is a dogleg right for your approach shot to the green. Remember the creek that was next to the fairway? It has now taken a left turn and you need to carry it to gain access to the putting surface. A fun and challenging first hole.
As you leave the green, you drive through a small camping area to get to the next hole. Remember this is a State Park and if you set up residence for the evening, you can now say you have a home on a golf course! Hole #2 has a pond to the left and a strategically placed bunker down the right side. Why do these courses always have trouble on both sides? If there was a bunker in the middle of the fairway, it would never come into play! The green is large but in no way is it flat.
Another undulating green awaits you at the par 3 third hole. Club selection is critical to be on the correct level of this green. It’s a cool little hole (130 yards – white) with large trees surrounding it and a bridge, train tracks, and an old building behind the green. Hole #4 presents itself with a risk/reward tee shot. This par 4 has a big dogleg to the right and the most direct route is over the Green River. Never one to back away from a challenge, I deposited my first shot into the river. Okay, so I backed away from a challenge on my second tee shot and pulled it way left into the trees. Your approach shot needs to be on the left side of the green because anything right might find its way into the river.
The river continues to be an annoyance down the right side of Hole #5. This par 5 has a slight dogleg right (toward the river) and the water was starting to look inviting in this now 104 degree heat. The Green River was running very brown, so taking a dip was not a good idea. There is a small beach area between holes #4 and #5, but no one was cooling off in the river – good idea. Luckily there are numerous large trees that offer plenty of shade. Now where is the cart girl?
Hole #6 has water down the left side (don’t try to cut too much off at this dogleg left) and some crazy mounds down the right. Just hit it down the middle like I did as there is plenty of fairway to hit. Another dogleg left that does fit the eye of a fader at Hole #7. A good drive in the fairway could lead to reaching this green in two. I do not speak from experience.
The eighth hole is a par 3 of 136 yards. It will only cause issues if you…1) hit short – two bunkers front the green; 2) hit left – bunker to the left; 3) hit right – big dropoff into the rough; 4) don’t get the ball in the air – high rough left and right off the tee area. Hole #9 has a nice wide fairway; a great view of the Book Cliffs; and hidden water fronting the green.
Rating – Birdie (41 out of 60): Ending temperature at Hole #9 – 106 degrees. Now there is no one on the course. Yes, the heat was hot, but there was enough shade to offer some relief during the round. Make sure you have plenty of water…now where is the cart girl? I enjoyed the layout of the course, and it was a good respite after traveling 6 hours along I-70. You are also a short distance from the Bonneville Salt Flats; Arches National Park; and Moab. So after experiencing all those fun places, remember, there is Always Time for 9!
P.S. Where is the cart girl? Most of these small-town, 9-hole courses will not have the amenities of larger facilities. This course does have a small pro shop to load up on everything you need for the round.
550 Green River Blvd., Green River, UT 84525; 435-564-8882; www.stateparks.utah.gov