Outstanding Vistas at Sunbrook

 

The Marvelous Muni's of St. George:

Posted by: Rick Parnham

 

The moniker "Municipal Golf Course" has been around for generations. Typically used to describe those layouts catering to the weekend warriors and casual hacks, the connotation of muni's in the industry tends to cast a pale on quality in favor of access and affordability. In recent years, since the USGA and PGA have embraced the municipally owned locales of Bethpage Black, TPC Harding Park  and Torrey Pines as sites for major events, more and more the conversation has turned to the gems of the city owned golf facilities found throughout the continent.


The city of St. George Utah is one of the many places that embraces city owned golf courses and has a collection of great layouts that buck the negative mindset. Since the push to create a tourist identity in this southern Utah city resulted in it becoming a true western golf destination with more than a dozen courses ,  visitors and residents alike have had access to high quality courses at very affordable price points. Here are four city muni's  that are superb options to include on any visit to  St. George.


Dixie Red Hills:

 

Where it all Began


When St. George began positioning itself as a tourism player in the 1960's,  golf was added to the city's offering s to fit with the favorable climate and unbelievable natural landscapes. St. George enlisted Ernie Schneider to construct the first course in southern Utah, routing a terrific nine hole course that is still enjoyed today.  Dixie Red Hills opened in 1965 giving residents and visitors a place to enjoy golf. Set amid the stunning red rock formations that provide the inspiration to the moniker of the Trail now bringing  thousand of golfers annually to southern Utah. Designed and maintained to provide a very walker-friendly experience, the course plays  up and down tight valleys wedged between steep mesas. The large green sites and sharp doglegs offer a solid test of shot making blended with a high level of playability. Featuring three par 3 holes and a fun, risk / reward par 5 that doglegs around a rock outcrop, Dixie Red Hills offers a great opportunity to enjoy some golf


Par: 34         Yardages: 2127 - 2733               Rated: 64.7- 65.9                         Slope 112- 119


St. George Golf Club:


One of the long time favorites of residents and visitors alike is the St. George Golf Club. Built in the mid 1970's  the course follows the curves of the Fort Pearce Wash as it connects with the Virgin River. The opening side heads south toward Bloomington Hills and circles back finishing at the peninsula green on the par 5 ninth, playing as the most difficult par on the routing. With only one par 3 on this side, it plays a full 200 yards longer and to a par of 37.  The back nine features a pair of par 3 holes, both with  forced  carries over water of nearly 200 yards from the tips. The finishing hole leads back to the same peninsula site as Hole 9 requiring a deft touch on your last approach of the day. The course is one of the longer on the Red Rock Trail, but with 4 sets of tees and minimal bunkering, this very walk able option is a solid value to include on the golf itinerary for your visit to St. George.  

 
Par: 73            Yardages: 5203 - 7238                 Rated: 68.3 - 73.7                    Slope 114- 126

 

Stonegate Golf Club:

 

Birdie Chance at Stonegate


Located in the southern part of the city, the course sits near the confluence of the Santa Clara and Virgin Rivers. Opened in 1970, this John V. Lagant creation has two dramatically different nines. The course opens along the banks of the Santa Clara River, relatively flat, but filled with the challenge of navigating water hazards on all but opening par 5. The 3rd hole is a challenging, heroic par 3 all carry over a large pond and fronting rock wall. The back nine plays up and down the steep slopes overlooking downtown St. George. Elevation changes throughout this side creates an added level of challenge in club selection. The final two holes are good opportunities for birdies, as the 17th is a short par 5 that winds between a pond and sheer slope leaving a long iron uphill approach. The finishing hole is a dogleg left playing downhill the entire way. Playing aggressively with your driver and fairway wood should leave a birdie putt or better. Forgiving and fair, Stonegate offers a pleasant playable round with plenty of chances to reap the reward of good shots.


Par: 71              Yardages: 4542 - 6321             Rated: 62.1- 70.2                      Slope 108- 124


Sunbrook:

 


A short drive northwest of downtown toward Snow Canyon leads to a wildly creative 27 hole facility at Sunbrook Golf Club. Spread across a varied topography of river valleys, steep hillsides and volcanic outcrops, three nines, each with a distinctly different feel have been carefully crafted. The newest of the collection is Blackrock, meandering along the Santa Clara River for the first few holes, the namesake black rocks of the million year old lava fields frame the final holes. A nice contrast exists between the riverside and lava holes. The 5th, a driveable par 4 has a long narrow green guarded by seven bunkers, while hole 7 plays as the hardest lined on both sides by lava and a green  fronted with more lava and a pond.  The Woodbridge nine has two of the most daunting tee shots on the Trail. The par 3 island green on hole 4 sits far below the cliff edge tee deck making club selection critical. Another massive drop awaits on hole 5, with a small finger of fairway short of the pond being the target. The Pointe nine is named for the bluff which is home to the remarkable short par four, 5th hole. The tee shot tempts you to take a rip, but beware the fall away to the left overlooking the beautiful valleys below. Filled with dramatic elevation changes and water hazards, this nine has a bit of everything throughout the design.


Blackrock/Woodbridge:   Par: 72   Yardages: 5162-6875      Rated: 65.2-73.8     Slope 114-141


The Pointe/Woodbridge: Par: 72   Yardages: 5331-6888      Rated: 65.9-73.9     Slope 116-133

 

The Pointe/Blackrock:      Par: 72   Yardages: 5131-6781      Rated: 65.1-73.1     Slope 114-137

 

 

Contact:

City of St. George

[website]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunbrook-Woodbridge 4