A couple of weeks ago I was down in southern Utah to visit the spectacular Sand Hollow 27 hole facility and the Oasis Palmer Course in Mesquite, Nevada. During my travels I found a new course, “Free High Speed Wireless Internet Mini Golf.”
Entrance to Free High Speed Wireless Internet Mini Golf. Love the desert landscape.
Free High Speed Wireless Internet Mini Golf is located in the desert of southern Utah, a few miles northeast of Sand Hollow Resort in the town of Hurricane (pronounced “her-uh-kn” by the locals). The course is part of the Comfort Inn facility, located in the desert behind the motel.
The desert area around the course provides great scenery, as well as presenting a challenge to the player if his ball finds the native areas outside the hole boundaries. I recommend playing the course in the early morning like I did. The lighting can be fantastic.
I was unable to get much information on the course designer. No name available. The only other course I’ve played in which I couldn’t get a designer’s name was the Old Course in St. Andrews.
Certain missing qualities in the layout do tell me that this isn’t a Tom Fazio design. There are a few elements of Robert Trent Jones II, Tom Doak and Olympic designer Gil Hanse, but those are overshadowed by traits more similar to a Coore/Crenshaw layout. With many holes lined by bricks, one might think this is a Pete Dye design (bricks instead of railroad ties).
Regardless of who designed Free High Speed Wireless Internet Mini Golf, the architect did a fine job utilizing the existing landscape and shapes in the terrain to route a challenging and aesthetically pleasing 18 hole layout.
From the tee the course can be intimidating and visually menacing. It is hard to stay focused on the target and not the hazards which penalize bad shots. The hole shapes and routing force the player to work the ball both directions from the tee, with a few holes requiring the hardest shot in golf, the straight ball.
From the first tee (pictured above) to the last, Free High Speed Wireless Internet Mini Golf is very challenging. I love how the designer brings the natural desert vegetation into play (left of tee).
The fairways at Free High Speed Wireless Internet Mini Golf are extremely tight. Landing areas average only about 3-4 feet in width. Tee shots which don’t find the fairway will find the native desert area. Snakes, bunnies, cacti, sagebrush, tumbleweeds and random wind-blown trash will make recovery shots difficult. Missing the fairway at Free High Speed Wireless Internet Mini Golf is a quick way to make bogey or worse.
The most notable fairway is the quadruple dogleg 6th, pictured below.
Hard to keep it in the fairway on the quadruple-dogleg 6th hole. As you can see, my conservative tee shot did make the fairway, but the next shot is extremely challenging.
The greens at Free High Speed Wireless Internet Mini Golf are perhaps the greatest challenge. Many obstacles and slopes require the utmost in concentration and putting skill. Two-putting is more than acceptable and one-putts will gain many strokes on the field.
Don’t let this short hole and easy looking green deceive you. This is a tough hole.
Perhaps the best part of playing Free High Speed Wireless Internet Mini Golf is the price. Unlike many resort courses which can range anywhere from $150-$500 per round, Free High Speed Wireless Internet Mini Golf runs $2.00.
Caddies are available upon request.
This course is a hidden gem in the Utah desert. Not a long drive from Sand Hollow or Coral Canyon, Free High Speed Wireless Internet Mini Golf will give all aspects of a player’s game a fine test. Combine that with the fantastic scenery of the area and the very reasonable price and the result is a winner.
13th hole at Sand Hollow. Click to zoom.
Most regular HookedOnGolfBlog.com readers have likely read my reviews of the Sand Hollow Championship Course and Sand Hollow Links Course. If you haven’t yet, be sure to check them out and look at the photos of this fantastic golf resort which is located 300 miles south of HOG World Headquarters in Hurricane, Utah. Hurricane is about a 15 minute drive northeast of St. George. And you guessed it, I don’t recommend booking any times for a course in a place named “Hurricane” if the forecast is for wind. Trust me.
Sand Hollow is a special place, like no other golf course I’ve ever seen. The scenery of the area along with the deep red colored sand is only topped by the fantastic design/layout of the 27 golf holes. I’m not the only one who holds this course in such high regard either. Recently Sand Hollow was ranked #1 golf course in Utah by Golf Magazine AND Golf Digest.
One problem Sand Hollow had for years was the lack of facilities. The “clubhouse” was a trailer. The cart barn a temporary shelter. Restaurant/food facilities had no seating, no view and nothing much more than hotdogs.
Pro shop’s view of the brilliant surroundings. Click to zoom.
Recently the new clubhouse at Sand Hollow was completed, filling in the final puzzle piece to a world class golf experience. The new clubhouse not gaudy big and not too small. The outer walls which face the course are all glass, providing nearly 180 degrees of spectacular views. The pro shop is fantastic, showcasing great gear, logo items and a view like no other. What an office for the staff to work in. The food, which I heartily enjoyed last week, is finally beyond hotdog level. There’s a real kitchen now, with a real menu. (more…)
Big news this week in the golf world with the announcement that Gil Hanse (Hanse Golf Course Design) was chosen to design the golf course for the 2016 Olympic games in Rio. The average Joe hasn’t heard of Hanse and he probably doesn’t care much. I was racking my brain trying to access some old files from my cranium on Hanse. I knew there was something. Once the cranial search algorithm finished I remembered that I’ve actually played a Hanse design, his home course in fact.
Applebrook Golf Club
I’ve played Hanse’s home course, Applebrook Golf Club, a few times. Many thanks to my best friend Al, who is a member there. The course is located in Malvern, Pennsylvania. I have a hard time describing what style Applebrook is because it is a combination of many styles depending on what terrain and vegetation exists on a particular hole.
10th hole at Gil Hanse designed Applebrook Golf Club – click to zoom
There’s a definite minimalist links flavor to the course with very links-style routing. There are also some holes which are tree lined and have a more parkland flavor, like the first hole. The contours of the greens extend to the areas around them, allowing for many links-style shot making options. (more…)
I’ve made the trip south with two of my best golf buddies to get out of the frozen tundra at home. Today we stopped by Green Spring in Washington Utah to loosen up the joints and try to remember how to hit a golf ball again. Later in the evening when the sun was setting, I managed to catch this snap of the 17th hole, a great par-3.
17th at Green Spring in Washington Utah - Par-3 - Click to see more
I was so excited to write this review about Kingsbarns Golf Links, a modern links course located seven miles southeast of St. Andrews, Scotland. When I started though, I ran into a mental brick wall. The mental block was simply due to the massive amount of information, photos and thoughts I have on this brilliant course. I didn’t know where to start. So much to say. Words can’t adequately convey how great the golf experience at Kingsbarns is. That being said, I’ll take my best shot.
Kingsbarns Golf Links – click for more images
Location Location Location
As I mentioned, Kingsbarns is about seven miles southeast of the “Auld Grey Toon” (old gray town) of St. Andrews, Scotland. The road from St. Andrews to Kingsbarns is tight, windy and scenic, in typical Scottish fashion. Driving on such roads can be a “wee bit” frightening for an American, as the cars are driven on the “wrong side” of the road. Of course anyone from the UK would say that us Americans drive on the wrong side…
Kingsbarns sits on the coast of the North Sea, many of the holes featuring fantastic views. There is a two mile stretch of the course comprised of six holes, which are entirely on the shoreline. Several times during my round with my good friends this past summer at Kingsbarns, we looked around at the holes adjacent to the North Sea saying, “Pebble who?” (more…)