HOG Aerial World Tour – Riverbend Golf Course – Riverton, Utah

Written by: Tony Korologos | Tuesday, August 25th, 2020
Categories: Aerial PhotographyGolf CoursesHOG World Tour
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I’ve been flying drones over golf courses and other objectives since around 2013. These days I’ve got so many great birds for capturing media and I’m making a concerted effort to do much more flying and capturing of photos and videos.  So rather than just calling a post a “HOG World Tour” post I’m trying to come up with something similar but which includes the aerial component… Best so far is HOG Aerial World Tour.

Riverbend

Riverbend Golf Course is about a 10 minute drive from HOG World Headquarters.  The course has some interesting holes and some not-so interesting holes.  When the lighting is right and the photos are from the sky, even the not-so interesting holes become interesting.  Below are a few of the more interesting shots.

This intersection of holes is intriguing:

Riverbend Golf Course

Riverbend Golf Course – © 2020 by Tony Korologos, All rights reserved

Dueling Greens:

Riverbend Golf Course – © 2020 by Tony Korologos, All rights reserved

Par-3 15th (I think)

Riverbend Golf Course – © 2020 by Tony Korologos, All rights reserved

Golf Course Drone Photography and Videos

Aren’t these shots cool? Sure everyone and their dog has a drone these days, but if you’d like to have someone with photography skills and an eye for golf aesthetics shoot your course, contact me.


New Golf Course in Utah: Copper Rock

Written by: Tony Korologos | Monday, August 10th, 2020
Categories: Aerial PhotographyGolf CoursesGolf For WomenHOG World Tour
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The downturn in the golf industry the past several years has taken a toll on Utah golf courses.  We have been shrinking here.  Fortunately there’s some good news on that front.  A new course called Copper Rock opened this past February. Copper Rock is located in Hurricane, Utah.  Hurricane is the home of one of Utah’s best golf courses, Sand Hollow.  Also located in Hurricane is one of Utah’s best municipal courses, Sky Mountain.

The Course

I have yet to play Copper Rock.  In fact I didn’t even know about it until I heard some discussion on my trip to Sand Hollow.

The course plays to a par of 72 (36/36) with a maximum yardage of 6,823 yards.  Not long for a new golf course.  The course rating is 72.9 with a slope of 134.  Translation: it can be a challenge but won’t beat you to death.

The course architect is Dale Beddo.

It’s a Real Estate Play

I saw the master plan. This is a real estate play.  There are dozens and dozens of lots for homes lining most of the holes.  Play it now while it is still mostly a natural setting.  In a few years that won’t be the case.

HOG World Tour Visit Soon, Hopefully

I hope to bring the HOG World Tour down there and check out Copper Rock Golf Course soon.  A couple of buddies of mine have played it and said they liked it.


Played My First Golf in 21 Months – Shoulder Did Great

Written by: Tony Korologos | Wednesday, August 5th, 2020
Categories: GolfGolf CoursesGolf LifeHOG World TourMiscellaneousTravel
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For the last 1.5 years I’ve been recovering and doing rehab for major shoulder surgery.  I had a torn rotator cuff, torn labrum, torn bicep tendon repaired on the right shoulder on Valentine’s Day 2019. The last time I hit a golf ball was November of 2018 at TPC Danzante Bay. Following the surgery I suffered from frozen shoulder, an extremely annoying and painful condition where scar tissue and inflammation makes recovering from the surgery difficult. The shoulder was very tight, sore, and highly reactive in a negative way to rehab or general use.  Thanks to my latest passion, mountain biking, I broke up most of the scar tissue and have enjoyed about a month of pain-free shoulder. So I finally got some confidence to start swinging the clubs again.

Sand Hollow

Thinks to some lucky timing, I managed to have my first round back on the course at one of my favorite courses, Sand Hollow. Golf blog buddy John Duval of Into The Grain was working the ALD long drive event in Mesquite, Nevada so I thought it would be great to drive down and meet up with him.  He already had Sand Hollow on his agenda, which helped make my decision very easy.

Sand Hollow Golf Course Aerial Photo

Sand Hollow Golf Course Aerial Photo by Tony Korologos – © Copyright 2020

The round went as expected in terms of rust and bad shots.  I had low expectations.  I did hit a lot of fairways, but alas, my driving distance has been greatly reduced.  My irons also are now 1-2 clubs shorter. I don’t have the club head speed I used to.  I did manage to record my first birdie of the decade, on the par-4 15th hole after knocking a gap wedge approach to about 10 inches. I also managed many other shots I wish not to discuss, or remember.

Unfortunately my back tweaked on the 3rd tee and from that point on the rest of the trip, finishing a golf swing produced a stabbing muscle pain.  Real lame.  Golf is hard on the body, and most golfers know we use muscles and combinations of muscles that are not used elsewhere.

On the way south the day before the round, I used my drone to catch some new images of the golf course.  I was one of the first ever to fly a drone over Sand Hollow way back around 2013 or 14.  It was nice to get some cleaner shots (first photo).

Falcon Ridge

On the 2nd day we played Falcon Ridge.  The back was pretty unhappy and that made it so I couldn’t stay down.  It was a defensive move to keep from having that stabbing pain.  The result unfortunately was a lot of thin shots and dribblers.  Really horrible stuff.  Throw in a couple of shanks too.  Well, three actually.  Yikes.  I’m bummed the back couldn’t take it.

Falcon Ridge Golf Course Aerial Photo by Tony Korologos - © Copyright 2020

Falcon Ridge Golf Course Aerial Photo by Tony Korologos – © Copyright 2020

Falcon was fun despite the back pain, with Duval and my buddy Guy Lester from my River Oaks days.  I reached a par-5 in two with two three-woods and made a nice 2-putt birdie.  That’s the highlight of the day.

Drone Flights

I managed some drone flights around numerous golf courses in Utah and Nevada while on the trip.  Some of the photos are pretty amazing.  Some photos prove that a lame golf course doesn’t necessarily look cool with drone photos.

Oasis Palmer Course

Oasis Palmer Course – @ Copyright 2020 by Tony Korologos

I’ll post a few more aerials in future posts.

Final Thoughts

Golf is hard. Hard on the body. By the end of the two days I had some major back pain and a nasty blister on my right heel. But thankfully the right shoulder held up fine. There was a tiny bit of soreness but that’s just about gone.

I need to evaluate what golf means to me at this point. In order for me to get back to the level of playing I was once at, it will take a lot of time, practice, effort, money. Do I want to do that? Or do I simply want to become a casual golfer that plays a few times a year? Can I stand to play bogey golf? That’s what it would be. It’s hard to play at a high level (for amateurs that is), then find satisfaction from playing at a lower level. It’s like playing $100 per had blackjack in Vegas. When you go back to $5 per hand it is just plain boring.

It’s going to be interesting to see where this ends up.


River Oaks Aerial Photos – 1st and 11th Holes

Written by: Tony Korologos | Sunday, October 13th, 2019
Categories: Golf Courses
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I’ve been flying my big hexacopter some more this fall.  About two weeks ago I caught some great afternoon lighting which produced some great images.

Below is the 11th hole.   It’s a short par-4 which bombers can drive, but as you can see, if they’re not accurate the ball will be lost in a river, or in the dense forest.

Below is a shot of the 11th green from a different angle.  It’s the green on the right.  On the left side of the image is the 1st green.  The green in the upper left/center is the par-3 12th green.

I’ve had a lot of fun this summer capturing photos of River Oaks. I have a pretty massive library of shots. I have some very fun flyover videos too and plan to capture more.  Stay tuned for those.


HOG World Tour Visits Canyons Golf Club in Park City, Utah

Written by: Tony Korologos | Sunday, July 29th, 2018
Categories: Golf CoursesGolf For WomenHOG World Tour
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Yesterday I took the HOG World Tour to play one of the few Utah golf courses I have not played, Canyons Golf Club in Park City, Utah.  Canyons Golf is part of the Canyons Ski resort.

Many of the holes are on ski runs, which reminded me of some of the golf in northern Michigan where in the winter it is skiing and the summer it’s golf.  The reverse is true of Michigan ski/golf.  The skiing in northern Michigan sucks, but the golf is fantastic.  Here at the Canyons it is the skiing which is far better than the golf.

There were a couple of decent holes, but overall I’d rate this course poorly.  There is a lot of Mickey Mouse design and crowbarring them in to fit in awkward spaces, like the 2nd hole below.

I did have a few fun shots, like the tee shot on the 4th hole, where the drop is so huge I carried my driver 355 yards.  Then there’s a par-5 on the back which is drive-able because the drop is so severe.  I’m not kidding.

I may post a full review in the winter, when it is ski season.  Otherwise if you are considering golf in Utah, Canyons would be one of the last places I’d recommend, especially for their asking price of about $100/round.

Related

Canyons Golf Course photo gallery


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