Bonneville Golf Course Aerial Imagery

Written by: Tony Korologos | Tuesday, May 27th, 2014
Categories: Golf CoursesHOG World TourSite News

Before Sunday’s morning round at Salt Lake City’s Bonneville Golf Course the skies were blue and there was very little wind. That meant an opportunity to get the drone out and do a quick flight before hitting the first tee.

It was a quick seven minute flight without much setup or analysis of lighting etc. I caught a couple of cool aerial photos (click photo below to see them) along with a decent video flyover of the 18th green (above). I’m building a big rig which will carry a much bigger and higher quality camera, so the videos and photos will soon be even better.

Bonneville Golf Course

Bonneville Golf Course – Left to right: driving range, hole #1, hole #18, hole #10

Hooked On Golf Blog World Tour Visits Coral Cliffs Golf Course in Kanab, Utah

Written by: Tony Korologos | Wednesday, November 13th, 2013
Categories: Golf CoursesHOG World TourMiscellaneousSite NewsTravel

The Hooked On Golf Blog World Tour was rolling this past few days in northern Arizona and southern Utah, with stops at Bryce Canyon National Park, the north rim of the Grand Canyon, Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park and Kanab, Utah.

Coral Cliffs Golf Course - Kanab, Utah

Coral Cliffs Golf Course – Kanab, Utah

Home base this week was at a pal’s place in Kanab, Utah. Kanab is just on the Arizona/Utah border, about 1.5 hours north of the north rim of the Grand Canyon,  This small town of about 5,000 is in a fantastic location with the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon National Park and Zion National Park all from 45 minutes to 1.5 hours away.

Kanab has a small and relatively unknown 9-hole golf course called Coral Cliffs.  Of course, the name comes from the red rock cliffs which serve as a beautiful backdrop.  The fine managment at Coral Cliffs allowed me to ride the course on a cart and bring my photo gear, including my aerial imagery rig (toy helicopter).  Here’s one shot of the 5th, 6th and 7th holes from above.  I’m still working on processing the rest of my images, but for now enjoy this one.

For more on Coral Cliffs, visit the Kahab page at Utah Golf Guru, a Hooked On Golf Blog sister site.  Utah Golf Guru provides a list of every course in the state of Utah with photos, course details and even playing tips from yours truly!

Utah’s Hidden Valley CC Votes Down Rees Jones Redesign, Ups Reward to $10,000 for Vandalism Information

Written by: Tony Korologos | Thursday, October 17th, 2013
Categories: BoneheadsGolf Courses
Hidden Valley Country Club - Mountain Nine - 3rd Hole

Hidden Valley Country Club – Mountain Nine – 3rd Hole

Last week I posted an article about one of my favorite Utah golf courses, Hidden Valley Country Club. HVCC is one I’ve played 1000’s of times and I absolutely love the course.

Redesign NOT

The club has been considering a course redesign by Rees Jones and the membership voted last week. 60% of the votes were in favor of NOT doing the redesign.

I’d have to say this is once more a case of “sometimes the best decision is to do nothing.” I don’t feel the course needs a major overhaul. It could use some tweaking, sure. Fixes in drainage and irrigation and a few other maintenance things would be appropriate. Perhaps a few new strategically placed tee boxes. Not $5+ million worth of work and certainly not work which would close down ⅓ of the course for three consecutive years.

Some of the membership seems to think the course will lose its playability and stature as time goes on. “We have a great club at the present time, but we have to look to the future and make sure we can say this ten years from now.” I’m not sure where this line of thinking comes from. Members make a great club first, then the course. 10 years from now the course will still be a gem and a joy to play and its only about 1300 years younger than the Old Course at St. Andrews. Do the members of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club worry so much about upgrading the course so that it would still be great 10 years down the road?

Hidden Valley Country Club - Poisoned Tree - Mountain Course 8th Hole - click to zoom

Hidden Valley Country Club – Poisoned Tree – Mountain Course 8th Hole – click to zoom

Vandalism Reward Bumped Up To $10,000

In the same article last week I mentioned that the club had offered a $2,500 reward for information leading to the vandal (or vandals) who poisoned the trees on the Mountain nine, holes #6 and #8. Those were two of the three most strategic and crucial trees on the 27-hole course.

Add a 3rd tree now, and bump up the reward to $10,000.

The Valley Course hole #5 tree, a classic tree in the middle of the fairway which eats drives and forces players to execute great shots to either side, is now dying.

For someone to stoop so low as to poison trees on their golf course is beyond my comprehension. The golf gods will certainly curse these assholes with a lifetime case of the yips. This person (or persons) deserves some maffia style justice, the kind which involves a pair of pliers and a 9-iron. For good measure, add a Joe Pesci skull vice procedure like in the movie Casino.

Coral Canyon Golf Course Review

Written by: Tony Korologos | Friday, August 5th, 2011
Categories: Course ReviewsGolf CoursesHOG World TourReviewsTravel

I’ve played golf in some amazing places, from Scotland to Mexico to all over north America.  But some of the most amazing golf courses, like Coral Canyon Golf Course, are right here in my back yard, Utah.  I’ve had the pleasure of playing “Coral” many times and I never pass up a chance to experience it.

Coral Canyon 6th Hole

Golf island on Mars? Coral Canyon’s signature 6th hole. Click for more.


Coral Canyon is located a few minutes north of the St. George golf mecca in southwestern Utah.  Nearby attractions other than golf include Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park and Cedar Breaks. This area of the state is what some call “red rock country” or “color country.”  Desert red rock plateaus, red sandstone, desert vegetation and red sand cover the landscape contrasting beautifully with the green grass of Coral’s fairways.

Given the location in southern Utah, Coral is open all year, but temperatures in the summer can reach well over 100 degrees.  The last time I played the course was June 21, 2011 and the temperature was 108 when I teed off at 6:00pm.

Overall Design

Coral Canyon’s design is aesthetically breathtaking.  Bring your camera.  There are massive elevation changes from tee to fairway and from fairway to green, with forced carries over red desert areas and washes.  Course architect Keith Foster did a fantastic job utilizing the complex terrain and routing the course through it.


Many of the tee shots at Coral are what I call “wow” spots.


Coral starts out with a wow on #1, and doesn’t let up until the 19th hole! Click for larger image.

When I arrive on many tees on this course, like #1 pictured above, I look all around and then say “wow.”  The elevated tee shot on #10 (below) is absolutely thrilling and another “wow” spot with a massive elevation drop.  Drives from the tips on this hole appear to be in the air for somewhere between 27-34 minutes.

Coral Canyon Golf Course

Coral Canyon’s 10th tee. Click to enlarge.

There are many risk-reward scenarios at Coral from the tee.  Fairways can run out like on the par-5 2nd hole.  You can choose a shorter club than driver or 3-wood off the tee to stay safe and short of the wash, but that turns it into a 3-shot hole.  More aggressive players you can try to get as close to the wash as possible and having a chance at reaching the green in two.

Hole #8 is a short par-4 which is drivable at 312 yards from the tips.  I’ve hit everything from driver to 7-iron off of this tee.  Choosing the aggressive route requires more accuracy.  An errant drive could find the hillside right and a tough recovery shot or massive bunkering short left of the green.  Great hole.


The fairways at Coral are quite large and wide, though they can sometimes look small and narrow from the tee.  Many fairways are reached only after forced carries from the tee.

Though the fairways are wide, I still seem to manage missing my share at Coral.  There’s not much “rough” here, just a few feet and it historically hasn’t been very deep or penal.  But missing a fairway beyond the rough brings into play serious trouble, lost balls, unplayable lies and lots of first hand encounters with the thousands of rabbits which inhabit the course.

Coral Canyon Golf

Coral has challenging but fair greens.


The greens at Coral Canyon are fun and challenging.  Many have subtle breaks with one or two larger tiers or quadrants.  Finding the proper level in those cases is crucial to scoring, like on the par-3 3rd hole which has a massive tier dissecting the green into two distinct surfaces.  Balls which hit the green in regulation but don’t find the proper level on greens like #1, #3, #18, suddenly become very challenging two-putts.


Coral Canyon’s amenities are all top notch.  Everything a golfer needs is there from a great driving range, practice green to great food.  The pro shop offers great golf equipment, rental clubs, club fitting and sells some great threads which sport the Coral Canyon logo.

In addition to the pro-shop and restaurant, the clubhouse is also features a men’s and women’s locker room as well as wedding/banquet facilities.


Sets of tees: 5

Length from tips: 7,029 yards

Course rating: 73.0

Slope: 137

Final Thoughts

I’ve played nearly every course in this beautiful state, and Coral Canyon is ranked right up at the top with a few very special courses.  If you are planning a golf trip to Southern Utah, Mesquite Nevada or even Las Vegas (two hour drive), you should make it a point to play Coral Canyon.

Related Links

Hooked On Golf Blog Coral Canyon Image Gallery

Sand Hollow Golf Course Review

Written by: Tony Korologos | Monday, March 8th, 2010
Categories: Course ReviewsGolfGolf CoursesGolf For WomenGolf LifeGolf LifestyleHOG World TourReviewsTravel

I’d better bust out my thesaurus now because I can tell I’m going to run out of words to describe how amazing Sand Hollow Golf Course is…

Aerial shot of Sand Hollow’s hole 12 (left) and 11 (right) – © Tony Korologos

My review queue is fairly long.  I’ve got course reviews on my list from a year or more ago, and products can be months.  I’m shoving all of those items down one slot and I’ve put my Sand Hollow Golf Course review at the top of the list.  It has been 31 hours and six minutes since I walked of the 18th hole at Sand Hollow, making a par after missing about a five foot uphill birdie putt.  Missing birdie putts, though a common occurrence during my round yesterday, didn’t matter. In fact, if I would have made a double bogey on every hole I wouldn’t care.

Anyone who knows me knows that my favorite thing in the world to do is golf, and a close 2nd place is exploring the red rock country of southern Utah.  I can hike for miles in the desert red rock.  I’m like a little kid, discovering new adventures and letting nature’s wonder inspire and humble me.  Sand Hollow humbled me.  Like the Willey Nelson line, Sand Hollow is always on my mind.

Sand Hollow Championship Course - Hole #10

Sand Hollow’s 11th hole aerial shot by me


Sand Hollow is a 27 hole golf course located just outside of Hurricane (pronounced Hurricun by the locals) Utah.  The first 18 are the primary golf course, while the 3rd set of nine is called the “Links Course.”  I’m reviewing the first 18.  I attempted to play the Links Course, but was rained out before I could tee off.  Trust me.  I’ll be back soon to get in another round and experience that 3rd nine, even if I have to start walking the 300 miles from my house now.


Sand Hollow was designed by John Fought and Andy Staples.  These are the two newest members of my favorite golf course designers list.  There are now a total of four on the list, the other two being Baxter Spann (Black Mesa in New Mexico) and my all time favorite Tom Doak.

John and Andy probably had a relatively easy design job really.  They didn’t move much earth.  They let the sandy terrain of the area dictate the rolling hills of the fairways and undulations of the putting greens.  In true links style, Sand Hollow has hard fairways with many humps and bumps.  Flat lies are uncommon.  The player must stay focused on all shots or the small variations in terrain will cause errant shots or produce errant and unexpected bounces.

Sand Hollow is a tale of two nines, or perhaps a tale of the first eight and last ten holes.  The first eight holes are very linksey (I just invented that word).  The links holes wind through the red sand dunes, defined by the areas of uncut sagebrush and spires of red rock.

Starting with hole #9, elevation changes become much more dramatic, crescendoing with the incredible trio of holes, the 12th, 13th and 14th.  More on those later.  And stick around will you?  These holes are unbelievable.

Practice Facility

Sand Hollow has a large driving range and short game areas for fine tuning your game.  I hit a few balls and practiced putting before my round.  Right next to one practice green is a great red rock mountain.  I love it.


Like many links courses, the tees at Sand Hollow are not unnatural or constructed by moving a ton of dirt.  Many of the tees on the links holes are very unassuming and find themselves fitting in with the surroundings.  Views from the tees show green landing areas over and enclosed by sand dunes and sage.  Looking out over the course is fascinating; rolling hills, contrasting green grass, red rock, gray sage and red sand.

On the more “desert plateau” style holes, the tees are in some very cool places.  Some are elevated, up on cliff sides while others are down below the holes, requiring more club.  Just wait until you see the tees on the signature par-3 15th hole.  Amazing.


The fairways at Sand Hollow are fairly wide, though some may not look that wide from the tee because you may not be able to see them in their entirety.  Size alone doesn’t mean you can hit any part of the fairways and be in a good position, or even in play for that matter.  Hitting the wrong side of a fairway at Sand Hollow can mean a bad position for the next shot or even worse, a lost ball in the desert sage.

Above: Sand Hollow’s 10th hole

With all of the mounds and slants of the fairway, bounces are “interesting” to say the least.  Some good shots can catch penalizing bounces, while some bad shots may bounce into better than expected positions.  The mounds of the fairways can produce very interesting lies as well.  Top level concentration is required to hit the correct shot type from the many different stances.  For instance, I had many shots which called for a fade to the green, but the lie was influencing a draw.


The bunkering at Sand Hollow is amazing, stunning, dramatic.  A great item of note on the bunkers, is that basically all they are is holes in the ground.  No sand was brought in.  The sand in the bunkers is the native red rock sand.  I have a bottle of it at home above my mantle.  This sand is so fine and consistent.  When I found a bunker I was able to read a carbon copy of the dimple pattern of my golf ball within the trails the ball left in the sand.


The greens at Sand Hollow are very large with many distinct quadrants.  Subtle and not-so-subtle mounding and tiers make putting a difficult but fun challenge.  Creativity around the greens is required to score. The greens are firm and fast, requiring control on approaches and chips.

On the par-5 17th hole I was short-sided left in two shots.  I was about 15 feet off the green, and the pin was on the other side of a large hump about another 15 feet.  In order for me to get the ball close I had to play a bump-and-run shot up the fringe and die it at the top of the hump, letting it feed down and left to the hole.  I had to play a British Open style shot.  This particular shot I executed with an 8-iron and a putting stroke to perfection.  My one foot birdie was the only birdie putt I’d make all day, though I had many opportunities within 10 feet.  I told my playing partner after that putt, “I’ve found my range: One foot.”

Signature Stretch

There are several holes which could be “signature holes” at Sand Hollow.  But the 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th and 15th holes are a stretch of golf holes like no other I’ve ever seen or played.  In fact, nothing I’ve experienced to this point on a golf course really can compare to the stunning views and awe inspiring scenery of these holes.

I got my first glimpse of #12 from the 11th green.  11 is a very cool par-3 with a huge drop off to the right of the green, protected by a massive and deep bunker.  I was in that bunker and short sided.  The hillside where the green lay was so slanted, I blasted my bunker shot out, far past the pin and off the green up the hill, watching it roll back to the pin to about five feet.  Unfortunately my putting woes continued and I carded a bogey.

But while on #11 I caught a glimpse of what is now one of the most visually amazing golf holes I’ve ever seen.  Hundreds of feet below, down the cliffside, was a golf hole.  It was so strange to see just a sliver of the hole, so many hundreds of feet down and away, that it didn’t even look real.

As I got closer to #12 (below) I was awestruck. Elevated tees on a red rock cliffside to a fairway with a cliff rising to the right and another cliff dropping off hundreds of feet left.  The hole is very steeply uphill as well, with an elevated green guarded by many big bunkers.  The green was at the top of this small cliffside canyon.

Above, I’m teeing off on the par-4 12th.  Left of the fairway is a cliff which drops 100’s of feet.

My drive was in the left rough, three feet from dropping hundreds of feet into the desert abyss.  My heels were almost on the edge of the cliff as I thrashed my 17 degree hybrid.  I was over 200 yards out and severely uphill.  I caught a great bounce, then the ball rolled up onto the green about five feet above the hole.

I was actually shaking over this putt, like I was putting to win my first green jacket or something.  I wanted to birdie this hole bad.  Somehow my downhill putt came up about one inch short, or I would have birdied one of the most visually stunning and difficult holes I’d ever played.  Still, a one inch par putt is a no-brainer.

#13 (first image) is a great risk/reward hole.  320 from the tips.  When we played it, the yardage I lazered from the tee we were on was 287.  We all took out driver and went for it.  I ended up in the bunker short of the green, and was saved from going in the right greenside bunker by the rake.  My running chip was too hard and I couldn’t make the recovery putt.  The view of this hole from the next tee, off a small cliff, is stunning as you can see.

#15 (pictured below) is Sand Hollow’s signature hole, though 11, 12, 13 could qualify for such status as well.  This par-3 has more sets of tees than I can count, and they’re all at different angles and elevations.  The shots to this beautifully framed green can vary greatly.  One set of tees which is down below where I played from, is framed by two red rock spires on each side of the tee.

Par-3 15th

I knocked an 8-iron to about three feet on this beautiful hole, and once again couldn’t convert the bird.  But by that point I was so humbled and in such awe of this golf course that I didn’t even care about my score.

Sand Hollow Images

Unfortunately the day was overcast with occasional rain when I played Sand Hollow.  Even in unfavorable lighting conditions I shot over 150 photos, all of which are posted in my Sand Hollow Image Gallery.  I plan on heading back down for the 3.5 hour drive when the weather is right, and spending some time on the course not only with my golf cubs, but with my Nikon.


I’m still in awe of this incredible golf course.  I’m already looking at my calendar, trying to find a date I can go back and play the course for 2-3 straight days.  Sand Hollow golf course is tough, but not unfair.  The course allows for ball striking and short game creativity with the rolling hills and links style play.  I was quite satisfied that I managed my way around the whole thing with one golf ball.

The scenery at Sand Hollow is 2nd to none.  When you play this course, and you WILL, let me know and I’ll meet you there.  And bring your camera.

Related Links

Sand Hollow Links Course Review

1 4 5 6





HOG Twitter


TK Twitter





5,500,000+ VIEWS