Change of pace for me today. I played the 9-hole Forest Dale golf course, located in Salt Lake City. Forest Dale, known by my group as “Foreskin Dale,” is the oldest course in Utah, serving up bogeys since 1906. Not as old as the New Course in St Andrews (1895), but 111 years isn’t too bad. This is a mini-review.
Forest Dale Clubhouse and practice green
The clubhouse (above) is actually a historical landmark, placed on the Utah Historical Register. Can grease in the cafe be a historical landmark? It might be as old as the course. I kid. I kid.
This 9-holer is interesting. It features a par-36 but three par-5’s, three par-4’s and three par-3’s. Here’s the par-3 8th below, what I could call the “signature hole” of the course.
Forest Dale 8th hole
This course is friendly to the very casual, higher handicap golf crowd. No collars required. In fact, I’d be surprised if shirts are required. It’s inexpensive but the rolling hills make it much more interesting than some of the other flat courses in the city. The old-school greens are pretty small, but since the course is moderately short they’re not overly hard to hit. They were quite slow today. Probably more favorable for the typical client the course serves.
I don’t know who the pro in the shop is. Never met him until today. But for a hot Sunday without a lot of people playing, he was very friendly and obviously enjoying his day’s work.
Forest Dale isn’t exactly golf tourist attraction for serious players, but for locals who don’t take themselves too seriously it’s fun. It’s not too hard to get on the course. I checked in with no tee time and was on the first tee before I had a chance to tie my shoes. It was a no-stress, enjoyable day and some decent exercise for me today. Good times.
I’m thrilled and proud to announce that my Utah Golf Courses mobile app is now available on the Apple iTunes Store.
Tablet view of a course page
This project is one of love and learning. The challenge for me was to learn some programming techniques and libraries. During that process it became apparent that I could use those techniques to port my Utah Golf Guru site and it’s data to an app.
Utah Golf Courses App
The Utah Golf Courses app is simply a listing of every course in the state of Utah. Each course features a photo, most taken by me and some via drone. There is some great, detailed information about each course such as yardage, par, slope, rating, range ball quality, amenities, and even what types of grass the fairways and greens are. I even include some playing tips and opinions on courses. Some make the grade and some don’t.
Utah Golf Courses mobile app
To find courses one can use a standard search, or use the search filters to fine tune the type of course (public, private, military, resort), and geographic location.
It’s not perfect and I’m sure to make some improvements and tweaks. But I wanted to have all the Utah courses and phone numbers in one place on my phone. Now I have it.
Because of the skills I’ve learned through the process of making Utah Golf Courses, I now know I have the ability to make a HOG app for iOS and Android. I’ve begun work on that. I’m stoked to be able to deliver this blog and the massive amount of content here directly to mobile platforms.
Utah Golf Courses Android App
Big announcement! I’ve release my first-ever mobile app! To increase my skills in the day job area of web development I tasked myself with learning a complex programming framework which lends itself to creating “device agnostic” applications. Part of that learning, and my winter project, was to make a mobile golf app. So I took my website Utah Golf Guru and created an app based on the same data. Utah Golf Courses is NOW AVAILABLE for free at the Android Play Store. I’ve submitted the IOS version to the Apple App Store also, but it is awaiting approval.
Utah Golf Courses mobile app
About Utah Golf Courses App
Utah Golf Courses works on any Android or IOS device. The app provides a listing of every golf course in Utah. The user can search for courses based on keywords. The user can also filter courses based on the type of course (public, private, resort, military), and geographic location. So the user could filter the list to show public courses in the southwest region of the state.
Each course has a ton of details when the user taps the course to view it, like yardage, slope, rating. One can even find the types of grass on the fairways and greens. I also offer playing tips and commentary on many of the courses, including the range ball quality.
Tablet view of a course
The majority of the course photos were shot by me with many by drone.
There are many reasons behind making the app. The first two listed above were learning new coding skills and learning how to make an app. The other reason behind this one is that I’ve often found myself and my buddies looking for courses to book tee times, and not knowing their numbers. In just two taps of the user’s finger, the user can find the course and dial the course from the app.
Links (pun intended)
Utah Golf Courses for Android
Utah Golf Courses for IOS (coming soon)
Utah Golf Guru Website
Rather than doing a whole course redesign, it seems that my local country club here in Sandy is doing a wee bit at a time. Today I saw some work in progress of the Valley Nine’s par-5 5th hole. Recently they took out the two trademark pines at the corner of the fairway and put in a short right fairway bunker (photo below, right side of fairway) and long left bunkers.
Now they look to be adding a few yards to the hole by moving the tees back. I guess the bombers are still reaching the far fairway bunkers? My real guess is that they’re slowing adding yardage here and there to “toughen up” the course and make it look more respectable from a length and rating standpoint. In the photo above you can see two sandy areas, which are obviously the new tees. The old tee was essentially where the more distant sandy area is.
The latest terrific course visited in the HOG World Tour is The Country Club (of Salt Lake City). The Country Club is an 18-hole private golf and country club located in the heart of the Salt Lake Valley. SLCC is known for its great location, course architecture, tons of bunkers (ugh), and very high quality and conditioned golf holes.
The hole above is the beautiful and very tough par-4 11th. It looks very Augusta-esque, hints of the 13th at Augusta National Golf Club.
Above is a panoramic shot showing one of the many incredible views of the “Wasatch Front” mountains, which are seen from most of the holes.
And speaking of great views, here’s a drone shot I captured of the course a couple of years ago.
Salt Lake Country Club
I had a great time and struck the ball well. One problem I had was testing out new wedges in rain compacted sand. That was a score wrecker. On non-bunker holes I was even-par on the day. Bunker holes, 7-over. Boo.