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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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 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.
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.
I’ll post a few more aerials in future posts.
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.
When I’m not golfing, skiing, or blogging, I’m building drones. I must have about 15 of them now, in varying sizes. The rage these days is “racing” drones, which are moderately small and very fast/nimble. I’ve built several, one which I used for the video below, two laps around the 4th and 5th holes at my home course, which is now closed because of the Coronavirus.
I was ripping pretty damn fast on these two racing drone laps. Hole 4 is a longish par-4 and 5 is a par-5. Just takes a few seconds to fly each hole. Winter is coming to a close and the course hasn’t started spring growth yet, which makes some of the terrain look interesting.
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.
It’s not lucky. It is by design that I live next to a golf course. I live near the 8th and 9th holes, about a five minute walk from the clubhouse and the first tee. I have a good relationship with the course, having been a very active player there, and president of the men’s league for seven really long years.
Tonight I brought out my big hexacopter (drone with six propellers) and did some photos of a few holes. The hexacopter is equipped with a mirror-less camera and a prime wide angle lens. It’s my gamer for photography and video from the air.
With the evening light I was able to capture a few very nice shots of some of the holes. The first photo above is the very tight and tough 10th hole. The black tee is at the bottom of the frame and you can see that the tee shot must be extremely accurate or it is adios white spheroid.
Above you can see the 10th hole from behind the green. You pretty much can’t miss left or right on this hole, as is the case for just about every hole on this course. Bring your tee shot A-game here.
I’ve added six nice shots to the River Oaks photo gallery here. Enjoy.