Golf: A great way to enjoy summer weather

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Sometimes students find it difficult to think of things to do to enjoy the few months of warm, sunny weather Utah provides. One way to take advantage of the sun is by busting out the bug spray, a polo and some golf skills (or lack thereof) at a local public golf course.

Regardless of preference or time constraint, Utah County has a wide array of choices when it comes to driving ranges, practice greens or shooting 9-18 holes.

East Bay Golf Course

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[media-credit name=”Stephanie Rhodes” align=”alignright” width=”200″][/media-credit]
A golfer practices his driving skills at the driving range at The Reserve golf course in East Bay.
he Provo course was recently named in Golf Digest as one of the top 100 public courses in the nation.

 

The place features an 18-hole championship course, a premiere driving range, a service pro-shop, Greenhollow Grill and instruction for varying ages.

East Bay is one of the only courses in the county that offers a seven hole executive course that saves both time and money.

The course weaves around the shoreline of a man-made lake with acres of majestic wetlands. The spectacular Wasatch Mounts showcase the east and north sides of the course with the east bay of Utah Lake bordering the south, therefore giving the course its name.

380 E. 1860 S. Provo – approximately 11 miles from BYU campus

Average cost$13-42 (including carts)

Each of the courses recommend scheduling a tee time to avoid waiting or running into tournaments. It is also suggested to wear a collared shirt and comfortable walking shoes.

Spanish Oaks

Just about 15 minutes down I-15, this 30-year-old course offers a player friendly environment to improve and develop golf skills. There are plenty of elevation changes and breathtaking views.

“The front nine are a little more open, so you won’t lose your [golf] balls,” said head golf pro and BYU golf alumni Ryan Rhees. “While the back nine are a little more technical and difficult. They are shorter holes that some people could drive, but the greens will require a better short game.”

This course is a winner for golfers of all abilities and offers a special rate for early birds. They only charge $10 for nine holes and a cart or $20 for 18 holes and a cart to those who arrive before 9 a.m. Monday through Friday.

Spanish Oaks has a driving range and two putting greens for golfers to warm up on before they hit the fairway. It is also opening a new practice putting green this weekend.

2300 E. Powerhouse Rd., Spanish Fork- approximately 10 miles from BYU campus

Average cost- $10-$26

Cedar Hills Golf Club

A beautiful course tucked into the American Fork Canyon is known for its mile high green that sits at 5,285 feet and overlooks the American Fork River that flows 750 feet below. The experience starts out with a bang. The first tee box is 200 feet above the fairway, which adds elevation change and majestic views.

Cedar Hills Golf Club was nominated for the best public greens in Utah.

“From a manicuring standpoint I would put us up against anybody,” said director of golf Jim Madsen. “We are one of the absolute best, including the private clubs.”

Madsen said the course is on the difficult side, but they have been working hard to soften it for lower level golfers.

The course prides itself in how much they give back to the community. They offer discounts on the starving student card. They work closely with the First Tee program that introduces golf to young children. They have also recently started a partnership with the Special Olympics, offering instruction and range experience to the participants.

10640 Clubhouse Dr., Cedar Hills – approximately 14 miles from BYU campus

Average cost– $19-$41

Gladstan Golf Course

Nestled in the foothills, Gladstan has slightly cooler temperatures and beautiful panoramic views of the surrounding mountains.

“There are a variety of holes and a lot of elevation change,” said director of golf Tracy Zobell. “The conditions are better than anyone around.”

Two years ago, Gladstan recorded people from 12 different countries and 38 states played the course. Zobell said about half of the golf association at the course is from north of Orem.

“Those guys drive past at least six other courses to get here,” Zobell said. “I think most of them like to get out of the city and really enjoy the environment here.”

The course is open to all types of golfers. At each hole there are three different tee boxes to choose from, depending on ability. The front nine are more open and a little more forgiving, while the back nine go into the mountains where a cart is required.

1 Gladstan Dr., Payson- approximately 14 miles from BYU campus

Average cost- $12-$26

Talons Cove Golf Club

Located just across Utah Lake, Talons Cove opened in 2005 and has been the home to two Utah Open tournaments in the past six years.

The course runs along the shores of Utah Lake and has spectacular views of the surrounding mountains. Denim is not allowed on the course to keep up the professional environment.

At each hole there are four different tee boxes to choose from for golfers of all skill ranges. They offer two putting greens, a pitching green and a practice sand trap that golfers can use to refine their skills free of charge.

Talons Cove has a special birthday offer that includes 18 holes of golf for free with a cart rental. They send an email to the recipient, and if the birthday lands in a colder month, they offer a rain-check for a warmer day.

2220 S. Talons Cove Dr., Saratoga Springs – approximately 17 miles from BYU campus

Average cost-$16-$33

The Ranches

With the completion of Pioneer Crossing, the Ranches are much easier to access.  Located in the hillside valley between Lehi and Eagle Mountain, it offers a natural environment to play in, including rolling hills and three-and-a-half foot tall grasses.

“It is a competitive course,” said club house assistant Dennis Gordon. “It’s longer and has a championship layout. The fairways are a little narrower, which will challenge the golfer.”

Gordon said the Ranches course is a little less crowded than other courses, which provides a more relaxing environment to play in and to enjoy the scenery.

They often offer discounts on the Internet, so check out their Web page before heading for the fairways.

4128 E. Clubhouse Ln., Eagle Mountain- approximately 17 miles from BYU campus

Average cost- $18-$44 (including carts)

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