After a cold Utah winter- on the weather and economic fronts, the only place some people want to see their money in the hole is on a great golf course. Utah Business Magazine found a couple of top-rated public and private courses you can take a swing on during a weekend trip for under $1,800.
Playground of the Stars
First, Disney put Utah on the map with the movie High School Musical, filmed at East High School. Then again, when they filmed High School Musical Two at The Entrada at Snow Canyon Country club in St. George. Known as “Lava Springs Country Club” in the movie, Snow Canyon is a private club, but staying at the adjacent Entrada Inn gives you temporary membership and access to the golf course.
Since the Johnny Miller Signature course opened in 1996, the Entrada has ranked high on major golf publication lists- including no. 1 on Golf Inc.’s 2008 list. The course, positioned on 1,500-acres along the sandstone cliffs and ancient lava flows at the mouth of Snow Canyon, features a practice facility as well as PGA pro golf instruction. “This course has many memorable holes including 4 holes that take you through an ancient volcanic bed of lava rocks,” states one review on stgeorgeutahgolf.com. “You will need your best game for this track, but plenty of tee box options will help you smile through your round.”
The course caters to families and individuals alike, and for a price, your teen can get the full Hollywood treatment. Rheanne Etken, Entrada resort manager, says that with the High School Musical Package, you can choose to stay in your favorite star’s casita. “Then, I will pick you up on a golf cart for a personalized tour of the golf course and various filming sites,” says Etken. “You will see where Troy and Gabriella shared their picnic lunch and their first kiss.”
Transportation: Approximate mileage from downtown Salt Lake City: 620 miles round trip.
Daily Green Fees: 18 holes, $165 which includes a golf cart.
Lodging: Studio casita at The Entrada Inn, $179.00 per night, May 19- September 30.
Food: Entrada Kokopelli Restaurant, lunch and dinner entrées, $5.95- $17.95; fine dining entrees, $18- $29.
In addition to the High School Musical package, a romance package is available. Contact The Inn at The Entrada for details.
Old West Shoot-Out On the Outlaw Trail
When you stand on the 18th hole at The Hideout Golf Club in Monticello, Utah, and look at the meandering stream lined with cattails, you can know you’re standing on the hallowed grounds of old west history. Fugitives fled to the area and meadows to escape the law- hence why it’s known as the “The Hideout” on “The Outlaw Trail”.
Now the only shootouts, showdowns and standoffs there are on the green, and golfing websites are giving the course rave reviews. Golfweek magazine lists them on the 2008 Best Courses You Can Play (public-access courses) list. And a utahfairways.com staff member says, “The par five second is one of the best par fives in the state, absolutely beautiful. This holes layout could possibly be one of the most beautiful holes in all of Utah.”
But Terri Urdlee, director of golf at The Hideout, says no review can substitute for seeing it first-hand. “It’s a beautiful course- you see lots of wildlife out there everyday,” he says. “There are always wild deer and wild turkeys out on the course and people love it.” Apparently, the animals pose no issue to the game. “They will just stand by and watch depending on the kind of day it is.” Usually, the days are mild at The Hideout- average summer temperatures don’t reach beyond 80- 85 degrees. And from when the season opens in the spring, he says it’s short sleeve weather.
What about tee times? “You can get on about anytime you want,” says Urdlee. Tee times are recommended but not necessary, except on holidays.
Transportation: Approximate mileage from downtown Salt Lake City: 578 miles round-trip.
Daily Green Fees: 18 holes, $25. Carts per person, $13.
Lodging: Area hotel rates, $65-$75 per night.
Food: Lamplight Restaurant, lunch and dinner, $6- $25.
Line Camp Steakhouse, dinner only, $25 plus.
A Stay-n’-Play package is available. Contact The Hideout clubhouse for details.
Golf, lodging and food rates are based on rates at time of publication, plus applicable taxes and fees and are subject to change. Green Fees are based on adult-aged rates.