2400 Country Club Drive,
Salt Lake City,
Utah (UT) 84109,
- +1 801 466 8751
6 miles SE of downtown Salt Lake City
Members and their guests only
William Watson, Harold Lamb, John Harbottle III
One of the rare Golden Age designs in Utah, Salt Lake Country Club was pegged out by William Watson (of Olympic Club and Interlachen fame) and Harold Lamb back in 1920. More recently, architect John Harbottle carried out an 18-month renovation of the course in 2006.
The club actually dates back to 1899 but it has relocated twice since then, first to Forest Dale in 1905 then to its current site in 1920, with the new course formally opened on 12th May the following year.
The front nine is laid out on markedly sloped terrain, featuring holes that play directly uphill, straight downhill, and some along the slope before arriving at one of the best holes in the state: the downhill 554-yard 9th, with a split fairway perched along the edge of a canyon.
The back nine holes then plunge dramatically down to lower ground, with fairways routed around Parleys Creek before climbing back up towards the clubhouse.
Best holes on the inward half include the 254-yard 10th, where the tee shot drops 100 feet from tee to green; the 187-yard 12th, featuring an all-carry tee shot over water; and the 461-yard 18th, with a hidden water hazard in play off the tee before an uphill approach shot is then required to reach a heavily bunkered home green.
The Country Club in Salt Lake could be one of the most underrated, least talked about golf courses ever. I hadn't even heard of it until about 6 months ago, but I was driving through Utah, and I knew a member, so I decided to stop and play.
Wow! There isn't a bad hole on property, and there's a lot of great holes. The par-5 ninth hole could be the best par 5 I've played ever, and that's not just because of the panorama view of the valley. The back nine is littered with strategic holes.
The one downside of the property is its proximity to the interstate. Obviously, the golf course existed years before the interstate did. I can only imagine the uproar from the members when the city/state decided the run a highway next to the opening holes of the back nine. Other than that, the golf course is great.
With confidence, I will say that I could play this golf course, just this golf course, for the rest of my life and never get bored with it. It's that good. Play it if you have the means. You won't be disappointed.