The Dye family is known for creating dramatic terrain out of woebegone sites — just see Whistling Straits and the Pete Dye Golf Club. The Ledges of St. George offered a distinct challenge to Matt Dye, however: adapting golf holes to land that was already brilliant!
Most concur that he succeeded. The fairways here bounce around the mountainous terrain, with the region’s signature red stone on display anywhere that verdant turf has not claimed. The “Ledges” of the title come into play on the second nine, particularly on No. 15. Most will play an iron off the tee and then shoot over the gulch fronting the green...but, at a hair under 300 yards from the back tee, big hitters may be tempted to take the Tiger line directly at the green. Those who miss will be regular Muddy Waters…”Rollin’ and Tumblin’” as well as having the blues.
And — this is a Dye family course after all — despite being located in the Utah desert, both of the homeward holes end with a lengthy body of water along the left side of the fairway. Both are par fours playing in the neighborhood of 400 yards.
One of my personal favorite courses in St. George. A design by the tragically deceased Matt Dye, it has some really great holes and equally great views. The course is marketed as a target golf course, and it delivers. Like most St. George courses, it's rather expensive during the peak, but decently cheap during the summer, though not as much as others in St. George.
The front 9 admittedly isn't anything too special, being rather flat and straight forward, though the renovation of holes 3-5 to give them a links style flair instead of the massive waste areas was a nice improvement. They're fine, but not particularly exceptional, which isn't strictly a bad thing since they serve as a warmup to the much more exciting back nine.
The Back 9, however, is where the course really shines. Starting with a long par 3, they will test your ability to hit accurately to the desired areas. But, they are also decently forgiving while also proving a potent test if you play your appropriate tees. So long as you play smart, a good score should be attainable here. They also boast some of the best views you can find while golfing in St. George, thanks to the nearby Snow Canyon.
-11th (pictured): An uphill Par 5, it is where the course really begins to shine. It may seem short, but it will play much longer from being uphill. It also finishes with the first glance you'll get into Snow Canyon.
-14th (pictured): A moderately short downhill par 4, approaching the green can be a daunting task without much room for error. Also gives the best view of the course from its green.
-15th (pictured): The signature hole, a long hitter might be able to reach the green in one, but it's safer to play to the fairway and shoot to the green from there, as the ravine will punish shots coming up short. Two well placed shots can earn a good score on the hole.
-16th: A long dogleg right Par 5, this is the hole than can most severely punish playing too far back. With a good drive, you can then choose between the two fairways how to best approach the green. A good score on this hole is very well deserved.
The course may feel like a slow start, and like many courses in the area it isn't particularly cheap. And it faces some stiff competition from all the other great courses in St. George and Mesquite. Still, I think the back 9 more than make up for it with their consistently great designs and exceptional views. If you're in the area for a while, the course is a worthwhile choice to play.
One of the best and most underrated course in the region with excellent green complexes that provide provide variety to a layout that is quite different front nine to back nine..Enjoy the views from the 11th green and 12th hole overlooking snow canyon state park. They are among the most beautiful canyon views you will see anywhere. Another cool thing is that there is no overseeding of the course (unlike most others in the region) so the course plays firm and fast through the cooler months.
The rise of golf options clearly aided St. George's profile in golf circles, Being nearby to Mesquite in neighboring Nevada also helped build the joint reputation of the two communities with various golf packages.
The Ledges of St. George is a functional layout but it's hardly more than standard fare golf. Part of a residential development that abuts the course and you encounter a routing plan meant to maximize as many housing lots adjacent to the course as one can.
Fortunately, the best part of the course comes with the final four holes which are relatively free of invasive clutter. The 15th is a drivable par-4 but one that gives little unless the execution is carried out. The long par-5 16th is quite good featuring a tapered landing area in the drive zone. The final two par-4s conclude the round well.
Sadly, architect Matt Dye passed away at age 48 and it would have been interesting to see how his design career would have progressed.
Ledges of St. George is conveniently located nearby to Snow Canyon State Park and those seeking a combination of golf and non-golf options will enjoy the time there.
M. James Ward