In 2002, Pete Dye’s Canyon course became the first of two 18-hole layouts to open for play at the Promontory Club. Another five years would pass before the Jack Nicklaus-designed Painted Valley layout completed the 36-hole complex.
Up to five 18-hole courses have been ear-marked for The Promontory Club property and there are firm plans in place for a third course – a Tom Weiskopf design – to make an appearance but that particular venture’s been on hold for a while.
The front nine holes on the Pete, Perry and Cynthia Dye-designed course are laid out on open terrain overlooking Park City and Deer Valley whilst the shorter back nine climbs into more undulating territory, with holes playing through a number of protected canyons."I have never worked on a property of this nature," said Dye, when the course first opened. "This is the highest elevation I have ever worked on, and it is a totally unique experience. And, the surroundings are so great, they're so big. It looks to me like the fairways are just flowing down these valleys."
This Promontory Club real estate development club has two 18-hole courses – Painted Valley, a Jack Nicklaus design (2007) and Canyon, a Pete Dye design (2002). Actually, the Canyon design was a joint effort of Pete, son Perry, and niece Cynthia Dye McGarey. The weather was cloudy, 60 degrees, and with a 20+ mph wind.
The terrain on the Canyon course was rugged with steep hills and deep canyons (after all we are in world famous ski country; e.g., Park City, home of the 2002 Winter Olympics Giant Slalom course). The back tees measure 7,690 yards (elevation here is 7,000 feet; the Nicklaus course is 8,098 yards from the tips). Many tee shots funnel down to valleys. There are 106 bunkers but water affects only three holes. The greens on Canyon are challenging: large with a fair amount of movement, but not Pete Dye-type over the top tricky.
In all, it was a good experience and a fine way to reach #49 in states played.
A quality layout from Pete Dye. However, there's nothing here that climbs to the high altitude -- no pun intended -- of courses that Dye is famous for in creating.
The front side is fairly basic because of the sameness of the terrain. The inward side does better because of the flow of the land.
Fortunately, Pete did not get carried away with the insertion of a whole host of man-made elements as he was wont to do for many of his later life efforts.
The Park City area has a number of worthy golf options -- Canyon certainly has its moments but if you're a real Dye devotee then you will find the experience somewhat lacking.
M. James Ward