It has been a much-delayed project through a development process that occurred over a decade ago, but at long last completion of the Canyons Resort Golf Course is expected in less than a year's time.
The 6,256-yard, par-70 course designed by Gene Bates and the Bates Golf Design Group will feature over 1,000 feet of elevation change. According to Guicho Pons, Officer with TCFC Finance Co., the course is expected to be completed by Sept. 30, 2014.
"[The course] was part of the original SPA (Specially Planned Area) agreement in 1999 and for whatever reason it was never done," Pons said. "We started construction in June and made really good progress over the last five months."
MVC Construction and Landscapes Unlimited have been contracted in the construction of the course and Pons said that "substantial progress" has been made on 14 holes with rough grading complete on the remaining four holes. Several holes are "virtually completed," he added, except for tees and greens, as the window for seeding closed.
TCFC Finance Spokesperson Todd Burnette said that, since they had to work with predetermined terrain in designing the course, there were challenges involved in construction.
"The challenges in building the course will end up being interesting features for players," Burnette said. "Elevation changes and elevated tees will provide incredible views from the Uinta Mountains to Old Town and all three ski areas."
Pons said they are almost finished with the irrigation systems on 14 holes. There are no irrigation systems on the rough graded holes and the course will utilize what they call a "fertigation" system which allows fertilizer to be applied directly through the irrigation system.
The irrigation system will also feature a computer system that can accommodate different "micro-climates" for the various holes. Pons said that, for instance, the holes on Willow Drop have a different micro-climate than holes near State Road 224.
Burnette calls the course "very unique" and said it has the ability to be a strong driver of out-of-state tourism during the summer, especially for corporate groups.
"There really hasn't been a golf course set up [in the area] to take advantage of large corporate groups," Burnette said.
Dave Dubois, a resident of Sun Peak and president of the Sun Peak Homeowners Association, said he and other residents near Canyons Resort are excited about the completion of the course's construction.
"We're all looking forward to having it completed. The holes look great and the paths seem first-rate," Dubois said.
Dubois did note that those residents near some of the construction have complained of dust being blown by their houses on windy days, so the establishment of green grass will be welcomed by many.
Pons said the course, which has an expected total cost of $25 million, has not received many complaints. The only notable complaints have been related to the rock cuts that have taken place on the hill near the Miners Club and Fairway Springs.
"We tried to minimize the environmental impact of the course. People complain about the rock cuts but don't realize that all of that material that came out was used in the golf course," Pons said.
Crews also employed a rock crushing machine that crushed material to be used as topsoil for holes farther down the hill, Pons said, which minimized the hauling of enormous amounts of material up and down the hill.
"The main thing to note is that we've listened to all of the residents' concerns and addressed [them]," Burnette said.
For photos and information about the Canyons Golf Course, visit canyonsresortgolfcourse.com.