Soldier Hollow II
Looks like Soldier Hollow is doing something right.
Two years ago, the double golf course in Midway hosted the Utah State Amateur and will host the event again this week, July 9-13.
The venue, which opened four years ago on the 2002 Olympic cross-country skiing venue, has fast become of the state’s prime courses because of it’s reasonable prices and beautiful vistas overlooking the Heber Valley.
The Utah Golf Association (UGA) tries to use 36-hole courses for the annual tournament intermittently to allow for a larger qualifying field. This year’s field was open to a 300-player maximum. The UGA also tries to alternate between both public and private courses, so Soldier Hollow, which lies in Wasatch Mountain State Park, qualifies as a prime public course.
Local courses have become quite popular for high-level state tournaments in recent years. Last year, the Park City Golf Club hosted the Utah Women’s State Amateur in late July.
The 110th version of the Utah State Amateur, which bills itself as the "longest continuously running tournament in the world," will welcome top golfers from around the state, including a handful from Summit Country. According to Newson, with only one public course in Park City, many Parkites spend a lot of time playing at Soldier Hollow, so local qualifiers should be ready to play the course on Wednesday.
Leading the local field is Steele DeWald, a collegiate golfer at Arizona State University, who has already performed well at a number of local amateur tournaments. Two years ago, DeWald lost to eventual tournament champion, Tony Finau, in match play. Soldier Hollow head pro Chris Newson talked to DeWald during a practice round early in the week and said the collegiate golfer was feeling optimistic heading into the tournament.
"He said he felt like he was improving," Newson said. "He’s definitely a tournament favorite."
Soldier Hollow is a fairly long course. Newson said that the length from the championship tee on the Silver course is 7,355 yards, which can intimidate many golfers.
The greens will be faster on both the Gold and Silver courses. Soldier Hollow hosted a Utah State Am qualifier in early June and Newson said that the course staff has been diligently working since then to get the course in tip-top shape.
"Its in perfect tournament shape right now," Newson said. "The change in the course conditions is amazing."
Par for both courses is 72. The elevation of the course is 5,600 feet. Newson said that the course favors a player who hits the ball long and straight and is able to keep his score low.
"High scores reach up and grab you real fast," Newson said in a previous interview. "It’s not for the risk/reward player. It’s for someone who plays steady."
The first round of the tournament will be played on Wednesday and Thursday. The morning session will begin at 7:30 a.m. and the afternoon session begins at 12:30 p.m. All players will play both courses. The field of 300 will be playing for just 32 elusive spots into the weekend’s final rounds. The championship round will be held on the Silver course this year. Last time the course hosted the event the finals were on the Gold course. Newson said the change is very spectator friendly, as the Silver course is far more walkable and may be seen from the clubhouse.
The Utah State Amateur is free to the public. Spectators must walk the course. There will be concessions and bathrooms available in Soldier Hollow’s clubhouse.
For more information, contact Soldier Hollow at (435) 654-7442 or visit http://www.stateparks.utah.gov/golf/soldierhollow.htm. To get to the golf course, take U.S. 40 to Heber and turn right on 100 South, which leads into Midway. In Midway, take a left on Center Street and a right on Tate Lane. The drive is about 25 minutes from Park City.
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