Jack Nicklaus visits Red Ledges | ParkRecord.com

Jack Nicklaus visits Red Ledges

After a slew of recent black bear sightings in the area, a rare golden bear was spotted at Red Ledges in Heber on Monday afternoon.

Jack Nicklaus, the legendary golfer nicknamed The Golden Bear, was in town to break ground on a new par-3 golf course.

With 18-hole signature courses at Promontory and Red Ledges, Nicklaus’s influence on golf in the area is significant. The Painted Valley course at Promontory and the Jack Nicklaus Signature Course at Red Ledges challenge even the best golfers. But, with the new par-3 course, Nicklaus said he had a different group of golfers in mind.

"Par-3 golf courses are a good way to introduce people to the game," he said. "It’s for people who don’t have a lot of time, kids and women who want to play nine holes. It’s more of a recreation area."

Nicklaus added that a lot of golfers are intimidated by longer courses, while others simply don’t have the time or money to play long, 18-hole rounds. With the par-3 course, Nicklaus said he hopes those concerns will be taken care of.

"Having a short-ish or par-3 course addresses the difficulty and the time elements," he said. "When we do that, we’re not going to put as much into [the course], so it’s going to be less expensive. There won’t be as many hazards, so cost and maintenance is going to be less expensive. It’ll be a nice little golf course with a couple par-4s and the rest will be par-3s."

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When Nicklaus was asked what specific challenges building a course in Utah presents, he responded that there weren’t many challenges that can’t be found in other places across the country.

"Utah is in the mountains, but there are a lot of golf courses in the mountains," he said. "The soil is usually rocky and there’s a high, dry sky."

For more information on golfing at Red Ledges, visit http://www.redledges.com .