A new 18-hole par-three course designed by Richardson | Danner for Promontory Club in Park City, Utah, is on schedule to open in summer 2023.
Wadsworth Golf Construction began work on ‘The Hills at Promontory’ in April 2022 and the new course is now approaching completion. It will join the Dye Canyon and Nicklaus Painted Valley layouts at the private community.
“Our vision is one where each of the one-shot holes will all have their own character,” said golf course architect Forrest Richardson. “The common thread will be fun, beauty and lots of smiles.”
In addition to classic template concepts such as Redan, Biarritz and Punchbowl holes, the architects have included an island green twelfth, surrounded by native Utah wildflowers, and the ‘New Moon’ ninth, where a crescent-shaped turf ridge has been created in the green.
At the eleventh, ‘Ha-ha’, a green is set alongside a low stone wall where players may need to use the ground to craft shots that land short and then roll over the embankment to the green below. “We’ve always been fascinated by ha-ha’s,” said Richardson. “These walls are a landscape design feature that gives the illusion of a continuous view, yet there is a vertical element of surprise.”
Design partner Jeff Danner worked through multiple routing options to achieve gradual elevation changes across the course. The course begins with a head-on view of Bald Mountain, the highest point in the Park City-Deer Valley Ski Area. “We routed holes across a 300-acre hillside,” said Danner. “Yet we have left plenty of natural open space around the layout so the player will feel ‘away from it all’ as they experience loops of six, nine, 12, 15 or all 18 holes.” The finishing holes wind up a canyon, culminating with an eighteenth that cascades down the hillside and across a small mountain stream.
“Our goal was to create a course where everyone can score,” said Neil Jones, Promontory’s director of golf. “This is the course where we can have generations playing together, and where the fun will equal the challenge.”
The 18-hole course includes options for short-cuts. “It’s the Old course at St Andrews in terms of its path,” said Danner. “We take you out and then back again. But at several points on your way out, you have the option to return, so it ends up being several courses in one.”
Three sets of tees provide holes ranging between 66 yards (from the front tees at the ninth) and 226 yards (from the back tees of the fourth), with a total course length ranging from approximately 2,000 to 3,000 yards.
The course has been designed with just 30 acres of managed turf, carefully engineered to be drought-tolerant with water saving measures in all areas of the design and infrastructure.
A 400-yard range, short game area and golf academy will also be built. Jones said: “The Hills Course will become Promontory’s go-to golf training and practice facility. It’s where we will spend time with our members on lessons and fine-tuning their game for whatever lies ahead.”
A new 18,000 square-foot clubhouse, designed by Douglas Fredrikson and including four indoor golf simulators, will be built overlooking the 20,000 square-foot Cascades putting course, integrating outdoor dining with the golf facilities.
“Only so often do we get to bring dreams into reality,” said Richardson. “With the forward-thinking group at Promontory, the design team has been able to suggest new ideas for this one-of-a-kind site – the result will bring new energy to Promontory’s already incredible options for golfers.”