Golf Course Architecture - Issue 73, July 2023

27 TEE BOX Black Desert course opens in Utah Black Desert Resort in Ivins, Utah, has opened its new golf course, designed by Phil Smith and the late Tom Weiskopf. The layout was built by Heritage Links among black lava fields below Southern Utah’s red rock mountains. Speaking about the layout before his death in 2022, Weiskopf said that elements reminded him of some of golf’s most famous holes. The parthree third which, like the sixth at Riviera, has a bunker in the middle of the green; the thirteenth green takes inspiration from the fourteenth at Pebble Beach; the seventeenth is a “spinoff” of Royal Troon’s Postage Stamp; and the closing hole has a big false front to the green, like the fifth at Augusta. The course is defined by the lava rock: the double green for the second and eighth (pictured) sits among it, the 600-yard seventh has lava islands located at the second landing area, and a lava ridge is a prominent feature of the sixteenth hole. “Black Desert Resort is located at the convergence of three unique landscapes – jet-black lava beds, towering red rock cliffs of Zion National Park, and Utah’s beautiful Mohave Desert,” said Jared Lucero, CEO of Reef Capital, the resort’s developer. “The emerald fairways and greens laced among the lava fields are set against the red rock backdrop, making for an awe-inspiring golf setting.” Shortly after Black Desert’s May 2023 opening, the PGA Tour selected the venue to host the Black Desert Championship in autumn 2024. This will be a first PGA Tour event in Utah for more than 60 years. “In introducing the PGA Tour – and the LPGA in 2025 – to a new market, we look forward to collaborating with the Black Desert Resort team in their vision for professional golf in the Greater Zion community,” said Tyler Dennis of the PGA Tour. “Competitively, our members will enjoy the challenges and incredible views that define the Black Desert golf course.” Photo: Brian Oar