I vividly remember the first time I drove through Salt Lake City. I was on my way to see my sister in Denver. While the traffic was gridlock on the way through the valley, the vistas of the Wasatch Mountains were otherworldly. Truth be told, I didn’t mind sitting in traffic.
That was my first experience in SLC and I’ve made it a point to get back a few times since. And yes, I had my sticks with me. While there are some high-end private clubs that I’m sure are wonderful, I’ve been fortunate to play some of the public tracks. Let me tell you, there are plenty of great options to choose from.
But I’m certainly not an expert. So, I reached out to our loyal readers in the area, and they were more than eager to tell me all about the golf scene in their wonderful city.
While I can’t fit everyone’s favorite course on this list, you can find a guide to the ten most popular below.
River Oaks Golf Course
River Oaks is a relatively new track, and the design reflects that. The course sits in a lowland area where marsh and water come into play on most holes.
While the fairways and greens are generous, there’s plenty of trouble to be found if you stray wayward.
If you play here in the afternoon, you can expect the breeze to blow. Make sure you commit to every shot and take an extra club when necessary.
If you’re wanting to work on your game, the practice facility is world class, and the North Range Teaching Academy comes highly recommended.
Sun Hills Golf Course
Sun Hills was designed by native son Bruce Summerhays and opened in 1995.
Set amongst the native hills of East Layton, this links style layout is purported to be one of the best in the state. If you’re a fan of beautiful views, you’ll find them at Sun Hills too. The Wasatch mountains look like you could reach out and touch them.
A wide variety of holes not only make this course fun to play, they offer plenty of chances for risk and reward. Having played here myself, I advise you to choose your spots wisely.
One of the best kept secrets in the whole state, don’t miss a chance to peg it at Sun Hills.
Dye Canyon Course at Promontory
Ask anyone in the SLC area what the most challenging course is, and they’ll likely say the Dye Canyon Course at Promontory.
Elevation changes and holes that run across plateaus and through canyons present a challenge for even the best players. Truly a shot maker’s design, you’d best pick the right club out here. Misses are penalized and big numbers are lurking.
While the golf course might be difficult, it’s a treat to play. You’ll have the chance to hit all kinds of different shots.
Come here for the experience. If you happen to score well, it’s an added bonus.
Nicklaus Painted Valley Course at Promontory
I’ve been fortunate to play the Nicklaus Painted Valley Course. To this day, it’s my favorite course in the entire state.
In true Nicklaus fashion, the features are big and there’s a premium on good ball striking.
With that being said, there are opportunities to score.
You’ll want to take a cart to play this track as there are plenty of changes in elevation, and the distances between greens and tees are substantial.
Truly an incredible experience.
Stonebridge Golf Club
You’ll find 27 holes of spectacular golf at Stonebridge.
As one of the longest courses in Utah, all three nines will give you all the challenge you want. If the tips aren’t your idea of a good time, not to worry. There are plenty of sets of tees to accommodate players of all abilities.
Out on the course, you’ll find generous fairways and plenty of water ready to penalize errant shots.
Located in the heart of SLC, Stonebridge is easy to get to and definitely worth playing.
Lakeside Golf Course
Lakeside golf course is the home to the prestigious West Bountiful Amateur. Every year, players come from all over the state to compete in this tournament.
And with good reason. This track is always in great shape and a treat to play.
The course opened in 1966 and is a classic old western layout with narrow fairways and small, tricky greens.
Length isn’t Lakeside’s defense. If you’re going to score, you’d best be precise and think your way around.
A staple on the SLC scene for more than 50 years, it’s not hard to see why locals and tourists continue to call this track one of their favorites.
Wasatch Mountain Golf Course
Everyone knows I’m a fan of golf at elevation. The ball goes a mile and the air crystal clear.
That’s precisely what you’ll find at Wasatch Mountain Golf Course. The name of this facility really should be “Wasatch Mountain Golf CourseS” because there are 36 great holes.
Both tracks afford spectacular views of the surrounding peaks and plenty of challenge.
Even though it’s a bit of a drive to get to the town of Midway where these courses are located, it’s more than worth the trip.
Thanksgiving Point Golf Club
Thanksgiving Point is one of the premier public facilities in the SLC area.
Designed by Johnny Miller, this course is set alongside the picturesque Jordan River. It’s a big boy’s golf course too, stretching to over 7,700 yards from the back tees.
Not a long hitter? Don’t worry, there are plenty of tees that make the course playable for anyone.
The course is best known for its collection of par threes. As beautiful as they are challenging, you won’t forget the short holes out here.
Having hosted some of the premier events in the west, it’s little wonder this course consistently ranks as one of the best in the state.
Soldier Hollow Golf Course
The Gold and Silver Courses at Soldier Hollow in the town of Midway are unbelievable. That’s the consensus amongst our readers and I couldn’t agree more.
As part of Wasatch Mountain State Park, the views here are yet again, to die for (seems to be a theme in SLC). If you get a chance to play here in the fall when the leaves are changing, bring your camera. The colors are awe-inspiring.
Both layouts are somewhat wide open. Should you miss a fairway however, the native grasses aren’t much fun to play from.
Again, the playing season here is short. So, get here while you can.
Davis Park Golf Course
Davis Park Golf Course is one of the most underrated tracks in the SLC area. That’s what the locals say at least, and I couldn’t agree more.
While there’s nothing fancy about this facility, the layout is top-notch. No surprises, but you’re asked to hit a variety of shots to precise targets.
The course is always in good shape and the staff are some of the friendliest folks you’ll find anywhere.
Don’t overlook this hidden gem.
Salt Lake City is one of the most beautiful big cities I’ve ever been to. Does the traffic suck? Sure. But aside from that, there’s more to do and see than you could imagine. And that includes golf.
If you’re looking for a western golf getaway where there’s something for everyone, put SLC on your list.