Utah course reopens after 17-month renovation
Brian Oar

Utah course reopens after 17-month renovation

David McLay Kidd guided the redesign of Entrada at Snow Canyon Country Club.

Entrada at Snow Canyon Country Club recently unveiled its new David McLay Kidd-designed golf course to members and dignitaries. During the 17-month renovation project, McLay Kidd redesigned the club’s former Johnny Miller and Fred Bliss-designed course, which opened for play in 1996.

McLay Kidd, whose course designs include Bandon Dunes in Bandon, Oregon, Gamble Sands in Brewster, Washington, and Mammoth Dunes at Sand Valley Golf Resort in Nekoosa, Wisconsin, was assisted on the Entranda project by Troon’s Design, Development and Agronomy team. Enhancements included all new irrigation and drainage systems, as well as relined and renovated irrigation lakes. All greens were redesigned and resurfaced with new bentgrass, fairways were recontoured, tees were relocated and/or renovated; and every bunker on the golf course was reimagined. The entire golf course, including tees, fairways and roughs, has been re-grassed with improved cultivars of perennial ryegrass and Kentucky bluegrass. Entrada’s practice facility was also renovated.

“What I saw here at Entrada was opportunity,” McLay Kidd said. “All you have to do is look at the views here. Golf at its very best is played through a beautiful landscape. There are no great golf courses that aren’t played through beautiful, enthralling, enticing, adventurous landscapes. And, here when I first visited Southern Utah and Entrada, I found just that.”

The new golf course plays to a par of 71 and measures 7,065 yards from the tips, an increase of 20 yards from the previous design. McLay Kidd’s design incorporates contours, slopes, “kickers and bounces” giving members and guests with slower swing speeds the opportunity to score well if they can read the contours and execute the shots.

“It’s definitely a desert course, you’re out here in Southern Utah, but I want to have that links experience,” McLay Kidd said. “I want it to be the ground game. So many courses in America call themselves links, but you can’t run the ball anywhere. This golf course is made entirely for that. From the way the design is, to the way the grasses are maintained, it’s all about being able to run the ball along the ground and use it to your advantage. So, I would ask all the members and their guests to think about hitting a chipping 7-iron then a lofted wedge. Because I guarantee, the percentages will be in your favor with that 7-iron.”

As part of the course’s reopening ceremonies, McLay Kidd led members on a back nine walkabout presenting his vision and tips on how to play the new golf course. Entrada Club President Joe Lyon and McLay Kidd took part in a ribbon cutting ceremony, with ceremonial first tee shots hit by McLay Kidd, Lyon and members Jim Behnke, Lynn Hales and Philip George.

“With the golf course renovation created by David McLay Kidd, it has provided our Club members a very challenging and interesting golf course that encourages creativity throughout the round,” said Entrada Snow Canyon Country Club general manager Michael Rushing said. “Most importantly, our members are having fun playing their golf course.”