The Takeaway: Grade B-
Designer: Jack Nicklaus in 2009
Phone Number: (435) 657-4049
Course Website: Official Website - Visit Red Ledges Golf Club's official website by clicking on the link provided.
Directions: Get here! - 1851 E. Center Street, Heber, Utah 84032
Accolades: Ranked 8th in Utah on Golf Digest's 2013-14 Best in State list. Rated Best New Private Course in 2009 by Golf Magazine.
What to Expect: Jack Nicklaus returns to the Park City area with a course design for the first time in over a quarter century (Park Meadows 1983) and is blessed with a parcel of ground that allows for some dramatic holes. The opening hole sets the tone with a tee box perched on a cliff edge over looking the Heber Valley with a ribbon fairway in the foreground below. The course’s namesake comes from the burnt red colored vistas found within the course and provides a unique background to see your ball fly across. Conditioning is superb at the facility and a forecaddie accompanies each group as they venture out on this course that features dramatic carries off the tee, white sand bunkers, challenging landing zones, and of course, some red ledges.
By the Numbers
Individual Hole Analysis
Signature Hole: 8th Hole – 457 Yard Par 4 – The namesake of the course comes from the large red rock ledges that frame the 8th hole. The boomerang shaped fairway gradually climbs uphill the whole way home with the green sitting in the foreground of the beautiful red rock background. With the hole traveling in between a pair of hillsides, additional appeal is offered to the hole due to the secluded feel that is offered by this design feature.
Best Par 3: 9th Hole – 207 Yards – Red Ledges makes the turn with a 200+ yard three par that is both attractive and fun to play. A grouping of trees blocks the view of the left side of the green from certain tee locations which bring character to this hole that also features an angled green and a large rock background. A back right pin location is extremely difficult to get to due to the bunker and juniper trees that hug the right side of the green. Tee shots to the hillside left of the green have a great chance of feeding back onto the putting surface and setting up a birdie chance. In the original plans, this part of the property was going to be used as a par five that wrapped around the large rock formation currently behind the green, but the plan was scraped and this beautiful hole was the result.
Best Par 4: 12th Hole – 416 Yards – The 12th hole at Red Ledges made me feel like I was playing another fantastic Jack Nicklaus course; Castle Pines. The tee shot requires a forced carry to a fairway that turns right and climbs uphill to the green location. The putting surface is protected by a wide bunker in front and a grass backstop in the rear. Juniper trees line each side of the hole and a bunker protects the inside of the dogleg. The closer to the green you get the tighter the fairway gets. This hole requires two very solid shots, particularly to the elevated green where great, and terrible, things can happen.
Best Par 5: 5th Hole – 577 Yards – Nicklaus’ favorite par five at Red Ledges is also recognized by the Gurus’ as a fine hole. The view from the tee features a couple of dead trees along with a limited view of the fairway as it climbs uphill and then falls downhill out of sight. A multitude of bunkers exist on the hole with about a half dozen jagged edged bunkers encircling the green in an entrapment of defense. Reaching the green in two is a formidable challenge given the bunker placement and terrain contours, but with a lot of length and some luck you could find yourself putting for eagle, but most humans will find themselves trying the negotiate the green that slopes in stiffly from the left before gently rising out the right side of the putting surface.
Birdie Time: 14th Hole – 560 Yard Par 5 – Our caddie informed us that the 14th hole at Red Ledges is responsible for more birdies and eagles on the course than any other hole . . . by far. Therefore, it was a no-brainer that it would be the winner of the birdie time category for this review. This reachable par five plays downhill to a generous fairway and sets up for a forgiving approach to the green. Scores under par abound when approach shots are hit to the left of the green where a bank will filter balls onto the putting surface. Take advantage of this hole while you can, because Red Ledges' most difficult hole awaits you on the next tee box.
Bogey Beware: 15th Hole – 263 Yard Par 3 – I’m always amazed how par 3s are often rated with the easiest handicaps values. The 15th hole at Red Ledges is rated as the #14 handicap, but will likely produce more bogies than any other hole on the course. At a stout 263 yards from the tips, you will be hard pressed to find many par 3s longer than Nicklaus' offering here. A bail out area is offered short and right of the green while anything left of the putting surface will likely find its way out of bounds. This is a man-sized hole that will bring you to your knees in a hurry.