This week the United States Golf Association is putting on their 87th annual Amateur Public Links Championship. This championship is an amateur competition which is open to golfers who are not members of country clubs. For the first time ever, the USGA has chosen to hold one of their championships in Utah. The host course for the "Publinks" is Soldier Hollow, located in Midway, Utah. Midway is a short drive from Park City and about a 45-60 minute drive from Salt Lake City.
Soldier Hollow Resort is comprised of a 36 hole golf facility as well as the facilities which hosted the 2002 Winter Olympic biathlon and cross country skiing competitions. Naturally, a location which hosted winter Olympic events is located in the mountains.
The two golf courses are the Gold and Silver courses. Both courses, designed by Gene Bates, feature a "mountain links" style. The mountain component means uneven lies and large elevation changes. Some tee and approach shots can feature blind shots as well as huge increases or decreases in altitude, which make club selection difficult. The links component lies in the shaping of the fairways and green complexes. Small rolling hills line the fairways and greens. Many links style shots are possible for players to choose.
The Silver course is the easier of the two. Measuring at 7,355 yards, 131 slope and a par of 72. An interesting feature of the silver courses is the fact that the course has six par-3's, six par-4's and six par-5's. The par-3 holes can be very tough. Five of the six par-3's are over 200 yards from the tips, while the fifth is 186 yards.
The fairways on the Silver course are a little more forgiving and wide.
The Gold course is the tougher of the two courses. This par-72 track measures at 7,598 yards with a slope of 136. The hole format of the Gold is more traditional with four par-3's and four par-5's.
The Gold course features much more severe elevation changes as it winds back and forth up and down the steep mountainside. Fairways on the Gold are more narrow, longer and more difficult.
For the 87th USGA Publinks, 17 of the 18 holes of the Gold course are used while one hole of the Silver is used.
The clubhouse (above) is an impressive structure with a unique triangular shape. Inside is a large dining area with fantastic floor to ceiling windows for viewing the course. The food in the cafe is excellent. For instance, they grind their own hamburger each day for their burgers.
The practice facilities include a large lighted range as well as a large practice green.
Soldier Hollow Golf Course
1370 West Soldier Hollow Lane
Midway, Utah 84049