Black Desert Golf Course – Luxury Meets Lava in Southern Utah
By Tim Cotroneo
As your golf cart cruises from the Black Desert clubhouse, you’re met by the bass line of AC/DC’s “Back in Black” pulsating from five speakers perched atop boulders throughout a two-acre putting green. Off to your right, a half dozen early risers are striping practice balls into a horizon that juts out like a three-dimensional Snow Canyon Mountain real-life painting.
The rock music threaded into the crisp Southern Utah air pumps delivers a jolt of adrenaline. Smiles and handshakes are exchanged as a Black Desert staff member makes a golfer from Minnesota feel like a VIP. There’s a definite vibe that something big is about to occur, and you can’t seem to wipe the grin from your face.
This one moment in time is happening and there’s no turning back. Where else in the world would you rather be than playing golf amidst this wondrous mix of black lava rock, copper red mountain landscapes, and Tom Weiskopf’s last gift to the golf Gods?
You’ve Heard This Voice Before
As your foursome approaches the Par 4, 493-yard first hole, you hear the voice of Weiskopf offering the inside scoop on the golf hole’s inspiration, obstacles, and how best to appreciate the awesome nature that surrounds you. This verbal bonus, wrapped inside your golf cart’s GPS screen, is like befriending the top caddy in the universe as your guide.
Nothing you were told before the round could prepare you for your first encounter with the black lava rock that hugs the left side of the first hole fairway. Unless you’ve played in Hawaii, Mount Vesuvius, or the Moon, black lava rock isn’t something you see every day. Buckle up! Your maiden round at Black Desert is in full excitement mode.
After putting out on the undulating first hole green, you take a long slow look at the mountain ranges that pull millions of visitors to Southern Utah each year. You’re reminded that Black Desert is the virtual epicenter of Greater Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, and Snow Canyon State Park. The blank slate provided Weiskopf before his passing in 2022 is as humbling as it is breathtaking.
Paying Homage to the Best
Weiskopf purposefully threaded inspiration from some of the best international golf holes into his Black Desert design. One of the best examples of this sincerest form of flattery occurs when you step up to the Par 3, 195-yard, third hole.
If you’ve ever watched a televised tournament featuring Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles, CA, you’ll never forget Riviera’s 6th hole. This design unicorn includes a sand trap in the middle of the green. Weiskopf borrows this unique element that challenges one’s short game regardless of where your tee shot lands.
This Who’s Who of golf holes continues on Black Desert’s Par 3, 151-yard, 17th hole. On this beauty, Weiskopf tips his hat to his favorite course from across the pond. The petite 17th is a spinoff of Troon’s “Postage Stamp” green, and Black Desert’s version pays homage to Weiskopf’s sole major win in 1973.
An Encore After 18
Just when you thought the masterminds behind Black Desert had laid all their magnificent cards on the table, a member of the Greater Zion faithful whispers there’s an exclamation point soon to be added to this amazing 18-hole layout. This upcoming encore, if you’re game, is an 85-yard Par 3.
The 19th Hole is one of many wow factor elements included in an amphitheater-style lakeside setting terraced into the black lava. The site will serve as Southern Utah’s ultimate venue for winding down after a day of golf. This picturesque bonus hole will entertain as the focal point next to restaurants, retail space, a hotel, a wellness spa, and 1,050 residences.
With SoCal, Las Vegas, and Scottsdale just a three-wood away, who knew that the hiking and climbing mountain mecca that is Southern Utah would elevate the game of golf to new heights. For golfers seeking something completely fresh, Black Desert Golf Course in Ivins, UT, is a must play. There’s no guarantee AC/DC will jumpstart your tee time, but it’s a sure thing that Black Desert will deliver a golf soundtrack you’ll remember, and want to play, for years to come. https://www.blackdesertresort.com/golf