November 7th, 2022 (Park City, Utah USA) — Golf Course Architect Forrest Richardson has returned to Park City, Utah to fulfill his short course design for the acclaimed private community, Promontory Club, developed by Phoenix-based Pivotal Group and developer Francis Najafi. Originally conceived several years ago as part of Promontory’s private golf offerings, the new 18-hole, all par-3 course is planned to debut in Summer of 2023. It will take its place accompanying the Dye Canyon and Nicklaus Painted Valley Courses at the award-winning mile high community.
The new course, “The Hills at Promontory,” is nearing completion by Wadsworth Golf Construction who began the project in April of this year. The course is a modern concept aimed at offering club members and their guests an alternative format to the longer 18-hole layouts. “Our vision is one where each of the one-shot holes will all have their own character,” says Richardson. “The common thread will be fun, beauty and lots of smiles.”
Among the hole designs are a dramatic island green surrounded by native Utah wildflowers, a short wedge hole to a 16,000 s.f. green, and what Richardson describes as a “Ha-ha” hole — a green set alongside a low stone wall where players may need to use the ground to craft shots that land short and then roll over the embankment to the green below. “We’ve always been fascinated by ha-ha’s,” notes Richardson. “These walls are a landscape design feature that gives the illusion of a continuous view, yet there is a vertical element of surprise.” Hence the name “Ha-Ha,” which in this case will form a golf hole unique to Promontory.
Design partner Jeff Danner of Richardson | Danner worked through multiple routing options to achieve gradual elevation changes across the course. With several drop shots and varying territorial views, the course begins with a head-on view of iconic Bald Mountain, the highest point in the Park City-Deer Valley Ski Area. “We routed holes across a 300-acre hillside,” says Danner. “Yet we have left plenty of natural open space around the layout so the player will feel ‘away from it all’ as they experience loops of 6, 9, 12, 15 or all 18-holes.” The routing is particularly creative in the way it finishes — also with a view to Bald Mountain. This was achieved by winding the finishing holes up a canyon, culminating with a breathtaking 18th hole that cascades down the hillside and across a small mountain stream.
“Our goal was to create a course where everyone can score,” says Neil Jones, Promontory’s Director of Golf. “This is the course where we can have generations playing together, and where the fun will equal the challenge.” Richardson | Danner worked closely with the Promontory team on creative options for the course, an 18-hole format but one with “short-cuts” where loops of holes can be enjoyed in less time. “It’s ‘The Old Course at St. Andrews’ in terms of its path,” comments Danner. “We take you out and then back again. But at several points on your way out, you have the option to return, so it ends up being several courses in one.”
As part of the new course, a 400-yard range, short game area and Golf Academy will be built. According to Jones, “The Hills Course will become Promontory’s ‘go-to’ golf training and practice facility. It’s where we will spend time with our members on lessons and fine-tuning their game for whatever lies ahead.”
Anchoring the new course will be an 18,000 s.f. clubhouse designed by renowned architect Douglas Fredrikson. Complete with four indoor golf simulators, the clubhouse will sit above a 20,000 s.f. “Cascades” putting course that meanders down a natural valley. The putting course is part of an integrated outdoor experience that seamlessly joins outdoor dining with the golf amenities.
“Only so often do we get to bring dreams into reality,” notes Richardson. “With the forward-thinking group at Promontory, the design team has been able to suggest new ideas for this one-of-a-kind site — the result will bring new energy to Promontory’s already incredible options for golfers.”
From an environmental perspective the project involves a total of just 30 acres of managed turf, and has been carefully engineered to be drought-tolerant with water saving measures in all areas of the design and infrastructure.