Promontory Golf Club (Painted Valley)Golf Course Review by: Bill Satterfield (2008)
Designer: Jack Nicklaus in 2007
Cost: Private Club ($95 Guest Fee)
Contact Information: Phone: (435) 333-4016 - Steve Hupe, Director of Golf Operations
Course Website: Official Website - Visit Promontory's official website by clicking on the link provided.
Directions: Get here! - 8758 N. Promontory Ranch Rd., Park City, Utah
Accolades: Ranked 4th on Golf Digest's 2013-14 Best in State list for Utah.
Signature Hole: 12th - 673 Yard Par 5 - The 12th hole at Painted Valley typifies everything at the Promontory course; big, long, and difficult! Big views of the valley and mountain surroundings abound at this larger than life hole that plays downhill to the heavily bunkered fairway. The double dogleg hole tips out at 673 yards which shockingly isn't even the longest par five on the course (the opening hole is 718 yards). Lastly, it is the most difficult par five on the course as it plays severely downhill from the tee and then back uphill and into the prevailing wind when traveling back to the green. It is a great hole that embraces the feel and theme of Promontory.
What to Expect: What should you expect at Painted Valley? Expect pounding your driver all day at the longest course you've likely ever experienced. At nearly 8100 yards, Painted Valley is extremely long even at nearly 7000 feet elevation. Two of the par 4s are over 500 yards and none of them are under 400 yards. The course is kept in excellent condition and water hazards come into play on several holes on the course, particularly on the back nine. The 6th-13th holes play uphill and into the wind and are nothing short of brutal from the back tees. It is a unique challenge from a length aspect, but the most difficult part of the course is the severely undulated greens that require precision and touch to navigate when kept at 10+ on the stimpmeter. With a rating/slope of 78.7/155 from the tips, Painted Valley delivers as one of the most challenging tracks in the world.
By the Numbers:
Individual Hole Analysis
Best Par 3: The 11th hole at Painted Valley is the only uphill par three of the day and by far the longest. Measuing out at 244 yards, a nearly 200 yard carry is required over the pond that fronts the bunker-surrounded green. The left side is the most heavily guarded portion of the green with a series of four bunkers creating a white-out beyond the water. An opening is offered in the front right portion of the hole which allows a right to left runner to chase up onto the green, which is a great play considering this hole plays into the prevailing wind. It is a nice par three that offers the most options and strategy of all the one-shotters at Painted Valley.
Best Par 4: A long, challenging par four is often the calling card for championship length golf courses and Painted Valley is no different. At 480 yards the hole certainly has plenty of length, but the water on the hole is what will bring fear into most player's hearts. A lake runs up the left side of the hole as the fairway turns right to left and the player is left with the challenge of picking an appropriate to cut as much off the hole as possible without dropping your ball in the drink. Once safety is found in the fairway the player is faced with a green that again is fronted by water with a catch bunker long and left. The undulated green allows for some unique pin positions an exciting finish to a round.
Best Par 5: Like many of the holes on the final stretch of the back nine, water becomes a major obstacle in scoring well at the 605 yard 17th hole. A big drive toward the end of the first fairway will give you a chance to reach the green in two with an approach of less than 250 yards, virtually all of which is over water. The second option is to play to the fairway on the right that is a diverted continuation of the original fairway after a small carry over a stream that separates the two portions of short grass. The hole takes on a peninsula shape out into the water that runs up the entire left side of the hole leading to the green. Playing downwind, this shockingly reachable hole delivers some excellent strategic options and is a great hole for late in the round.
Birdie Time: It is rare that I agree with a scorecard in rewarding the easiest hole of the day as a par three because it is rarely the shortest approach shot most players will have. However, when a course tips out at 8100 yards then a downhill 166 yard par three looks pretty darn good as an opportunity to score. This short hole plays to a very wide green that is a bit boomerang shaped with a large bunker fitting the arch of the green. A healthy spine divides the green 2/3 of the green to the left with the remaining 1/3 on the right. Landing on the correct portion of the green is critical getting your birdie here, otherwise it could quickly become a bogey!
Bogey Beware: A 538 yard par four that plays uphill into the wind; do I really need to say anymore why the 10th hole is selected as the "bogey beware?" I probably don't but I will anyway. The flag isn't visable from the tee but the fairway is fairly wide and bunkerless. The approach shot is a challenge with water flanking the left side of the hole and the green being deep and undulated. The day I played it I reached the green in two with a 3 wood approach shot. My ball was at the back of the green and the pin was in the front left. After about 7 attempts I never could lag a putt closer than 12 feet (which is something I pride myself on) due to the undulations in the front portion of the green and tight mowing length. So even if you can reach this monster in two strokes you will likely be content with getting down after a three putt. This may be the toughest hole in the Beehive state.