The Takeaway: Grade A-
Designer: Rees Jones in 2009
Phone Number: (435) 785-5030
Course Website: Official Website - Visit Victory Ranch's official website by clicking on the link provided.
Accolades: Ranked 2nd in Utah on Golf Digest's 2013-14 Best in State list.
What to Expect: The skiing mecca of Park City, UT, located 30 minutes east of Salt Lake City, has begun to evolve into a golf destination that is worthy of bringing accolades to the area beyond the impressive ski slopes. In 2009 the area saw one of the best courses in the state open outside of Park City two miles west of the town of Francis. Rees Jones was commissioned to embrace the challenging terrain and asked to design a mountain links experience unlike any other track in the area. The course opens with a dramatic downhill tee shot to a fairway that features fescue on the left and a pond on the right. The course sprawls across the 5600 acre property and features nearly 400 feet in elevation change. Fescue lines many of the fairways and views of the Provo River and Uinta Mountains are impressive. The back nine switchbacks its way up a mountain before hitting the climax of the course at the 17th hole where a baker’s dozen tee boxes stare at the green below with stunning views of the Jordanelle Reservoir in the distance.
By the Numbers
Individual Hole Analysis
Signature Hole: 17th Hole – 242 Yard Par 3 – One of the prettiest holes in the state is the 17th at Victory Ranch. With over a dozen tee boxes peppered along the hilltop, this par three plays downhill to a tooth-shaped green featuring a U-shaped bunker fronting the center of the putting surface and a trio of additional bunkers surrounding the hole. Waves of fescue roll in the foreground with the mountains of Deer Valley and the Jordanelle Reservoir in the background. Being fully exposed to the wind and featuring so many tee boxes, the 17th hole at Victory Ranch will play different every time you tee it up.
Best Par 3: 6th Hole – 235 Yards – Victory Ranch’s second par three on the front nine is a heroic gem with tee boxes lined along a gorge that must be carried to reach the green. A pair of bunkers sit left of the green, a single bunker fronts the right side of the green, and one additional bunker behind the right half of the green. Although it can’t be seen from the tee, there is some forgiveness short and right of the green, but with the terrain around the green sloping back towards the gorge, the only real safe place to be is on the green.
Best Par 4: 1st Hole – 440 Yards – I love when the opening hole at a course starts things off with a bang and sets the right tone for the round. If you are like me and think that having a warm up hole is overrated, then you are going to enjoy what Victory Ranch throws at you right out of the gate. The opening shot is from a severely elevated tee box to a fairway that features fescue grass on the left and a pond on the right. The exhilarating tee shot is exposed to the wind and elements and requires the golfer to be sharp right from the start. The green creates a mild peninsula formation in the pond featured to the right and behind the putting surface. It is a great start to a great golf course.
Best Par 5: 5th Hole – 630 Yards – The first time I stepped onto the 5th tee box at Victory Ranch I told my playing partner, “This could be the best par five in the state.” The heroic tee shot plays at an angle across a canyon to a fairway that runs along a ridge top. From the tee you can’t see how much depth is offered in the fairway which makes it difficult to know how much of the canyon to cut off in your effort to find safety. If you are going to make a mistake, make it left. There is more room than you realize there while weak shots to the right will go tumbling down the canyon. Once you safely cross the ravine, the hole plays downhill and straight to the green that is perched at the edge of the ridge top and affords stunning views. This is a climatic hole that begins the front nine turn back towards the clubhouse.
Birdie Time: 14th Hole – 170 Yard Par 3 – This category is generally reserved for a driveable par four or a reachable par five, but at Victory Ranch your best chance at birdie just may come at the 14th hole, a relatively short par 3. The green actually is perched into the side of a hill, so tee shots hit to the left will carom back towards the green while tee shots to the right will plummet down the hillside and out of play. While there are difficult features, you should be able to take dead aim at the flag and make something happen on this short hole.
Bogey Beware: 18th Hole – 520 Yard Par 4 – The last hole at Victory Ranch is also its most feared. Measuring out at 520 yards and having just four strokes to accomplish par, mastering the 18th isn’t possible without an accurate tee shot down the cascading fairway. Some extra width is offered on the left side of the fairway initially, but it quickly tightens up before rolling down the hill. Bunkers line both sides of the fairway and act as a buffer to the steep hillsides that frame the hole. Even with an accurate tee shot, the approach shot is no gimmie as it plays downhill and can cause trouble with distance control. With o.b. behind the hole and trouble on both sides, the 18th is one tough cookie to crack.