The Takeaway: Copper Rock enjoys Southern Utah's best bunkering style and an enjoyable setting that embraces the desert mountain surroundings, but the firmness of the greens and how they often slope from front to back make even wedge shots difficult to hold on the putting surface. The amateur design features found in the routing are equal parts fun and frustrating throughout and result in a mixed bag experience that hopefully improves as the course matures. Grade C
Designer: Dale Beddo in 2020
Cost: $60.00 - $115.00 (includes cart) Click for current rates
Phone Number: 435-215-4845
Course Website: Official Website - Visit Copper Rock Golf Course's official website by clicking on the link provided.
Directions: Get here! - 1567 Copper Rock Parkway, Hurricane, Utah 84737 – UNITED STATES
What to Expect: Dale Beddo has been involved in two golf courses in Southern Utah and unquestionably has suffered through the worst luck with timing that anyone could imagine in the 21st century. First, Dale assisted Bruce Summerhays with the golf course at Kokopelli in Apple Valley 30 miles east of St. George which opened in 2010, smack dab in the middle of the financial and real estate crisis. The course closed two years later. In an effort at redemption, Dale solo designed the Copper Rock course 25 minutes away in Hurricane and opened it in February 2020 right before the COVID-19 world wide pandemic. No one could have foreseen that, but Dale has never been deterred by a challenge. The course is located a couple of miles south of town in a location that sees very mild elevation changes on the front nine and much more severe changes on the back nine. The bunkering is as attractive as anything in the area and is reminiscent of what Jack Nicklaus did with Coyote Springs two hours west in Nevada. The jagged edges and bright white sand pops against the desert landscape and offers a stark contrast to the orange soil that is common in the area. While the bunkering and setting is nice, the greens at Copper Rock combined with some amateur design features create some unnecessary frustration. The greens are crazy firm with a plentiful number of front to back sloping putting surfaces. The result is there you'll inevitably be faced with approach shots where even a lob wedge can't hold the green at certain angles. If the entrances leading to the green and the slopes on the putting surface were conducive to the ground game like the great links courses in the British Isles then there wouldn't be a problem as you'd just have to employ some creativity, but that isn't always the case at Copper Rock. Sure, most of the time you'll be able to get it on the green somewhere, but if there were better contours for working the ball to various pin locations then the genius of the design would set in. I'm confident that Copper Rock will mature over time and reduce the firmness of the greens and perhaps modify some of the contours to create a more enjoyable experience around the putting surfaces. Beyond that, the fairways are generous enough for a windy location and the double green for 9 and 18 create a memorable finish to each nine with a pond separating the two fairways. While Sand Hollow still reigns supreme as Southern Utah's top track, Copper Rock is better than many courses in the area and well worth playing.
By the Numbers
Individual Hole Analysis
Signature Hole: 17th (SkyDive) Hole – 134 Yard Par 3 – From the high point of the course, the 17th hole offers the most impressive views found at Copper Rock with the green creating the foreground and desert mountain landscape in the background with an aerial view of the 9th and 18th holes in between. The drop shot par three tips out at a mere 134 yards, but like the 7th at Pebble Beach, it is all about the wind here and if you've never been to Hurricane, Utah before you will quickly see how it got its name. A pin on the left third of the putting surface brings the bunker into play so the safe approach is clearly on the right half of the green here. If the wind is down, take a club less than usual and take dead aim at the flag and see if you can pick up a late birdie.
Best Par 3: 4th (O' Chute) Hole – 193 Yards – The first one-shotter found at Copper Rock offers an iconic view of Southern Utah with the orange mountains in the distance with snow capped mountains beyond that. However it is the foreground you need to deal with as a mid-range par three awaits with built up bunkering on either side of the putting surface. The putting surface slopes from right to left, so while the right side has a more inviting entrance to the green you may choose to challenge the partially blind left side in order to leave yourself an uphill putt.
Best Par 4: 6th (Shipwreck) Hole – 329 Yards – Perhaps the most fun hole on the front nine, Shipwreck is driveable especially when playing downwind. A pond frames the left side of the hole and is quick to gobble up balls that turn over too much off the tee, and staying too conservative off the tee can lead you to drive it through the fairway and into the desert. So accuracy is certainly rewarded here, especially if you can keep the ball on the left half of the fairway where your angle into the green is superior as the putting surface slopes back towards the water, plus it keeps the bunkers out of play on the right. This is a great scoring opportunity if you don't get too crazy with your tee shot.
Best Par 5: 5th (Sidewinder) Hole – 567 Yards – From the tee this par five is fairly unassuming, but when you get to the green complex it is a whole other story. Utilizing the fairway bunkers on the left as a line to hit a cut shot off of is ideal, however bold players may elect to challenge the fairway bunker on the right in an effort to shorten up the hole. From the right side however the visibility is limited going into the raised green complex, and trust me, you are going to want as much visibility as possible attacking this flag. The raised front of the green hides a mammothly long putting surface that slopes hard from front to back as it serpentines between the mounding found on each side. Players with the length to reach the green in two will quickly learn the perils of trying to do such as balls coming in from a long distance to these firm greens will quickly find their ball rolling off the back or sides of the green. Pins in the middle obviously aren't quite as risky since there is more green to work with, but getting aggressive with a back pin can be a death sentence. You'll need to play this hole a half dozen times before starting to form a clear strategy for your game.
Birdie Time: 3rd (Valley of Sin) Hole – 303 Yard Par 4 – Named Valley of Sin as a tribute to the 18th hole at St Andrews, this hole features a similar valley short left of the green that you want nothing to do with. At just over 300 yards from the back tees, the temptation is clear to try and drive the green but you have to keep your tee ball just left of the fairway bunker on the right to get the best result as the fairway will help work the ball towards the putting surface. The green is slightly raised on all sides in an effort to repel balls that come up wanting, and then you'll be faced with either to nip a wedge off the tight lie or use the trusty Texas wedge to get the ball on the green. The subtleties of trouble around the green combined with the small putting surface are challenging features that will be appreciated more and more each time around Copper Rock.
Bogey Beware: 13th (Down and Dirty) Hole – 478 Yard Par 4 – Perhaps the most memorable hole at Copper Rock, the lengthy 13th plays well downhill with towering desert mountains with plateaued tops creating the impressive backdrop. While the length may seem to be why this is rated as the #1 handicap, it is really the approach where things get dicey for players. Like many of the greens at Copper Rock, this putting surface slopes from back to front which compounds with the firm ground to create a very difficult scenario for holding the green after hitting it on the fly. The best play, no matter the flag's location, is to hit your ball short right and utilize the bank framing that side of the putting surface to work the ball onto the green and hopefully walk away with a two putt. Both full length shots and the setting create a fun experience, but the green can rip your heart out quick