The Takeaway: Grade B-
Designer: Mark O'Meara in 2005
Phone Number: (435) 333-3636
Course Website: Official Website - Visit Tuhaye Golf Course at Talisker Club's official website by clicking on the link provided.
Directions: Get here! - 9875 N. Tuhaye Drive, Tuhaye, Utah 84036
Accolades: Ranked 6th on Golf Digest's 2013-14 Best in State list for Utah.
What to Expect: Tuhaye at the Talisker Club is a Mark O’Meara creation in ski country; Deer Valley (Park City, UT). At an elevation of about 7000 feet, expect your ball to really fly; which it is going to need to given the 7800 yards you’ll have to cover if playing from the tips. The course is setup tough; real tough. Four of the par 4s tip out over 500 yards and the par 5s on the back nine are nearly impossible to reach in two. The greens are firm and fast which can make it difficult to hold the putting surface when approaching from more than an 8 iron out, but they roll pure as can be. As you would imagine playing mountain golf, there are elevation changes throughout the routing but not as severe as one might imagine, and gentle enough to make the course walkable. Conditioning is pristine at the bent grass facility and the practice facility is first class. The course doesn’t feature trees, but the course is cut out of native bushes and scrub oak. The back nine is more challenging than the front with several natural ravines to contend with and the closing four holes all climbing uphill. Mark O’Meara is relatively new to the golf course design business and his best work is likely still ahead of him, but Tuhaye is a strong offering to get started.
By the Numbers
Individual Hole Analysis
Signature Hole: 6th Hole – 602 Yard Par 5 – The second par five at Tuhaye features beautiful views of the surroundings and presents a very memorable hole. The tee shot plays downhill towards two ponds that are out of reach for 99% of golfers. The decision on the second shot then becomes which pond to cross. Laying up requires carrying the pond on the right and leaving yourself with the optimal angle into the green. Going for the green will require hitting over the pond on the left that front the shallow putting surface. Two bunkers lie behind the green and present a dreaded sand shot back towards the water. It is a beautiful and strategic hole!
Best Par 3: 2nd Hole – 225 Yards – Many of the world’s best par threes play uphill; i.e. Pine Valley’s 5th hole, Shinnecock Hills’ 11th hole, and Riviera’s 6th hole to name a few. At Tuhaye, the best par three also plays uphill and features a solid challenge at 225 yards. The green is angled from front right to back left and features a deep bunker left of the putting surface. A hill to the right of the green can help kick balls towards the flag, but hanging up in the long grass will prove to be a difficult up and down. The ideal shot is to start the ball on the right edge of the green and draw it into the putting surface; just a solid golf hole.
Best Par 4: 12th Hole – 518 Yards – Love it or hate it, you certainly won’t forget it! This hole features three separate fairways, all of which run from 7 o’clock to 2 o’clock and provide different opportunities. The closest fairway also sits lower than the others. It is the most forgiving but results in the longest approach and toughest angle into the green. Fairway #2 is further away and further left than the first fairway but provides an excellent angle into the green as long as you can clear the gully separating fairway #1 from fairway #2 as well as avoid the fairway bunker in fairway #2. Fairway #3 is the only fairway that runs up to the green and doesn’t require an approach shot over a gully. To reach it however, it a monumental task that requires carrying three ravines and two other fairways. I was feeling pretty amped last time I played and took the most aggressive line possible to reach the middle of fairway #3. I torched my drive and was waiting to see it bouncing in the short grass . . . only to be disappointed in realizing later my line required a 375 yard carry which I’m not capable of. However, options is what makes golf holes great and the variety of fairway options at #12 make it entertaining to say the least.
Best Par 5: 15th Hole – 607 Yards – For the majority of the human race, this par five can’t be reached in two from the tips. The hole plays uphill the entire way to the green and features a large ravine that bisects the middle of the hole and creates two fairways to consider on your second shot. The tee shot features a pond on the left and plays towards a pair of bunkers sitting 330 yards away. The golfer is then presented with a decision of when to cross the ravine. By continuing up the fairway on the right, the ravine won’t come into play until the wedge shot into the green but is approached with a shallow angle to the putting surface. By crossing over to the fairway on the left with your second shot you bring a wider portion of the ravine into play but if successfully carried will result into the optimal angle into the green. This challenging par five delivers options, which everyone seems to love, but also throws in some mixed carries which can be rewarding or frustrating depending on how you are playing that day.
Birdie Time: 8th Hole – 166 Yard Par 3 – When a course tips out at 7800 and features a downhill par three at just 166 yards, you better take advantage! The deep green is surrounded by a trio of bunkers and requires a carry over a ravine of trees in order to reach. All in all, this is an easy green to hit and greens in regulation equate to birdie opportunities – go get one here!
Bogey Beware: 7th Hole – 506 Yard Par 4 – With four par 4s over 500 yards, there are plenty of holes to pick from that can give you trouble at Tuhaye, but the winner here is the 7th. If 506 yards wasn’t enough, the uphill climb will surely nail someone in your group. After the slightly uphill tee shot, the hole starts climbing at a rapid pace and adds at least two clubs on your approach shot. The green is 42 yards deep but only half as wide and features gnarly native bushes on each side of the green. The green site would be plenty demanding with a low iron in your hand, but having to utilize a fairway wood or long iron to reach this elevated green is flat out brutal! Watch a video of the Gurus taking on Tuhaye's brutal 5th hole.