Golf News

Tom Weiskopf design set to open in St. George

Tom Weiskopf design set to open in St. George

ST. GEORGE, Utah — The Black Desert Resort Golf Course, a Tom Weiskopf-designed 18 holes hacked into the black-rock lava fields where Ivins butts up against Santa Clara, is scheduled to open on Saturday, May 27.

Tee times will be open to the public via online reservation, according to promotional materials shared by the course’s operators.

The course is opening as construction continues on the adjoining resort development, a massive complex planned to eventually include more than 1,000 residences, along with a 150-room hotel and wellness spa. Also in the works are single-family homes and commercial lots all moving in around the resort.

The unique setting, with its sprawling lava fields and dramatic surrounding scenery — the towering red rocks of Snow Canyon State Park are less than a mile away — could make the course a popular destination for serious golfers. It should also be accessible to casual players, though, with wide fairways and a design made “with playability in mind”, according to designers.

Weiskopf, a star golfer who became one of the country’s best-known course designers, died of pancreatic cancer in August. Before his death, he narrated a hole-by-hole flyover of the course. The video is posted on Black Desert’s Youtube channel.

Weiskopf’s design credits include TPC Scottsdale, home of the PGA Tour’s WM Phoenix Open and renovating Torrey Pines (North), which co-hosts the Tour’s Farmers Insurance Open. He is often credited with bringing the drivable par-4, which he tried to incorporate into many of his designs, back into vogue.

“I go back to the first time I played St. Andrews. I think it was 1970 and I drove the ball on the green at 9, 10, 12 and 18. I never did it on the same day because they were all at different directions. I think it should be no different than a reachable par 5. I told (Jay Morrish) I want to put a reachable par 4 on all of our golf courses. He said it was a great idea,” Weiskopf recalled. “I’ve put at least one if not two at all of the 73 golf courses I’ve done. I think it works best at the 16th or 17th hole. You don’t always pull them off. I would say three-fourths of them are in the 300-330 yard range. It just hit me when I played St. Andrews. These days, it seems to be the flavor of the month. But it’s a hard hole to do right and to make it exciting.”

Weiskopf was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in December 2020 after experiencing sharp pain in his stomach during the…


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