Moab Golf Club: Keep Your Eyes on the Ball

By Michael Hunsinger, Contributor

Nestled amongst the red rock cliffs along the Colorado River Valley is the southeastern Utah town of Moab. The area around Moab has great diversity for the outdoor enthusiast, including a championship 18-hole golf course. Moab is 30 miles south of interstate 70 off exit 180 in eastern Utah. The golf course is about three miles south of town, amongst beautiful strands of trees and the local geological splendor of the rock formations.

If you go

Upon arrival at the Moab Golf Club, you'll find ample parking next to the well-designed clubhouse. The 19th hole is located in the clubhouse and is very spacious with lots of choices. If you arrive early for your tee time, have breakfast made to order from the lovely energetic ladies who work in the 19th hole. They are full of life and will get your day started in the right way.

At the other end of the clubhouse is the pro shop, with a nice selection of apparel, accessories, and golf equipment. For the ladies, the pro shop had one of the best selection's of women's apparel I have ever seen. On this day we were hosted by golf professional Glenn Richeson, who took the time to show us around the pro shop. We found the staff to be very courteous and ready to help with all our questions.

Moab golf club's practice facilities are ample and well taken care of. The practice putting green is just outside the clubhouse and has plenty of room for all golfers. There is a grass driving range, and a chipping area near the clubhouse for the warmup of your round. I appreciate the practice facilities having plenty of room for all golfers.

Carts are not mandatory, and I find Moab Golf Club to be a fairly easy walk. Green fees are $20 to walk and add $10 if you are taking a cart. As we were about to find out, this is an incredible deal. Take in the beautiful color contrast of the green grass and the Redd rock cliffs surrounding you on all sides.

Moab golf club has four sets of tees, and we decided to play off of the blues, which measured 6120 yards for the course. No. 1 is a 477 yard, par five, slight dog leg left with a great opportunity to start off with a good score. Out of bounds lines the left side so, guard against that and shoot for the small, back to front sloping green. No. 2 is a 352-yard par four, which you need to place your tee shot just right of the big rock lining the left side of the fairway. Your approach shot could be blind if you don't get far enough down the fairway as the green lays in a small valley over the hill.

No. 3 is a 301-yard par four, which only requires a mid-iron off the tee unless you're going for the green. Now you're heading into a section of holes that take you up against the red rock cliffs and incredible scenery. When you get a chance, take a moment and look around at your surroundings. I have had the opportunity to play this course a few times in the past, and I find the greens to be a little quicker than most courses I play. They tend to be firmer due to the dryness of the desert, so I play a lot of bump and runs, be careful on your chip shots, they tend to run aggressively. Number four is a gorgeous par 3 at 138 yards, downhill into a little valley next to the cliffs. The green is fast back to front, so try to keep your tee shot below the hole.

No. 5 is a 455-yards par five, along the edge of the red rocks. With a good drive you can make it there in two, but the green is elevated and has trouble on all sides.

No. 6 is a 395-yard par four, hard dog leg right to left. You can try to cut off as much of the corner as possible, and go towards the green. No. 7 is a 183-yard par 3, then you don't want to be long on. This green is usually firm and you need to land your tee shot just short of the green and let it run from there. Number eight is a 309-yard par four that requires about 200 yards off the tee to lay up short of the lake. Your approach shot takes you over the lake to a large to tiered green. No. 9 is a 369-yard par four, with bunkers surrounding your tee shot to the green.

The outward 9 starts off with a 183 yards, par 3, with a good chance for a birdie or par. No. 11 is a 396 yards, par four, which plays longer because of being uphill.

The green is fairly large and has a two tiered effect. Hole No. 12 is a 119 yards, par 3, over a lake to a green sloping back to front. Take enough club and forget about the water, two putt, and move on.

Holes No. 13 and 14 both require accuracy off the tee and not distance. Choose a 200 yard tee shot, unless you're going for the green.

No. 15 is a long and difficult par 5. Playing at 560 yards with trouble on both sides of the fairway, keeping it in play is the key to making a par. Nos. 16 and 17 play next to each other, and they are good chances for pars. With a good drive both of these holes have scoring opportunities. No. 18 is a 558 yard, par 5, which seems to play longer. Usually this whole plays into the wind coming from the South.

I always find Moab Golf Club to be in excellent condition from tee to green. The hard work of superintendent Ned Kirk and his staff can be seen throughout the course. If you get out of the green grass areas and into the sage and the red rock sand, don't get cute. Either take your penalty, or try to just punch back out to the fairway. Believe me when I tell you from experience you could be in their hacking away for what seems like hours.

Summertime tends to be warm in Moab, so try to play early and hydrate as you play. The other three seasons of the year have great golf from sunrise to sunset. In short, Moab Golf Club is one of the best kept secrets of golfing in the state of Utah.

Moab Golf Club
2705 S. East Bench Rd.
Moab, Utah 84532
Telephone: 435-259-6488
Fax: 435-259-3810

Golf Pro: Glen Richeson
Superintendent: Ned Kirk
Greens: bent
Fairways: bluegrass
Carts: not mandatory
Greens fees: $20 walking, $30 with cart
Tee times: 30 days in advance
Range balls: $3
Rating and slope: 68.8 / 119
Public course built in 1986

Michael Hunsinger, Contributor

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