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A New Ute Beaut

"It's what I call "receptive golf'—every level of player will have a fighting chance," said the proud course designer at the Labor Day grand opening of the new layout at Promontory, The Ranch Club, a residential community emerging from the roseate ridges and valleys between the Wasatch and Uinta ranges east of Salt Lake City. An unremarkable statement, really, had it not come from "Penal Pete" Dye. His new effort, the Pete Dye Canyon Golf Course, does represent a mellowing of sorts. There are six sets of tees (including one for juniors), ample saddled fairways, greens that could be measured not in square feet but in acreage and nary a railroad tie or pot bunker in sight.

Family-friendly and forgiving as it may be, the course doesn't roll over and Dye. Miss those big fairways and greens and you'll be wedging out from ferocious fescue. And as Dye warns, "Don't even think of playing from the back tees." No, sir, not at 7,696 yards, including 299 on the all-carry par-three eighth. Along with the club-selection challenges inherent at 7,000 feet above sea level, fickle winds slyly alter the effective length of the opening nine, which bob through sagebrush-laden hillsides and offer many panoramic mountain views. Flowing through canyons, the inward half serves up less breeze and even more stunning vistas.

Homesites start at $250,000 and currently include golf-club membership. (Daily fee play is limited to four groups per day, at $125 a head.) Promontory will ultimately offer four more courses, including a Jack Nicklaus design set for 2006. Will Dye share with his fellow Ohioan any tips on working with Utah's rugged topography?"At this point in our lives," says Dye, "all Jack and I ever talk about is our bad backs."
—Jon Rizzi

For information call 888-458-6600. Nearby: Park City Golf Club (6 miles; 801-521-2135); Golf Club at Thanksgiving Point (40 miles; 801-768-7401).

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