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Golf: Taming the Wild

James Y. Bartlett

No one sits still for very long in Park City, Utah. In the winter, of course, everyone in town is skiing on what the locals call "the world’s best powder" at Deer Valley, The Canyons, or Park City Mountain Resort. Or they are ice-skating, cross-country skiing, or snowshoeing through the Wasatch Mountains. Come summer, there is jogging, mountain biking, hiking, fishing, or some other pursuit that involves the outdoors and aerobic activity.

As for golf, sure, there are a few inviting courses, and everyone walks and carries his or her own bag. Take a cart, and the other golfers will regard you as though you are from another planet—or Los Angeles. Now, however, Park City has a golf venue that appeals equally to the outdoorsy types with ruddy complexions and gung-ho personalities, and to those like me who like to sit a spell and take in the view. Glenwild, Park City’s first gated golf community, is located just outside of town, over a ridge that screens the sight and the sound of traffic on I-80. The 900-acre development, which was once a sheep ranch, includes fewer than 200 homesites set among the hills. Situated in a scenic valley far apart from the community’s roads and future homes is the property’s centerpiece, a 7,541-yard course designed by Tom Fazio.

This distance includes the 633-yard, par-5 16th and the 498-yard, par-4 18th. If these pars seem unreasonable for such distances, it is because the overall elevation of the property—about 5,000 feet above sea level—adds a little zing to any shot. However, thin air will not help with the many forced carries over brushy conservation plots, and golfers also have to contend with the subtle breaks on the expansive greens. Still, Fazio has crafted a layout that promises to keep the members’ interest piqued. Indeed, the course is already considered among the best in Utah.

After the round, Glenwild’s 37,000-square-foot clubhouse awaits. While some Park Citians may want to cool down with a three-mile jog, I suggest heading for the terrace outside the dining room (a fire circle wards off the nighttime chill), where you can enjoy a dinner from the kitchen of executive chef Pedro Sevilla (late of Tucson’s Encore Med) and savor the mountain panorama.

If 18 holes and dinner are not enough activity for one day, a full-service spa is adjacent to the pro shop. There, you can get a massage or a facial to help relax strained golfing muscles and reduce the effects of the high-altitude sun and wind. Just beyond the spa is a fully equipped exercise room that overlooks the heated pool and hot tubs. A concierge staff is available at all times to book dinner reservations at one of the many restaurants along Park City’s main drag (look both ways for cyclists and in-line skaters during the summer months), to look after your Glenwild home while you are away, or to shuttle you to the slopes for a day of skiing.

While sitting on the terrace, enjoying my second (or was it my third?) cocktail, I declined opportunities to play tennis, ride a bike to the heights of Glenwild, play a second round of golf, and even to move my feet so that the cleaning staff could vacuum under my chair. "Strained something," was my response to each invitation. It may have been my credibility that was strained, but in Park City, you need an excuse to do nothing.

Glenwild, 877.924.9453, www.glenwild.com

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