May 20, 2022

Coral Canyon Golf Course Review

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cactus on coral canyon golf courseWashington County in Southern Utah, which includes both St. George and Washington City, isn’t nicknamed “Color Country” for nothing.

Coral Canyon golf course has added to the “Color Country” allure.  The course has a striking presence that immediately gets your attention from I-15 via the large contrast of green grasses against the red of the natural desert terrain.  Most of the golf courses near St. George are noticeable this way as well.  What makes Coral Canyon unique is the backdrop of Pine Mountain and the Mesas of Zion National Park, which aren’t viewable from a St. George proper course.

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While planning the new set of links, golf course architect Keith Foster envisioned utilizing the native Utah desert features, especially the red rock outcroppings, to provide Coral Canyon with personality.  He also wanted to lay the course into the surroundings rather than over them – kind of like including Mother Nature as part of the Coral Canyon design team.  Foster succeed in both counts.

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With Foster’s vision now a reality, many golfers are left asking their playing partners – “is this real life?” – just like the famous YouTube video of the kid post a drug-induced dentist visit.

Golf course pundits like the results as well.  Golf Digest has ranked Coral Canyon #4 in their “Utah’s Places to Play” list.  Golf for Women rated the course in their “Fifty Best Courses for Women”.  Zagat Survey’s America’s Top Golf Courses also consistently gives kudos to the Washington, Utah course.

Yes, I said it.  I called Coral Canyon a Washington City based golf course because, well, it is.  Coral Canyon’s own copy on the homepage of their website says “Located in what many call Coral Canyon golfing in Utah“Color Country” in St. George, Utah”, which kind of makes me chuckle.  Perhaps the managers of the course are the type of snobbish southern Utahn that considers Washington City natives backward, in-breed farmers.  They’re really not, of course, as Washington City has progressed tremendously over the last 20 years.  Most likely Coral Canyon claims St. George as to not scare away potential golfers who may not realize Washington is adjacent to St. George.  The commute from St. George to Washington is a short one.  So, don’t let the “real” location scare you away from experiencing this great course.

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Fairway Magazine has this to say about Coral Canyon, “The fairways at Coral Canyon are generously wide and the greens are designed to allow you to run the ball up to the green or fly it all the way to the pin. Perhaps the quality that separates this course from many others is the great rhythm of the design. The course plays like a symphony with a flow and a mix that piques your interest and enhances your enjoyment. The best compliment that golfers usually bestow upon the Coral Canyon Golf Course is that it is fun, a term used too rarely to describe modern golf. Par: 72, Yards: 7,029, Rating/Slope: 73.0/137”

coral canyon washington cityNicely said Fairway.  We’ll add that the course features 55 sand bunkers, two lakes, and a labyrinth of dry washes with plenty of risk/reward opportunities.  Players appreciate the wide variety of tee shots.  The course is challenging, yet playable enough that you may get a chance to pull off “That Shot” to make your day.  There’s lots of long carries from the tees, but no tricked up approach shots to speak of.  Coral Canyon lays everything out in front of you, and rewards good play.

As for Coral Canyon golf course downsides – it is one of the most expensive courses in southern Utah.  If you’re pinching pennies in this lousy economy, we suggest you play Sunbrook instead.  Some people find the cart paths a real nuisance as well.  The paths are pretty far from the fairways at points, which slows down play and gives some golfers more walking exercise than they were likely anticipating.

Have you played Coral Canyon?  If so, we want your opinion.  Please rate the course, and leave your observations in the comments section.  Future readers will appreciate your thoughts.

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