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Wasatch Mountain State Park Golf Course Celebrates 50-Year Anniversary
Utah Section PGA Professionals (Left to Right) Lanny Neilsen, Bruce Summerhays, Craig Mackay and Chris Stover join Governor Gary Herbert (center) at the Wasatch Mountain Golf Course 50-year anniversary celebration.
Photo Credit: Fairways Media/Garrit Johnson
MIDWAY, UT – Saying, “Part of the reason our state’s tourism and travel is growing in double-digits every year is because we have so many wonderful things to do here with outdoor recreation. Skiing in the winter and golf in the summer, and in between, is an attraction and adds a significant economic benefit to our state,” Governor Gary Herbert joined in the 50-year celebration of Wasatch Mountain State Park Golf Course Saturday.
The 36-holes at Wasatch Mountain State Park make nearly every list of favorite public golf courses in Utah. Carved out of a pristine mountain setting and wonderfully conditioned, the Lakes and Mountain Courses offer spectacular year-round views of the mountains and Heber Valley.
Wasatch Mountain State Park Golf Course celebrated its 50-year anniversary, to the day, Saturday June 24 with a casual round of golf for Utah government and state park dignitaries including Governor Herbert. A list of award-winning Utah sportswriters and golf administrators also enjoyed the day as Head Professional Chris Stover hosted the event.
Wasatch Mountain State Park is widely recognized as a destination course that attracts golfers from the Salt Lake Valley and beyond, and makes out-of-state visitors marvel about its quality and affordability.
The golf courses stand as tributes to state parks and government boards that captured a vision of golf's potential in the 1960s, probably without realizing exactly what kind of jewels they were creating.
Recognizing that it is also the 60-year anniversary of the Utah State Parks division Governor Herbert said, “I appreciate that we have not just five national parks and five or six recreational areas that you always hear about but we have 43 state parks, which this is one, so we are not only celebrating this golf course here but also this state park.”
Stover speaks reverently of a course that has been “beloved, and lovingly cared for by so many people for so long.”
He is the current caretaker of a legacy of golf professionals that goes back to Lanny Nielsen (1967-1979), Bruce Summerhays (1980-1989) and Craig Mackay who was at the helm from 1989 to 2012,while dedicated superintendents, including current superintendent Lance Larson, the 2016 Utah Section PGA Superintendent of the Year, have maintained some of Utah's best fairways and greens.
Wasatch Mountain Golf Course, built in Midway on the Wasatch Mountain State Park property, formerly was the site of a successful open tournament for Utah Section PGA pros. Its place in Utah competitive golf history was secured in 2001 when now PGA Tour member Daniel Summerhays won his second consecutive Utah State Amateur title and in 2013 when Kelsey Chugg added her second Utah Women's State Am championship.
Wasatch Mountain Golf Course’s popularity and real impact is on Utah's rank-and-file golfers, who simply love playing them. Even with 36 holes, Wasatch Mountain Golf Course tee times remain precious in the prime golfing months.
What's now known as the Lake Course was basically the original 18-hole layout, as designed by William H. Neff, with some routing modifications to come. Bill Neff (not related) was the architect of another nine in 1973, and then nine more holes were built in 1998 to complete the Mountain Course.
Golf Operations Manager Bruce Strom said, “It was great to welcome everyone to the combined celebration of the 60th anniversary of Utah State Parks and the 50th anniversary of the golf course here at Wasatch Mountain State Park.”
Utah’s golfers know what they have in Wasatch Mountain State Park. They have treasured these courses for a half-century and are sure to keep loving them.
For more information please visit wasatchgolfcourse.com.