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CITY OF ROOSEVELT NOW HAS A GOLF COURSE WITH 18 HOLES

SHARE CITY OF ROOSEVELT NOW HAS A GOLF COURSE WITH 18 HOLES

Former Gov. Calvin L. Rampton eyed the large trees near the Roosevelt golf course.

"I remember when those things were just saplings," he said. "That's how old I am."And with that, the aging governor stepped to the 10th tee and smacked a drive down the middle, christening Roosevelt's new back nine.

"This was a community project," says Val Labrum, chairman of the Back Nine Committee. "Everybody got together and did what they had to do."

By bringing the course up to 18 holes, the town hopes to gain some credibility in the recreation market and bring more tourist interest to the Uintah Basin. That seems to be happening. And by making the back nine rugged and clever, Roosevelt gains points for imagination.

True, holes 10-18 have little in common with holes 1-9. But that seems to be the case with a lot of "added on" back nines these days. You can play "the old course" (as the people at St. Andrews like to say) at Roosevelt with its towering trees, green pastures and see-saw fairway layout, or you can play the new nine. But on the new nine you best take a cart, walking the hills, dales and cart paths will wear your spikes - and your legs - to the nubs.

And the back nine at Roosevelt is not for the faint of heart - or people who weep tears over lost golf balls. Almost every hole offers a way to get into trouble. An incredible, elevated tee on one par 3 forces you to hit a green surrounded by a ravine. And one par five has you hitting two blind shots into a split fairway with little or no idea about the results.

"Still," says Labrum, "the response has been very good. The course can be made tough, but from the white tees it's really relatively short."

In the end, if you're headed for Roosevelt, playing the new 18 is a good way to spend your spare time.