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EAGLEWOOD GETS FOUR STARS - FOR THE FRONT 9

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Eaglewood, the newest golf course in Utah, offers a variety of interesting holes in a peaceful mountainside setting with tremendous views of the Great Salt Lake below.

The front nine does, anyway.After playing the front nine recently I was ready to give the course at least a four-star rating. Then came the back nine, which unfortunately doesn't compare with the front. We'll get to that in a minute.

Eaglewood is located in North Salt Lake, just 10 minutes from downtown Salt Lake City with much of the course set in an old gravel pit. You'd never know it looking at the verdant fairways set amid the oak brush.

The first few holes are well laid-out and make you feel like you're in your own little world with the only sound being the chirping of birds. No. 2 is a beautiful hole, a 424-yarder, heading downhill toward the valley from an elevated tee.

The pretty 8th hole has a lake behind it, but beware - it collects balls like a magnet if you don't know the right distance. The card said 142 from the whites, but after my partner and I deposited three balls into the water, we discovered a marker that read 108 yards. Apparently all the tees aren't finished yet.

The best hole on the course is the par-5 No. 9 hole, which measures 524 yards from the blues. The tee shot goes over the edge of the same lake as No. 8 and the fairway has a diagonal dip that runs through it with a couple of fairway bunkers. It's possible to hit the green in two, but the question is, do you want to try. The green appears as a small target between a lake on the left and a steep slope behind and to the right of the hole.

In the original design, No. 9 was supposed to be No. 18, which would have been a perfect ending hole with a natural amphitheatre behind the green. And it's too bad it can't be your last hole of the day.

Because things go downhill (literally) in a hurry on the back side. After playing an uphill slight dogleg right hole at No. 10, you start to descendthe mountain amid new-home construction lining the fairways.

Nos. 11, 12 and 13 all head straight north with blind approach shots to low-elevation greens. Perhaps after playing a few times, you'd figure out where to hit the ball, but to first-timers, it can be quite frustrating.

When you get through with 13, walkers will wish they'd shelled out a few extra bucks for a cart. Because it's a long climb back home as the final five holes all head uphill with considerable distance between some holes and from the 18th hole to the clubhouse.

Each of Eaglewood's holes have a name, which is a fun idea that more courses should consider. My favorites were No. 5, "Straight and Narrow," which heads directly toward the new Bountiful Temple, No. 14, a tough uphill hole called "Cussin Corner" and the last hole, "Fat Chance," a short hole (272 from the whites) that tempts the bolder golfer to take a chance and hit a driver, rather than lay up with an iron.

Eaglewood is certainly worth a try. But unless you're a mountain climber or marathon runner, you should seriously consider an electric cart. And if you only have time for nine holes, well, you know which side to play.

*****

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Eaglewood Golf Course

DIFFICULTY

* * *

LAYOUT/SCENERY

* * *

ENJOYABILITY INDEX

* * *

(5=highest rating, 0=lowest)

HOLE PAR YARDS*

1 4 392

2 4 424

3 5 454

4 3 164

5 4 362

6 4 308

7 4 363

8 3 142

9 5 456

OUT 36 3065

10 4 424

11 4 390

12 4 365

13 4 425

14 4 393

15 3 154

16 5 453

17 3 134

18 4 272

IN 35 3010

TOTAL 71 6075

*Middle tees

LOCATION:

1110 E. Eaglewood Dr., North Salt Lake

HEAD PROFESSIONAL:

Chris Jones

YEAR OPENED/DESIGNER:

1994, Keith Foster

COST:

$7.50/$15, carts $4 per person per nine, range $2/$3.50

RESERVATIONS:

299-0088, two days in advance, Thursdays for weekends

EASIEST TIME TO GET ON:

Mondays, weekdays, 1 p.m. - 3 p.m.

COURSE RECORD:

Chris Jones,

Matt Johnson 65