It's definitely the best deal of any country club in Utah. You can play 18 holes for just $15 on a scenic course that blends a classic nine nearly 50 years old with an imaginative new nine that opened last year.
Actually, the Carbon Country Club is really a public course as far as golf is concerned. While country club members get certain amenities, including a clubhouse near the pro shop, anybody can drive up, plop down their money and enjoy some great golf.The course was built in the late 1940s by local townsfolk, including Pres Summerhays - the father of Senior Tour pro Bruce Summerhays - who was the first pro and designer of the original nine.
That nine is largely intact, although a par-3 was added in the renovation last year and a couple of new greens were added along with seven bunkers.
Carbon head pro Kris Abegglen designed the new nine, located directly south of the old nine. In describing the course, Abegglen said, "It looks benign, but it's a challenger. It's a precision golf course."
The course now starts down below the elevated clubhouse at the old No. 4 hole. The first three holes are similar par-4s with tree-lined fairways. The sixth hole is the new hole on the nine, taking away part of the par-5 seventh, which has been extended beyond its original green.
The old No. 1, formerly one of the state's best par-3s, has been converted into a short par-4 and is now the opening hole on the back nine. The elevated tee shot is still exhilarating, but the better players may not be able to hit a wood at the 259-yard hole or they'll end up in a pond that guards the green.
The other eight holes are on the other side of a plateau that sticks out as a divider between the nines. Holes 13 through 17 offer some different tee lengths that the average golfer won't see too often.
The 13th is just 96 yards from the whites, but it's an uphill shot to a well-bunkered green. No. 14 is a short par-5 at 461 from the white tees, but a 482-yard par-4 from the blues. There aren't many par-4s in the world that long.
The 15th measures just 407 from the whites, a very short par-5, but that's deceiving because the hole is uphill with a narrow fairway dissected by the Price River to a shallow green fronted by a couple of trees.
No. 16 is the signature hole, a short par-4 with water in front and a waterfall cascading off a cliff behind another shallow green. Abegglen said the hole will eventually be lengthened from its present 280 yards. The 17th is a long par-3 at 202, while the final hole is another short par-4 at 265 yards.
Because of the location near the sandstone cliffs, Carbon has some strange winds. Sometimes you can be 150 yards from the green with the wind in your face, hitting to a flag that is blowing in the opposite direction.
Abegglen says they're still "cleaning up the corners," at Carbon and that the course is improving all the time.
"It's a couple of years away from being a very good golf course," he said.
Carbon County Club
HOLE PAR YARDS*
1 4 386
2 4 415
3 4 392
4 5 439
5 4 390
6 3 146
7 5 454
8 3 162
9 4 338
OUT 36 3,122
HOLE PAR YARDS*
10 4 259
11 4 314
12 4 357
13 3 96
14 5 461
15 5 407
16 4 280
17 3 202
18 4 265
IN 36 2,641
TOTAL 72 6,186
LOCATION: Highway 6, Helper-Price
HEAD PROFESSIONAL: Kris Abegglen
DESIGNER, YEAR OPENED: Front, Pres Summerhays 1948; Back, Kris Abbegglen 1994
COST: $7.50/$15, carts $8/$16
RESERVATIONS: 637-2388, One week in advance
EASIEST TIME TO GET ON: Weekdays, 1-4 p.m.
COURSE RECORD: Kris abegglen 62, Jim Fiala 65 (competitive)
ENJOYABILITY INDEX: 4