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Media take peek at new course

It's not scheduled to open until next spring, but the Old Mill Golf Course is in good enough shape for a sneak peek by the media Thursday afternoon.

The $11.5-million layout is the first public course to be built on the east side of Salt Lake County in several decades. It is built on an old gravel pit, just east of I-215 near 6200 South.The par-71 course has five tees on each hole and ranges from 6,731 yards from the back tees to 4,744 on the front tees. The longest hole is the 556-yard No. 13. The course will be run by Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation.

"With five tees, it can accommodate many different golfers," said Devin Dehlin, director of golf in Salt Lake County, who will also be the head pro at Old Mill. "It's player-friendly - it should be a fun course."

The terrain is hilly and yes, there are 18 holes that fit comfortably into the deceptive expanse of land that appears smaller from the freeway.

Most of the holes are configured so that they run in a northeast-to-southwest direction. There are two lakes on the course, and one hole (No. 11) requires a carry over both lakes. The front nine is fairly wide open, but the final four holes, 15 through 18, are all difficult because they are cut in among trees and oakbrush and are fairly narrow.

Besides a nice golf course, the Old Mill will have perhaps the finest dining facility of any public course in Utah. The banquet facility, which has been built to host wedding receptions and large dinner parties, will be open Dec. 1 in time to host Christmas functions. It has enough room to seat 150 people, with another 40 in the grill area. Nearly $2 million was spent on the clubhouse alone.

The course, designed by Gene Bates (who also designed the Riverbend and Green Spring courses), is scheduled to be open for play on May 1. Dehlin said the green fees would likely be $22 for 18 holes and $31.50, including a cart.