Location: 1030 N. 2600 West, Hurricane
Directions: From I-15, turn northeast at the south Hurricane exit onto SR-9 and drive toward Hurricane. At 2600 West and SR-9, turn north and drive about one mile to the clubhouse.
Head Pro: Kent Abegglen
Superintendent: Jeff Beteag
Course designer: Jeff Hardin
Year opened: 1994
Cost: Peak season, $52 (cart not included); midseason, $36; summer, $18
Reservations: 1-435-635-7888, taken 14 to 20 days in advance beginning at 7 a.m. Mondays
Easiest time to get on: Summer months and afternoons
Course record: 63, Randy Robertson
Course description: Located on the southwest end of Hurricane, the golf course sits above the red-rock Gould's Gulch with a panoramic view of the Pine Valley Mountains. The mainly target-style layout winds through red-sand desert and lava rock on the front nine, before taking a trip through a housing development on the back nine. The final few holes, however, return to the desert and give the best views of the mountains and gulch. The course is shorter than many but there are several changes in elevation and several dog-leg par 4s and 5s. Several greens slope severely from back to front, and there's plenty of undulation on all greens which makes approach shots and putting the biggest challenge.
Fun fact: After Hurricane began building Sky Mountain Golf Course on Bureau of Land Management land, with the BLM's approval, construction was halted for a few months on the final three holes by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service because it was disrupting the habitat of the protected Mojave desert tortoise. Eventually, the FWS allowed the construction to continue, saying the damage was already done. However, the FWS threatened to keep Hurricane from actually using the golf course and required safeguards to keep tortoises from being disturbed by golfers. Later, the state and BLM swapped 350 acres to guarantee the preservation of other tortoise habitat.
Holes to remember: Golfers who play Sky Mountain mostly enjoy the views offered on No. 1, No. 17 and No. 18, when they are hitting toward or alongside the spectacular twisted and jagged red rocks of Gould's Gulch. The par-4 first hole is a short dogleg-right that requires an accurate tee shot for a wedge or 9-iron approach. The slight dogleg-right 17th, another par 4, is the toughest driving hole as it curves around the end of a steep drop off. The approach is to a sloping green that leaves little room for error in the front, right or back.
The finishing par-5 18th is a tight driving hole, but those who find the fairway usually have a shot at reaching the green in two. However, the second shot is normally a blind fairway wood to a small and well-guarded green that slopes from left to right and toward the trouble and gulch on the right side.