Black Desert Resort is on a roll.
Literally, Black Desert Resort gained a giant piece of momentum for the new course located next to Entrada Golf Club in southern Utah.
It just opened in May.
In the past 20 days, the Black Desert track landed a 2025 LPGA Tour event and a PGA Tour stop, the first Tour stop for Utah in 60 years.
The PGA Tour announced Friday that Utah’s newest golf course will host the Black Desert Championship in 2024. It will be part of the FedEx Cup fall series. In other words, many of the best golfers in the world will target Utah to chase Cup points.
This is huge.
The course hasn’t even cut its grass more than a few dozen times this summer and the world’s best players can now put two professional events on their calendar.
This is a home run for Utah, for golf in the state, and for Black Desert Resort, located in Ivins.
If you thought it was already hard to get tee times in southern Utah, just wait. The world will get a peek of Black Desert’s pristine and immaculate fairways and greens cut out of a beautiful lava field and word will spread about play all over the St. George area.
“Oh, this is big time,” said St. George director of golf Colby Cowan.
“I mean, I think we’ll see big things happen around here because of it. I don’t think we fully understand the impact it’s going to have on our area and all golf courses. I mean, it’s going to elevate it to where people are going to be looking at St. George and Washington County as a true golf destination and getaway.
“I think you can see some people saying, ‘Hey, let’s go to Bandon Dunes and the next year we’ve got to hit up St. George again.’ Everything is really gonna change the complexity of golf down here entirely. It’s a new set of eyes on all of our golf courses. I mean, it’s gonna help raise the tide a little bit. We’re all gonna benefit from it greatly and it’s going to make us work harder to make things better.”
In early May, I had the chance to play some of the holes at Black Desert. It was eye-popping, challenging, yet fair. The rough is minimal because of the wide fairways and the lava rock fields that line the entire layout. No question the layout can be set up to challenge the world’s best from the tips.
“We are thrilled to partner with Black Desert Resort in bringing PGA Tour golf to the state of Utah,” said PGA Tour executive vice president and president Tyler Dennis. “In introducing the PGA Tour — and the LPGA the following year — to a new market, we look forward to collaborating with the Black Desert Resort team in their vision for professional golf in the greater Zion community. Competitively, our members will enjoy the challenges and incredible views that define the Black Desert Golf Course.”
It is estimated the financial impact to the area will be more than $60 million. Black Desert Resort, when all phases are complete, is destined to be the largest resort in Utah — bigger than any ski resort. A hotel, shops, condos, spas, pools and the golf course will make it a destination stop for sure.
Covering the event as media or attending the event as a fan will be an interesting addition to the Utah sports scene.
“Black Desert Resort has quickly made a huge impact on Utah golf history, already having announced an Epson Tour event, the Black Desert Resort Championship, this fall at Soldier Hollow Golf Course in Midway and bringing an LPGA Tour championship to St. George in 2025,” remarked Randy Dodson, publisher of Fairways Magazine, the official publication of the Utah Golf Association.
“With today’s announcement of a PGA Tour event in the fall of 2024, Black Desert Resort has reestablished Utah’s significance in professional tour golf, all at a time when the game of golf in Utah has seen significant growth. Junior golfers and even casual golf fans will now have a chance to see the world’s best golfers in person. And by the way, the golf course itself is a must-play.”
The Senior PGA Tour, now the Champions Tour, used to conduct a stop in Park City at Jeremy Ranch and we’d see some of the legends of the game. Then we had the Champions Challenge at Thanksgiving Point, which featured a lot of father-son combinations of senior pros, including hall of famers Johnny Miller, Billy Casper, Jack Nicklaus and many others.
But this Black Rock Championship event is a long-overdue call from the PGA Tour itself. The last time we had a Tour event was the Utah Open back in 1963 at the Salt Lake Country Club when Tommy Jacobs earned the trophy.
The folks at Black Desert Resort should be extremely satisfied. Tour officials dropped in for a visit, toured the course, viewed the resort hotel plans, and bit. It’s a giant compliment to all involved.
It says a lot about Tom Weiskopf’s design, located in a beautiful setting in our red rock country.
“We are honored to host the world’s most prestigious professional golf tours at Black Desert Resort,” said Black Desert’s managing partner Patrick Manning. “Bringing the best from the PGA Tour and LPGA Tour to Black Desert, then having the best experience imaginable, along with their fans, is priority No. 1.”