When the May edition of Golf Digest magazine landed on the desk of Adam Jasperson, the director of golf and resort operations at Sand Hollow Resort and Golf Club in Hurricane, he didn’t initially pay much attention to it.

Then Jasperson, who has worked in one capacity or another at the course in southern Utah since it opened in 2008, noticed that one of the leading publications in golf had produced its list of “America’s 100 Greatest Golf Holes” for the first time since 1999.

No fewer than three holes on Sand Hollow’s Championship Course made the list, with the par-3 15th hole landing at No. 59, the par-4 13th hole landing at No. 83 and the par-4 12th hole landing at No. 85.

“We were more than excited,” Jasperson said. “I started thumbing through it, and I saw our hole 12 on there (holes were listed from No. 100 to No. 1, which is hole 16 at Cypress Point Golf Club in Pebble Beach, California). I go, ‘Wow.’ Then I was shocked. So my initial reaction was a little bit of shock, a little bit of honor.

“Then to find out we have two more on the list; that’s when it all kind of piqued our interest and we all started paying attention.”

No other golf holes in Utah made the list, despite that in 2023 the magazine ranked the top golf courses in every state and ranked Sand Hollow as the sixth-best course in Utah, behind No. 1 Glenwild, No. 2 Victory Ranch, No. 3 Red Ledges, No. 4 Promontory (Painted Valley Course) and No. 5 Talisker Club at Tuhaye.

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The magazine explained that it compiled a list of more than 1,200 holes, then put together a panel of course-ranking experts and asked them to judge each hole on a scale of 1 to 10 in four categories: uniqueness, aesthetics, challenge and overall appeal.

“Sometimes a hole is better — or worse — than the sum of its parts,” wrote author Derek Duncan.

Designed by former BYU golf standout John Fought, Sand Hollow is accessible to any golfer willing to shell out $138 for 18 holes and a cart on weekdays, $184 on weekends. Pricing is dynamic, so rates may change depending on the season and time of day.

Jasperson said that of the 100 holes on the list, 22 didn’t exist in 1999 at the time of Golf Digest’s first ranking of top holes, including the three at Sand Hollow.

“To have three of the 22 holes that didn’t exist, the honor of it all, and the humbleness, kept growing and growing as we got further into it,” he said. “So it was pretty cool.”

No Utah courses made the magazine’s list of top 100 courses in the country last year, but Sand Hollow has been on other top 100 or top 200 lists, such as the top 200 courses the general public can play, or the top 100 resort courses or the top 200 modern courses.

Sand Hollow Championship Resort Course in St. George, Utah.
Hole No. 12 at Sand Hollow Championship Resort Course in Hurricane, Utah. | Randy Dodson, Fairways Media

“I wouldn’t say we are overlooked, but I am surprised at how many people still don’t know we even exist,” Jasperson said. “… Arguably some of the best golf courses in the country are in Utah and I think Utah gets overlooked by the (national) golfing community. We have seen more attention the last few years, which has been good. We have seen more travelers and more destination golfers coming to Utah. But I don’t think the Sand Hollow Resort has been overlooked from a local perspective.”

Coincidentally, Jasperson’s favorite hole on the course isn’t even on the back nine, which features all those views from the red cliffs and the three holes singled out by Golf Digest.

“When you get to spend as much time on one property, you get to know the different details of every hole. I have to say that hole No. 6 on the front nine of the championship course is probably my most favorite hole,” he said.

“It is challenging. It can be rewarding. Aesthetically, it is beautiful. It doesn’t have the same view as the back nine does with the cliff edge. But just as a stand-alone golf hole, it is one of my favorites.”

Golfers who ace any par-3 on the course — with witnesses — get a signed flag from the pro shop when they report their feat. Jasperson says No. 11 gives up the most aces, No. 15 — which is 230 yards from the back tees — the fewest.

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“People are shocked at the beauty of those cliff holes,” Jasperson said. “When you get on the tee box on hole 11, it feels like you are on the edge of the world. And then to make the turn to hole 12, and everything on the left side drops off, and then hole 13 appears as if it is almost floating.

“Same with hole 14. And then you get to hole 15, which is the signature hole, with the green cut into the hillside, and it is awesome. It is just stunning view after stunning view after stunning view and each one builds upon the past.”

Jasperson, who gave up a career in the construction industry to work at the course and has gone from range boy to starter to head professional to general manager and now director of golf, says employees in the pro shop never get tired of hearing guests marvel at the back nine when they complete their rounds.

“The shock and awe that we get from people is amazing. They can’t believe that it is not man-made.

They are just shocked that these elements were all here and all we did was move a little dirt,” he said. “We didn’t blow anything up. We didn’t cut into the rocks. It was all very natural landscape when we shaped these holes.”

Here’s what Golf Digest had to say about each hole:


No. 12: “Sand Hollow’s 12th speeds along the same red rock ledge as the 13th and 15th, but the catcher’s mitt shaping around the green makes it more forgiving, though players who want the best angle into it still need to challenge the precipice.”

No. 13: “Bunkers squeeze the landing area in front of the green on this short par-4, and drives that miss left will find recoveries impossible from the valley floor 100 feel below, meaning the smart tactic is to lay up, wedge on, make par and just enjoy the view.”

Hole No. 15 of the Sand Hollow Championship Resort Course in St. George, Utah.
Hole No. 15 of the Sand Hollow Championship Resort Course in Sand Hollow Championship Resort Course in Hurricane, Utah. | Randy Dodson, Fairways Media

No. 15: “The setting of this par-3 in southwest Utah, with views stretching 20 miles north, is one of the most memorable in the United States with the green propped on a red rock terrace that falls over 100 feet to a valley floor on the left.”

Author’s note: When I worked for The Salt Lake Tribune in 2013, I completed a lifelong quest to play every golf course in Utah, and wrote about that “golf odyssey” here, along with ranking my favorites. Sand Hollow was my top public-access course, while Victory Ranch was my favorite private course.

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