Hideout named the top golf course in Utah and 36th-best golf course in the United States
by Bill Boyle
The Hideout Golf Club in Monticello has been named the top golf course in the state of Utah and one of the top courses in the United States, at the same time the course is struggling through the challenges of extended drought.
Golf Week magazine’s annual list of the top courses in the nation, in a publication titled Golfweek’s Best, is highly anticipated by golfers.
After several years of being listed in the top five courses in Utah, the Hideout topped the list in 2022 in a list that was released on June 6.
Even more prestigious than the state ranking is the Hideout’s position as the 36th-best public course in the entire nation.
The Hideout is listed among dozens of the most famous golf courses in the nation on a GolfWeek list titled The Top 100 Courses You Can Play.
If you can secure a tee time, the general public can play all of the courses on the list. However, the costs are exorbitant, including green fees of $575 at the top course on the list, Pebble Beach.
Greens fees for 18 holes at the Hideout are $30.
Other courses on the list boast extravagant green fees, including famed courses in Pinehurst NC, Banden OR, Hilton Head SC, and more.
Torrey Pines, in San Diego CA, sits at 37 on the national list, just behind the Hideout.
Torrey Pines has hosted several prestigious tournaments including the US Open. Last year, John Rahm birdied the last two of the 2021 US Open and won $2.5 million dollars at Torrey Pines.
Torrey Pines also hosts annual Farmers Insurance Open tournament in February, one of the most popular tournaments on the PGA Tour.
The cost to play 18 holes at Torrey Pines is $160, if you can secure a tee time.
Sand Hollow is the only other course in Utah to make the national list. It turns up at #55.
Redlands Mesa, in Grand Junction CO, is the last course to make the Top 100 list.
In the state of Utah, the Hideout tops the list for the first time. It edges out six courses in the St. George area (including Sand Hollow at #2 and Entrada at #3), in addition to Soldier Hollow in Midway (#4) Thanksgiving Point in Lehi (#5), and The Canyons in Park City (#9).
Jeff Simon, pro at the Hideout, is ecstatic over the latest rankings.
“This is remarkable,” said Simon, now in his second year at the Hideout. “These lists are followed very closely by golfers and will result in nationwide awareness of the course. What a great honor for the Hideout.”
Despite the remarkable rankings, the course is facing a series of turf challenges, triggered in large part to the extended drought that has limited the amount of water for the course.
Course officials hope that the arrival of the monsoon season will bring much anticipated rain to the area.
The course covers approximately 114 acres along South and North creeks, including areas that are not watered heavily. This can include the rough and the driving range.
Other areas of the course require more attention, including landing areas on the fairway. However, it is the approximately 70 tee boxes and 18 greens that need tender loving care. These areas have suffered in the current season.
In addition to limited water, a series of additional challenges have threatened many of the tee boxes and greens, including equipment breakdowns, fertilizing problems, water line breaks and more.
Several portions of the greens and a number of tee boxes have been replanted and are showing some signs of recovery.
The arrival of the monsoon season was accompanied by torrential rains that brought flooding to the course on July 1. Crews were able to quickly repair the damage, which was mostly limited to cart paths.
The following evening, the course hosted a tournament with 23 four-man teams and had only one stuck golf cart.
The challenges were so significant that a special tournament to celebrate the 20th anniversary at the Hideout, originally scheduled for May, was delayed in hopes of better conditions for golf. It is now scheduled to take place on October 1.
The Hideout opened as an 18-hole course in 2002. A partnership agreement between the City of Monticello and US Department of Energy expanded the existing 9-hole course in as part of the Monticello Uranium Millsite Cleanup.
Initial plans were to build a new 18-hole course on the mill site east of the current course, but the city was able to secure a donation of private land and expand the existing nine-hole layout. The federal government provided approximately $3 million to build the new layout, with the construction costs part of the clean up project.
The project was covered extensively over several years in Golf Journal magazine, the official publication of the United States Golf Association.
The new course was designed by Forest Richardson, working with the original nine-hole course architect Arthur Jack Snyder. Richardson is currently serving as the president of the American Society of Golf Course Architects
Simon reports that the Hideout is having success, with increased play during the most recent year. “We made about $5,000 for the year,” reports Simon, “without any subsidy from the city.”
He adds that the course is a great draw for the community, bringing in golfers from far and wide and helping to establish Monticello as the home of the top golf course in the state.