Way Over Par: Keep the driver in the bag at Logan River
Logan River Golf Course is one of the best-kept golf secrets in Utah.
The prices are reasonable and the course is always in great condition. The used golf balls in the pro shop are a mere $6.00 a dozen, which you will understand more clearly after playing a few holes, Logan River is not for the faint of heart.
If you ask the head golf professional, Jeff John, for a tip to carry out on the Riv it will undoubtedly be, "Try to leave the driver in the bag!"
The average Saturday morning hack would be well served to heed this advice, although a few moments on the putting green will show you that the 250-yard, par 4 first hole is just too inviting. As you watch player after player hit driver left into the weeds and right into the water you will understand why the majority of the locals are hitting irons off of the first tee. While the Riv is a relatively short par 71, playing at just 5,912 yards from the middle tees, you will soon realize that the course is no pushover.
If you choose to play the first hole safe, you will be rewarded with a short iron to the green and a legitimate chance for a birdie. Cave in to the urge to hit the driver and you will most likely be scrambling to make a par or bogey.
The second hole is a challenging par 4, but it pales in comparison to the par 4 third. With a menacing row of trees to the left, a bunker and trees on the right and water just beyond the bunker, it is easy to see why number three is ranked the most difficult on the course. While a newcomer may be at ease with the trouble that faces the tee shot on this hole, anyone who has played the River knows how fast you can turn a 4 into a 7 on this hole. The best advice for playing number three is this: pray you hit the fairway, pray you hit the green and pray you putt twice.That is all that this 12 handicap can tell you.
The fourth hole is a par 4 that doglegs sharply to the right around a large pond. This hole can be approached with many different strategies. Myself, as well as anyone else who is certain that they are seldom going to hit the ball with the face of the club will lay up on this hole with a short iron, leaving an approach over water. Others, who may have a little more confidence in their ball-striking abilities will try to bite off a chunk of the corner in order to take the water out of play on the second shot and leave a short pitch to the green. A layup will leave a medium to short iron into the green, the distance of your second shot will be dictated by your aggressiveness in laying up short of the water. Play it close and you will have a short iron in, guard against the water too much and you could be faced with 200 yards or more to the green.
Many will say that the way that you finish the first 4 holes at Logan River will certainly dictate your front nine, and possibly your final score for the day.
The front nine is finished with a par 5 that is a possible birdie for the straight hitter in your foursome. I assume that this it is not you.
The back nine begins with a reasonable par 5 that is narrow but unusually forgiving. If you play your tee shot to the left and your second shot just inside the 150 yard marker, you will have a short iron into this green, giving yourself a nice birdie chance.
No. 11 is also a birdie chance, a short par 4 that is only guarded by fairway bunkers on the right side. Hit a reasonable tee shot with a middle iron and you will have a short iron second, and possibly another birdie putt.
I suggest that you take advantage of these birdie opportunities that you have been given, as you are about to face one of the hardest tee shots on the golf course. Depending on the selected teeing ground, No. 12 presents a very difficult tee shot. A forced carry over a marsh is needed to hit a fairway that slopes away to the right and to the left. If you hit this fairway, the battle is mostly won, although I would not recommend putting yourself too far above the hole on this severely sloping green.
While all of the holes at Logan River are demanding in their own way, the course will reward a straight hitter. The course can be managed well with a 3 wood and steady diet of irons off of the tees. I would suggest that if you want to hit driver off every tee you might want to go and play Schneiters Bluff. There is simply no way to emphasize enough, the importance of keeping the ball in play at the Riv. Some type of hazard is in play on every hole at Logan River, which makes a good score that much more satisfying.
Logan River Golf Course is an excellent test of golf. Although it is a relatively short course, it will certainly present a problem for the golfer that believes its length to be a weakness.
The staff at Logan River will assure that you have an enjoyable day on the course, whether this is by congratulating you on a good round, or consoling you concerning the 26 golf balls that you lost.
For information about Logan River Golf Course and to reserve your tee time, you can call the pro shop at 435-753-7300.