IVINS – The Dixie State University golf team took a look at the soon-to-be new training facilities and the home course at the Black Desert Resort, and the Trail Blazers have plenty to admire.
Triston Gardner, a freshman at DSU and former juvenile at Snow Canyon High School, told St. George News: “It’s so cool.” “It would mean a lot to us. Super excited.”
“I think that’s going to be big for recruiting,” Gardner added. “We already have a really good staffing with our privileges to play all the courses here. So you will add the cherry on top of that.”
The course design at Black Desert was created by architects Phil Smith and Tom Weiskopf. Both were on site on Friday afternoon to give the Trailblazers a guided tour of what was to come at Ivins.
The name Weiskopf is familiar to all golf lovers. The 16-time PGA Tour winner became famous for his two wives against Jack Nicklaus throughout the 1970s. Wiskov’s signature victory was when he won the 1973 British Open in Troon, Scotland.
Speaking to the media and Trailblazers, Weiskopf said that the links path in Troon is very different from the path in Black Desert, mainly due to the lava rocks that dominate the terrain.
“We have lava here on all 18 holes,” Weiskopf said. “There are only two vents with lava on the sides, 12 and 13.”
Weiskopf and Smith designed golf courses all over the world in places such as Scotland, Italy and Argentina. Among the states that display their course designs are Arizona, Colorado, Wyoming, Texas, California, Ohio, and Michigan.
Weiskopf said the Black Desert course stands out on that list for one reason.
“There is a lot of change in direction from hole to hole,” he said. “Which really helps. If you look at all the really great courses around the world, if you can keep changing direction, the wind affects everyone differently for 18 holes.”
Weiskopf is working with Smith and the construction team as the course continues to evolve.
“The biggest challenge here was getting Tom’s ideas down to paper, and then to the construction team,” Smith said. “They need a plan to follow. There are a lot of great features in this case, you don’t want to miss it. And then you have to have a space to play golf.”
Weiskopft was asked what advice he would give college golfers hoping to transition to the PGA.
“I think today I would really focus on my body being more flexible. Being stronger,” Weiskopf replied. “I was going to get into a specific exercise routine. We didn’t have that when I was playing.”
“And I think I’m going to spend a lot of time on the short game side,” he added. “This is where trophies are won or lost.”
He also said that Trail Blazers should work with coaches that inspire confidence.
“The only thing that can hold you back in golf is your scorecard,” Weiskopf said. “That is the only thing. It is a difficult game. It requires a lot of stamina and perseverance, there is no doubt about it.”
Another thing he would do, Wesskopf added, is work with a sports psychologist to help with the mental difficulties of the game.
“No one has all the answers, but I’m sure I need help,” Weskov said. “There is nothing wrong with that. Find someone you can trust and believe in.”
Weiskopf and Trailblazers talked about defining golf ties, types of golf around the world, different terrain types for courses, and vault design strategies.
Development officials said that utmost care is being taken to protect the lava flows and preserve the area’s natural beauty.
While the course design at Black Desert won’t really suit it for professional play, it will provide an ideal destination for team tournaments throughout the year.
This is just one of the many benefits Trail Blazers see in their future home path.
“It’s going to be a huge deal. It’s a game changer,” said Spencer Dunaway, assistant golf coach at Dixie State. “As a golf team and as a program it would be phenomenal. We already have the best weather in the state, and now with this facility, we’re going to have the best facility in the state.”
“We will be able to bring in the best and best recruits from the highest level, both in the state and in the country,” Dunaway added.
Development officials expect to complete construction of the Black Desert resort, a new golf course and training facilities in Dixie by the third quarter of 2024.
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