On June 21, the Park City, Utah club celebrated the summer solstice and the longest day of the year by extending its Jack Nicklaus-designed Painted Valley golf course to 8,357 yards for a one-day event. Pin locations were tucked to the back of the greens and the tee boxes were moved back as far as possible to add 300 yards to the course, making it the longest course in the U.S. for a single day.
In honor of June 21, the summer solstice and the longest day of the year, Promontory Golf Club in Park City, Utah extended its Painted Valley golf course to 8,357 yards, making it the longest golf course in the country for the day, the Park City (Utah) Park Record reported.
Normally, the International Golf Club in Bolton, Mass., holds the title of “longest course in the U.S.,” but on Friday, that honor belonged to Painted Valley, the Record reported.
With pin locations tucked in the back of the greens, and the tee boxes moved back as far as possible, the course was able to add nearly 300 yards to its normal length, the Record reported.
When playing a course that’s as long as Painted Valley, Director of Golf Tom Stickney said it’s important to remember to have fun, the Record reported.
“It’s kind of neat to do something different,” Stickney said. “Golf beats you up and it’s kind of humbling anyway, so it’s fun to just relax, put your Type A (personality) aside and go out and have fun.”
Stickney offered a couple tips to golfers who had never played the course before, the Record reported.
“The first thing you have to remember up here in the altitude is you want to hit it as high as humanly possible,” Stickney said. “You’re not going to get a lot of roll here. Let the altitude and the carry be your friend.”
It was fun to see the different styles the golfers, which included area golf pros, club members and members of the local and national media, used when approaching the lengthened course, Stickney said.
“It’s neat to see what these pros go out there and do,” he said. “No, pros don’t play 8,400-yard courses very often, but every now and then you’ll see a 500-yard par four or a 700-yard par five. It kind of gives you a glimpse into their world.”
Promontory managing director Rich Sonntag said the club is already in the process of planning next year’s event, the Record reported.
“We were discussing doing this exact same thing next year,” Sonntag said. “Or maybe changing it up and making it the world’s shortest course on the longest day of the year.”
No matter what the club decides to do, some sort of special event will happen on the summer solstice, Sonntag said.
“I think it’s a popular event,” he said. “I don’t know why we wouldn’t do it again.”
The course has returned to its normal length (8,098 yards), but it might lengthen again in the future, the Record reported.
“It’s not something we would do every day,” Sonntag said. “But once a year, why not?”