You see it all the time in golf where a professional golfer shoots a course-record score during a tournament. Recently we had another here in Utah when Jay Don Blake tied the course record at Willow Creek during the Utah Open with a 64.
What are the course records in Utah, anyway? During the summer we decided to do some research on the subject and have come up with a list, now that the summer is about over. While it is not 100 percent complete, nevertheless, it is believed to be the only list of its kind attempted.In checking with Utah's 75 golf courses, about 60 were able to offer a record of some sort. Research found some of the records to be incorrect, but most on the accompanying list were taken by the word of the head professional.
Some pros won't consider anything a record if it wasn't done in a competitive round. Others don't have any choice but to count non-competitive records, since they don't hold regular tournaments.
Some courses have the cards or at least the score posted on the wall of their golf shop. Others don't have the slightest idea, while for others it's merely an educated guess.
Some 9-hole courses consider only 9-hole scores, while others count the 18-hole scores. It's up to the individual course. That's why you'll find a 57 listed at the 9-hole Dixie Red Hills course and a 28 at the 9-hole El Monte course.
Approximately 70 different golfers have their names on the record list, but a few golfers stand out with more than one record.
Two golfers hold the most records with five apiece. One you'd expect is Blake, who is one of the finest golfers to come out of the state. The other is more unlikely - Jeff Green - who is head professional at Stansbury Park. Ogden's Jimmy Blair and Toana Vista pro Milan Swilor are close behind with four records apiece.
Although Green is known as one of the area's better golfers, he's never been been considered one of the elite pros in the state, someone like Blair, Bob Betley, Bruce Summerhays, Mike Malaska or Kim Thompson - players who are consistently among the leaders in local tournaments and who often play in out-of-state tournaments.
Green got his first record in 1983 at Hobble Creek Golf Course when he posted a 61 at Art City Amateur. He fired a 65 in the final round of the Sizzler Open at Park City last year to tie the course record and also shot a 63 at his home course at Stansbury. The other records were a non-competitive 64 at Glendale this year and a 71 at the brand-new Toana Vista Golf Course in Wendover.
The latter record is almost embarrassing to Green, who says, "That'll be easily broken this fall when the section (Utah Section Championship) is played there."
According to Green there is no secret to owning course records, except maybe inconsistency.
"I'm really streaky," he says. "Sometimes I really get it going well with my putter. That round at Hobble Creek was unreal. I must have made three putts over 50 feet long. Then there are other days . . . "
Blake, who now makes a living on the PGA Tour, has the course records at Dixie (57), St. George (63), Riverside (62) and Birch Creek (64), besides the one at Willow Creek.
Among the pros who have at least three records are Betley, Lynn Landgren and Steve Schneiter.
The longest standing record on the books is one at Meadowbrook. In the 1955 Utah Open, Ellsworth Vines fired a 65, a number that was matched by Mike Borich in a Mick Riley Amateur in the mid-1970s. Gary Davis actually has the lowest score at Meadowbrook, a 64, but that came in a non-competitive round.
The best year for records came in 1987 when 14 records were set, one more than in 1988.
Keep in mind that these records were compiled during the course of the summer, so some might have been broken in subsequent weeks.