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Sun Valley

Getting To Know: Sun Valley Golf Resort

An Insightful Interview With Jeffrey A Petersen, Director of Golf, PGA

By Brian Weis

Whether you have played a course 20+ times a year or looking to play the course for the first time, insights from an insider can help enhance your golf experience. Below is an interview with Jeffrey A Petersen who shares some valuable tidbits about the course, memorable holes and must eats and treats at the 19th.

Give Our Readers An Overview of the Golf Course/Property
Robert Trent Jones, Jr. designed the spectacular 18-Hole Trail Creek Championship Course - a must for the serious golfer, boasting 6,974 yards and breathtaking views all around. This course is the perfect complement to Sun Valley's Nine- Hole White Clouds Course. This alpine links-styled course is 3,600 yards long and provides spectacular 360-degree views of the Wood River Valley.

The lofty links overlook the 58,000 sq. ft. Sun Valley Club which is open to the public and includes a restaurant, bar, wrap-around terraces for deck side dining and cocktails, a pro shop, locker rooms, club storage and club rental. The Sun Valley Club overlooks a new 25-acre practice facility and the very popular 18-hole Sawtooth Putting Course.

When standing atop the White Clouds, your eye captures a 360-degree wrap-around view of the Wood River Valley encompassing Bald Mountain, Dollar Mountain, the Pioneer Mountains, Angel's Perch, Devil's Bedstead and the home of Ernest Hemingway. Approaching the 5th tee box, golfers first notice Sun Valley Resort owner's words inscribed in a stone marker, "This is not all about golf."

These few words commemorate his vision when he dedicated this 135-acre parcel of priceless ridge top for Sun Valley Resort's newest nine holes.

The White Clouds at once becomes a mysterious challenge full of intrigue and complements the Trail Creek Course by presenting contrasting play with more sand trap shots, side-hill lies, risk reward and blind shots.

Trail Creek, promises to provide a challenging round of golf for every level of player. Robert Trent Jones Jr. designed this traditional alpine course in 1980 with a full complement of stream carries and ominous bunkers well positioned to catch the errant shot. Play crosses the beautiful Trail Creek seven times on the front nine alone!

Coupled with fantastic views of the surrounding mountains and ever-present crystal blue skies, you will find a round of golf on the Trail Creek Course a well-earned addition to any golf resume.

What Tips or Local Knowledge Would You Provide To Help Them Score Better At Your Course?
In order to score well at the two Sun Valley Courses you must drive the ball straight and be accurate with approach shots. Both courses are challenging off the tee, accuracy is more important than length here at Sun Valley. Approach shots must be accurate as well as many greens are heavily protected by sand and water. Courses are more forgiving on the putting surfaces, large receptive greens with minimal break describe most of the greens on the Trail Creek and White Clouds Golf Courses.

Recent Awards or What You Are Most Proud About The Course?
Trail Creek Golf Course: Ranked #67 by Golf Digest in the Resort Category
White Clouds Golf Course: Ranked #9 in short courses by Golf Digest

What Is The Signature, Most Talked About, or Most Photographed Hole?
Trail Creek Golf Course: Hole #10 - Par 3 - 197 Yards
White Clouds Golf Course: Hole #8 - Par 4 - 523 Yards

What Is Your Favorite Hole? Any Tips to Play It?
Trail Creek Golf Course: Hole #7 - Par 4 - 460 yards

This is one of the many great old-fashioned par -4's among the holes at Sun Valley. Standing on the elevated tee of the longest par -4 on the Trail Creek Course, it is easy to get caught up in the beauty of the scenery, even as you think about the danger you are about to approach. Looking down the fairway which appears to be no wider than the shaft of your driver, hazards on both sides of the fairway and a forced carry over Trail Creek along with a large fairway bunker on the right side, perhaps the best thing to do is take a three-wood and get the ball in play. The second shot to this deep and well-guarded green will be played with a mid-iron to hybrid. Short is the only good miss, with large bunkers on the right, hazard long, and a large cottonwood tree protecting the front left. A large, flat opening to the green makes rolling the ball onto the putting surface a smart strategy. This is a relatively flat green, but it is one of the deepest greens on Trail Creek, nearly a three club difference from front to back.

Must Have Dish or Drink after the round at the 19th Hole? Scully, best bartender in the valley makes a fantastic Bloody Mary for the pregame and I would highly recommend the Vodka soda with a splash of lemonade for the postgame.

Who Holds Course Record and What Was Their Score? Chris Williams, former University of Washington Husky, holds the course record on Trail Creek at 63.

Back Tee Stats
Par: Trail Creek 72; White Clouds 36
Yardage: Trail Creek 6974; White Clouds 360
Slope: Trail Creek 138; White Clouds 145
Rating: Trail Creek 72.9; White Clouds 75.0

More Information
Sun Valley Golf Resort Sun Valley, ID, 83353 208.622.2251

Revised: 10/14/2014 - Article Viewed 31,240 Times - View Course Profile

About: Brian Weis

Brian Weis Brian Weis is the Publisher of, a network of golf travel and directory sites including,,,, etc. Professionally, Brian is a member of the Golf Writers Association of America (GWAA), International Network of Golf (ING), Golf Travel Writers of America (GTWA), International Golf Travel Writers Association (IGTWA) and The Society of Hickory Golfers (SoHG). In 2016, Brian won The Shaheen Cup, an award given to a golf travel writer by his peers.

All of his life, Brian has been around the game of golf. As a youngster, Brian competed at all levels in junior and high school golf. Brian had a zero chance for a college golf scholarship, so he worked on the grounds crew at West Bend Country Club to pay for his University of Wisconsin education. In his adult years, his passion for the game collided with his entrepreneurial spirit and in 2004 launched In 2007, the idea for a network of local golf directory sites formed and was born. Today, the network consists of a site in all 50 states supported by national sites like, and It is an understatement to say, Brian is passionate about promoting golf and golf travel on a local, regional, national and international level.

On the golf course, Brian is known as a fierce weekend warrior that fluctuates between a 5-9 handicap. With a soft fade, known as "The Weis Slice", and booming 300+ drives, he can blast it out of bounds with the best of them.

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