With soaring mountain peaks, rolling hills of forest, colorful swaths of desert and golden plains set beneath a blue-marble sky, Colorado’s terrain is the perfect canvas for the world’s elite golf-course architect who have crafted some of the finest mountain, forested and desert courses in the nation.
What this means for golfers of all abilities is one unforgettable round of 18 holes after another. Adding to Colorado’s lucky links’ attributes, golf is a year-round endeavor in many areas, particularly around Denver, Colorado Springs and Grand Junction.
So what’s a duffer to do with so many options? Start with this quick summary of Colorado golf courses — broken out by terrain.
Mountain-Style Colorado Golf Courses
Colorado’s mountain golf courses are numerous, with many of them situated near major resort towns. One course that consistently receives rave reviews is the Raven Golf Club at Three Peaks in Silverthorne. With ample elevation changes from tee to green, this photogenic course weaves its way through aspen groves and along ponds with the spectacular Gore Range as the backdrop. In Eagle, just west of Vail, the Red Sky Ranch & Golf Club boasts two courses that present a considerable test for golfers — not to mention glorious tee-box vistas of the distant Sawatch Mountains.
Forested Golf Courses
The unique landscape between Denver and Colorado Springs — with its pine mesas and scrub-oak covered ravines — has been a hot spot for golfing since Jack Nicklaus designed the Castle Pines Golf Club in 1981. While Castle Pines is private, nearby lies The Ridge at Castle Pines North, a public course that features a forested back nine riddled with blind corners and hidden hazards (including a towering ponderosa pine in the 15th fairway). Just south of Castle Rock, near the small town of Larkspur, lies the secluded Golf Club at Bear Dance, which was voted “Best Overall Public/Resort Course” in Colorado by Colorado Avid Golfer Magazine.
Desert & High Plateau Links Courses
A course that has generated a great deal of buzz is Four Mile Ranch Golf Club near Cañon City. Four Mile Ranch takes advantage of an arid landscape to create unique challenges for golfers, including greens that play hide-and-seek behind rocky hogbacks. The greens fees are also remarkably affordable when you consider the press attention it has received from Travel + Leisure, Golf Digest and Colorado Avid Golfer Magazine. Other popular options include The Dunes at Riverdale Golf Course in Brighton, a Scottish-style links course along the South Platte River; and the gently rolling Colorado National Golf Club in Erie, home to the University of Colorado’s golf teams.