Best Golf Courses in Colorado
Denver’s golf scene has it all: beauty, challenge, history, and ideal summer weather that lasts until late fall. However, many visitors are unaware that golf can be played in the Denver area all year long as long as the snow stays away.
A travel golfer can stage his or her own bit of Colorado golf glory here in Denver, where the plains meet the Rocky Mountains, at a plethora of daily-fee and municipal golf courses. Here are a few of my personal favorites.
Arrowhead Golf Club
10850 Sundown Trail, Littleton, CO 80125
You could travel the world for 100 years and never find a more beautiful setting for a golf course. Geologists estimate that the slanted, jagged cerise rocks in Roxborough State Park, just south of Denver, took 300 million years to form.
Arrowhead Golf Club, one of the most photographed golf courses in the world, was designed in a fraction of that time by Robert Trent Jones Jr. The cathedral-like conglomerate rocks and rolling terrain, according to Jones, make it a must-play.
“When I first saw the Roxborough Park golf course site, I was overwhelmed by the magnificent gifts that nature has bestowed on the property.” “The cathedral-like rocks that jut up from the rolling terrain at the foothills of the Rockies are a majestic setting in which to establish a one-of-a-kind golf course,” Jones says.
Omni Interlocken Golf Course
500 Interlocken Blvd, Broomfield, CO 80021
The Omni Interlocken Resort, built in 1999 by David Graham and Gary Panks, has inspiring vistas of the Rockies between Denver and Boulder and is a year-round resort with only the best hotel amenities.
Eldorado, Vista, and Sunshine are three nine-hole combinations that total more than 7,000 yards. The terrain consists of rolling hills and covers more than 300 acres, but it was nearly treeless until nearly 3,000 trees were planted.
CommonGround Golf Course
10300 E Golfers Way, Aurora, CO 80010
CommonGround Golf Course is a prime example of what happens when you put an old Air Force base golf course that has already been renamed once in the hands of Tom Doak, one of America’s best classical, minimalist course architects, in charge of it.
What you get is a parkland/links mix that is walkable and affordable – exactly what the Colorado Golf Association, the course’s owners, wanted.
This plot of land was previously known as the Lowry AFB Golf Course, but when the base closed in the mid-1990s, the course was renamed Mira Vista Golf Course. The CGA and CWGA, on the other hand, desired a completely new golf course. That’s when Doak and his Renaissance Golf Design team from Michigan were brought in to transform the 350-acre property.
Today, CommonGround is committed to growing the game by providing a learning center for children and adults, as well as a caddie program for girls and boys who have completed the eighth grade.
Red Hawk Ridge Golf Course
2156 Red Hawk Ridge Dr, Castle Rock, CO 80109
The Red Hawk Ridge Golf Course is a dream course with panoramic views of the Front Range from Long’s Peak to Pike’s Peak. Wildlife abounds on high points, rocky buttes, thick native grasses, and scrub oak. The fairways are wide, with large landing areas framed by large, grassy moguls, bunkers, greenside lakes bumped up against sand and stacked rock, and massive, contoured bentgrass greens with tough, thick collars.
The City of Castle Rock desired a fun course, which golf course architect Jim Engh provided. Engh led city officials to a high ridgeline that defined the back nine and indicated where holes should be placed. Engh’s vision was passed on to the administrators. Light bulbs went off in their heads – they were having a good time.
Fossil Trace Golf Course Club
3050 Illinois St, Golden, CO 80401
Fossil Trace Golf Club is busy and fun, located in the shadows of Table Mountain and within sight of the Coors Brewery, and it only takes one stroke to notice the history of this land. On the par-5 first hole, the chimney of a brick kiln remains in the middle of the fairway, right in the sightline of your second shot.
Examine the 20-foot sandstone pillars in the fairway of the par-5 12th, and then figure out how to hit over them on your way to the green. This hole commemorates the property’s quarrying history. Clay-mining equipment still stands where bird tracks, palm fronds, and triceratops footprints were frozen in time 64 million years ago. A split-rail fence near the green leads to a fossil viewing area.
Jim Engh, a North Dakota native, has built an impressive portfolio, beginning with offices in Colorado and now known around the world. Aside from Fossil Trace, his award-winning projects in Colorado include the ultra-exclusive private Sanctuary in Sedalia, Red Hawk Ridge in Castle Rock, Four Mile Ranch in Canon City, Lakota Canyon in Newcastle, Redlands Mesa in Grand Junction, Harmony Club in Tinmath, and Pradera in Parker.
The Ridge at Castle Pines North
1414 Castle Pines Pkwy, Castle Pines, CO 80108
According to some dime novelists, Calamity Jane and Buffalo Bill Cody once described the area where The Ridge at Castle Pines North is located as one of their favorite haunts.
Many consider The Ridge at Castle Pines North to be Colorado’s premier upscale, public-access golf course. Since its debut in July 1997, the Tom Weiskopf design has received accolades from nearly every golfing community – national and statewide – and was once ranked No. 49 on Golf Magazine’s list of the top 100 public-access golf courses.
Looking west, you can see Pikes Peak, Devil’s Head, and Mt. Evans. When you look closely, you can see front-range foothill scenes with sandstone rock formations, gambel oaks, Ponderosa pines, and a variety of wildlife. In fact, The Ridge provided a safe haven for migrating elk. Its double-loop design protects wildlife corridors.
Hilton Denver Inverness Golf Club
200 Inverness Dr W, Englewood, CO 80112
This J. Press Maxwell championship course is beautiful, playable, and challenging, and it is one of the only semi-private golf courses in the Denver area. Because of the gentle but unforgiving slopes, rolling hills, and deep bunkers, it necessitates strategy and thought. Water comes into play on 11 of the 18 holes, and the golf course’s par-3 holes put even the best golfers to the test.
The hotel has a view of the Rocky Mountains in front of it and an 18-hole championship golf course in the back. President Bill Clinton stayed here and played the tight, sloping fairways, rolling hills, and fast, undulating greens.
Tom Babb, a member of the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame, opened the course in 1973 and did a lot for Colorado golf during his 27 years here. From 1973 to 2000, Babb was the director of golf at Inverness. He was there from the start, helping to prepare the course for its opening, even operating some heavy earth-moving equipment as the holes were dug.
Babb was John Elway’s first point of contact when he arrived to play quarterback for the Denver Broncos. The John Elway Celebrity Classic grew out of their friendship.
Today, you can enjoy all of Babb and his associates’ hard work and landscaping beauty at this classic golf course south of downtown Denver.