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Birdies and Bogeys: Colorado Golf Courses

Colorado is undeniably and inextricably associated with adrenaline-inducing extreme sports, but there are plenty of opportunities for more sedate pastimes. With 240 public, private, semi-private and resort golf courses in Colorado*, the vast majority of which are west of 105, you are guaranteed to find one to suit you, so if you happen to like gentle walks and have a thing for funny trousers, all the better. Here are a few courses west of 105.


The nine-hole Meeker Golf Course

The nine-hole Meeker Golf Course. Photo: Courtesy of Rio Blanco County


Down towards the Four Corners region in Cortez is the USGA sanctioned, par 72, 18 hole, Conquistador Golf Course. The public course sits at 6,200 feet and has predictably spectacular views, in this case of Mesa Verde, the La Plata Mountains, and Sleeping Ute Mountain. Guests who provide proof of lodging in Cortez receive a 2-for-1 golf pass for weekday play.


Head east and you’ll find Hillcrest in Durango, then a turn northward will take you, eventually, to Telluride. As you might expect, the closer you get to a ski resort, the more impressive the golf facilities get. Telluride Golf Club, which is part of Telluride Ski Resort, makes a good case for the top spot in the beauty stakes. The 18-hole, par-70 course is nestled among the highest concentration of 13ers and 14ers in the country.


Continuing north, Montrose has three courses, Cobble Creek, the Bridges Golf and Country Club, and the Black Canyon Golf Course.


Continue north through Delta, and consider a round at Devil's Thumb Golf Club en route, towards Grand Junction where there are four public courses. Chipeta Golf Course is a premier, 18-hole, executive course that is just five miles south of downtown Grand Junction, while the Golf Club at Redlands Mesa is the area’s newest course and was ranked the number one public golf course in Colorado in 2017 by Golfweek, which is nothing to sniff at. Then there is Tiara Rado Golf Course which is at the base of the incredible Colorado National Monument. Beginners may want to head to Lincoln Park, a nine-hole course right in the middle of town. It also happens to be the oldest operating golf course on the Western Slope having been built in 1926.


Heading east, the Vail Valley also has some very good courses. In fact there are more than a dozen in the area, with public options like Vail Golf Club, EagleVail Golf Club, and Eagle Ranch Golf Club as well as more ritzy options like the Greg Norman Course and the Tom Fazio Course at Red Sky Golf Club. Beaver Creek Golf Club is also nearby.


A couple of slight detours from I-70 will take you to Aspen Golf Club and further east Breckenridge Golf Club which has three championship nine-hole courses—the Bear, the Beaver, and the Elk—all of which are Jack Nicklaus signature courses.


Just outside South Fork, between Pagosa Springs and Del Norte and nestled on the edge of the picturesque San Luis Valley, the Rio Grande Club golf course sits at around 8,500 feet and is surrounded by beautiful rock formations, wildlife and nearby mountain peaks. The front nine runs along and over the Rio Grande River’s wetland habitat while the back nine sees you play around pine, aspen and cottonwood trees and impressive and imposing rock formations.


Up in the northwest of the state, there are courses in Rangely and Meeker. Cedar Ridges Golf Course in Rangely is a nine-hole, par 36 public course that was designed by Frank Hummel who has designed and constructed well over 200 courses in the United States. Also in Rio Blanco County, there is the nine-hole Meeker Golf Course.


Unsurprisingly, the Steamboat area has a few courses, including Haymaker Golf Course and Rollingstone Ranch Golf Club, and Steamboat Golf Club. Fifty minutes west of Steamboat in Craig is the Yampa Valley Golf Course, the oldest and one of the most affordable 18-hole courses in the valley.


For some bragging rights, head to Copper Creek Golf Course. Part of Copper Mountain, Copper Creek not only offers amazing views of the Ten Mile Range, but has the highest tee in North America at 9,863 ft.


*according to the Colorado Golf Association using their find a course tool. See https://www.coloradogolf.org/find-a-course/


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