As garage doors slowly open, the spartan practice room is revealed; an indoor golf studio with a green carpet floor specked with square golf hitting mats that transforms into a covered driving range. Located inside a stately, sandstone-brick clubhouse, the practice area serves as the practice grounds of Colorado State University golf teams and ground zero for the Golf Academy at Harmony Club, where golfers consult PGA-certified instructors about their golf swing rather than waiting in vain for Jack Nicklaus’s spirit animal to appear in their dreams. Outside, players take advantage of a practice facility featuring tee box training as well as a short game area.
Collindale Golf Academy's PGA Director of Instruction Vince Buelk calls upon 18 years of experience to shore up the pin-hunting panache of golfers of all abilities. The passionate pedagogue develops the academy's club-flailing curriculum and puts it into practice at its stately facilities, which include a full-length driving range, an oversize putting green, and a practice bunker ideal for wedging balls out of sunken lies and replacing them with incriminating scorecards. The academy's thriving junior program strives to develop an affinity for the game at a young age, and club-fitting services pair each unique swing with its crooked-stick soul mates. Though the academy's kempt lawns, mountainside vistas, and lush pines affect a sense of old-time rusticity, its instructors utilize the latest in technological teaching aides, including V1 video-swing-analysis software and pitching wedges that double as prosthetic hooks for grabbing cookies on the high shelves.
The nine holes of Mountain Vista Golf Course present a charming, 3,500-yard challenge set against a dramatic backdrop of the Rocky Mountains. Box Elder Creek weaves through the middle of the course and into play, and mature pine trees frame spacious fairways. Golfers are immediately thrown into risk-reward scenarios on the first and sixth holes, two lengthy par 5s that extend to 536 yards and 579 yards from the back tees and challenge shots with two large ponds. At Bentley’s, the grill located just off the course, two covered patios welcome those looking to grab a bite to eat as they transition from a round of golf to a round of beer or a round of boxing against a disgruntled caddie.
Course at a Glance:
With very few trees on the course, golfers' views of the Rocky Mountains—which soar across the western horizon—are seldom obstructed at Saddleback Golf Club. The open terrain also makes the lengthy, 7,090-yard layout more manageable, as golfers can consistently reach for their driver off the tee. Even with an open expanse, golfers are constantly challenged, as most of the course's greens are heavily fortified with sand and grass bunkers, and two holes—the par-three 4th and the par-four 16th—feature de facto island greens, almost fully wreathed by water hazards. Simply reaching the putting surface does not guarantee a good score, as the course's large, multi-tiered greens will make for many long, hard-to-read putts. To prepare for the round, golfers can take a flyover tour of the course.
Though the course is a serious challenge, Saddleback Golf Club encourages golfers of all stripes to enjoy their time on the links. While the scorecards at most clubs include a recitation of basic rules and etiquette, Saddleback's card strikes a much more laid back tone, imploring players to "have phun" and "kick your ball if you hit a bad shot," while reminding them that "scoring is optional." The carefree vibe extends to the Club's instructional programs, where golf pros pass on birdie-hunting wisdom and caddie scolding tactics.
Course at a Glance:
Nature meets the city at CommonGround Golf Course. As golf balls crest through the air, the verdant Colorado Front Range and the steely Denver skyline both stand proudly behind the 18-hole terrain. A lengthy undertaking at 7,229 yards from the back tees, the course was designed by architect Tom Doak—former student of the legendary course designer Pete Dye and creator of four courses currently listed among Golf Magazine’s top 100 in the world. Mr. Doak installed four sets of tees so that players of all skill levels could navigate the densely lush fairways, putt on the carpet-like greens, and sketch loving portraits of him into the frequent bunkers.
Alongside the 18-hole championship course lies the nine-hole par 3 course, a testament to CommonGround’s commitment to growing the game. Youngsters will enjoy the kid-friendly length, with holes averaging a shade over 100 yards.
Stretching across 6,609 yards of verdant, tree-lined grounds, Eagle Trace Golf Club offers a challenging but fair course for links-loopers of all abilities. Tickle the sweet-spot of your driver to send dimpled spheroids into the stratosphere and through the grassy midsection of the course’s kempt fairways, evading on-course impediments including five lakes, 65 sand traps, and 12 disoriented jurors known for claiming wayward orbs. With majestic, native cottonwood trees peppered against a peeper-pleasing backdrop of Rocky Mountain vistas, the par 72 course’s scenic surrounds temper more trying elements such as the slick bent-grass greens that make for hard-to-read putts and fine-print chips. An obedient golf cart is included to help duos track down slices and snap-hooks while preserving their energy for tearing divots and smashing wedges.