8 Best Golf Courses In Colorado

8 Best Golf Courses In Colorado (2023 Ranks)

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Colorado is home to a wide variety of golf courses that cater to players of all skill levels. Whether you prefer a challenging mountain course or a more relaxed parkland layout, there’s something for everyone in the state.

The courses range from high altitude, with stunning views of the Rocky Mountains, to those situated in lower elevations with more traditional parkland-style holes. 

Many of these courses earned a spot in the top 100 best golf courses in Colorado thanks to their smooth and challenging greens, bunkers, and holes are exciting and rewarding. Let’s delve into what it’s like playing at these courses so that you’ll know which to try next!

1. Red Sky Ranch & Golf Club (Norman), Wolcott

Red Sky Ranch & Golf Club (Norman), Wolcott
Source: top100 golf courses.com

Red Sky Ranch is a public golf course designed by Greg Norman, Matthew Dusenberry, and Tad Burnett in 2003. It sits higher than its counterpart course (Fazio) and has some of the most majestic views that add to the immersion of every hole.

The views from atop the Vail Valley are especially memorable when you’re on the downhill par-3 16th hole. 

Greg Norman golf courses are packed with challenges and can be somewhat punishing, as you’ll notice with some of the greens. Most golfers don’t get less than a double bogey on the par-5 12th hole because of its pin cut back left!

In general, the fairways provide ample space for shots, and it is still possible to navigate around areas of difficulty with a strategic approach.

This course has top-tier conditioning with tight fairways that allow for quick-playing surfaces. The rolling landscape provides differentiation but not so much distortion becomes a concern. 

Your strategies will vary between holes, like Par 4’s and Par 5’s, which are all situated along the hillside and perpendicular to the fall line.

Golfers generally hit their tee shot into the high side of the hill for it to roll into the fairway. While the lower side is usually preferred, it’s not necessarily the inherent strategy.

  • 7480 yards (6839 m) 
  • A par of 72 
  • 18 holes
  • 147 slope rating
  • Season: May – October

2. Redlands Mesa, Grand Junction

Redlands Mesa, Grand Junction
Source: redlands mesa.com

Redlands Mesa is a public golf course designed by Jim Engh in 2001. The course offers a plethora of raised teeing grounds, which results in shots being exposed to the wind, thereby increasing the excitement and difficulty, especially on the par three holes.

This course takes advantage of its ideal setting amongst the backdrop of the Colorado National Monument, sporting breathtaking vistas. 

Some golfers believe that the outward nine is more challenging due to the abundance of houses that are plainly in view. They prefer the inward nine, largely void of residences, and thus tend to have a more visually stunning routing.

You can expect several plays with high-risk, high-reward capabilities, especially when it comes to the par 5s, which are attainable in two for advanced players.

The bunkers are great, the sand is coarse and fine, and the greens roll well! Redlands Mesa is rich with character and may not necessarily be to every golfer’s liking. The holes are quirky and intriguing and enrich the entire golfing experience. 

  • 7007 yards (6839 m) 
  • A par of 72 
  • 18 holes
  • 137 slope rating
  • Season: Year round

3. Haymaker, Steamboat Springs

Haymaker, Steamboat Springs
Source: haymakergolf.com

Haymaker is a brilliant public golf course created by Keither Foster in 1997. The scenery throughout the course does a wonderful job of showcasing the mountain backdrops, and while the course is flat for the most part, the strategically-placed water hazards on the back nine up the difficulty!

All the holes on this golf course have something unique to offer, similar to how there are no terrible holes when it comes to any course designed by Keith Foster. They can differ from par 3s to drivable par 4s, and family tees are a fantastic addition! The greens are in great shape and make for true putts. 

The course layout is generous with its landing area for all tees and consists of a links-style and fairways lined with natural grasses. The course is challenging but fair, though you may want to bring extra balls because the heavy rough is relentless if you leave the fairway. 

  • 7308 yards (6682 m) 
  • A par of 72 
  • 18 holes
  • 140 slope rating
  • Season: May – October

4. Red Sky Ranch & Golf Club (Fazio), Wolcott

Red Sky Ranch & Golf Club (Fazio), Wolcott
Source: top100 golf courses.com

Red Sky Fazio is a public golf course and an impressive creation of Tom Fazio, Beau Welling, and Dennis Wise in 2002. One of the highlights of this course is how, while playing, the holes deftly climb the terrain to leave the golfer with spectacular views overlooking the valley. 

The uphill holes are shorter, so they don’t feel necessarily punishing. These holes are free of awkward fairway slants and bad lies that seem to plague other mountain courses. 

The final three holes reward you with breathtaking views of the valley that make their way down to the bottom. This last stretch downward is one of the defining attributes that set it apart from its counterpart, Red Sky Norman. 

The holes match the layout of the land so well that you’ll only encounter the first par three at the 7th hole. It’s a splendid carry of 237 yards from the back markers and over a daunting gully to the green.

  • 7116 yards (6506 m) 
  • A par of 72 
  • 18 holes
  • 141 slope rating
  • Season: May – October

5. Ballyneal Golf Club, Holyoke

Ballyneal Golf Club, Holyoke
Source: golf digest.com

Ballyneal is a top-rated private golf course designed by Tom Doak in 2006. This course has a strong Irish influence minus the presence of a sea breeze. 

You can expect a lot of life in your ball as it bounces and dashes vigorously across the dunes. Only a few flats lie in the fairway or from shots at the same elevation. The holes zigzag through the dunes easily, creating a pleasant mixture of short and long.

Tom Doak created some very intriguing greens, and you may find yourself attempting fun and out-of-the-box shots rather than going for masterfully calculated shots. It truly is a course with many interesting aspects, and by playing it only once, you’ll do yourself a disservice.  

Greens are something to behold and offer a riveting challenge, making for some of the most entertaining putts. The course is long, and the fairways are broad enough to let loose – grab a caddy to enhance your experience! 

  • 7147 yards (6506 m) 
  • A par of 71 
  • 18 holes
  • 126 slope rating
  • Season: May – October

6. Cherry Hills, Cherry Hills Village

Cherry Hills, Cherry Hills Village
Source: chcc.com

Cherry Hills is a masterful private golf course designed by some of the most prominent names in golf, including William S. Flynn, Arnold Palmer,  Ed Seay, Mark Fine, and Tom Doak.  

This golf course is truly magnificent, offering a lot of character in the form of elevation changes, mature trees, and a strategic layout that will test you on every hole. The staff works hard to keep it in mint condition that works wonders to enhance its natural allure. 

One of the most exciting highlights of the course is the opportunities for several birdies, thanks to a healthy mix of less technical holes and tricky holes that have you fighting to make a good par. 

Cherry Hills exudes a historical aura that immerses players in the most incredible golf moments, as with The sizeable mural of Arnold Palmer making the famous hat flip after winning the 1960 U.S. Open. 

You can expect a variety of holes that dogleg and dance through the trees. While there is water, it’s enough to experience a splash down, but not to the point that it feels unrelenting.

  • 7316 yards (6689 m) 
  • A par of 72 
  • 18 holes
  • 139 slope rating
  • Season: Year round
  • U.S. Women’s Open
  • PGA Championship
  • U.S. Senior Open
  • U.S. Senior Amateur
  • U.S. Open
  • U.S. Amateur
  • Arnold Palmer Cup
  • BMW Championship

7. Castle Pines, Castle Rock

Castle Pines, Castle Rock
Source: golfdigest.com

Castle Pines is a private golf course designed first by Jack Nicklaus and Thomas Pearson in 1981, followed by Jay Morrish and Jim Lipe in 2020. 

Jack Nicklaus designed this course to complement the natural contours of the terrain, which features rolling hills and dense forest sections that serve to stand up to even the most veteran golfers. 

Castle Pines golf course presents a challenging playing experience due to its elevation changes, which can make for tricky uphill and downhill shots. Players will also encounter water hazards and bunkers that come into play during the round. 

The hilly terrain makes walking the course challenging, so using a cart is wise. Despite these challenges, the course is notable for its par-4 holes and picturesque views of the Rocky Mountains, making it an attractive option for golfers.

The Castle Pines golf course is renowned for hosting the International tournament, Colorado’s only PGA Tour event. 

The tournament is notable for its unique scoring system, which awards points for eagles, birdies, or better and subtracts points for bogeys. It adds an extra layer of excitement to the competition as golfers vie for the top spot on this thrilling course.

  • 7701 yards (7041 m) 
  • A par of 72 
  • 18 holes
  • 147 slope rating
  • Season: 5 May – 20 October

8. The Broadmoor (East), Colorado Springs

The Broadmoor (East), Colorado Springs
Source: broadmoor.com

The Broadmoor East is a private course designed by several masterful architects, starting with Donald Ross, then Robert Trent Jones, Sr., Ron Forse,  Wilfrid Reid, Mark Rathert, and Jim Nagle. 

This golf course contains all the elements necessary for a monstrous challenge – nasty rough, demanding greens, and a daunting finishing hole that may leave you feeling content with a bogey!

The Broadmoor East golf course is known for being challenging, particularly for those who struggle with accuracy off the tee. 

Players who can hit straight shots will have a better chance of navigating the course. The roughs are incredibly challenging, making it difficult to reach the elevated greens! Players will also face a challenge when it comes to getting the ball in the hole and on the putts.

A pond near the clubhouse also adds to the difficulty level as it comes into play on three holes, specifically during the approach to the par-5 third hole, the tee shot of the par-3 fourth hole, and the final shot into the 18th green.

  • 7355 yards (6725 m) 
  • A par of 72 
  • 18 holes
  • 135 slope rating
  • Season: March – November

Conclusion: Best Colorado Golf Courses in 2023

Conclusion Best Golf Courses In Colorado
Source: broadmoor.com

Colorado has multiple exciting courses catering to golfers of all skill levels. Their designs bear the names of some of golf’s most prominent figures, and their playability does not disappoint!

If you’re keen on a public course, both Red Sky Ranch courses are superb, and if you want a more prestigious experience, opt for The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs.