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14 May 2022
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Steamboat Activities

The snow has melted, the skis are stored for the summer...it’s time to get into the swing of things! Golf is always a favorite activity to kick off summer. 

And did you know that the high altitude of the Rocky Mountains makes golf balls fly 10% farther? While it sounds like inflated folklore, the aerodynamic researchers at Titleist concur. With a driver, you get an extra 2.5 yards per 1,000 feet of altitude. At a base elevation of up to 9300’ your game can certainly go the distance! Fortunately, the extra boost only kicks in for long drives, meaning your short game doesn’t require any adjustments.

While there’s no shortage of fantastic courses in Colorado's Rocky Mountains, here are a few of our favorites...

Top Golf Courses in the Rocky Mountains:

Rollingstone Ranch Golf Course, Steamboat Springs

Rollingstone Ranch Golf ClubRollingstone Ranch Golf Club is a spectacular 18-hole course, designed by Robert Trent Jones II, featuring incredible views of the Yampa Valley, while Fish Creek winds its way through seven of the holes. The 66 bunkers and large, undulating bent grass greens make this a truly championship-caliber course to be enjoyed by players of all skill levels. For these reasons, Rollingstone Ranch Golf Club has received multiple awards including four-star ratings and "Best Places to Play in Colorado" from Golf Digest.

 

 

Haymaker Golf Course, Steamboat Springs

Haymaker Golf Course, Steamboat SpringsHaymaker Championship Golf Course is a links-style course with native grasses and wetlands to enhance its wide-open fairways. With snow-capped Mount Werner framing many holes and the awe-inspiring Flat Top Mountain Range as a picturesque backdrop, it is a beautiful place for a round of 18. Created out of vast ranch-land and rock piles, this Keith Foster design is home to where many elk, eagles, and blue herons roam.

 

The Bear Course, Breckenridge

Opened in 1985, the Bear was the first nine to grace the landscape known to the early day miners as Buffalo Flats. The miners certainly did not imagine golf in such an environment. What was once a tent city of miners seeking fortunes of gold, the landscape now is a challenging golf course with players seeking pars and birdies. The challenges for today’s golfer are quite similar to yesterday’s miners - nothing comes easy. You should shoot no higher than your handicap the first six holes on the Bear nine, because holes 7, 8, and 9 are as tough as they get. To finish this nine on pace with your handicap will take all of your skills. The Bear nine has the most open feel of the three nines, as many of the holes play around the native grasses and wetlands. Views of the Ten-Mile mountain range are most notable on holes eight and nine. For a great view of the ski runs at the Breckenridge Ski Area, look back down hole # 5 once you are on the green. The Bear was fittingly named for the black bears that wander onto this nine numerous times every summer.

The Beaver Course, Breckenridge

The second nine to open, in 1987, was the Beaver. The Beaver nine has the narrowest fairways of any of the nines. Accurate drives, although not necessarily long drives, are a requirement for you to shoot your handicap on these nine holes. A venture to the left of holes 6, 7, and 8 and you will notice rock piles, tailings as the miners called them, leftover from the days of gold mining in the area. The miners were not the only creatures to leave their mark on the topography. The Beaver nine takes its name from the beaver ponds that are scattered along holes 6, 8,and 9. These holes have active beavers that helped create the challenges that await you on these holes. Don’t blame Jack Nicklaus for this design work. The beavers created the habitat and Nicklaus left it in place for your enjoyment. Enjoyment can also be read as frustration. The beaver ponds on the eighth hole seem to have a “magnetic pull” on the golf ball. Although this nine finishes with a par three, par is tough to come by. The change in elevation along with the swirling breezes makes this one of the toughest tee shots on the nine. Good luck! The large rounded mountain that frames the ninth hole is Buffalo Mountain, part of the Gore Mountain Range. Buffalo was the last active volcano in this mountain range, long before the Scots dreamed up the game of golf.

The Elk Course, Breckenridge

The Elk nine opened in 2001 giving golfers 27-holes to play. The Elk nine offers the most elevation change of the three nines, as well as the widest panoramic views of the Ten-Mile mountain range. It’s easy to see why the Elk like this area so much. With open views, a lake to drink from, and nourishing bushes and grasses to eat from they have it made.
The challenges of the Elk nine are accuracy, accuracy and accuracy. Without accuracy you too will be experiencing the lake, and the bushes. Although more open than the Beaver nine, drives must be hit to specific locations for the best approach shots into the greens. The sixth hole on the Elk nine is the shortest par four hole at Breckenridge measuring only 281 yards from the Nicklaus tees, which is quite drivable at the high elevation. But, as with most short par fours, the risk-reward ratio is skewed a bit to the risk side for those golfers opting to attempt to drive the green. Hole seven has the most elevation change of any of the 27-holes at Breckenridge. The tee box elevation on #7 is 9445’, the highest point on the entire golf course. The green level of #7 is 9370’, a change of 75’ from tee to green! Mountain Golf at its’ pinnacle!

Beaver Creek Course, Beaver Creek

This Robert Trent Jones designed course is a semi-private favorite. With challenging fairways and the beautiful Beaver Creek ski mountain as its backdrop, this course welcomes our guests (staying within the Beaver Creek gates) between June 15 and September 15. Just as you would expect from anything Beaver Creek resort-related, freshly baked chocolate chip cookies are passed on platters at 1 pm and eucalyptus cold towels are available at the end of the game (Covid-19 protocols may limit some of these amenities right now). While eagles may not be prevalent on your scorecard, you very well might score a sighting or two above your head. 

The Club at Cordillera, Cordillera, Edwards

The Club at Cordillera is a private golf club featuring four distinct golf courses - Valley, Mountain, Summit, and Short.

Vail Golf Course, Vail

Vail Golf CourseLocated in East Vail, this course, designed by Vail pioneer, Ben Krueger, is a classic. Built-in 1962, its greens have had over 50 years to mature, while its recently built clubhouse is one of the newest in the valley. Golf Digest has given the Vail Golf Course the distinction of being one of the top 100 resort courses in the country and it’s a Colorado Avid Golfer CAGGY award-winner. Its tree-lined fairways are flat making it one of the easiest courses in the valley to walk or golf bike around (carts are also available) and the Beaver ponds and greens that hug that Gore Creek challenge even the best golfers’ game.  

 

 

EagleVail Golf Course, Vail

This beautiful  Championship 18-hole course, built by the Devlin-Van Hagge design team, is located in EagleVail just about 5 minutes from both Vail and Beaver Creek resorts. They take their birdies seriously at EagleVail Golf Course. In 2017, after an extensive 2-year review process, EagleVail became certified as an Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary. For those newer to golf, there’s also the nearby Willow Creek par 3 course at EagleVail Golf.  Besides being an approachable par 3, Willow Creek has taken introducing golf to the younger set to new levels. There’s even the latest craze, fling golf available. It’s touted as a game we can all play, this easy-to-master mix between golf and lacrosse is a popular one. Don’t worry, fling golf at Willow Creek doesn’t interfere with the Championship EagleVail course. It’s just a fun family alternative.

Eagle Ranch Golf Course, Eagle

About 30 minutes west of Vail in Eagle, this Arnold Palmer-designed signature course is well worth the ride. This former ranch-turned golf course gives you plenty of room to work on your game. And it’s also certified as an Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary.  

Gypsum Creek Golf Course, Gypsum

Located in Gypsum, about 45 minutes west of Vail, this Pete Dye designed course, initially opened in 1997 as a semi-private club called Cotton Ranch, but the Town of Gypsum bought it in 2010. It is now open to the public. Its West of Vail (close to the Eagle airport) location means milder weather and the longest golf season in the valley. It also boasts beautiful views of Red Table Mountains. 

 

Moving Mountains Homes Near Colorado's Best Golf Courses

Fortuna Lodge, Cordillera

Fortuna Lodge, Living Room

6 Beds | 5.5 Baths | 12 Guests | 6,210 sq. ft.

Graystone Lodge, Steamboat Springs

Graystone Lodge, Steamboat Springs

5 Beds | 5.5 Baths | 14 Guests | 5,689 sq. ft. 

Blackstone Lodge, Steamboat Springs

Blackstone Lodge, Steamboat Springs

4 Beds | 3.5 Baths | 14 Guests | 3,736 sq. ft. 

The Lodge at Stoney Ridge, Breckenridge

 The Lodge at Stoney Ridge, Breckenridge

7 Beds | 5.5 Baths | 16 Guests | 6,098 sq. ft.

Chalet Fairway, Beaver Creek

 Chalet Fairway, Beaver Creek

5 Beds | 5.5 Baths | 10 Guests | 3,433 sq. ft. 

While you might strive to shoot under par on your Colorado vacation, you definitely don’t want to stay somewhere that’s subpar!

Moving Mountains offers luxury vacation homes throughout Steamboat Springs, Breckenridge, Vail and Beaver Creek. Find the perfect home for your family vacation today!

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