Wunderground® Travel Planner: Niwot Ridge Corona Pass, CO
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With their sprawling layouts and impressively appointed greens, these four private clubs, all of which were awarded four stars from Golf Digest,
merit a special look over their city-operated counterparts simply because of their more-rural settings. On any Denver-area course, though, out-of-town golfers should keep in mind that the high altitude affects golf balls like it does baseballs—which is why the Rockies have so many more home runs when they bat at home. It's generally agreed that your golf ball will go about 10%-15% farther in the thin air here than it would at sea level.
Arrowhead Golf Club
. Designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr., this course is set impressively among red sandstone spires. It's 45 minutes from downtown in Roxborough State Park, which means any members of your group who don't want to golf can hike nearby. 10850 W. Sundown Trail, Littleton. Tel. 303/973-9614. www.arrowheadcolorado.com. 18 holes. Yards: 6,682/5,465. Par: 70/72. Green Fee: $49/$129.
. A Keith Foster-designed course and the site for the 2004 Denver Open, the bargain-priced Buffalo Run counts wide-open views of the plains surrounding its lake-studded course among its charms, which also include streams running through it and the Bison Grill Restaurant. 15700 E. 112th Ave., Commerce City. Tel. 303/289-1500. www.buffalorungolfcourse.com. 18 holes. Yards: 7,411/5,277. Par: 72/71. Green Fee: $25/$44.
Ridge at Castle Pines North
. Tom Weiskopf designed this 18-hole course with great mountain views and dramatic elevation changes. It's ranked among the nation's top 100 public courses. It's in Castle Rock, about 45 minutes south of Denver on I-25. 1414 Castle Pines Pkwy., Castle Rock. Tel. 303/688-0100. www.theridgecpn.com. Reservations essential. 18 holes. Yards: 7,013/5,001. Par: 71/71. Green Fee: $55/$100.
Riverdale Golf Courses
. It's two golf courses in one: Riverdale has the Dunes, a Scottish-style links course designed by Pete and Perry Dye that sits on the South Platte River and offers railroad ties, plenty of bunkers, and water, while the Knolls has a more-gnarly, park-inspired layout. Both courses are shaded by plenty of trees, and you can't beat the green fee. 13300 Riverdale Rd., Brighton. Tel. 303/659-6700. www.riverdalegolf.com. Knolls: 18 holes. Yards: 6,771/5,891. Par: 71/72. Dunes: 18 holes. Yards: 7,064/4,903. Par: 73/70. Green Fee: $19/$43.
Six courses, City Park, Evergreen, Kennedy, Overland Park, Wellshire, and Willis Case, are operated by the City of Denver and are open to the public. Green fee for all range from $10 to $24. For same-day tee times, you can call the starters at an individual course, but for advance reservations golfers must call the main reservation system
(City Park. Tel. 303/295-2096Evergreen. Tel. 303/674-6351Kennedy. Tel. 303/751-0311Overland Park. Tel. 303/698-4975Wellshire. Tel. 303/692-5636Willis Case. Tel. 303/458-4877. Tel. 303/784-4000) up to three days in advance.
Golfers who love to play mountain courses know that some of the best are in Vail Valley. These courses meander through the valleys dividing the area's soaring peaks. The region is home to more than a dozen courses, and there are another half dozen within easy driving distance. It's all just a matter of where you're staying and how much you want to spend. Some courses are only open to members and to guests at certain lodges.
Sonnenalp Golf Course
. This Robert Cupp-Jay Morrish design threads through an upscale neighborhood 13 mi west of Vail. There are some serious elevation changes. Guests at the Sonnenalp Resort get preferred tee times. 1265 Berry Creek Dr., Edwards. Tel. 907/477-5371. www.sonnenalpgolfclub.com. Reservations essential. 18 holes. Yards: 7,059/5293. Par: 71/71. Green Fee: $75/$175.
Vail Golf Club
. The area's municipal course rolls along between homes and condominiums in East Vail. 1778 Vail Valley Dr.Tel. 970/479-2260. www.vailgolfclub.com. Reservations essential. 18 holes. Yards: 6,740/5,277. Par: 71/71. Green Fee: $45/$80.
If you're serious about improving your game, check into the David Leadbetter Golf Academy
(376 Red Sky Rd., Wolcott. Tel. 970/477-8350). Named number-one golf instructor byGolf Digest,
Leadbetter has coached U.S. PGA tour players over the past 30 years. His instructors use high-tech tools at the academy's intense two- and three-day sessions. For example, they employ four cameras to record your swing so they can analyze everything from your stance to your grip.
The Club at Cordillera
. The Lodge & Spa at Cordillera has three 18-hole courses and a 10-hole course. Hotel guests can play the Jack Nicklaus-designed Summit Course, which surrounds a peak like a string of pearls. The Hale Irwin Mountain Course runs through aspen groves, past lakes, and through meadows surrounded by luxury homes. The Dave Pelz-designed 10-hole course lets you show off (or makes you practice) your short-game skills. 2205 Cordillera Way, Edwards. Tel. 970/926-5100. www.cordillera-vail.com. Reservations essential. Mountain: 18 holes. Yards: 7,416/5,226. Par: 72/72. Green Fee: $237. Short: 10 holes. Yards: 1,252/592. Par: 27/27. Green Fee: $55. Summit: 18 holes. Yards: 7,441/5,425. Par: 72/72. Green Fee: $235.
Eagle Ranch Golf Club
. This 6,600-foot-high course was landscaped in the lush wetlands of the Brush Creek valley. Caddies like to joke that the perfect club might actually be a fly rod. Arnold Palmer, who designed the 18-hole course, said, "The fairways are very playable and the roughs are not extremely rough." Sylvan Lake Rd., Eagle. Tel. 970/328-2882 or 866/328-2882. www.eagleranchgolf.com. Reservations essential. 18 holes. Yards: 7,500. Par: 72. Green Fee: $89/$99.
Red Sky Golf Club
. At this tony private course a few miles west of Beaver Creek, members alternate with guests on two courses designed by Tom Fazio and Greg Norman. The Tom Fazio Course's front nine are laid out on sagebrush-covered hills, but the back nine flows up and down a mountainside covered with groves of junipers and aspens. The Greg Norman Course sprawls through a broad valley. Some shots require carries across jagged ravines. Norman's signature bunkers abound, guarding slippery greens. In order to play at Red Sky Golf Club, you must be staying in the Lodge at Vail, the Pines Lodge in Beaver Creek, the Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch, other hotels owned by Vail Resorts, or other partner properties. 376 Red Sky Rd., Wolcott. Tel. 970/477-8400. www.redskygolfclub.com. Reservations essential. Greg Norman: 18 holes. Yards: 7,580/5,269. Par: 72/72. Green Fee: $225/$240. Tom Fazio: 18 holes. Yards: 7,113/5,265. Par: 72/72. Green Fee: $100/$200.
Indian Peaks Golf Course
. This local favorite has views of the Continental Divide, including some of the "Fourteeners" (mountain peaks over 14,000 feet) not visible from Boulder. The excellently tended course boasts low scores and has tee boxes for all skill levels. 2300 Indian Peaks Trail, Lafayette. Baseline Rd. to Indian Peaks Trail, 10 mi east of Boulder. Tel. 303/666-4706. www.indianpeaksgolf.com. 18 holes. Yards: 7,083/5,468. Par: 72/72. Green Fee: $37/$45.
2205 Cordillera Way
Beaver Creek, CO
An aura of quiet luxury prevails at this mountaintop lodge, with a decor that calls to mind the finest alpine hotels, and is popular with return guests. The rooms vary quite a bit in size; those in the newer wing tend to be larger. There are wood-burning fireplaces in some of the older rooms, whereas the newer rooms have gas fireplaces. The indoor pool has a view of the mountains through the wall of windows. The lodge is in the gated community of Cordillera, 15 minutes from Beaver Creek. The lodge operates a shuttle to the lifts. Pros:
spa, fireplaces in rooms.Cons:
must take shuttle to lifts, pools crowded with children. www.rockresorts.cordillera.com. 56 rooms. In-room: Wi-Fi. In-hotel: restaurants, bars, golf courses, pool, gym, spa, business center, parking. Credit cards accepted.
174 E. Gore Creek Dr.
Vail, CO 81657
The first facility to open in Vail in 1962, the sprawling lodge—modeled after the Lodge at Sun Valley—is popular with skiers and families because of its fabulous location only 150 feet from the village's main lift, the Vista Bahn. Ski valets ready your skis every morning (after the complimentary wax, of course) and collect your gear for drying in the evening. The quality and size of the rooms varies tremendously. The older wing has smaller, individually decorated rooms with a homey feel, while the newer wing has larger suites with modern touches like heated marble floors in the bathrooms and gas fireplaces. Mickey's piano bar is a favored après-ski spot. Pros:
on-mountain ski storage, located near main ski lift.Cons:
can get noisy with partiers, quality of rooms varies. www.lodgeatvail.rockresorts.com. 79 rooms, 46 suites, 44 1-, 2-, and 3-bedroom condos. In-room: safe (some), kitchen (some), Wi-Fi. In-hotel: restaurants, bar, golf course, pool, gym, spa, laundry facilities, business center, parking, some pets allowed. Credit cards accepted.
136 E. Thomas Pl.
Beaver Creek, CO 81620
With a magnificent antler chandelier and towering windows opening out onto the mountain, the lobby of this ski-in ski-out hotel manages to be both cozy and grand. Rooms are designed with skiers in mind, so they have nice touches like heated towel racks. Perhaps the ultimate in pampering is stepping into your warmed and waiting ski boots. Once the boots are off, enjoy a hot toddy by the outdoor fire pit. The on-site Allegria Spa and the nearby Beaver Creek Golf Club (with preferred tee times for guests) make this hotel popular with nonskiers. Pros:
cozy Colorado mountain feel, ski-in ski out.Cons:
fee for parking, views vary, uninterested staff. www.beavercreek.hyatt.com. 190 rooms, 15 suites. In-room: safe, kitchen (some), Wi-Fi. In-hotel: restaurants, bars, pool, tennis courts, gym, spa, children's programs, laundry facilities, business center, parking. Credit cards accepted.
141 Scott Hill Rd.
Beaver Creek, CO 81620
This ski-in ski-out lodge is a winner for skiers, combining upscale accommodations with an unpretentious atmosphere. The aura of laid-back luxury comes from little extras such as afternoon tea by the fireplace in the lobby and a ski concierge who can arrange a complimentary guided tour. Rooms vary in size, so ask for one at the end facing the mountain, which have an extra sofa for contemplating the views from the large windows. Some rooms have balconies overlooking the ski area. Pros:
slope-side, ski concierge.Cons:
valet parking only, staff sometimes difficult to locate, gym needs updating. www.pineslodge.rockresorts.com. 60 rooms, 12 condos. In-room: safe, kitchen (some), Wi-Fi. In-hotel: restaurant, bar, golf course, pool, gym, spa, laundry facilities, business center, parking. Credit cards accepted.
0130 Daybreak Ridge
Beaver Creek, CO 81620
The stone-and-timber Ritz-Carlton at Bachelor Gulch crowns Beaver Creek mountain above the bustle of Vail Valley like one of King Ludwig's Bavarian castles. Inside this imposing hotel are all the amenities any royal might desire—panoramic views from most of the rooms, stone fireplaces in more than a third, and high, plush beds in all. Guests can borrow Bachelor, the resident yellow Lab, for company on hikes (Bachelor's tips go to the Eagle Valley Humane Society). When you're finished hiking or skiing (or grow tired of gazing out at your kingdom from a balcony), head to the 21,000-square-foot spa and fitness center for a dose of bottled oxygen at the fresh-air salon or a dip in the cascading grotto hot tub. Wolfgang Puck opened a fourth location of his famous restaurant Spago here in late 2007. Pros:
The most luxurious property on the mountain, excellent guest service, ski-in ski-out.Cons:
High altitude (9,000 feet), removed from the Village. www.ritzcarlton.com. 140 rooms, 40 suites. In-room: safe, kitchen (some), Wi-Fi. In-hotel: restaurants, bars, golf course, pool, tennis courts, gym, spa, children's programs, business center, parking, some pets allowed. Credit cards accepted.
20 Vail Rd.
Vail, CO 81657
It's the sense of family tradition and European elegance that makes the Sonnenalp Resort the most Tyrolean and romantic of all hotels in the faux-Tyrolean village of Vail. Four generations of the Fassler family have worked in the hotel business, and the Sonnenalp showcases their expertise not only in the Bavarian architecture and decor (stucco walls hatched with wood beams and balconies with flower boxes) but also in the impeccable manners of everyone from front-desk receptionists to the waiters at Ludwig's. Room configurations vary from two-story suites to cozy rooms barely bigger than the overstuffed beds. The first-floor spa is set around an alcove fireplace, but the indoor heated pool flows outdoors and fronts a beautiful garden beside Gore Creek. Pros:
classic alp architecture and ambience, incredible breakfasts, spa.Cons:
removed from lifts, tough to regulate room temperature in winter. www.sonnenalp.com. 12 rooms, 128 suites. In-room: safe (some), kitchen (some), Wi-Fi. In-hotel: restaurants, bar, golf course, pool, gym, spa, children's programs, business center, parking, some pets allowed. Credit cards accepted.
600 Lionshead Circle
In summer, Adventure Ridge, at the top of Lionshead, is the hub of Vail Mountain activities. It's cool and high, and it has the views. It also has tons of activities like Friday afternoon club bands, beer, sunset watching, the Dino Dig (a large sandbox with buried plastic dinosaur bones for kids), a gravity trampoline, horseshoe pits, volleyball nets, Frisbee golf, and mountain-bike rentals. In winter, you can go tubing, play laser tag, ice-skate, or try a ski bike.
|December 28, 2014||Max Temp||Min Temp|
|Normal (KBJC)||45 °F||25 °F|
|Record (KBJC)||69 °F (1997)||8 °F (1985)|