Golf Season 2015 began in Eagle County in March although not all courses have opened yet. The Vail Golf Course opened 2 weeks early on May 1. Prior to that Gypsum Creek Golf Course and Eagle Ranch Golf Course had already entertained play. Not including the courses south of Glenwood Springs, the 14 Eighteen hole courses beginning in Vail and proceeding west are: Vail Golf Course, Eagle-Vail Golf Course, Beaver Creek Golf Course, Sonnenalp Golf Club (aka Singletree), Country Club of the Rockies (aka Arrowhead at Vail), the 3 Cordillera Courses-The Valley, Ranch and Summit, Eagle Springs Golf Course (north of the Wolcott exit), the 2 Red Sky Ranch Courses-Norman and Fazio (south ofthe Wolcott exit), Eagle Ranch Golf Course just south of Eagle, Frost Creek (formerly Adams Mountain) further south of Eagle, and Gypsum Creek Golf Course south of Gypsum (formerly Cotton Ranch). There are Par 3 courses at the Divide in Cordillera and at the Eagle-Vail Course. Check your telephone book or Google them to obtain contact information.
The only courses that are recognized as public courses on a full time basis are Vail, Eagle-Vail, Gypsum Creek and Eagle Ranch. You are not allowed to play Frost Creek, Eagle Springs and Country Club of the Rockies unless you actually have a member playing in your foursome. Beaver Creek allows public play without a member in the foursome after 10 a.m. Red Sky has two courses and one is open to public play each day usually on an alternating basis. At Red Sky, there are separate public and private Golf Shops-Club Houses and parking lots. The Red Sky courses are currently rated in the top 100 Colorado public courses. All three Cordillera courses are planned to be open this summer and play is limited to members and their guests, but a member does not have to play in the foursome. Certain properties that you may stay at also have privileges at the Cordillera course. The old practice of having a club pro from your home course make a reservation does not seem to be recognized at the private courses. The Sonnenalp generally sets aside 14 tee times a day for public play which tee times cannot be made more that a week in advance. ALL OF THE COURSES REQUIRE PROPER ATTIRE WHICH MEANS A COLLARED SHIRT AND PANTS THAT ARE NOT DENIM EVEN IF THE PANTS ARE DESIGNER.
I have played all the courses and consider them good, if not great. Generally speaking, they are all excellent tests of golf and fun with great views. Mountain golf can be difficult, especially the first few times you play a course. It is rumored that a “famous Pro Golfer” walked off of a local course during the middle of a round of the Ford tournament one year. By mid-June the courses are all usually in excellent shape. Many of the courses were designed with limited land and/or with real estate development in mind and may have one or 2 less well designed holes. Recognize that many of the players are on vacation and the pace of play may be somewhat erratic in spite of the efforts of the course personnel. I would recommend that you try to make your tee times well in advance of your trip to the Vail area.
I generally play the Vail Course and consider it to be excellent. It is the only course that you might try to walk. My index is usually between 10 and 12 and I have had the good luck to ace 3 of the par 3s from the black tees. I regularly play in the Vail Mens Club- not bragging, just trying to put this blog in perspective. Have a great time in Vail.
It’s a beautiful day in Colorado, Bob Essin