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Saturday, May 23, 2015
Breckenridge Golf Club opens Memorial Day Weekend with 18 of 27 holes
Special to the Daily
Clean your clubs, find your striped slacks and get ready to hit the links — it’s golf season.
The Breckenridge Golf Club opens this weekendin time for the Memorial Day holiday, with play on 18 of 27 holes at the Jack Nicklaus-designed course. It’s the only such town-owned course in the nation, yet due to nonstop rain, local and visiting golfers are privy to deeply discounted greens fees.
“It has been hard to find dry conditions this May,” says head golf pro Erroll Miller, who’s been at the club since its first season in 1985. “We’re 22 days into the month and we’ve only seen (a few) dry days ... People always expect strange weather this time of year, but this is by far the wettest May I can remember in a long time.”
The weather even managed to delay opening by a day or two — quite the feat for a course that sits at 9,400 vertical feet and is often buttressed by snow long into June. Starting today, the classic Beaver Course and challenging Elk Course are open for play, with tee times available every 10 minutes from 8:30 a.m. to 2:20 p.m., pending rain and — who knows? — maybe even snow.
But first, back to the early-season discount. Walking groups get nine holes on either course for $35 per person, while groups with carts get the same for $53. Prepay through the website to earn a $10 discount per person.
Also available online or through the pro shop are punch cards for Breckenridge and Summit County residents. The Breck card costs $440 upfront for 10 rounds of nine ($44 per round) and the Summit card costs $275 upfront for five rounds of nine ($55 per round).
Breck’s third course, the Bear Course, will open as soon as conditions allow, Miller says. Until then, here’s a rundown on the 18 holes prepped for Memorial Day.
THE ELK AND BEAVER COURSES
Since 1985, the Beaver Course has been home to everything that golf fanatics love (and loathe) about the Breckenridge Golf Club: wooded fairways, tricky ravines, a slew of beaver ponds and stunning vistas of the Tenmile Range.
Hole 8 on the Beaver Course is one of the club’s signature holes, Miller says, a downhill Par 5 with a narrow fairway that doesn’t exactly demand a 300-yard drive. It might be better to play the ball safe and smart, particularly on the tricky green approach.
“You just have to hit the ball straight,” Miller says. “It doesn’t mean you have to take a driver off the tee box, but it demands that you hit it straight to play the course. It sits right along the beaver ponds to the right, so the golfer is always challenged with the final approach to the green. You have to carry the water hazard if you want to make par.”
The Elk Course is the club’s newest addition, finished in 2001 to take full advantage of the natural hills and valleys around Breckenridge. Hole 7 is Elk in a nutshell: At 9,445, this Par 4 is home to the highest tee box in Summit County, then drops some 75 feet to the green. Add a right dogleg with a deceptively long gulley on the approach shot and it can easily skew a scorecard, Miller says. But the views of Tenmile Range are worth it, and thankfully there’s only one bunker.