Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Summit County golf courses tee up for season

#Summit County, Colorado.

Courtesy of Copper Creek

Spring is a wondrous time of year in Summit County. Migratory birds return to their nests, green grass starts to poke out of the snow and, most importantly, golf courses start to reopen. Summit County boasts some of the best golfing in the state, with breathtaking views, challenging course layouts, and mild temps throughout the summer. Golf season is right around the corner and the county’s four courses have a lot to offer this year as far as swing-for-your-buck deals in the early season.
Raven at Three Peaks in Silverthorne was the first to open in 2015 and is still the only course open in the county so far. The course has all 18 holes, a driving range and their practice facility open to the public. The Raven is under the new management of club professional Bud Gazaway and general manager Reese McCall.
Background: A challenging course with the hilliest terrain in Summit County. The Raven has an Alister Mackenzie inspired design that exemplifies the beauty and spirit of Summit County. Hole #9 is unforgettable, with over 200 feet in elevation drop from tee box to fairway.
Spring prices: $55-$75 w/cart; price varies depending on tee time. Prices last until June 12.
Driving range: $15 for unlimited balls
What to look for: Memorial Day Bluegrass and Greens Charity Tournament, Wild Week at Three Peaks (First week of June), Kids’ Golf Camps.
Copper Creek Golf Course is located at the base of Copper Mountain Ski Area. Copper will tentatively open on June 12 with a full course and driving range. Due to its high elevation, it typically opens last out of the Summit County courses.
Background: The course boasts 18 holes of breathtaking views of the Ten Mile Range and the highest tee box in North America; sitting at 9,863 ft. Its proximity to Copper Mountain allows golfers to gaze at the same trails that they ride down during the winter. With a flatter, shorter course layout, Copper is a great place for less experienced players or any golfer to get a start to their season. It is often cheaper to golf here than anywhere else in the county.
Spring prices: $51-$61 w/o cart, $63-$73 w/cart (tee time dependent); prices last until June 29.
Driving range: $5 for a bucket of balls
What to look for: Summer concert series, June 27:“Copper’s Gone to the Dogs,” Mini-Golf.
Breckenridge Golf Club is a 27-hole, Jack Nicklaus designed layout that sits just outside the town of Breckenridge. The public club will open Memorial Day weekend, with the driving range expected to open this week; conditions permitting.
Background: Breckenridge Golf Course is a world-class venue that is a must-play when it comes to mountain golf. It is routinely voted “Best of Summit County” in our reader’s voting, and was named the No. 25 best municipal course in the country for 2014 by Golf Digest Magazine. The Beaver, Bear, and Elk courses offer great scenery and well-kept course conditions. Take care, as some of this scenery can be a hazard for your ball.
Spring prices: $67 w/o cart, $67 w/cart after 2:30, $85 w/cart before 2:30. Prices last until June 11.
Driving range: $7 for 60 balls
What to look for: May 28 Little Red Charity Fundraiser, June 7 Summit Foundation Tournament, Five Hole Family Nights.
Keystone Ranch and River Courses near Keystone Mountain, make up the largest golf complex in Summit County with a total of 36 holes. With exciting elevation drops, challenging bunkers, and picturesque views, both courses offer some of the best golf in the county. The River course plans to open May 15, while the Ranch will open on May 29.
Background: The River is the easier of the two courses but don’t let that dissuade you from the Ranch course; as a little challenge sometimes makes the game more fun. There is a practice facility, golf shop, and food options on each course. Both the River and Ranch have a tendency to get booked up so plan ahead.
Spring prices: $85 w/cart; price lasts until June 4.
Driving range: $20 for unlimited balls
What to look for: Betty’s Golf Week at the River Course (May 25-29), Free Junior Golf Week Clinics at the Ranch (June 4-8), June 7 Epic Passclub Tournament at the River.
Early season golf can be fickle and widely varied in Summit’s high-alpine climate. This is proven by the fact that Breckenridge Golf Club has been clearing snow since March, while the courses at Keystone have done very little snow mitigation. Plan ahead when golfing in the county because a rain shower can always be just ten minutes away, even if there isn’t a cloud in the sky. Also remember to keep your cart on the path early on, as they call it mud season for a reason.
Courtesy of the Summit Daily News.