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Summit County's Dream 9: The best holes from some of the best courses in Breckenridge, Keystone and beyond

Summit County is home to some of the most dramatic natural terrain found anywhere in North America. This grand landscape serves as a spectacular backdrop for some of the best golf in the High Country. Here are our favorite nine holes from Summit’s five world-class courses.

1. The Raven, No. 16, par 5, 601 yards

Welcome to mountain golf, people. A dramatic tee shot on a downhill 601-yard par 5, the Raven’s postcard hole has amazing views and a long, sweeping fairway down to a large green. A good tee shot will award you with another downhill shot to the green for your second, leaving you with a great opportunity for eagle or birdie.

2. Keystone Ranch, No. 5, par 3, 190 yards

If one hole can accurately describe this great course, this is it. The most challenging par 3 comes in at 190 yards and is as intimidating to the eye as it is to play. This hole requires a solid tee shot that will land softly on the elevated green. Good luck there.

3. Breckenridge Golf Club, Elk, No. 7, par 4, 435 yards

This 435-yard par 4 has the most elevation change of any of the holes on the course. It’s roughly a 75-foot difference from the tee box down to the green. With the dogleg right, after you’ve hit your drive down there, the green is on the other side of a big ravine with Buffalo Mountain in the backdrop.

4. Keystone Ranch, No. 9, par 4, 368 yards

You might have noticed that pretty much all of these holes are ridiculously long — even the par 3s. So, here’s a short par 4. It is a risk-reward hole that allows golfers to take aim at the green. Knock it on, and you will have a great chance at eagle or birdie, or lay up to the fairway to set up a short approach shot to the green.

5. Keystone River, No. 7, par 3, 195 yards

This par 3 is called “The Snake” for good reason. Pay close attention to the prevailing wind on this challenging 195-yard par 3. Tee shots should be played to the middle of the green to avoid hazards located in front, left, right and behind the green.

6. Keystone River, No. 16, par 4, 509 yards

Golfers should be at the peak of their games on this 509-yard par-4 hole, which features a dramatic elevation drop of nearly 200 feet. Stay right on this hole and enjoy the challenge, as well as the views of Keystone Ranch Golf Course, Bald Mountain and Mount Guyot.

7. Copper Creek Golf Course, No. 17, par 3, 167 yards

One of two signature holes at Copper, North America’s highest championship 18-hole course, this par 3 is lined with towering pines and offers golfers a beautiful yet challenging experience. The green features a two-tier design that demands the ball be in proper position to have any chance at an elusive birdie.

8. The Raven, No. 9, par 4, 514 yards

Yes, it’s pretty long for a par 4, but the tee sits almost 300 feet above the green. If you’re fortunate enough to find the fairway off the tee, your work is not over, with an approach to a well-protected green that slopes away to the water hazard with mounds in front sure to stop the timid approach.

9. Breckenridge Golf Club, Beaver No. 8, par 3, 580 yards

This set of nine gets its name from the beaver ponds that run alongside the holes. No. 8 is a challenging hole; it’s a pretty hole, but the ponds are what really make it unique. Golfers beware, though: There are hazards everywhere.

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The Summit Daily Updated Sep 11, 2013 01:27PM Published Sep 6, 2013 02:14PM Copyright 2013 The Summit Daily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.