Raven opens Summit’s golf season | SummitDaily.com

Raven opens Summit’s golf season

Summit Daily/Brad Odekirk

SUMMIT COUNTY ” Dan Guinle, general manager of the Raven Golf Club at Three Peaks, admits his course boasts an “unfair advantage” over the rest of Summit County’s golf clubs.

“We’re in the banana belt of Summit County,” Guinle said of the Raven’s lower-elevation location in Silverthorne. “So we’re able to pick bananas earlier and later than the rest.”

The first batch will be coming off the trees this week, as Guinle announced that the Raven will open for the season on Friday, marking the official beginning to Summit’s golf season.

As always, the opening date is tentative. You don’t need Al Roker to tell you Mama Nature makes the rules about who does what this time of year.

Still, the Raven’s May 5 tee times would be the second earliest on record for the Intrawest-owned club, which opened in 2000. (The earliest was April 24.)

Guinle said the Raven will have its front nine ready to go Friday, with the back nine to follow next week so long as the weather allows it. He said May 18 had been targeted as opening day, but due to warm spring weather over the last month, it became possible to open earlier.

Not surprisingly, Three Peaks residents were literally beating down the Raven’s doors encouraging an early opening.

“They saw the conditions and were like, ‘C’mon, let’s go ” we’ve been waiting months for this,'” Guinle said. “After people kept calling and coming, we were like, all right, let’s do it. And the golf course is ready for it.”

The last point might be the most surprising, considering the winter Summit leaves behind. Near record snowfall into February left the high mountains with an enormous snowpack ” and left golfers with little hope that their season would eventually begin this early.

But it will. And the rest of Summit’s links won’t be far behind the Raven’s lead.

Breckenridge Golf Club head professional Erroll Miller said his course plans to open its driving range on Wednesday, and that he expects to have “anywhere from nine to 18 holes” ready for play a week after that.

Miller, who is entering his 22nd season as a pro at Breck, said all 27 of the club’s holes should be open by the Memorial Day weekend.

Steve Corneillier, Keystone’s general manager of golf, said the Keystone River Course is tentatively slated to open on May 19, with the Ranch Course to follow on May 26. Corneillier said he walked the River Course’s fairways on Tuesday, and called the grass “absolutely lush. It’s like summer conditions already.”

“As of May 19th, these could be the best conditions we’ve ever offered,” Corneillier said, though he cautioned: “I’m not promising anybody’s gonna score any better. That’s up to you.”

On the western end of the county, Copper Mountain spokesperson Lauren Pelletreau said that Copper Creek Golf Club plans to open all 18 holes on June 2.

Copper Creek, like the rest of Summit’s courses, will offer early season rates until the summer season gets into full swing.

Until now, locals itching to play golf have either had to travel west to Eagle County or east to the Front Range. Scratching the itch takes a toll on the wallet, Miller pointed out.

“The nice thing for the golfers in Summit County,” he said, “is that once the courses do open, we’re all gonna save a lot of money on gas.”

Summit’s Tentative Opening Dates

The Raven at Three Peaks ” Friday

Breckenridge Golf Club ” Around May 17

Keystone River Course ” May 19

Keystone Ranch Course ” May 26

Copper Creek ” June 2

Early Season Rates, Until …

The Raven at Three Peaks ” June 1 ($69)

Keystone River Course ” June 8 ($75)

Keystone Ranch Course ” June 8 ($75)

Breckenridge Golf Club ” June 9 ($71)

Copper Creek ” June 16 ($65)

* Rates are for 18 holes, cart included

Devon O’Neil can be contacted at (970) 668-3998, ext. 13630, or at doneil@summitdaily.com.

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