The River Nine |

The River Nine

No. 1, Great Divide – The River Course at Keystone begins with a spectacular par-5 hole that offers a 100-foot drop in elevation with the Continental Divide as the backdrop.

No. 2, Sawmill – Before bunkers and fairways, this hole was the site of a sawmill in the town of Old Keystone. Now, hikers, bikers, golfers and even students romp through the meadows and riverbanks. The Keystone Science School is located near this hole. Golfers should heed this lesson – stay to the left on this green. The right side is flanked by a deep bunker.

No. 3, River Hole – The Snake River serves as the backdrop for this long, uphill par-3. The green is protected on the left by a small bunker and a big bunker on the right.

No. 4, Elk Crossing – Be prepared to spot elk on the wide, expansive fairway. Also, be prepared for the bunkers surrounding the green. Stick to the right side for the best approach angle to the green.

No. 5, Meadows – This is an extremely demanding par-5 hole with willows, wetlands and meadow grasses. Avoid the wetlands on the right of the landing area.

No. 6, Gulch – With water hazards lurking on this challenging par-4 hole, golfers need to shoot straight. Not an easy task considering the views of beaver ponds, wetlands and the peaks of the Ten Mile Range in the distance. Still, tenacious golfers may see a birdie if they avoid the pond on the left side of the landing area.

No. 7, The Snake – Don’t get bit. Check the wind, select the right club and take a deep breath. Even though the hole is relatively short, crossing the Snake River is a mental challenge. Even the architects admit par is a good score on this hole.

No. 8, Elk Run – A campsite for miners and loggers in the 1800s, the eighth hole now features a difficult approach to the green from the right. Best bet is to hit the left center of the fairway.

No. 9, Redtail – To see a “birdie” on this hole, golfers only need to look up in the air. Redtail hawks are often seen gliding through the air. Golfers would be wise to check the wind before selecting a club for this hole. The long downhill par-3 features a deep bunker on the left and grass depressions on the right. The Mountain Nine

No. 10, Buffalo – With Buffalo Mountain rising to the west, this par-4 features a fairway that drops downhill on the second shot and a deep bunker guarding the small green.

No. 11, Porcupine – Many golfers find themselves in a “prickly” situation on this hole. The demanding par-4 requires a tee shot in the left center of the fairway and then an approach shot on the right side of the green.

No. 12, Tenderfoot – Protected by bunkers on the front left and right side, this long par-3 also provides a very deep green and a spectacular backdrop – Tenderfoot Mountain.

No. 13, Needles – Golfers might be on pins and needles during this hole. The par-5 plays much longer than the yardage would indicate. The long, uphill hole requires an approach to the green from the left side. Beware of bunkers that flank the front side of the green.

No. 14, Lodgepole – On the left is a forest of lodgepole pines. To the right – a severe drop off. Although this long par-4 provides scenic views, it won’t provide many pars. Hit the tee shot to the left side of the fairway.

No. 15, Snowshoe – In the winter, this hole serves as a playground for snowshoe hares. Once the grass turns green, the hares share their playground with golfers. This is the final par-3 at the River Course and requires a long to medium iron to reach the uphill green. Watch out for the deep bunker on the left.

No. 16, Summit – Golfers should be at the peak of their game on this 509-yard par-4 hole that features a dramatic elevation drop of nearly 20 feet. Golfers should stay right on this hole and enjoy the challenge, as well as the views.

No. 17, Little Bear – The short par-4 may seem cute and cuddly at first, but beware. The tee shot must carry a wetland to the smallest landing area on the course. Then, watch out for the several deep bunkers flanking the green.

No. 18, Colorado – With Lake Dillon as a backdrop, golfers will have a hard time keeping their eyes on the long, downhill par-5. It’s possible to make the green in two. However, this hole also features 12 bunkers. If golfers successfully avoid the sand, birdies and eagles are within reach.

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