2019 season preview: Golfing in the Vail Valley
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correct the name of the head chef at Sonnenalp Golf Club’s Harvest Restaurant & Bar.
Stunning scenery and fresh mountain air add to the enjoyment of golf in the Rocky Mountains. Many of the courses in the area were designed by names such as Pete Dye, Tom Fazio, Greg Norman and Dave Pelz. Golf is available May through October in the Vail Valley, with the best conditions in July and August.
Here’s a look at the courses available across the valley this summer.
Beaver Creek Golf Club
103 Offerson Road, Beaver Creek
Since 1982, Beaver Creek Golf Club has been known for its challenging fairways and beautiful scenery. Majestic pines and a cascading creek are part of the beauty of this course, and the final holes lead up to the clubhouse with views of a fountain and pond. Architect Robert Trent Jones designed the course, open between May and October. The Rendezvous Club at the clubhouse offers breakfast and lunch, and the club offers stay-and-play packages.
EagleVail Golf Club
459 Eagle Drive, Avon
The EagleVail Golf Club is one of the area’s older courses and was designed by Devlin/Von Hagge. This par-71, 6,189-yard course offers natural challenges — rivers, streams, ponds, wetlands, forests and gardens. The Whiskey Hill Golf Grill serves up food and drinks as well. Not up for 18 holes? Try the Willow Creek Par 3 Course, where the longest hole measures 120 yards. Willow Creek also offers foot golf and, new this year, “fling golf” — which is like “field hockey or lacrosse with a golf ball.”
Golf courses at Cordillera
With four courses, each with its own personality, style and challenges, the courses at Cordillera offer expansive views. There’s the Valley Course, Summit Course, Short Course and Mountain Course. The Valley Course is a par-71 Tom Fazio-designed course along the Eagle River. The Mountain Course designed by Hale Irwin is atop Cordillera, and is on land that was once a working ranch. The Summit Course is a little higher, designed by Jack Nicklaus.
Vail Golf Club
1775 Sunburst Drive, Vail
With a feel of a private course, yet open to the public, the Vail Golf Club was designed by Vail pioneer Ben Krueger and built in 1962. Golf Digest saluted this course as a Top 100 Resort Course. The mountain-style 18-hole course is surrounded by national forest with picturesque views of the Gore Range. The par-71 course also has a new clubhouse and restaurant.
Sonnenalp Golf Club
1265 Berry Creek Road, Edwards
The Sonnenalp golf course winds its way through the Singletree neighborhood in Edwards. The par-71, 7,074-yard course is open mid-April through the end of October. After a round, enjoy a meal at Harvest Restaurant & Bar, chef Rosa Provoste’s restaurant with a sunny deck and views of Arrowhead across the valley. Rates vary depending on the season.
Red Sky Ranch and Golf Club
376 Red Sky Road, Wolcott
Red Sky Golf Club is a private course on more than 800 acres high above tiny Wolcott, featuring majestic backdrops and tee boxes nestled in the forest. Red Sky has two 18-hole championship courses, one designed by Fazio and the other by Greg Norman. Better your game at the Red Sky Golf Academy with instruction from a PGA Tour veteran.
Gypsum Creek Golf Course
530 Cotton Ranch Drive, Gypsum
This par-72 course designed by Pete Dye is on the west side of the valley, which means a longer golf season. The course owned and operated by the town of Gypsum offers plenty of challenge. The Gypsum Creekside Grill restaurant is also touted as the 19th hole.
Frost Creek Golf Course
1094 Frost Creek Drive, Eagle
Secluded and peaceful, the Frost Creek Golf Course is a few miles from Eagle but feels much more removed. The course was designed by Tom Weiskopf with an emphasis on indigenous landscaping. The par-72, 18-hole championship private course winds its way over 1,100 acres of rolling terrain. Beyond golf, Frost Creek has multiple fishing ponds, hiking and biking trails, guest cabins and a 40,000-square-foot clubhouse that includes an Olympic pool. The course is open through October.
Eagle Ranch Golf Club
0050 Lime Park Drive, Eagle
Eagle Ranch Golf Club is a public course where golfers rejoice early in the season at the downvalley course. Eagle Ranch is a certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary and the course sits on what was a working ranch, with farm implements strategically placed around the course, which Arnold Palmer designed and opened in 2001. Golfers can also enjoy an Arnold Palmer at the Grille overlooking the Rocky Mountains. Fun fact: The course has working beehives (more so for local honey than another hazard).
Country Club of the Rockies
0676 Sawatch Drive, Edwards
Country Club of the Rockies in the resort of Arrowhead spans the Eagle River and runs along both sides of U.S. Highway 6. The 18-hole, par-72 course promises lush, rolling hills with water play on 11 holes. The links-style course was designed by Jack Nicklaus and opened in the mid-’80s. Country Club of the Rockies encourages walking, but the club offers a golf biking option. For a high-tech experience, visit the indoor-outdoor learning center.
Gore Creek Mini Golf
Lionshead Village, Vail
Made for family-friendly fun during the summer, the Gore Creek Mini Golf Course is located near Vail’s Eagle Bahn Gondola in Lionshead Village. The 9-hole course features an animal theme. Shopping and dining is also nearby in Lionshead Village.
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