Golf season winds down in Summit County |

Golf season winds down in Summit County

Geoff Mintz
summit daily news
Summit Daily/Mark Fox

Fall is in the air, and so is that perfect drive down the middle of the fairway – at least for another week or two.

Golf season is wrapping up in Summit County with Keystone Ranch, Breckenridge and Copper Creek golf courses shutting down for the season on Sunday. The River Course and The Raven will remain for another week or two, depending on the weather.

With the changing leaves, cheaper greens fees and pristine course conditions, it’s one of the best times of year to play golf in the mountains. With local courses waiting until after closure to aerate putting surfaces, the greens are rolling fast and smooth. Most courses have, however, aerated the tee boxes and fairways.

“It’s the most gorgeous time of year,” said Mark Nickel, director of golf for The Raven. “Of course, the weather is phenomenal. The colors are brilliant with the leaves contrasting with the course – the course is a real deep, dark green color, and it’s in probably the best condition of the year.”

Nickel said the greens’ speed is also really fast this time of year, and players are reaping the benefits of a summer’s worth of work on the course.

The Raven, which is also offering up to 40 percent off gear in the pro shop, won’t be aerating its greens until after the course closes for the season. The course is scheduled to stay open through Oct. 16.

“Once the leaves fall, the temperatures also fall pretty quickly,” Nickel said. “As nice as it is the first week of October, by the middle of the month the weather goes south and it just starts to feel like winter’s coming. … If it stays really nice and warm, we might stay open another week or so.”

Up at Keystone, the Ranch will have its final day on Sunday and the River Course will remain open for another week thereafter. They, too, won’t be aerating the greens until after the course closes for the season.

“There is a possibility, if the weather is good, of staying open at the River Course through the following weekend (Oct. 16),” said assistant pro Ryan Roberts. “The bright yellow and orange aspen leaves and the views are spectacular right now. The courses are in top shape, so when we get our Indian summer, that’s why people play in Colorado.”

The Keystone courses have pushed their tee times back to 10 a.m. due to frost every morning, which is the No. 1 thing that prevents them from staying open later, Roberts said.

“We’ve been able to go right at 10 o’clock with the frost in effect. In previous years, the concern of not being able to aerate the greens, if we get that big snowfall in October, would ruin them for the next season. That’s not good for the golf courses. The only thing we’ve done are tee boxes and fairways, which are really unobtrusive,” he said.

At Breckenridge, the fairways and tees have been aerated, and they’ve closed the Elk course for this final weekend. So, Sunday is the last opportunity to play the Beaver and Bear courses.

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