May 20-23 Mountain Trip - COLORADO

gmetcalf18gmetcalf18 Members Posts: 915 ✭✭
I'm ready to go back to CO but this time I'm bringing someone else from MI with me and he's never been! We have our flight and our car booked, we're landing late on 5/20 and leaving at 4:50 PM on 5/23 not a ton of time but we've been known to pack some golf into short time slots.
We're planning to do 36 - 36 - 18 fly home, I've already played; Omni Interlocken in Broomfield, Arrowhead in Littleton, Fossil Trace in Golden, and Bear Dance in Larkspur during a trip I stayed in Broomfield for none of the drives were too long for me and I'd be willing to go a bit farther for the right course.
I'm looking into Airbnb's around south west Denver, Golden, Idaho Springs, and Boulder as well as Colorado Springs but golf down there seems to be lacking behind the Brooadmoor which is out of our price range and social class.
This is a bit of a long list but so far these are the courses I'm considering taking my buddy to; Raven at Three Peaks, Vail, Common Ground, Green Valley Ranch, Colorado National, Riverdale - Dunes, Plum Creek, Murphy's Creek, Fox Hollow, and Evergreen. Quite the list, I've been doing my research and I've come to a conclusion there are too many courses to actually compare them all so I'm trying to be decisive and decide on an itinerary. I know I want to play Bear Dance again, and my buddy was really impressed with the pictures I showed him of Arrowhead, I don't think Arrowhead is a must play but it seems to be the one that peaks his interest the most and I'm not going to say no to going back there, I really enjoyed it even tho the general verdict is overrated. I think going down to Bear Dance playing there first, then driving back north to Arrowhead play that in the afternoon and head back to the undecided Airbnb makes the most sense to do as a day together but that leaves a whole day open for 36, preferably at 2 different courses within a reasonable distance and then another 18 on our take off day. 
Before I get too long winded it's pretty clear I'm looking for suggestions, locals or those familiar with the areas please feel free to give your opinion I'm really looking forward to coming back for 3 more night of Colorado air! 
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Comments

  • pseudoswedepseudoswede Members Posts: 1,319 ✭✭
    edited Mar 21, 2019 5:41pm #2
    Of the list you have provided, avoid Plum Creek. Yes, it's a Pete Dye course and once a TPC facility, but it's a shell of its former self and in awful shape. Riverdale Dunes is a much better Dye course--although I think there are only railroad ties on two holes.

    I'll also note that you're coming in during the week. Interstate traffic is truly awful during rush hour. It's to the point where people who live on the north side of town will start commuting to points south on I-25 starting at 5:30am. And it can be a parking lot on I-25 South through the whole Denver metro area from 6:30am-9am. The opposite is true starting around 2:30pm from C470 through downtown on I-25 North. Traffic on I-25 and I-70 around downtown is always heavy now for the majority of the day (including well past rush hour--especially when the Rockies are playing). C470 (the free part) will be under construction, so it adds to the heavy traffic during rush hours. The southwest corner (where it bends 90°) is the starting point. Eastbound and northbound in the mornings, westbound and southbound in the evenings.

    On the plus side, heading up into the mountains will be a breeze. Traffic can be very heavy on the weekends.
    Post edited by pseudoswede on
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  • gmetcalf18gmetcalf18 Members Posts: 915 ✭✭
    Of the list you have provided, avoid Plum Creek. Yes, it's a Pete Dye course and once a TPC facility, but it's a shell of its former self and in awful shape. Riverdale Dunes is a much better Dye course--although I think there are only railroad ties on two holes.

    I'll also note that you're coming in during the week. Interstate traffic is truly awful during rush hour. It's to the point where people who live on the north side of town will start commuting to points south on I-25 starting at 5:30am. And it can be a parking lot on I-25 South through the whole Denver metro area from 6:30am-9am. The opposite is true starting around 2:30pm from C470 through downtown on I-25 North. Traffic on I-25 and I-70 around downtown is always heavy now for the majority of the day (including well past rush hour--especially when the Rockies are playing). C470 (the free part) will be under construction, so it adds to the heavy traffic during rush hours. The southwest corner (where it bends 90°) is the starting point. Eastbound and northbound in the mornings, westbound and southbound in the evenings.

    On the plus side, heading up into the mountains will be a breeze. Traffic can be very heavy on the weekends.
    I appreciate the heads up! Do you have any experience with mountain courses during the last two weeks of May? I've read we might be dealing with less than ideal conditions, I'm all over the place if I want to just do 36 at one facility two days, try to drive between the two, or stay in the mountains the whole trip and hit a front range or city course on Thursday on our way out. I played the Arrowhead Bear Dance combo last time on a Wednesday, we teed off at Arrowhead at 7:30 and then played Bear Dance at 1:30 I was warned of the traffic before that trip and I must have gotten lucky because it was tolerable, it was there and present but not parking lot conditions thankfully. We have no problem getting up early and trying to beat the traffic but beating the sun to a course it typically a problem and it's a vacation so I don't want my buddy to feel like we're on a super tight schedule. How late can you typically play in late may would we still have light after 7:30?
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  • pseudoswedepseudoswede Members Posts: 1,319 ✭✭
    Believe it or not, I've lived here for over 18 years, and I've only played one mountain course (Haymaker in Steamboat Springs). I typically only go into the mountains during skiing season (because I'm either golfing in the metro area or out of town). We've had a rather epic season with snowfall, so courses may take more time than usual to dry out. I would definitely look into some backup courses just in case it doesn't pan out.

    In late May, the sun sets around 8:15pm, but it's still light enough through 8:30/8:45.
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  • masamitsumasamitsu Members Posts: 2,481 ✭✭
    I've only played a couple of mountain courses but they were later in the year. Like Swede mentioned, we've had a ton of snow this season so some backup courses might be a good plan.  If you're going to play Bear Dance, maybe see if someone can get you onto Perry Park since it's very close to BD and a very nice track.  Honestly, I would try to limit my travel to one side of Denver or the other as it can be a **** shooting getting across town.  
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  • ShooterMcDabbinShooterMcDabbin LongmontMembers Posts: 21 ✭✭
    If you're going to be up around Boulder, look into playing TPC Colorado. It should be in great shape by the end of May and an outstanding track. 

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  • Matt JMatt J Members Posts: 8,659 ✭✭
    Mountain courses will be hit or miss, just depends on how warm and how much more snow they get.  Go whitewater rafting!  Should be amazing that week.  Clear Creek is right off of I-70 not far from the Front Range, but if you're willing to drive I recommend the Cache la Poudre outside Ft Collins make sure your trip runs the Upper Mish and Pineview Falls. 
  • gmetcalf18gmetcalf18 Members Posts: 915 ✭✭

    As exciting as white water rafting looks I'm pretty sure that's off the table for both of us, not super adventurous with water activities! I do want to go zip lining again, I went at the Brooadmoor and down in Canon City last summer and it was awesome but pretty pricey. My buddy is trying to keep this trip under 1k on his side of the deal so we have to be delicate with our expenditures. We're working together on trying to pick courses, it's a lot of work deciding where to go and when but it's going to be a blast either way. Has anyone played Vail or Vail Eagle? I know it's in the mountains and could be hit or miss but if weather permits I was thinking a day in the mountains and play Raven and one of the Vail courses, day two go down to Bear Dance play 18 or 36 if we only do 18 play another 18 at Arrowhead and then on take off day play Fossil Trace, Common Ground, GVR somewhere within an hour of the airport. Nothing is finalized, going to have to take a gamble on the weather but if not there are a ton of metro courses we'd be more than happy to play and stay out of the mountains.

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  • gmetcalf18gmetcalf18 Members Posts: 915 ✭✭

    Booked an AirBnB in Idaho Springs, wanted to try to stay in a different part of the state and still be able to access the city or the mountains depending on the weather. Looking at course 90 minutes or less from home base, will report back when I have an itinerary to see if anyone has any suggestions!

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  • pseudoswedepseudoswede Members Posts: 1,319 ✭✭

    If all mountain courses are unavailable due to snow, then staying in Idaho Springs will be incredibly inconvenient when trying to go to Denver metro courses. Hopefully the AirBnB in Idaho Springs has a generous cancellation policy (refund except for service fee) and you also look into one closer to town.

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  • irvtrainirvtrain Members Posts: 1,001 ✭✭

    I recommend playing in the mountains but be open to where to go. Vail is not worth getting to. It's a flat course in the mountains. You can do a Ravens/Keystone trip. I like the Ranch course but I think most people prefer The River. Don't rule out the Winter Park area. Grand Elk is in a valley, so should be ready to go. Pole Creek would be a good one to pair with it as it has 27 holes. Headwaters would also work but I recommend Pole Creek. I think you mentioned Eagle. The only course there is Eagle Ranch and a good one. That course is in a banana belt and might even be open already. From there though, the second course will be expensive but you could play Vail but might as well keep driving to play Raven. With Bear Dance I'd pair it with The Ridge at Castle Pines or even Red Hawk Ridge. Arrowhead is fine for your buddy as it is a once in a lifetime to play in the red rocks but the golf isn't the best. You'll be fine getting to Bear Dance from Idaho Springs. Just avoid I-25 if necessary by taking C-470 to Santa Fe (hwy 85) to hwy 105. It won't pop up on GPS to take that way but traffic will be limited on 85 and non-existent on 105.

  • irvtrainirvtrain Members Posts: 1,001 ✭✭

    Play the Dunes or Commonground your last day. Both are similar from value and golf perspective.

  • gmetcalf18gmetcalf18 Members Posts: 915 ✭✭

    @irvtrain said:
    I recommend playing in the mountains but be open to where to go. Vail is not worth getting to. It's a flat course in the mountains. You can do a Ravens/Keystone trip. I like the Ranch course but I think most people prefer The River. Don't rule out the Winter Park area. Grand Elk is in a valley, so should be ready to go. Pole Creek would be a good one to pair with it as it has 27 holes. Headwaters would also work but I recommend Pole Creek. I think you mentioned Eagle. The only course there is Eagle Ranch and a good one. That course is in a banana belt and might even be open already. From there though, the second course will be expensive but you could play Vail but might as well keep driving to play Raven. With Bear Dance I'd pair it with The Ridge at Castle Pines or even Red Hawk Ridge. Arrowhead is fine for your buddy as it is a once in a lifetime to play in the red rocks but the golf isn't the best. You'll be fine getting to Bear Dance from Idaho Springs. Just avoid I-25 if necessary by taking C-470 to Santa Fe (hwy 85) to hwy 105. It won't pop up on GPS to take that way but traffic will be limited on 85 and non-existent on 105.

    Thank you!
    Love some local advice, I hadn't heard of Grand Elk but Pole Creek seems to be in the front running for a day of 36 up there and then head back to Idaho Springs. I've stayed in Broomfield, Golden, and Colorado Springs in the last year so I'm excited to see the I70 track and stay in the rockies this time, being from the midwest the mountains haven't gotten old yet for us but I could certainly do without the hail!

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  • irvtrainirvtrain Members Posts: 1,001 ✭✭

    The mountains never get old! I’ve lived in Colorado my whole life.

  • gmetcalf18gmetcalf18 Members Posts: 915 ✭✭

    I've got a few possible itineraries, one in the mountains one out of the mountains one the best of both worlds, if there is anything that looks to not make sense please let me know!

    NO MOUNTAINS
    5/21/19 - Red Hawk Ridge in the AM, Arrowhead in the PM.
    5/22/19 - Castle Pines in the AM, Bear Dance in the PM.
    5/23/19 - Fossil Trace, Fox Hollow, or CommonGround

    ALL MOUNTAINS
    5/21/19 - Grand Elk in the AM, Pole Creek in the PM.
    5/22/19 - Eagle Vail in the AM, Raven in the PM.
    5/23/19 - Evergreen

    BEST OF BOTH WORLDS
    5/21/19 - Red Hawk Ridge in the AM, Bear Dance in the PM.
    5/22/19 - Keystone River or Ranch in the AM, Raven in the PM.
    5/23/19 - Fossil Trace, Fox Hollow, Colorado National, GVR, etc.

    Thanks for everyone's time and contribution I really appreciate all the help!

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  • pseudoswedepseudoswede Members Posts: 1,319 ✭✭

    All look like great itineraries. For the No Mountains one, I would swap courses on 5/21, but not an absolute necessity.

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  • gmetcalf18gmetcalf18 Members Posts: 915 ✭✭

    @pseudoswede said:
    All look like great itineraries. For the No Mountains one, I would swap courses on 5/21, but not an absolute necessity.

    Thanks for the feedback! I'll be honest with budgeting we can get on Arrowhead after 1 PM for $75 vs the usual $140 where Red Hawk Ridge is only $78 in the morning so I was trying to save some coin by flipping the two. Seems like the more my buddy looks at other course his interest is drifting from Arrowhead so we may swap that out with a different option but it's fun going through all the possibilities.

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  • ChancemanChanceman Members Posts: 546 ✭✭

    @irvtrain said:
    The mountains never get old! I’ve lived in Colorado my whole life.

    The Rockies are living, they never shall die!! John Denver 1973
    Canit wait to play golf there in September.

  • 11forgedblades11forgedblades Members Posts: 555 ✭✭
    edited Mar 29, 2019 12:13pm #19

    I'm a huge fan of Copper Creek and/or Keystone Ranch. Breckenridge Golf Club is awesome as well, but for whatever reason, I've found it one of the hardest courses I've ever played.

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  • gmetcalf18gmetcalf18 Members Posts: 915 ✭✭

    Looks like we have finalized a schedule, these are assuming the mountain courses are open, if not we will substitute accordingly!
    We're going to start with Evergreen as our warm up then head down to Bear Dance and play 36 between the two, after Bear Dance we are going to clean up and head to Black Hawk and try to loose some money before calling it a night. On the next day we're going to start out at Vail and then head to Raven for another day of 36 in the mountains, head back to Idaho Springs and kick around downtown until we're ready to call it quits our house is right on Colorado Blvd. Finally on our take off day we've booked Fossil Trace at 7:40 AM head to Denver for lunch and then get back to MI Thursday night!

    Thanks to all who have spoken up and suggested courses we used your input and took some wants of our own and made what looks like to be a great golf trip in about 7 weeks.

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  • irvtrainirvtrain Members Posts: 1,001 ✭✭

    Nice, Have fun. I always love playing Evergreen because you can hit all kind of shots and all kinds of clubs off the tee. I'd check to see if someone can report on conditions at Raven and Vail about a week out though. Depending on your flight time, getting lunch at DIA is always fun since it has a ton of restaurants, breweries, bars, etc.

  • I played the Raven last summer, early June I think it was and enjoyed it. However, they had some problems with a few of their greens, especially on the back nine. I thought I heard it was some sort of fungus or something and several of them were eaten up. I hope they got the problem fixed. Great course.

  • irvtrainirvtrain Members Posts: 1,001 ✭✭

    That time of year, I'd only expect Bear Dance to be in good condition. If fact, I can guarantee Evergreen will be in poor shape, Vail and Raven you'll be playing **** shoot. Regardless it'll be fun times.

  • gmetcalf18gmetcalf18 Members Posts: 915 ✭✭

    @FlounderinDC said:
    I played the Raven last summer, early June I think it was and enjoyed it. However, they had some problems with a few of their greens, especially on the back nine. I thought I heard it was some sort of fungus or something and several of them were eaten up. I hope they got the problem fixed. Great course.

    I've been reading some of the course was in rough shape, I know this is a golf site and I love golf but this trip is a vacation that we're also golfing on, my buddy has never been to the mountains so I thought fully immerse him, we're not going to complain about greens if the views and setting are what they are made out to be we will be happy either way!

    @irvtrain said:
    That time of year, I'd only expect Bear Dance to be in good condition. If fact, I can guarantee Evergreen will be in poor shape, Vail and Raven you'll be playing **** shoot. Regardless it'll be fun times.

    Like you said we're planning on having fun even if we're playing mudball for the three days it'll be better than being stuck in Michigan for those 3 days! I appreciate the heads up and we will certainly take conditions into consideration if we need to substitute we'll be more metro area courses which I'd think would be better conditions be time will tell, either way we're going to be golfing in Colorado when we're both supposed to be at work, not going to be any bad days out there!

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  • irvtrainirvtrain Members Posts: 1,001 ✭✭

    I'm just going off the fact Evergreen is almost never in good shape. But it is one of the most entertaining courses you could ever play. For example, you can try and hit a slice with driver, wood on #4, and you'll need to hit a sweeping on 7 but even then you probably won't be in the fairway. All the holes have a ton of things going on with it and the ball almost never stops rolling in the fairway because you're on the side of a mountain. If they would actually have the scorecard say par 66, it would be the greatest par 66 in the US lol. A ton of fun. Anyway, it'll be a blast and a fun trip! Definitely hit up Tommy Knockers and Beau Jos in Idaho Springs. Two Colorado icons.

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