A Four Course Feast
WHETHER YOU’RE talking about the Maroon Bells or celebrity residents like Kate Hudson, the Aspen area abounds in beauty. This includes its golf courses. While some of that splendor remains exclusive to the eyes of dues-paying members at Maroon Creek, Roaring Fork, Snowmass Club and Aspen Glen, the following four courses share their magnificence with everyone.
Architect Dick Phelps completed work on Aspen Golf Club’s walkable, tree-lined parkland layout in 1978. At 7,136 yards, it’s one of the longest municipal courses in the state, but multiple teeing areas give all a chance. Water—in the form of ponds, creeks and irrigation ditches—factors into nearly every hole, as do views of Pyramid Peak. Tip: Aspen’s lickety-split greens always break toward the valley.
In Carbondale, mighty Mount Sopris looms over River Valley Ranch Golf Club, a 7,348-yard Jay Morrish gem that opened in 1997 along the banks of the Crystal River. The river crosses or borders about half of the holes, and RVR’s final four rank as one of Colorado golf’s finest closing sequences.
Glenwood Springs features the nine-hole Glenwood Springs Golf Club and 18-hole Ironbridge Golf Club. Built in 1953 by Henry Hughes, Glenwood perches north of I-70, offering stunning views of the Roaring Fork Valley. Ironbridge opened 50 years later with a stirring but stern Arthur Hills layout that Tom Lehman “softened” in 2014. Lehman removed 34 bunkers, but none of the views of Mount Sopris. The four-hole “Lost Horizon” stretch that starts the back nine remains a true feast for the eyes, but now it’s less of a beast for the scorecard.