Colorado Getaways: Grand County

Grand Lake Golf Course
Grand Lake Golf Course

The same sweeping Views of the Continental Divide that make Granby’s Grand Elk Golf Club so inspiring also enhance the community around the course. Priced from the high $300s, Koelbel’s new Ranch Style Golf Villas in Grand Elk (koelbelatgrandelk.com; 970-726-5177) represents the first of numerous offerings that will include river cabins and custom sites near fishing on the Colorado and Fraser rivers. Grand Elk lies 20 minutes from Winter Park, Lake Granby and Rocky Mountain National Park.

Around the Course

1982 Masters Champion Craig Stadler made more than 50 visits to Granby during the construction of Grand Elk Golf Club (grandelk.com; 970-887-9122), the course he co-designed with Tripp Davis in Granby. Grand Elk eschews the usual high-tee, low-green approach of mountain golf in favor of a layout evocative of Gleneagles in Scotland.

Across Highway 40 and a few miles south of Grand Elk sprawls the four-season Granby Ranch (granbyranch.com; 888-850-4615), where the 7,196-yard golf course competes for attention with multiple hiking and mountain-biking trails, fly fishing on the Fraser River and other summer activities.

Pole Creek
Pole Creek

FOUR Consecutive CAGGY Awards for “Best Mountain Course” have gone to Tabernash’s stellar Pole Creek Golf Club (polecreekgolf.com). The international fare at the club’s cleverly named Bistro 28 is easily as memorable as the 27 holes of golf that came before or after it.

The Fox in its logo suggests the animal activity at Grand Lake Golf Course (grandlakegolf.com). Elks, moose, bears and other critters often share the course.

Where Golf is Grand

POLE POSITION: Twenty-seven holes of mountain golf define Pole Creek Golf Club (polecreekgolf.com; 970-887-9195) in Tabernash. Any 18-hole mix of the Ridge, Ranch and Meadow nines will challenge your game. Most consider the 3,603-yard Ridge tougher than its slightly mellower companions, but the Meadow-Ranch combo slope-rates a high 71.1 /144.

BETTER THAN BEFORE: Lost to beetle-kill, the pines that once lined the fairways at 52-year-old Grand Lake Golf Course (grandlakegolf.com; 970-627-8008) now mark tees and control cart traffic on what has become a dazzling links-like layout adjacent to Rocky Mountain National Park. Set at an altitude of 8,420 feet above sea level, the impeccably maintained Henry Hughes-Dick Phelps design offers tough, tiny greens and sensational mountain views.

A four-season Mountain home that’s accessible to skiing, snowshoeing, fly fishing, golf,
mountain biking and miles of hiking and running rails—that’s the dream you can live at Rendezvous Colorado (rendezvouscolorado.com; 970.726.5177), a Koelbel resort community between Winter Park and Fraser. Properties include luxury townhomes (from the mid-$400,000s), shared and luxury cabins (mid-$500s to $800s) and custom lots between .6 and 1.5 acres (low-$300s to mid-$900s).

Rendezvous Colorado
Rendezvous Colorado

So Many Choices

The Miles of trails in the Rendezvous Colorado (rendezvouscolorado.com) community tie into Rocky Mountain National Forest trails and the Grand County trail system. They lead to remote mountain meadows teeming with wildlife and, in winter, welcome cross-country skiers and skaters. A private back bowl rewards the adventurous skier.

The Isley Brothers, Kirk Whalum, Hazel Miller, Dotsero, Gerald Albright and other notable musicians will perform at the Winter Park Jazz Festival (jazzwinterpark.com) July 16-17 at Hideaway Park. Tickets run $50-$70, with children 12 and under free with a paying adult.

Comprising approximately 415 square miles, 150 lakes, 350 miles of hiking trails and 60 miles of road bicycling, Rocky Mountain National Park (nps.gov) turns 101 this year. Hike to Timber Lake, Haynach Lakes or up Longs Peak (start early) for the full outdoor experience in one of America’s treasures.

Trail Ridge Road
Trail Ridge Road

What to Do

NICE DRIVE: The two hours spent on Trail Ridge Road (visitgrandcounty.com) could be the most memorable drive of your life. The highest (12,183 ft) continuously paved road in the U.S. (48 miles) gets better as you rise above treeline between Winter Park and Estes Park, taking in sweeping views of dramatic peak, valleys and the chance moose, bighorn sheep and mountain goat.

SADDLE UP: For more than 90 years, the 700-acre Drowsy Water Ranch (drowsywater.com) has provided guests with quality Colorado Dude Ranch vacations. The Fosha family owns 100 horses, which carry riders of all skill levels through the backcountry. The cozy, well-maintained accommodations coupled with mountain-top breakfasts and open-hearth barbecues make this all-inclusive vacation spot a family favorite.

Drowsy Water Ranch
Drowsy Water Ranch

SEE ALL COLORADO GETAWAYS:

Colorado Springs

Durango

Crested Butte

Gunnison

Montrose

Grand County

Steamboat Springs

Vail Valley & Beaver Creek

Aspen

Summit County

ALSO SEE: View all current Golf Deals and Stay & Play Packages

This article appears in the June 2016 issue of Colorado AvidGolfer.

Colorado AvidGolfer is the state’s leading resource for golf and the lifestyle that surrounds it, publishing eight issues annually and proudly delivers daily content via coloradoavidgolfer.com. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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