An unseasonably warm late winter throughout the Four Corners region is offering no-snow recreationalists an early jump on their favored outdoor pursuits. That’s tempting news for golfers, who are taking advantage of short-sleeve weather that has greened up fairways and cranked up player counts.
In Durango, Hillcrest Golf Course (pictured above) is debuting newly constructed tee complexes, fully restored bunkering and minor fairway modifications to its popular 18-hole facility. Featuring tee-to-green bentgrass, mountain peak views and some of the swiftest putting surfaces in the state, the 7,076-yard track will reopen its second nine in early April and continue to offer an early season rate of $30 until Labor Day.
Also in Durango, the Glacier Club (above) is finalizing a new nine-hole mountain course crafted by Hale Irwin and Todd Schoeder, giving the ultra-private San Juan Mountains enclave 36 holes of spectacular golf. Situated in a dense forest of Ponderosa pines at an elevation of 8,000 feet, well-heeled homeowners are further spoiled by a stunning clubhouse, tennis, hiking, mountain biking and unfettered proximity to Purgatory Resort.
The historic Press Maxwell/Bill Stroud-designed Conquistador Golf Course (above) in Cortez, Colo., already is several weeks into the 2016 season. Measuring 7,152 yards, the tradition-steeped routing is underscored by bentgrass greens, tree-lined fairways and sweeping views of the La Plata Mountains. It’s located near Mesa Verde National Park and Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, and is offering 25-percent player discounts through April 15.
Newly rebranded Aztec Municipal Golf Course (above) has benefitted from a wet winter and is earning kudos for its newly renovated clubhouse and grille, new fleet of power carts, enhanced maintenance and value-added pricing. Located minutes from Aztec Ruins National Monument, the 5,828-yard layout is a favorite for families, beginners and time-sensitive players who play the northwest New Mexico venue for $30 all season long, including cart.
New Mexico’s highly regarded Piñon Hills Golf Course (above) in nearby Farmington is turning heads with sublime conditioning made even more glorious by mid-winter snows. The 7,200-yard facility, crafted by Ken Dye and ranked among the best municipal courses in America, is offering golfers a delightfully attractive twilight rate of $30 including cart through Labor Day.
Southwest Utah is perhaps best known for its world-class mountain biking, but the panoramic region is also celebrated for Moab Golf Club (above). Situated among eroding red sandstone cliffs and boulders just minutes from the Colorado River, the 6,819-yard desert oasis offers players a mesmerizing and memorable $48 round with cart throughout the season.
Chris Duthie is a Durango-based contributor to Colorado AvidGolfer, the state’s leading resource for golf and the lifestyle that surrounds it. It publishes eight issues annually and proudly delivers daily content via www.coloradoavidgolfer.com.