From Dairy to Drives

Bella Ridge expanding Northern Colorado golf portfolio

by Jim Bebbington

The design for hole 17 at Bella Ridge Golf Course. Courtesy Bella Ridge Golf Course

A new course on an old dairy farm has been proposed for Weld County.

The Podtburg family, long-time dairy operators in the area, are developing an 18-hole course on land one-mile east of Interstate 25 near the towns of Johnstown and Mead. It will be dubbed Bella Ridge, and the course will be managed by Troon Golf, according to course architect Art Schaupeter.

Schaupeter, who is based in St. Louis, has experience in the region. He designed the TPC Colorado course in Berthoud, which will host the mid-July Korn Ferry tournament The Ascendent Presented by Blue. He also designed Highland Meadows in Windsor.

Schaupeter said Bella Ridge will continue his design style of creating experiences that give golfers options. A preliminary design for hole No. 17 shows it has three different paths golfers can take depending on their ability and comfort with risk.

“Typical of my design philosophy and how the entire course will play – put the golf in the golfer’s hands and let them decide what they want to do on each shot,” Schaupeter said.

Construction is expected to begin this summer and the operation is looking to have practice facilities ready for a soft opening fall 2024 and the course open in 2025.

Schaupeter said the course is intended to be an anchor for new residential development and that the Podtburg family is committed to doing things the right way.

“The family was focused on creating a great golf course with the development used to support the effort, not the other way around,” he said. “As a result, and partly due to the nature/quality of the site, golfers will experience a core golf course with minimal housing impact. The housing parcels are all elevated above the golf holes creating a nice, natural separation between the two. Golfers won’t feel like they are playing through backyards and the homeowners are going to have wonderful views looking across the golf holes with strong distant views to the west, north and east. Will be a “win/win” for both golfers and homeowners.”

The holes will be designed to enable players to fit in rounds of 6-holes, 3-holes as well as the traditional 9 and 18.

“There will be a lot of options for players to partake depending upon their time,” Schaupeter said.


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