Updates from the Green
Aug 30, 2009
12:22 PMThe Hole View
Colorado’s 10 Best Par 3s—Private.
Borrowing a phrase coined by Rodney Dangerfield, par 3s don’t get any respect. I’ve played with golfers who even believe these shorter holes shouldn’t be part of the game. Absent par 3s where would some of the excitement be on the PGA Tour? During the 2009 season 29 holes-in-one have been carded, including an ace at the British Open, three at the AT & T Pebble Beach and eight at the RBC Canadian Open. I asked golf pros from private Colorado golf courses to share a favorite:
1) Aspen Glen Golf Club—Named "River's Edge" the 8th measures 162 yards. With Mt. Sopris in the distance and the Roaring Fork River running along the left, this is one of Aspen Glen's most scenic holes. An accurate tee shot is required with bunkers guarding the left, right and back of the green. Steve VanDyke, head golf professional
2) Ballyneal Golf & Hunt Club—With the green set in a natural amphitheater surrounded by blow-out bunkers, Hole 3 rewards the creative shot maker with options to play off the left side to use the mound as a backstop or to throw a dart at the middle of the green. In the end, wind and hole location rule the day. Matt Payne, director of golf
3) Adam's Mountain Country Club—Playing 246 yards downhill 8 has 360-degree views. Depending on the wind, the hole can play five or six clubs different. Three bunkers guard this green, one left, one right and a huge bunker short of the green. If you carry the front bunker, the slope helps kick the ball onto the green. Eric Bradley, director of golf
4) Cornerstone—Surrounded by mature aspen, the 17th Hole is memorable…and extremely challenging. Greg Norman left the natural rock outcropping to help frame the hole’s left side. Accuracy is at a premium for saving par at this well-bunkered green. It demands a deft touch. In fall, it’s golden splendor. Mark Wood, director of golf
5) Colorado Golf Club—The eleventh is a great short hole in many ways, beginning with the incredible mountain views. A two-tiered green, bunkers and water on the right enhance the intimidation factor. Then there's the shot itself, which can be anything from a long-iron to a pitch, depending on the tee positions and hole locations. Graham Cliff, head professional
6) Roaring Fork Club—The16th plays 175 yards from the tips, which forces a close encounter with the gold medal fly-fishing waters of the Roaring Fork River. The river runs right of the back tee, creating as idyllic a scene as one could hope to find. Trees on both sides of the hole create a funnel through which the tee shot must find its way. Matt Brewer, director of golf
7) Catamount Ranch and Club—Ranging from 135–228 yards, the green is receptive to a fade and gently slopes from front to back. Course architect, Tom Weiskopf, offers this tip, “Don’t be left, short, right or long”. Cottonwood trees run along the left side and behind the hole, providing a great backdrop, especially in the fall. Chris Nachtweih, director of golf
8) Red Sky Ranch—Playing 283 yards from black tees, 16 on the Greg Norman-designed course offers stunning mountain vistas in every direction. The hole plays downhill to a relatively flat green protected by several right side bunkers. Once you reach the green two putts are common on this hole as undulation is minimal. Jeff Hanson, director of golf
9) Castle Pines Golf Club—Stretching yards, the 11th plays downhill, offering one of the best vistas on the course. Players must negotiate a well bunkered, undulating green and a meandering water feature in order to par. Once players reach the green safely, they can enjoy the surroundings and flowers amongst the Ponderosa Pines. Keith Schneider, general manager
10) The Golf Club at Ravenna—One of the most scenic views awaits you at the top of the hogback on the downhill, 240-yard 16th. A long iron or hybrid played to the center of the green gives you the best chance of making par. Seth Berliner, PGA director of golf and general manager
Did your favorite private course par 3 make RMG’s Top 10?
Next time: Are you playing Sept. 7 in the Patriot Day Charity Tourney?