Area golfers get into the swing |

Area golfers get into the swing

Post Independent/Kara K. Pearson

The spring weather has golf enthusiasts digging out the golf bags from deep within the closet, dusting them off and getting ready to hit the links.

As the sun fought its way through the clouds Friday afternoon at Glenwood Springs Golf Club, Jim Otto practiced his putting on the practice green with his new putter.

“I play rain or shine,” he said. “I have a coat in my (golf) bag.”

What appears, so far, to be an early end to winter has allowed many local courses to open early and let golfers like Otto get a head start on the season.

The Aspen Golf and Tennis Club opened to play Monday, though it’s walking rounds only at this point. The driving range opens for the season on Thursday, April 5.

The private Roaring Fork Club in Basalt ” a 7,312-yard, par-72 course ” will open April 13, weather permitting. The Snowmass Club course plans to open May 5.

In Carbondale, a couple of courses are already in full swing. River Valley Ranch opened its 18-hole public course for the season on March 26, two days after the Ranch and Roaring Fork, a nine-hold, par-3 course, began taking tee times.

“We got calls the whole week before we opened,” said Clint Anderson, a course employee at the Ranch at Roaring Fork. “People couldn’t wait to play.”

The Glenwood Springs Golf Club typically opens in March. This year’s opening weekend drew nearly 300 golfers out to play a round.

A little farther afield (and lower in elevation), Lakota Canyon Ranch Golf Club in New Castle, the Rifle Creek Golf Course and Battlement Mesa Golf Club all opened for the season well ahead of courses in the Roaring Fork Valley. So did Cotton Ranch in Gypsum. Eagle Ranch Golf Club in Eagle is now open, as well.

– At the Aspen Golf Club, greens fees will be $45 until May 19, when they jump up to $75 for 18 holes until 1 p.m. daily, when the fee drops back to $45. Starting June 16, it will be $95 for 18 holes until 1 p.m., when the price drops to $75 until 3 p.m.; then greens fees drop to $45.

Greens fees will drop back on Sept. 15, when a round will run $75 before 1 p.m. and $45 after 1 p.m. Local season and punch passes are also available.

– A nine-hole round at the Ranch at Roaring Fork costs $15 for adults and $12 for junior and senior players until May 1, when the prices go up by $2. Punch passes are available for an early-season discount.

– At the Glenwood Springs Golf Club, a nine-hole public course, fees are $22 to walk nine holes and $37 to walk 18 (each hole twice) ” the same rates it offered last season.

– The Lakota Canyon Ranch Club early season discount has ended; the locals rate (for residents of Eagle, Pitkin and Garfield counties who show ID) is $59 for the remainder of the season. For nonlocals, the greens fees are $89 until Oct. 1, when they drop back to $75. The course offers 18 holes, open to the public.

– At Rifle Creek Golf Course, an 18-hole public course, the early-season rate is $29 to walk the course or $45 with a cart; both fees will go up by $10 for the summer on a date to be determined.

– Battlement Mesa Golf Club ” an 18-hole public course in Battlement Mesa ” charges $59 for 18 holes with a cart.

– Cotton Ranch Golf Club is an 18-hole semi-private course in Gypsum that is open to the public. The early season rate is $55 for 18 holes with a cart; the price goes up to $65 in mid-April.

– Eagle Ranch Golf Course in Eagle ” until May 31, early season rates are in effect, which means greens fees are $52 for Eagle residents, $59 for those in Eagle County and $69 for out-of-towners. It’s $17 per person to ride Eagle Ranch, which has a variety of season memberships for Eagle denizens, Summit, Eagle and Garfield County residents and juniors. Punch cards are also available.

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