For a round that’s on par with your budget…
If you think paying a lot for a round of golf in the Roaring Fork Valley is par for the course, think again.
Hitting the links can, of course, be an expensive proposition. A round of golf usually costs in the neighborhood of $75. But there are several courses that allow you to drive and putt without leaving a divot in your wallet.
The Ranch at Roaring Fork, a nine-hole, par-3 “executive” course between El Jebel and Carbondale, is the perfect spot to hone the wedge game. For $15, it’s possible to fit in a round during a lunch break. Call 963-4410.
The farther downvalley one goes, the cheaper a round becomes. At the Glenwood Springs Golf Club (945-7086), hitting the nine-hole course is $22 without a cart, $29.50 with one.
Eighteen holes at Rifle Creek will only set you back $37 without a cart, or $53 with a motorized companion. This par-72 course (625-1093) has holes set in the Hodgeback Mountain Range, with elevated tees and greens, and narrow canyons. And don’t miss the 15th hole, which has an elevated tee shot to a green with a pond in front and a mountain behind it.
At the Battlement Mesa Golf Club (285-7274), golfers enjoy a one-of-a-kind setting that has been ranked as one of America’s best courses by Golf Digest. The par-72 course, which costs $59 for 18 holes with a cart ($44 without), overlooks the Colorado River from a high plateau.
In New Castle, the Lakota Canyon Golf Club course contains plenty of elevation changes and sparkling mountain views. The links are par 72 and cost $55 for residents of Garfield, Pitkin and Eagle counties, $75 for nonresidents.
Closer to home, the prices rise but so does the course quality. The Aspen Glen Club (704-1988) near Carbondale boasts a Jack Nicklaus/Nicklaus II designed course and dramatic views of Mount Sopris and the Roaring Fork River. The club is private, and a dress code is in place (no denim, for instance), but guests can swing away from $120-$245.
The popular Aspen Golf Club (925-2145) has water on nearly every hole and greens that can torture even the best putters. It also offers the spectacular scenery of Pyramid Peak and Independence Pass. The public, par-71 course costs $45 to $90, depending on season and time of day. Alongside the beautiful namesake stream, the exclusive Maroon Creek Club (920-1533) offers golfers incredible greens and views, along with dramatic elevation changes. The club is private and playing a round without a member costs $325; with a member the cost is $125.
In Carbondale, the River Valley Ranch course (963-3625) streches out alongside the Crystal River. The layout has plenty of water and several unique holes with Mount Sopris as the backdrop. It’s $65 to ride or $50 to walk, with some restrictions on walking the course on the weekends. Spikeless shoes are required.
The private Roaring Fork Club (927-9100) near Basalt has a Jack Nicklaus signature course that contains memorable fairways and greens that require a delicate touch. The links are usually uncrowded as the play is invitation only.
The Snowmass Club (923-5600) is also private but does offer public access. The par-72 course designed by Jim Engh has fantastic views of Mount Daly and the Snowmass Ski Area. Cost is $60 to $175, which includes a cart, depending on the season and time of day.
In Glenwood Springs, the Club at Ironbridge (384-0630) has a course marked by scenic cliffs and 18 holes near the Roaring Fork River. The club is private but guests can get on for $85.
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