Plenty of surprises at new Snowmass course |

Plenty of surprises at new Snowmass course

Eben Harrell

Golfers tend to be an impatient bunch.They hate to wait for a green to clear, let alone an entire course to open. Starting today, the wait for the Snowmass Golf Course is finally over.The course closed in the fall of 2001 for a complete redesign. There were hopes it would open by the summer of 2003. A firm date was set for September of last year and then postponed. Nearly 10 months later, it’s finally open for play.”It’s about time,” one local Aspen duffer said. “I can’t wait to get over there and play.”The golf course is semi-private, with generous public access. Nonmembers can book tee-times 48 hours in advance, and green fees are $150 ($75 for nine holes at twilight) in the high season. Rates for nonmembers in the low season are $90 for 18 holes or $45 for the twilight nine.The new course is part of a larger improvement project at the Skico-owned Snowmass Club that totals nearly $14 million for the golf course, clubhouse and a new tennis facility. A good chunk of that expenditure went to securing acclaimed golf architect Jim Engh for the course redesign. Engh, whose design firm is based in Castle Rock, was given instructions to build a course that took advantage of the natural mountain terrain.Engh, who was named Golf Digest’s “Architect of the Year” in 2003, said he hopes the course will keep members interested and new golfers coming back.”My motto is ‘hidden stairways, trap doors,'” Engh said. “I want my courses to be the kind you can play 20 times until you figure it out.”Helping golfers maneuver through the tricky design will be a team of professional caddies, an unusual offering for a public-access course. Caddies are not mandatory, but golf operations managers Lee Robinson said he hopes the caddy shack will be a popular resource through the summer.”The course quality and layout is of such high quality, it certainly warranted a caddy program,” Robinson said. “It will help enhance an already phenomenal golf experience, especially for golfers playing the course for the first few times.”To book a tee-time, call 923-9181.Eben Harrell’s e-mail address is


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