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Aspen golfers play waiting game

Jamison Bair, 16, of Eagle, left, watches as Ben Morris putts Saturday at Cotton Ranch Golf Club in Gypsum. (Preston Utley/Vail Daily)
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ASPEN ” Snow is rapidly receding from the Aspen Golf Club course, but desperate local golfers can already hit the links at the Glenwood Springs Golf Club, and the Ranch at Roaring Fork outside Carbondale is scheduled to open Saturday.

Farther afield, Lakota Canyon Ranch Golf Club in New Castle, the Rifle Creek Golf Course and Battlement Mesa Golf Club have all opened for the season; they’re all located west of Glenwood Springs. In Eagle County, the 18 holes at Cotton Ranch Golf Club in Gypsum are open for play.

Aspen’s public course will open in late March or early April, as weather permits. A recent spate of T-shirt weather has decimated the nordic skiing at the golf course and no doubt warmed the hearts of golfers; swathes of grass that weren’t visible a week ago are now spreading by the hour.



“We’ve lost a lot of snow, but there also still is a lot of snow,” said Steve Aitken, director of golf. “It’s just around the corner, for sure.”

Now is the time for locals to pick up a season pass, though.




The pass is currently available for $900 at the Red Brick Arts and Recreation Center and the Aspen Recreation Center. Starting April 1, the price goes up to $1,000.

The 20-punch pass is available for an early season discount as well; it’s $450 until April 1, when the price jumps to $500. (One punch is good for nine holes at the Aspen Golf Club).

Aspen golfers will find a construction-free course this season; the installation of a new irrigation system was completed last summer. Players will find new mounds and water features, as well, Aitken said.

Greens fees in the early season will be $45 until May 19, when they bump 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 green fees drop to $45.

Greens fees will drop back in the fall on Sept. 15, when a round will run $75 before 1 p.m. and $45 after 1 p.m.

For those who can’t wait for the Aspen opening, the Ranch at Roaring Fork, a par-3, 9-hole public course outside of Carbondale, opens officially for the season on Saturday ” a week earlier than originally scheduled ” and might actually allow play before then, according to manager Tom Vail.

A nine-hole round will run $15 for adults and $12 for junior and senior players until May 1, when the prices go up by $2. Punch passes are currently available for an early season discount, Vail said.

The Glenwood Springs Golf Club, a nine-hole public course, is already open for play. Fees are $22 to walk nine holes and $37 to walk 18 holes (each hole twice) ” the same rates it offered last season.

Also open for play:

– Lakota Canyon Ranch Club ” an 18-hole public course in New Castle. The early season locals rate (for residents of Eagle, Pitkin and Garfield counties who show ID) is $55 until April 1, when it goes up to $59 for the remainder of the season.

For non-locals, the greens fees are $75 through March, $89 starting April 1 and then $75 starting Oct. 1.

– Rifle Creek Golf Course ” an 18-hole public course in Rifle. Early season rates are $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. Greens fees are currently $49 for 18 holes with a cart; the price jumps to $59 on April 1.

– Cotton Ranch Golf Club ” 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. A 10-round pass is available for $650 through March 31; it’s transferable and includes the cart and $100 golf shop credit.

Janet Urquhart’s e-mail address is janet@aspentimes.com


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