High Altitude Thrills
The mountain West—a rugged region that stretches from the Colorado Rockies to the Sierra Nevada of northern California, Utah and into Idaho—is unquestionably the most diverse terrain in the country. You can do it all here when it comes to outdoor recreation: ski, hike, swim, water sports, fishing—you name it. Within the last decade, golf has surged in popularity, as many destinations have melded into hybrid resorts that serve as ski havens in the winter and golf hot spots in the summer.
In Colorado, golfers can expect thin air and dense treelines that frame each hole. The “mile high” helps golfers hit the ball a lot farther, usually a club longer than they’re used to. Heading westward toward the California’s and Nevada’s Sierra Nevada, golfers can expect several lakes, rivers, streams and perhaps the most beautifully wooded forests in the world. The courses out this way tend to retain authenticity to the natural terrain, hence the huge variances in elevation challenges that you’ll find on most golf courses in the mountain West.
The Mars-like red rocks and windswept terrain of Utah yield some stiff challenges and scenery that simply cannot be duplicated.
When To Go
We suspect the 10 feet of snow you may encounter will make finding your golf balls a tad difficult. That being said, spring through fall are the best seasons to visit. Summers are also fantastic, but don’t be surprised by sudden increases or decreases in temps, as places like Edgewood Tahoe sometimes see light flurries every month of the year. Summer temps generally average in the 80s in the summer and in the 60s during the fall and spring.
How To Get There
For Rockies destinations, fly into Denver International. Only 150 miles separate you from the tarmac and the mountain resort towns due west from the Colorado capital. For Coeur d’Alene, your best bet is the airport in Spokane, Wash. Lake Tahoe and the Carson Valley are best reached via Reno, and the drive to each is less than two hours.
Be sure to check out:
Colorado Golf Information
Coeur d'Alene Visitors Bureau
Golf The High Sierra
Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority
Best Places To Play
|Golf Tips Selects|
|The Club At Cordillera|
Worth the pricey fare considering the four terrific layouts: Summit by Jack Nicklaus, Valley by Tom Fazio, Mountain by Hale Irwin, and Short by Dave Pelz. With those name associations, you can bet it’s a premier destination. The Lodge and Spa at Cordillera is just down the road from Vail and Beaver Creek.
|Red Sky Ranch|
Red Sky Ranch’s golf courses include Tom Fazio and Greg Norman layouts that are both brawny and beautiful, yielding great views of Vail’s back bowls. The only means to get on at these private tracks are to stay at one of Vail’s fine resorts, but it’s worth it considering the awe-inspiring golf.