Full disclosure—I just recently learned how to golf, and I LOVE it! I know, I’ve heard all the jokes.
“Why ruin a perfectly good walk?”
“If you’re playing with a golfer who says they never cheat, they’re also a liar.”
“The best sound in golf is the whooshing noise as your buddy hurls his clubs.”
The Vail Valley and surrounding areas has some of the most gorgeous clubs I’ve seen, and they’ve been designed by some of the top designers in the business including Tom Fazio, Greg Norman, Arnold Palmer, Robert Trent Jones, and Jack Nicklaus. There are public courses, private courses, and courses which are private which you could have access to because of where you are staying or who you may know, so it’s always good to ask! If you’re a member of a course at home, you can always see if your pro can get you a tee time on one of the courses here which are private, too.
One of my favorite public courses is the Eagle Vail Golf Course because it’s halfway between Beaver Creek and Vail. The views aren’t lacking, and on certain evenings of the summer they have Buckets & Balls, where you can get a bucket of beer and a bucket of balls and hit the driving range with friends. It is very social and super popular with both guests and locals alike.
Depending on the year, there are courses down valley which open in March, and will stay open into November (as long as Mother Nature will allow!). If you’re particular with your tee times, I would definitely recommend booking in advance, and if you have more flexibility you can wait and book as you get closer to your trip.
For private clubs, please inquire with where you are staying to see if you have access or with your pro if you are a member of a club at home. I’m focusing more on public courses here.
Designed by Arnold Palmer, this club is a favorite of Colorado Avid Golfer Magazine
Located halfway between Beaver Creek and Vail, this course has a full course, a par 3, driving range, and even foot golf!
This course is a bit further out, and it’s worth the drive. It’s a favorite with golfers due to its rolling fairways and challenging (but gorgeous!) location.
Nestled at the base of the Gore Range, the Vail Golf Club was designed by Ben Krueger (a Vail pioneer) and has been recognized by Golf Digest.
Honorable mention goes out to the Mt. Massive Golf Course just outside of Main Street Leadville. It’s located over 10,200 feet above sea level so your drives will fly! If you’re headed to Leadville, approximately 1 hour south of the Vail Valley, it’s worth bringing your clubs and whacking 9!
Each club has their own cancellation policy and some are VERY strict, so make sure you are well aware of it when you are booking. Also, keep in mind golf clubs aren’t always right in the center of town due to the amount of real estate they require so make sure you allow yourself enough time to drive to the course prior to your tee time and for practice. Many courses have fantastic restaurants, too!
WHAT DO I WEAR?
When you’re booking your tee time, please ensure you are following the dress code for each club. They are usually pretty standard for golf attire. Remember, the weather and temperature can change very quickly in the mountains, especially in the afternoon, so make sure to bring rain protection and a warm layer. And, of course, sunscreen!