By Jeff Bailey
When it comes to golf, Northern Colorado’s turf is second to none. Here are five you must try.
Now that The Masters Tournament is over, and Patrick Reed has slipped on the green jacket, it is time to get outside and enjoy Northern Colorado and the stunning courses right in our own backyard.
Everyone has a go-to course for the weekend round with friends, or a place to call home for practice and hitting balls at the range. We even have our home clubhouse where we can enjoy a nice dinner with those Colorado mountain views.
Golf fans across Northern Colorado should be proud of the courses in our area. Let’s take a look at some of the hidden gems the folks in Denver are missing.
Mariana Butte Golf Course
Here at NOCO Style we have to start with Mariana Butte Golf Course in Loveland, which is a repeat winner of our “Best of Style” ranking for good reason. Mariana is known for breathtaking views of the Rocky Mountains from their elevated tee boxes.
“It’s a combination of a mountain and front range golf course,” said Mariana’s PGA head professional Winston Howe. “It’s located on the front range but you feel like you are in the mountains when you play the golf course. What most people talk about when they play is the scenery, the wildlife and how beautiful it is.”
The signature hole at Mariana is the par-5 16th that borders the Big Thompson River. It is a favorite of players because of the stunning views and is a fun driving hole.
“We have won the best golf course in Northern Colorado award the past three years,” said Howe.
Mariana is an 18-hole course that plays at 6,583 yards and is a par 72. Head on over and enjoy a round of golf at Mariana this summer.
Located at 701 Clubhouse Drive, Loveland | (970) 667-8308
Harmony Golf Club
The home of the Colorado State Rams golf team is next up on our list. Harmony Golf Club in Timnath is one that should be on the must-play list of golfers in Colorado.
Harmony was designed by CSU alum Jim Engh. This course is a modern links-style layout that has rolling hills, challenging bunkers, one-of-a-kind greens and breathtaking views.
CSU and Harmony have had an outstanding relationship over the years. Players utilize the practice area, indoor training facility and enjoy playing a well-kept course.
“It has a different look than anywhere else in Northern Colorado,” said Colorado State men’s golf coach Christian Newton. “Being a Jim Engh golf course and a links-style course makes it unique for the area.”
Though Harmony is a private golf club, it does offer a number of membership options. For information, contact Jason Ward, membership director at (970) 224-4622.
Located at 6432 Grand Tree Blvd., Timnath
Pelican Lakes Golf Club
Next, check out Pelican Lakes Golf Club in Windsor. The course opened in July 1999 and has a lot to offer golfers across Northern Colorado. When I think of Pelican Lakes, I think of water—and a lot of it.
This course has 300 surface acres of the wet stuff around the property. What makes this unique is the way the water runs through the 7,264-yard course. You might want to bring an extra sleeve of balls, or two.
“What makes us unique is we have 27 holes,” said Stacy Kleve, PGA director of golf at Pelican Lakes. “It’s a Colorado course, but we are unlike Colorado, we just have so much water. More shoreline than any other part of the United States, basically.”
Pelican Lakes also has the tech-savvy golfer covered, as all carts have GPS technology. And for the walking players, there is an app for the course you can download.
“We do have GPS and it helps guide people around the course and gives people yardage,” Kleve said. “A lot of times people will use the Pelican Lakes app for yardage and (it) gives good pictures as well.”
Another feature that makes Pelican Lakes stand out: It’s home to a second course, Pelican Falls. The Falls is a nine-hole course that plays to a par 34. It is a quick nine with elevated tees with a fun island green to finish at the ninth.
So, if you like courses with water and stunning views, give Pelican Lakes a shot.
Located at 1620 Pelican Lakes Point, Windsor | (970) 674-0930
Highland Meadows Golf Course
Highland Meadows in Windsor could soon be your home-away-from home as it offers golfers an 18-hole championship course with a fun, yet challenging layout. Just make sure to stay away from the links-inspired pot bunkers on the course.
“There’s a lot of character to the golf course, it’s not your standard parkland-style tree line back and forth course,” said Zachary Leeman, director of golf operations at Highland Meadows. “There’s not a lot of challenge off the tee, we have very generous landing areas with few trees. Our back tees stretch to over 7,000 yards for an accomplished player.”
Highland Meadows is unique in that it is a privately owned, daily-fee public golf course. This gives the staff more latitude and flexibility to offer promotions and drive traffic to fill time slots on tee sheets.
Highland Meadows also has the tech guys and gals covered as they have had GPS technology the past 10 seasons. GPS not only improves pace of play, but is considered a valuable tool for both players and staff.
“It is a convenient amenity for a golfer,” said Leeman. “It constantly gives you yardages throughout the hole, a map of the hole so you can see where the trouble is and where landing areas are.”
Rates for Highland Meadows can be found online.
Located at 6300 Highland Meadows Pkwy., Windsor | (970) 204-4653
Collindale Golf Course
We will finish with what may be one of the best public golf courses in Colorado. Collindale Golf Course is a tree-lined championship length, 18-hole golf course in Fort Collins.
Collindale is known for a few things: it’s a beautiful old-style course, it hosts U.S. Open qualifying rounds, the condition of the course is top notch and the greens run fast normally around 12-13 on the stimpmeter.
“We are known for U.S. Open qualifying and other state events,” said Collindale’s PGA professional Dale Smigelsky. “We are known for being a difficult golf course from the back tees, but very playable from the forward tees.”
Colorado State golf has always had a special place for Collindale; it has been a part of the program from the very beginning.
“Collindale is terrific, it’s a public golf course and it’s quite timeless,” said CSU men’s golf coach Christian Newton. “It’s park-style, tree-lined, beautiful—I mean you can’t find any better public golf anywhere in the entire country, honestly.
“We love Collindale, it’s been a part of CSU golf for the existence of the program.”
If you haven’t played Collindale yet, maybe it’s time you play this timeless track. Just be prepared for a few three putts.
Located at 1441 E. Horsetooth Road, Fort Collins | (970) 221-6651
Jeff Bailey spent time in the Northern Colorado area while in the journalism program at the University of Northern Colorado. He finished his schooling in Denver while working for the Colorado Rockies and graduated from Metropolitan State University of Denver with a degree in journalism. His bylines have also appeared in The Denver Post. To comment on this article, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.