The Estes Park Golf Course, at 7600 ft. above sea level, is not the highest course in the world but it is one of the most scenic, with views of Long’s Peak and Mt. Meeker from every hole. After finishing an enjoyable front 9, we were ready to tackle the back 9.
Hole number 10 is an interesting layout. The tee boxes are above the hole and the player hits over valley onto a small green guarded by a pond to the left. The green is severely sloped so getting the ball to stick to the green is a challenge. Hitting to the right puts the ball in the rough. From the back tees the distance is 175 yards – from the forward tees, 142 yards. Be accurate here.
Number 11 tees off directly behind the 10th green. This is a short par 4, 234 yards from the front tees, 332 yards from the back, sloping from left to right. There is a bunker guarding the right approach to the green, so it’s best to stay left. Hole #12 is a standard 4, but has great views of Long’s Peak and Mt. Meeker. If you don’t make it over the hill, it’s a blind shot uphill to the green. Heading back down the hill, Hole #13 is identical in length to #12, has a bunker left and the narrow approach to the green that is guarded by two, deep bunkers. There are houses lining the fairway here and long hitters could find them.
The next par 3 is #15. This is 128 yards from the front tees and 186 from the back. Jutting into the fairway is a large pond on the right, and trees obscure the view to the green to the left. There’s a large bunker on the left. A precise shot is necessary here. Hole #16 is a dogleg to the right, the longest par 4 on the course at 361 from the back tees and 337 from the fronts. The green here slopes severely to the front.
The final 2 holes on this course are par 5. Hole #17 is a blind tee shot uphill. Long hitters can get over the top of the hill and hit the back side to roll down the hill. The fairway slopes right to left and there is a large sand trap on the left down near the bottom of the hill. A creek runs in front of the green at about the 50 yard mark and sand traps line the back of the green, so a careful approach shot is a must here. Hole #18 follows 17 back up the hill to a large green near the clubhouse.
This was a great course to play. It was in great shape, and the views of Rocky Mountain National Park are stunning. For high handicappers, this course is playable with wide fairways and without many forced carries. For power hitters this course provides an intellectual challenge for shot placement and there is the potential to drive several greens.
We had dinner in the lounge and watched the rain float over the course. We’ll be back to play this course again.