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Four Mile Ranch Golf Club Review

Texas Outside Rating: 9.1

Golf - Public Course · 18 Holes · Par 72
Canon City, CO
Website
Online Specials · Discounted Tee Times · Stay & Play
Date Last Played: July 15, 2010

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Four Mile Ranch Golf Club Review

Four Mile Ranch Golf Club is a unique and exciting Jim Engh designed course that will benefit from an improved economy and more golf traffic.

The course is located just east of Canon City, CO and west of Pueblo in an area known as the "Banana Belt" of the Colorado mountain region due to it's mild and dry climate and 5,900' elevation.

A unique feature of Four Mile Ranch is that it has no sandtraps (in spite of the website illustration you may have seen).  Rather it has loads of natural rock and brush islands that may either eat your wayward shots or spit them out in prime scoring positions. 

The greens are super tricky.....Jim Engh design to the maximum.  Many have two or three bowl areas.  Hit the right one and you'll score nicely.  Hit the wrong bowl and good luck trying to two-putt.  I played the course on a hot day July 15, 2010 and scored 5 birdies from the Black/Blue combo tees but also had 5 3-putts due to hitting the wrong areas of the greens.   Four Mile Ranch needs to resume supplying pin placement sheets daily to help their guests know the target on many shots where the actual hole is not visible on the approach.

The wildest hole is #6.  It's a par 5 563 yds from the Black tee, 529, 458 and 430 from the Blue, White and Red tees.  Hit a good drive down the middle of the blind, left sloping fairway then lay up to just short of a rock ridge.  Notice the black and white striped pole on the ridge as your target to a blind green.  Especially notice the arm on that pole indicating the position of the hole that day.  Wait to hear the bell ring when the group ahead clears the green and hit a nice, high, soft shot to the two-tiered bowl green with a large backstop. See photo with stone ridge and striped pole.  Good luck.

#12 is a tough little downhill par 3 with a deep valley splitting the right and left sides of the green.

#15 is a wild par 5 with about a 120 degree right turn dogleg to the green on your 3rd shot if you play it safely.  See last photo.

#16 is a scenic downhill par 4 with large rock formations on your left.  Don't expect a good kick off these.  My ball disappeared  when I hit one.

#17 and 18 are player friendly par 3 and par 5 heading back to the modest clubhouse.

Four Mile Ranch is a fun course to play on a tour of Colorado.  The substitution of waste bunkers and mounds for sandtraps and the extreme bowl and tier greens make this a unique golf experience.  Four Mile Ranch simply needs to improve a few basics including better scorecards and a daily pin placement sheet.  Most of all they just need more golfer traffic.

Sam Sherstad

Writer, Recreation Travel Reviews

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Course Slope & Ratings

Tee Box Yardage Rating Slope
Black 7,053 71.6 126
Gold 6,562 69.5 124
Blue 6,231 67.9 122
White 5,373 64.6 101
Red 4,652 61.4 93

Course Information

Course Architect:
Jim Engh
Greens Type:
Bent
Greens Condition
9.2
Greens Difficulty
9.6
GPS:
No
Walkable:
Yes, but challenging in heat.
Beware of water on 2 holes and the 0 sand traps.

Texas Outside Rating

Overall Rating:
9.1 out of 10
Beauty:
9.4
Difficulty:
9.2
Variety:
9.2
Fun to Play:
9.3
Value:
9.5
Condition:
9.1
Front Nine Rating:
9.0
Back Nine Rating:
9.2
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FEES & AMENITIES

Approximate Weekend
Rates:
$0.00 to $0.00

Trevor Jackson, Pro, and his staff are doing a good job under some tough conditions. Again, an improved economy and substantially increased golfer traffic will greatly help Four Mile Ranch. Trevor explained that in spite of their Colorado Mountain Region location they have normally been open for play all but about 30 days throughout the year since their opening in 2008. On those 30 days they'd get nailed by snowstorms that normally hit fast then moved out and were replaced with warm sunshine.

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Here's How Texas Outside Determines the Scorecard Rating

The Texas Outside rating scale ranges from 1 to 10 – a perfect 10 course would be something like this:  links along a cliff overlooking the Pacific ocean and bordered by tall trees; lush fairways on rolling hills with lots of natural hazards; water (which is crystal clear) on most of the holes; immaculate greens (but they are undulating and tough); lots of variety and character (each hole is completely different and includes blind shots, elevation changes, doglegs, and significant challenges); perfectly manicured traps with the whitest and prettiest sand you’ve ever seen; a nice club house with great food and a 19th hole; a GPS; plenty of beverage carts or your own cooler and ice; and it only costs $40 bucks! What this means is that you probably won’t find any 10s in Texas – try Cabo San Lucas, Pebble Beach, or some of the Hawaii courses! 
Texas Outside rates courses on the following:

  • Beauty – tall trees, rolling hills, beautiful houses, waterfalls, and similar stuff would score high; a 1 would be flat, bushes or cactus instead of trees, and some grass but mostly weeds
  • Difficulty – a straight, 300 yard par 4 with no traps or hazards, no out of bounds or water would probably get a 1; if it is a 460 yard par 4 over two ravines, with water along one side, natural hazards on the other, strategically placed traps or that dreaded tree right in the middle of the fairway, we are talking a 10. 
  • Variety – what would you give a course where all the holes looked and played exactly the same (“I thought we just played that hole!”); were side-by-side, which is good for finding or dodging other people’s balls, but not much fun; and you can see the flag from every tee box?  That’s right, it gets a 1.
  • Fun Scale – a 10 is where you walk off the course and say “now that was fun” and you can’t wait to get back, or you immediately turn around and play another 18 holes
  • Value – a 5 is $50 to $60, a 10 is $20 to $30, and 1 is $200 or so – of course all of this is dependent upon how you liked the course.  For example, if a run down, boring municipal course, with six players on each hole was only $10; it would still get a value rating of 1.
  • Condition – this one’s pretty easy – what condition are the fairways. A 10 commands very lush perfectly manicured fairways, compared to a 1, which has fire ants, weeds, and more dirt than grass!
  • Condition of Greens and Difficulty – very hard to read greens with lots of undulation and tough pin placement, rate very high on the difficulty scale.  Condition is self-explanatory.  

All of the above determines the overall score for the golf course.  In other words, we like courses that are pretty, fun, very challenging with a lot of variety, and fairways and greens in excellent condition – all for $40.  We also tend to play the courses that are affordable for the masses, which means in the $30 to $80 range. We rate hard and we haven’t found a 10 in Texas yet – don’t worry we haven’t given up and we’re still looking.