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Red Hawk Ridge Review

Texas Outside Rating: 9.3

Golf - Public Course · 18 Holes · Par 72
Castle Rock, CO
Website
Date Last Played: August 03, 2013

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Red Hawk Ridge Review

I'm a big fan of Jim Engh designed courses because they're fun, beautiful and forgiving.  I thrive on courses like Engh's Fossil Trace, Redlands Mesa, Lakota Canyon Ranch and Four Mile Ranch.  But some golf purists are critical of his work being too "tricked up". Those players may truly enjoy Red Hawk Ridge.  True, it does have Engh's traditional valley fairways and stadium greens and a couple of near 90 degree doglegs but for most golfers that just adds to the "fun factor".  And Red Hawk isn't as tricked up as most Engh courses.  The greens are definitely easier to read and putt than the other Engh courses listed above.

Red Hawk Ridge opened in 1999 and is owned and operated by the Town of Castle Rock.  And they do an excellent job of delivering a quality product.  They provide a fine offering of golf programs for their Juniors, Men's, Ladies and Seniors plus they have very active Competitive and Coed Leagues.

For a traveling visitor like me they certainly do an outstanding job of making a first timer feel welcome and appreciated.  I arrived very early on a perfect Saturday morning in early August.  I was welcomed by Brigg Jergenson, Ass't Pro, and matched up with a very friendly local dad and his two long-hitter sons.   Actually I believe head pro, Bob Persichetti, had arranged this foursome but he was out this morning.

Cheerful Ellen Faucette fixed up a big breakfast burrito for me and I was prepped for 18 beautiful and exciting holes of Engh-designed golf.

To get to the first tee you'll hit a fork in the cart path with twin tunnels to 10 and 1.  (The rabbit in my photo seems to be debating his choice).  The first hole and all of the driving holes on the front nine bend right to left.  But have no fear right-handed slicers....if your fade or slice isn't too far off the valley fairway it should kick play in to play. The early holes work downhill.  Then you'll work back uphill toward the clubhouse with #8 being a short par 4 with a sharp left dogleg to an elevated green.  The 9th hole is a short blind par 4 back toward the clubhouse. The group behind us rolled a tee shot through us on the green and just past the hole.  Maybe a video screen, or safety flag or bell is needed here to give the "All Clear" signal to the players on the 9th tee box.

Once again the back nine opens with a downhill tee shot to a green guarded by a small ravine and a very tough front trap.  The back nine is unique as it features three each par 3's, 4's and 5's.  Holes 13 and 16 are good par 5's moving uphill.  16 has a steep front face that makes getting home in 2 quite unlikely.

#14 is Red Hawk's signature hole and sits at the highest point on the ridge.  The challenge here is club selection due to the wind and the steep drop from the tee on this little pitch hole.

Lastly the 18th hole is a beauty of a downhill par 5 with a happy ending birdie opportunity.  Roll in your birdie and head for the bar where Ellen Faucette may be there to serve you a cold one.

Other notes...........The greens are as fine as I've played anywhere this summer.   The course has plenty of rattlesnake warning signs and my playing partner advised me to heed the signs.  One suggestion I would have for Red Hawk is to add one of those "Combination Tees" to their scorecard giving the option of playing 9 holes each from the Black and Gold tees.  I generally play one up from the tips and that's normally around 6,400-6,500 yds.  I played the Gold Tees at Red Hawk at 6,276 and that seemed a little short for me but the Blacks at 6,859 would probably be too much for me especially on the two long uphill par 5's on the back nine.

All in all........Red Hawk Ridge is a beautifully maintained golf course staffed by a great team.  I thoroughly enjoyed my day and plan to play it again asap.

Sam Sherstad

Writer, Recreation Travel Reviews

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Course Slope & Ratings

Tee Box Yardage Rating Slope
Black 6,859 71.5 131
Gold 6,276 69.6 126
Blue 5,923 67.3 112
White 5,356 65.2 105
Red 4,636 66.1 111

Course Information

Course Architect:
Jim Engh
Greens Type:
bent
Greens Condition
9.6
Greens Difficulty
9.2
Fairway Condition
9.4
Bunker Condition
9.3
GPS:
No
Walkable:
very hilly & cart incl in greens fees
Beware of water on 3 holes and the 40 sand traps.

Texas Outside Rating

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

Approximate Weekend
Rates:
$49.00 to $84.00

The entire Red Hawk Ridge staff seems to be made of the right stuff. Bob Persicchetti, Head Pro, was most helpful and set me up with just the right 3-some. Brigg Jergenson, Ass't Pro, is warm, friendly and most helpful. The Starter and the Player's Assistant were friendly and helpful and kept play moving at the right pace. And Ellen Faucette.......more golf courses need a sweet and cheerful gal like Ellen to help us forget our three-putts and really enjoy a great day at a great course!

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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.