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The Golf Club at Redlands Mesa Review

Texas Outside Rating: 9.5

Golf - Public Course · 18 Holes · Par 72
Grand Junction, CO
Website
Online Specials · Discounted Tee Times · Stay & Play
Date Last Played: August 21, 2016

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The Golf Club at Redlands Mesa Review

I was fortunate to get to play Redlands Mesa on a weekend on my solo Colorado Road trip.   Conditions were great as usual.  The pricing is very reasonable to encourage more play on this wonderful track.  Good move!

I very lucky to be paired up with a wonderful mom and dad from Morrison, CO and their daughter who's on the local college golf team.  She gets to play this super track as their home course.  She knew how to read some of the severe breaks on several of Redlands beautiful greens.  That helped.

Redlands Mesa is another classic Jim Engh designed track including 11 elevated tee boxes. The Golf Club at Redlands Mesa appears to be a lush dark green carpet flowing through rugged red rock formations with a backdrop of the beautiful Colorado National Monument. Who could ask for anything more for super photo ops?

Grand Junction has a high desert climate and therefore a longer and dryer season than the courses up in Summit and Eagle Counties. 

Your golf experience at Redlands Mesa will long be remembered for the incredible views from each tee box. The first few holes have the rugged backdrop of Colorado National Monument (which is definitely worth a side trip for a winding road drive comparable to the Grand Canyon in beauty and history). If you're really brave and strong do this on a bike.

Back to the golf review...... Hole #3 is an almost blind par 3 with a huge green divided by a ridge in the middle. Get on the correct side of the ridge and you're rewarded. On the wrong side you'll get the usual Jim Engh punishment.

Hole #5 is a dog-leg right par 5 with the Jim Engh signature clown's tongue green. When I played it with my brother years ago we both narrowly missed the elevated green to the right on our third shots. When we got to the green we found my ball 2" from the hole for a tap in birdie and my brother's ball was in the hole for an eagle 3!  This trip I hit my drive too long into a fairway bunker, then pulled my second shot to the left rough but was able to hit a 7-iron to the green and sink a short putt for another birdie.  Such fun!

Another classic hole is the #17 par 3. It's a long downhill shot from a very elevated tee to a narrow green in a rugged rock cove. When I played this hole in 2007 a bobcat chased a rabbit across the green as we were about to hit our tee shots. This year the rabbit population was way up and no bobcats visible. Nature's way, I guess.

Redlands Mesa ranks very high on the fun and beauty scales. It's a great course to play at least twice due to some pretty tricky layouts. (The 14th hole has a dogleg right of more than 90 degrees if you bust a big drive down the middle between two large rock mounds as the dad did in our group last week.   Shorter hitters have a partially blind shot over the right rock mound.

Bring your camera and your shot making imagination when you come to play Redlands Mesa.

Redlands Mesa has won many national awards including Best New Affordable Public Course in America by Golf Digest 2001 and many more. Grand Junction is becoming famous as the Colorado Wine Country. Winery tours are available. And restaurants of all types abound in Grand Junction. We enjoyed some beer and a casual dinner with the locals at Breckenridge Ale House in Grand Junction. Grand Junction offers all the national chain eateries like Olive Garden, etc. but more unique options include The Winery Restaurant, Dolce Vita, Bin 707 and 626 On Rood.

Grand Junction is an interesting city with a great Main St. and lots of history.  It's also a great mix of  the beauty of Colorado with the climate of Spring and Fall in Arizona....and some super golf. It's a tempting place to retire like many of the homeowners around Redlands Mesa.

Sam Sherstad

Writer, Recreation Travel Reviews

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Course Slope & Ratings

Tee Box Yardage Rating Slope
Black 7,007 72.1 137
Blue 6,486 69.9 133
White 5,821 66.4 121
Red 4,916 115.0 115

Course Information

Course Architect:
Jim Engh
Greens Type:
bent
Greens Condition
9.5
Greens Difficulty
9.4
Fairway Condition
9.5
Bunker Condition
9.3
GPS:
Yes
Walkable:
no
Scorecard
Course Map
Beware of water on 5 holes and the 41 sand traps.

Texas Outside Rating

Overall Rating:
9.5 out of 10
Beauty:
9.8
Difficulty:
9.3
Variety:
9.6
Fun to Play:
9.7
Value:
9.7
Condition:
9.5
Front Nine Rating:
9.4
Back Nine Rating:
9.6
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Shad Johnson and his staff do a great job to maintain a beautiful course and clubhouse in a desert climate. Jace and Robert keep the pro shop friendly and efficient. Pace of play is smooth and the surrounding homes and scenery are incredible.

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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.