I've played The River Course at Keystone Resort several times. Often with out of state visitors and they always love it. Played again yesterday with my son and 2 wonderful Summit County locals. The Keystone Resort provides the ultimate in Colorado year round outdoors activities. A traveler wanting a great variety in winter sports or summer golf, biking, hiking, sailing, rafting, etc. can't go wrong by booking a trip to beautiful Keystone, Colorado.
Keystone has two spectacular 18 hole courses with two separate clubhouses: The River Course at Keystone and Keystone Ranch Course. Both are in the best condition I've ever seen this summer. This review is on The River Course. I last played this course last month with my Colorado Golf Binge group and the conditions of the fairways and tee boxes were great. We played 5 great Colorado courses last week at The River Course at Keystone Resort was voted as the favorite for several in our group largely due to the beautiful vistas and the exciting elevation drops.
The River Course at Keystone hosted our son's pre-wedding golf tourney in 2012 and everything was spectacular. Many of our players said that the River Course, the staff's service and that round of golf was the best golf experience they'd ever had. Last year I hosted my college-bound MN nephew for 4 days of great Colorado golf. He loved The River Course at Keystone especially the huge elevation drops on several holes.
Keystone River Course opened in 2000 and has received numerous awards including three consecutive Silver Medals as one of America's Best Golf Resorts by Golf Magazine 2002-2007. Golf Digest ranked it as one of American's Top 75 Golf Resorts. It always ranks high in Colorado resorts and especially a favorite for women due to the friendly forward tees and the beauty of the normally snow-capped mountains towering over the lush green Snake River Valley.
The River Course is all about excitement, beauty and challenging shot-making. Five tee boxes on every hole allow you to pick your poison. The front nine opens with a gorgeous view of the Snake River valley and upcoming holes with a 551 yard par five off a high tee launching pad. (see photo). You'll wonder if your golf cart will survive 18 holes after that drive up to the first tee. It will! After your tee shot settles to the lush fairway well short of the snow-capped peaks of the Continental Divide and Keystone and Arapahoe Basin ski areas you will work your way through the valley and the front nine. Holes 5 and 6 are exciting target golf holes through a marshland often home to grazing elk and deer. #7 is a beautiful but tricky par 3 over the Snake River. After a long downhill par 3 ninth hole you'll pass the clubhouse and practice area and up into the hills of the back nine.
Hole #16 is the wildest tee shot on the course. It's a 500 yard downhill, dogleg left par 4 with a 200' elevation drop. #17 is a drive and a wedge to a challenging elevated green. The finishing hole provides a wonderful view of Lake Dillon, Buffalo Mountain and the Gore Range. This 520 yard par 5 is now ranked as the #18 handicap while the 222 yard par 3 third hole is ranked as the #1 handicap. This seems more logical than automatically slapping the toughest handicap ratings on the par 5's as done on most courses. The River Course at Keystone is certainly a beauty and a wonderful change for a Southerner tired of the summer heat, humidity and of playing flat, dry golf courses. And when you've played the River Course it's time you treated yourself to the Keystone Ranch Course. It's older and quite different from the River Course but also fun and challenging.
Steve Corneillier, GM of Golf, and his large staff do an excellent job of running their two top notch resort courses. Phillip Tobias is PGA Head Golf Pro at The River Course. Tod Anderson is Tournament Coordinator. Jim Banks is Head Pro at the Ranch Course. I've always found all the Keystone staff to be friendly, professional and most helpful.
At times Keystone offers some great Stay and Play packages at great rates at the Inn at Keystone including golf at the Keystone Ranch Course and deals on golf and fly fishing clinics plus nature hikes and more. Check it out on their website www.golfkeystone.com.
Sam Sherstad - Writer, Recreation Travel Reviews
Rates: $75.00 to $150.00
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!
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.