If you're looking for large, bentgrass greens and wide fairways with some nice views of the Rocky Mountain Front Range then Highlands Ranch Golf Club is right for you. This semi-private, Hale Irwin designed course provides a great warm up round before heading to the mountains. The course sits just south of Denver's C470 and west of Lucent Drive in the big, nicely planned community of Highlands Ranch.
The course winds through the hills, valleys and giant cottonwood trees of this pleasant community. My photos don't do the beautiful course justice because I played it and shot these pix on Nov 26, 2008 on a sunny, warm day following several freezing nights. I hope to play it again and update this review and photos in the '09 prime season. I had a great day at HR and was fortunate in being invited to join HR member and WAC Football Commissioner, Carl Benson, and his HR High School daughter, Jessie. They are a wonderful father/daughter pair and they helped make my Highlands Ranch golf experience extra special.
HR is a very nice course with some unique features including consecutive par 3s on #4 and #5, followed by a short, uphill par 4 6th hole. This leads to some slow play but opens nicely after the 6th hole. #17 is a tough and exciting par 3 with trouble everywhere.
This is a course you'll want to play again. I hope to do just that and cut 4 strokes off my score next time. Give Highlands Ranch a try. You'll be glad you did.
PGA Pro, Andy Benson (no relation to Carl) and Ass't, Sherm Adkins welcome visiting golfers and will assist you with tips on their course and other courses for your Colorado golf experience.
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.