Highlands Ranch Golf Club Review

Texas Outside Rating: 8.5

Golf - Semi Private Course · 18 Holes · Par 72
Highlands Ranch, CO

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Highlands Ranch Golf Club Review

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.

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Course Slope & Ratings

Tee Box Yardage Rating Slope
Black 7,179 72.8 130
Blue 6,719 70.9 126
White 6,311 69.3 122
Red 5,340 69.2 124

Course Information

Course Architect:
Hale Irwin
Greens Type:
Greens Condition
Greens Difficulty
Beware of water on 8 holes and the 42 sand traps.

Texas Outside Rating

Overall Rating:
8.5 out of 10
Fun to Play:
Front Nine Rating:
Back Nine Rating:

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! 
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.