Aug 21 our annual Colorado Golf Binge played Keystone Ranch during the eclipse. We had a great time playing this special course with very weird lighting on holes 8 thru 11. The course is in great condition and a favorite of our group.
Following a long winter and a very wet Spring including a 2' May snowfall both Keystone courses are in the best shape ever this summer. Some improvements have been made to the tee boxes for this season and the blue tees are a bit more foregiving than in the past.
I struggle often with the front nine especially holes 4 thru 6. I've donated lots of balls to the meadows there. But I still love the course.
Built in 1980 Keystone Ranch is the older of the two Keystone 18 hole courses. It's a perfect compliment to The River Course at Keystone. Part of your challenge in playing The Keystone Ranch is finding it! From I-70 follow Highway 6 through Dillon past The River Course at Keystone. Take a right on West Keystone Rd. Follow the signs to the Ranch Course across the Snake River. Take a right on Soda Ridge Rd then a left on Keystone Ranch Rd just before the Keystone Stables. Follow this up a steep slope past some great River Course back nine holes then down through the Ranch Course entrance. You'll see the quaint old log Ranch House (this is a super restaurant and the Ranch Pro Shop). Keystone Ranch offers 4 tee boxes (blue, white, gold and red) to fit your game.
The Keystone Ranch Course opens with a tree lined par 5 and par 4 similar to The River Course. But the remaining 16 holes are a beautiful mix of Scottish links and mountain meadow holes. #3 is a blind dogleg right par 4 protected by an old Lodgepole Pine sitting in the front, right sand trap.
An exciting shot from an elevated tee on #4 drops you to the meadow for the remainder of the front nine. #5 plays 190 yds from the tips (blue tees) and provides a glimpse of Keystone Ranch's history with the weathered old barns and ranch equipment backing this shallow green.
#9 is an exciting par 4 with a heavy dose of risk/reward opportunities for those daring to carry a large pond and a marshland inlet from an elevated tee.
The front nine has 29 bunkers while the back has a staggering 41. #10 throws you into these challenges. It's a long par 4 and the number 1 handicap hole. You'll learn that most balls break away from Westridge (on your east) toward the west and down the valley toward Buffalo Mountain and the Gore Range.....regardless of what you think you read.
#18 is a classic finishing par 5 with a required carry over water and marshland off the tee to a fairway skirting the large pond. See marble slab diagram of The Ranch Course or pull up the scorecard and diagram at www.keystoneresort.com . Keystone's Stay and Play is a great deal for the perfect sampling of Rocky Mountain golf, fishing, hiking, biking and dining. And the air is cool, fresh and clean. Check it out.
Writer, Recreation Travel Reviews
Rates: $55.00 to $130.00
Keystone's service can't be beat. Head Pro, Jim Banks, and his team do an outstanding job of welcoming guests and keeping the course and pace of play just right. Jim even taught me how to compress my iron shots! The staff also promotes and directs enjoyable golf programs for locals and visiting guests alike. Steve Corneillier, GM of Keystone Golf, welcomes all with his big smile and friendly manner.
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.