Saddle Rock Golf Course Review

Texas Outside Rating: 9.3

Golf - Public Course · 18 Holes · Par 72
Aurora, CO

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Saddle Rock Golf Course Review

Saddle Rock Golf Course was the perfect choice for our group of travelers on our annual Colorado Golf Binge.  We'd golfed tough mountain courses for the prior 5 days and needed some generous fairways and excellent greens.

Not to say that Saddle Rock is easy.  It's not.  It plays 7,351 yds and 74.6/140 rating/slope from the tips.  Thankfully we chose to play the white tees and that was right for our group.

Saddle Rock is located inside the SE corner of the E-470 loop in Aurora.  It's the former home of the Colorado Open and was ranked one of America's Top Ten New Courses in 1998 by Golf Digest.

It features rolling hills, link-style design, some creeks, meadows and a few strategic trees.  The front nine opens with two tame holes then toughens with a long uphill par 4 3rd hole.  The 4th hole is a blind tee shot to a narrow sloping and left-bending fairway....a real challenge for a first-timer.  Then comes a tricky par 3 with a severely forward pitched green.

Access to the very different back nine is through a tunnel under Arapahoe Rd.  The back nine is much tighter as it plays through marshland and native areas.  Holes 10, 11, 17 and 18 require some accurate shot-making.  

Pace of play was a little on the slow side.  In fact we didn't have time to enjoy lunch on their good looking deck as we had to dash up E-470 to catch flights out of DIA.

Saddle Rock is a very fine course kept in excellent condition per our experience on this visit.  We'll be back to try it again in the future.

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Course Slope & Ratings

Tee Box Yardage Rating Slope
Black 7,351 74.6 140
Blue 6,941 72.7 135
White 6,561 70.0 130
Red 5,407 71.8 131

Course Information

Course Architect:
Richard Phelps
Greens Type:
bent hybrid
Greens Condition
Greens Difficulty
Fairway Condition
Bunker Condition
Course Map
Beware of water on 3 holes and the 64 sand traps.

Texas Outside Rating

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


Approximate Weekend
$45.00 to $66.00

Head Pro, Mickey Byrne, and his staff run an excellent golf club. Mike Fengler, PGA Golf Pro, gave our group and friendly and helpful welcome. Kudos to Golf Course Superintendent, Mike Osley, for having the course in near perfect condition this summer. The starter and the Players' Assistant were very friendly and helpful. And that sweet, blonde cart girl.....Wow! Our group was very impressed!



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.