Golf in Colorado: Beaver Creek and Red Sky are the gems of Vail

Red Sky Golf Club

A sheep farm becomes a world-class golf club

Rising from sage and aspen groves and spanning 800 acres of historic Colorado ranches, Red Sky Golf Club offers golfers majestic vistas and exceptional golf in an extraordinary alpine playground that includes two award-winning golf courses and unparalleled amenities.

A former sheep ranch, Red Sky’s design has been certified as a member of the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary program. The two courtyards are separated by a massive ridge, which serves as a migration corridor for deer and elk.

Great care was taken to preserve the landscape, including the transplanting or revegetation of over 25,000 native plants during the construction of the Fazio course only.

Approximately 80 acres of sod were applied to each course, reducing the amount of fertilizer required for seed growth while protecting the nearby Eagle River from silt erosion, which is common when hydroseeding.

Red Sky has won awards with its two layouts by Fazio (which opened in 2002) and Greg Norman (a year later). Private courses may be challenged by golf tourists staying at Vail Resorts and other select area hotels.

the Fazio coursewhich is par-72 and spans 7,113 yards from its back set of five tees, is considered generous from tee to green, but its massive, undulating greens will test your flat-stick prowess.

The layout – which literally seems to soar above the landscape below – presents a beautiful panorama of Vail’s back bowls, with scenes of aspens and junipers, twisting mini-groves of scrub oaks, uphill and downhill holes. , red rock outcroppings, wildflower meadows, and an upland lake, which comes into play.

the Norman course is played 7,580 yards from the tips and is a par-72, but its signature feature is the tightly mown bentgrass greens. Those smirking outlines may frustrate you, but at least once during a round you’ll hit a “horrible” shot that wraps just off the pin.

Boasting rock-strewn water bodies and deep brush-filled arroyos, the Norman course takes full advantage of the natural terrain and plays through steep outcrops, steep ravines and wildflower-festooned meadows.

the Norman course is everything a mountain course should be, with jaw-dropping views and plenty of elevation changes and strategy. It’s also not what a mountain course shouldn’t be – without crazy, staggered fairways that deliver good shots in trouble or extreme climbs and descents. Fair is the word Norman course but be aware of the length of the back tees, which will even beat you through the air.

Overall, the Norman course presents more of a challenge than the Fazio course from tee to green due to its longer length, and it is more penalizing if you miss the fairway.

the Fazio the front-nine has a desert feel, while the back is a true alpine experience with aspen-lined fairways. the Norman 18 is longer than the Fazio, and green complexes are simpler. Putting is easier because the greens are not very inclined.

The fairways of both courses are lined with more native trees and grasses than luxury homes. The entire 800-acre property has just 87 residential lots, a fact not lost on golfers who enjoy the feel of a secluded mountainside golfing experience.

Resort guests also have access to the Red Sky Golf Academy throughout the golf season, from May to September. It is directed and stars former PGA Tour pro Larry Rinker. Clinics and retreats, as well as one-hour one-on-one sessions, are available. The academy programs offer classroom and practice area tuition, including a 350-yard deep double-ended practice facility and a short game area with three specialty greens.

The only distractions at Red Sky Golf Club are the spectacular vistas of the Vail Valley. Each of the courses has been consistent on the “best lists” of resort tracks and is a joy to play. If the alpine sun and green grass make you think of golf, then the Red Sky Golf Club is a must on your next trip to this region.

Comments are closed.