Ballyneal Sunset

Best Golf Courses In Colorado: The Mountains Aren’t the Only Draw

When most of us think about visiting Colorado, there’s a good chance we’re thinking about doing it in the Winter.

After all, it’s home to some of the most spectacular ski resorts and mountains in the world.

But if you look a little bit closer, you’ll realize that not only is there world-class snowsports, there is also world-class golf to be found as well.

If you’re trying to find the best golf courses in Colorado, then you’ve come to the right place.

Colorado is home to a few of our personal favorites, and some pretty special golf experiences that are unlike anything else you’ll find.

The Best Golf Courses In Colorado 2022

Colorado Golf Club Hole 2

The par 3, 2nd hole at Colorado Golf Club.

These rankings are averages of the Best in State Rankings from Golf Digest, Top 100 Golf, and Golf Magazine. We also removed Golfweek rankings because the breakdown between public and private skewed our findings.

To be included there needed to be a minimum of two inclusions in one of the publications listed above. Make sure you read the whole post, as there are some very good courses that didn’t get included by this methodology. I’ll discuss some of them below

  1. Ballyneal G. & Hunt C. 
  2. Colorado G.C.
  3. Castle Pines G.C.
  4. Cherry Hills C.C.
  5. The Broadmoor G.C. (East)
  6. Sanctuary
  7. Maroon Creek Club
  8. Red Sky Ranch & G.C. (Norman)
  9. Redlands Mesa
  10. Denver C.C.
  11. The Golf Club at Ravenna
  12. Pradera
  13. Roaring Fork Club
  14. CommonGround
  15. C.C. of the Rockies
  16. Red Sky Ranch & G.C. (Fazio)
  17. Country Club at Castle Pines
  18. Lakota Canyon
  19. TPC Colorado
  20. Frost Creek G.C. (formerly Adam’s Rib Ranch G.C.)
  21. Four Mile Ranch
  22. Cornerstone
  23. Haymaker
  24. The Broadmoor (West)
  25. Glacier Club (Mountain)
  26. Breckenridge GC (Bear/Beaver)
  27. Riverdale (Dunes)

Golf Digest Best In Colorado

  1. Ballyneal G. & Hunt C.
  2. Castle Pines G.C.
  3. Cherry Hills C.C.
  4. Colorado G.C.
  5. The Broadmoor G.C. (East)
  6. Sanctuary
  7. Maroon Creek Club
  8. Red Sky Ranch & G.C. (Norman)
  9. Red Sky Ranch & G.C. (Fazio)
  10. C.C. of the Rockies
  11. Roaring Fork Club
  12. The Golf Club at Ravenna
  13. TPC Colorado
  14. Frost Creek G.C. (formerly Adam’s Rib Ranch G.C.)
  15. Denver C.C.

Golf Magazine Best In Colorado

  1. Ballyneal G. & Hunt C.
  2. Cherry Hills C.C.
  3. Colorado G.C.
  4. Castle Pines G.C.
  5. The Broadmoor G.C. (East)

“Top 100 Golf” Website (Colorado)

  1. Ballyneal G. & Hunt C.
  2. Colorado G.C.
  3. Castle Pines G.C.
  4. Cherry Hills C.C.
  5. Denver C.C.
  6. The Broadmoor G.C. (East)
  7. Sanctuary
  8. The Golf Club at Ravenna
  9. Maroon Creek Club
  10. Redlands Mesa
  11. Red Sky Ranch & G.C. (Norman)
  12. Pradera
  13. CommonGround
  14. Roaring Fork Club
  15. Country Club at Castle Pines
  16. C.C. of the Rockies
  17. Lakota Canyon
  18. Red Sky Ranch & G.C. (Fazio)
  19. Four Mile Ranch
  20. Cornerstone
  21. Haymaker
  22. TPC Colorado
  23. Frost Creek G.C. (formerly Adam’s Rib Ranch G.C.)
  24. The Broadmoor (West)
  25. Breckenridge GC (Bear/Beaver)
  26. Riverdale (Dunes)

Does Colorado Have Any Top 100 Golf Courses?

Ballyneal Golf and Hunt Club

When you’re at Ballyneal? You’re miles away….from anything.

Colorado has a handful of courses that have been off and on various top 100 lists over the years.

Golf Digest Top 100 America (Colorado Courses)

  • #44 – Ballyneal Golf Club
  • #48 – Castle Pines Golf Club
  • #73 – Cherry Hills Country Club

Golf Digest Top 100 Public (Colorado Courses)

  • #44 – The Broadmoor Golf Club (East)
  • #66 – Red Sky Golf Club (Norman)
  • #79 – Red Sky Ranch and Golf Club (Fazio)
  • #89 – TPC Colorado

Golf Magazine Top 100 Public (Colorado Courses)

  • #58 – The Broadmoor Golf Club (East) 

Golf Magazine Top 100 America (Colorado Courses)

  • #34 – Ballyneal Golf and Hunt Club
  • #100 – Cherry Hills Country Club re

Golf Magazine Top 100 World (Colorado Courses)

  • #54 – Ballyneal Golf and Hunt Club

Breaking Eighty Top 100 (Colorado Courses)

  • #43 – Colorado Golf Club
  • #50 – Ballyneal Golf and Hunt Club

Colorado Golf Trips: Dream Itineraries

Planning a trip to Colorado? Here are a few itineraries we’d consider based on where you’re going and what kind of access you have.

Colorado Best of the Best

Sunset at Ballyneal Golf Club

Sunsets at Ballyneal are among the best I’ve seen anywhere.

If you’re chasing lists and you want to knock off as many of the most prestigious courses as you can, then awesome, we can’t blame you for that.

Here’s where you’ll want to play:

  • Ballyneal
  • Cherry Creek
  • Castle Pines
  • Colorado Golf Club

Those last three are all within the Denver area, so assuming you have the connections they should be easy enough to play over a couple days (although Denver has a surprisingly sprawling metro area).

Ballyneal on the other hand, well, it’s out in the middle of nowhere.

You’re looking at a 3+ hour drive from DIA to get there. I’d personally schedule a round out there first, and then hit the others over a few days at the end of the trip.

Best Public Itinerary 

Fossil Trace Hole 12

There are other better courses, but Fossil Trace is two things: memorable and fun.

Colorado has some excellent public golf courses. 

The Broadmoor is one of the most famous resorts in the country, and while you’ll pay for it, it’s among the best golf resort vacations you can have in the US.

After that visit Red Sky and knock off two top 100 publics in one spot. It’s worth noting that this is a “semi-private” club in that there is a private membership, but there’s limited access for resort guests.

Finish up the trip by playing TPC Colorado. Which again isn’t cheap, but is a newcomer to Golf Digest’s Top 100 public.

If you have time consider playing Fossil Trace. It’s an over-the-top Jim Engh design that is high on the “quirk-factor” but has some very memorable holes and is definitely a fun round.

Middle of Nowhere Road Trip

If you’re looking to take a bit of a road trip and hit some notable courses along the way, then you can fly into Denver and head East.

Way East…to hit some very remote, but very impressive courses.

Start with Ballyneal, then along the way you can hit the two courses at Dismal River, a couple accessible options at The Prairie Club, and if you’ve got real serious connections? Swing by Sand Hills to play one of the top 25 best golf courses in the world.

This is a true golf road trip playing courses with landscapes you won’t find anywhere else in the world. It’s a lot of driving (Prairie Club is 6.5 hours from DIA for instance), but it’s well worth the effort.

Our Thoughts on the Best Golf Courses in Colorado

Colorado Golf Club

Colorado Golf Club is one of the more underrated courses in the US in our opinion.

If you’ve spent any time reading my golf reviews, you know that I value one thing more than anything else: fun.

It’s no surprise that mountainous courses generally lend themselves to being fun courses due to insane elevation changes, as well as the fact you’re at a higher altitude so you’ll hit the ball farther.

For this reason, there are a ton of places in Colorado that will make for really enjoyable rounds. Just about any of the courses deep in the Rockies will provide a cool experience.

A few other things I’d mention:

  • Colorado Golf Club is severely underrated – This Coore Crenshaw design is one of my favorites I’ve ever played. The club is beautiful, and it’s among the best match play courses I’ve ever played. It’s so good, we included it as one of our 10 most underrated courses in the world.
  • Fossil Trace is quirky, but worth it – Fossil Trace is a Denver area public that won’t be on any major lists, but it’s got some nutty elevation changes and some cool features hiding in the fairway on the back 9.
  • Ballyneal is the ultimate retreat – When you visit Ballyneal you know that no one just stumbled in there. It has the Bandon effect, where if you’re there, you’re probably really passionate about golf. Between the vibe, phenomenal Tom Doak golf course, and the fun par 3 Mulligan course, it’s worth the trip.

Have a favorite spot in Colorado we should be highlighting? Let us know!

Other Best in State Roundups:

Member of a private club and love to travel and meet other golf nuts? Check out our Eighty Club Golf Society.

There are no comments

Add yours