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Vail Area Golf Courses-Links on High

Welcome to the Vail Valley and to high altitude golfing at its best!. The elevation of the Vail Valley ranges from East Vail at 8,200 ft. in elevation to Gypsum at 6,300 ft. in elevation and includes summit courses that top out at 9,200 ft in elevation. We are up certainly there in elevation, and it will affect your game, but mostly for the better.

Higher elevation means thinner air and thinner air means less friction on xtheir golf balls, which mean shots will travel considerably further than usual. Vail golfers enjoy watching their balls fly 10 percent farther than at sea level, so get ready to hit the ball distances you’ve only dreamed of before.

In addition to your ball traveling significantly farther, it will curve less. For the same reason it goes further, it goes straighter, thinner air means less friction. It is way easier to keep the ball online at high altitudes.

When golfing at elevations above 5,000 ft, choose a softer golf ball, it will spin more than normal and help compensate for the thin air and lack of friction.

Trajectory control comes into play at high altitude, and it is very important for controlling your yardages. At altitude, if you hit the ball HIGHER you will add yardage. So you don’t need to swing harder, just higher to go farther.

Whether you hit the ball high or low doesn’t matter much when playing at sea level but at elevation, trajectory is amassive factor for controlling your distance. A good rule of thumb, in the mountains, is to keep your Wedges as low as you can, to stop your ball from going uncontrollably far.

Hooking and slicing the ball is also affected by altitude. It is reduced in severity due to the altitude’s effect on the golf ball. A hook or slice cannot get as much lifting force, again due to the thinner air. Curvature is also reduced. So remember, at higher elevations it’s easier to hit the ball straight, but it’s harder to intentionally curve it. So watch out for those dog legs.

Here is a list of all the golf clubs in the Vail Valley, get ready to enjoy the challenge that high altitude brings to the game on these wonderfully varied courses throughout the area. Also, check out the accompanying videos to really get the feel of each course.


See Also: Best Waterproof Golf Rain Gear


Vail Area Golf Courses


Public Courses


Vail Golf Club in East Vail – Public Course

The Vail Golf Club sets the standard for mountain golfing sitting at 8,200 ft in elevation with breathtaking views of the Gore Mountain Range, the 18-hole, par 71 golf course has unique fairways, smooth surfaces for putting and a scenic layout within the White River National Forest.

Enjoy beautiful tree-lined flat fairways with lots of greenside and fairway bunkers, as well as natural beaver ponds and the lovely Gore Creek.

Recognized by Golf Digest as a “Top 100 Resort Course”

Designed and built by Ben Krueger, in 1962, the Vail golf course is arguably one of the best courses in the Vail Valley — a must-play for both locals and visitors.

In the winter the Vail Golf Club becomes the Vail Nordic Center, offering 17 kilometers of groomed ski track and 10 kilometers of separate snowshoe trails.

Other Amenities

  • Full Length Driving Range
  • Large Practice Putting Green
  • Chipping and Sand Practice Area
  • Video Swing Analysis
  • Pro Shop
  • Clubhouse
  • Restaurant

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EagleVail Golf Club – Public Course

Located at 7,650 ft. in elevation and just a few miles down the road from Vail Golf Course lies EagleVail Golf Club. This 18-hole, par 71 public golf course is nestled between the world-class resorts of Vail and Beaver Creek. This challenging course is recognized as a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary from Audubon International and is a joy to play.The EagleVail golf course was created in the 1970s by the Devlin/Von Hagge design team and provides a true mountain golf experience that includes elevation changes, long carries over the Eagle River, and beautiful alpine scenery

This course also boasts the Willow Creek Par 3 course, when you don’t have the tie or inclination to play regulation 18-hole course. It is perfect for children, families, or beginners looking to play a short course. Advanced players can practice their short game, as the longest hole measures 120 yards.

Both the 18 hole and Par 3 courses are beautiful and enjoy scenic views of the Eagle River, smaller streams, ponds, wetlands, forests, and bright, brilliant gardens. A wonderful course that offers varying micro climates and multi-faceted terrain for unique and challenging play

Other Amenities

  • Willow Creek Par 3 Golf Course
  • Driving Range and Putting Green
  • Whiskey Hill Golf Grill
  • Pro Golf Shop
  • Golf Cart Rental with GPS Included
  • Ladies on the Link Clinic & First Tee Kids Instruction

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Eagle Ranch Golf Course – Public Course

This fantastic, Arnold Palmer Signature designed, 18-hole public course lies at the very temperate elevation of 6,300 feet. It enjoys one of the longest golf season in Eagle County. Offers a variety of memberships and passes.

Featuring five sets of tees, plus Junior Tee markers in the fairway on each hole so anyone can play according to their abilities.

This par 72 golf course, is an Audubon-certified sanctuary and is perfect for the environmentally-minded golfer. For a unique experience try pedaling one of the low-impact golf bikes from hole to hole or take a more traditional golf cart with GPS.

This gently rolling golf course has a links-type feel, with wide, forgiving fairways and elevation changes that aren’t as severe as at other valley courses.

Opened in 2001 as part of a master-planned residential community that includes other amenities such as an outdoor swimming pool, ice rink, recreation trails and fitness center conveniently located just 30 minutes from Vail, and eight minutes from the Eagle Vail Airport.

Other Amenities

  • Restaurant
  • Pro Shop
  • Golf Bike and Golf Cart Rentals

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Gypsum Creek Golf – Public Course

Gypsum Creek Golf Course is a beautiful par 72 public golf course in Gypsum, Colorado. This Pete Dye designed course is fun and challenging for all skill levels and abilities.

The front nine of this walkable course meanders along a mountain stream and the back rolls across a high alpine wooded mesa. The signature hole drops 120 feet from tee to green and plays only 164 yards, it’s awesome!

Perched atop a sage-covered mesa at an elevation of 6,300 ft with rolling fairways flanked with native pinion and juniper trees, yucca and prickly pear cactus. Undulating terrain provides dramatic challenges including steep drop-offs and tricky twists and turns to keep you on your toes.

Gypsum Creek Public Golf Course is just minutes from the Eagle Vail Airport.

Other Amenities:

  • Clubhouse
  • Chipping Area
  • Driving Range
  • Practice Greens
  • Sand Practice
  • Club Rentals
  • Pro Shop
  • Restaurant
  • Swimming Pool

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Semi Private Golf Courses


Beaver Creek Golf Club – Semi Private

The Beaver Creek Golf Club, located 8,100 ft elevation, is one of the longest established golf courses in the Vail Valley. Created in 1982, the championship course was designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr. He created this iconic course with long, narrow, challenging fairways and stunning scenery in the canyon that leads up to the resort.

The par 70 golf course enjoys majestic pine forests, cascading creeks, elevated tees, fountains, ponds, historic wooden barns, lush fairways and gorgeous views of the ski mountain

Beaver Creek is only open to the public pre and post season, from mid May to mid June and mid September to mid October.

Exclusively available to Beaver Creek, Bachelor Gulch and Arrowhead lodging guests and Beaver Creek Club Members mid June to mid September.

Other Amenities

  • Restaurant
  • Golf Pro Shop
  • Private Golf Lessons

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Sonnenalp Golf Club in Singletree – Semi Private Course

This 18-hole championship golf course located in Edwards, Colorado. The award-winning course enjoys dramatic morning and afternoon sun and features breathtaking mountain views of the Vail, Beaver Creek, Arrowhead and the Rocky Mountains. The Sonnenalp course focuses on playability of the course but offers lots of challenges that bring golfers back time and time again. The Sonnenalp Club is one of the first to open and last to close and boasts one of the longest golfing seasons in the Vail Valley. This course is easily walkable with four tee positions ranging from 7,100 yards to 5,293 yards.

Other Amenities

  • Restaurant
  • Fitness Center
  • Tee & Target Options
  • Short Game Areas
  • Pro Shop
  • Tennis Courts
  • Swimming Pool

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The Club at Cordillera Golf Courses – Semi Private Course

The Club at Cordillera does not have just one course, it enjoys four very distinct golf courses: Valley, Mountain, Summit and Short. Each course features its own unique characteristics and elevation to make every round of golf challenging and remarkable.

Valley Course -Private

This course is nestled along the Eagle River as it meanders through high mountain desert terrain and is dramatically different from the Mountain and Summit courses. The Tom Fazio designed Valley Course offers golfers of all ages and skill levels a challenging and rewarding layout. Its southern exposure, allows for a longer of season of play and features wide open fairways and panoramic views. Located at 7,200 ft elevation.

Mountain Course – Semi Private

Situated at 8,250 ft elevation and designed by 3-time US Open winner Hale Irwin, the masterfully crafted 18-hole Mountain Course boasts rolling hillsides, wide open meadows, pine forests and beautiful views, it is a golfer’s paradise. During the winter, the Mountain Clubhouse becomes the Nordic Center with miles of groomed trails for snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, sleigh rides and more.

Summit Course – Private

Situated at 9,200 ft elevation, the Summit Course is the highest course in the valley. Designed by Jack Nicklaus, and opened in 2001,this course is set upon the highest point within Cordillera. The high elevation gives golfers truly stunning views of the surrounding area for hundreds of miles. The course enjoys natural, lush, rolling terrain alongside sage and spruce-covered hills. It offers five separate sets of tee boxes on most holes, allowing players the opportunity to tee-off from the most appropriate location for their particular level of skill.


Short Course – Public

Designed by legendary short game genius Dave Pelz, this 10-hole course sits on The Divide at Cordillera and focuses on making each hole unique and challenging.

This impeccably maintained course is open to the public and is one of only two in the world. Each hole is less than 200 yards, but features challenging shots with tight bunkering and uneven designed tee boxes.

It’s sophisticated enough for serious players to develop a stronger short game, but it also provides a fun, relaxed golf experience for every ability level.

Other Amenities

  • Restaurants
  • Pro Shops
  • Driving Range
  • Golf Clinics
  • Swimming Pools
  • Tennis Courts
  • Fitness Center

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Red Sky Ranch in Wolcott – Semi-Private Course

Red Sky is an astounding club that offers two top-notch golf courses, one designed by Tom Fazio and one designed by Greg Norman. Technically it is a private club with a separate members-only clubhouse, but the club alternates courses for daily public play ( guests of Vail Resorts lodging) while continually maintaining one for private membership use.

This distinctive club offers members and guests their own clubhouse and designated course each day.

Greg Norman Course

The Norman Course skillfully utilizes the natural landscape to dictate the flow of play. Craggy rock outcroppings, twisted knots of scrub oak, rugged gulches, and stretches of wildflowers all contribute to a unique wilderness golf experience. This 7,580-yard (Par 72) course enjoys the Vail Valley’s finest sunsets. This is a beautiful course.

Tom Fazio Course

The Fazio Course combines spectacular views of Vail’s legendary Back Bowls with a variety of terrain to satisfy players of all skill levels and abilities. Players enjoy open sage covered hills, native plants, dense aspen glades high mountain lakes and dramatic Rocky Mountain panoramas.

Both courses ranked in GOLF Magazine‘s “Top 100 Courses You Can Play”

Other Amenities

  • Clubhouse
  • Restaurants
  • Pro Shop
  • Locker Rooms
  • Red Sky Golf Academy

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Private Golf Courses


Country Club of the Rockies at Arrowhead – Private Course

This par 72, Jack Nicklaus signature design golf course is consistently ranked one of the top courses in Colorado, and is on par with Castle Pines as Nicklaus’ work in Colorado

Opened in 1985, this course offers a links-style design with rolling terrain and utilizes the Eagle River for more challenging holes. It is known for its unsurpassed conditioning and fast greens. Today, the Country Club of the Rockies is one of the premier club in the Vail area.

Other Amenities

  • Clubhouse
  • Restaurant
  • Located at the Base of Arrowhead Ski Area

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Eagle Springs Golf Club in Wolcott – Private Course

Eagle Springs Golf Club is one of the most exclusive in the area, and that is saying something, because this area can be very exclusive. Featuring a Jay Morrish and Tom Weiskopf designed golf course in a setting that is free from residential and home site development. Select membership to this 18-hole golf course can only be attained by invitation.

The course meanders through the valley floor, winding up the high desert hills and crosses the beautiful Eagle River. Members enjoy large, gentle, undulating greens that offer a fun and challenging game.

This very walkable course offers several rated tee combinations to allow all players to find a yardage suitable to their ability level. It is meticulously maintained and managed to the highest standards.


Frost Creek Mountain Club – Private Course

Members can enjoy this secluded 18-hole championship golf course that meanders through the exclusive community. It boasts the perfect combination of beautiful alpine scenery, meticulous maintenance and creative course challenges.

Designed by Tom Weiskopf, who wonderfully succeeded at creating 18 signature holes, each distinct in their appearance and strategy. This course embraces high desert sage brush, mountain landscapes, dramatic views, elevation changes, lush, tree-lined fairways, pond-protected greens and the lovely Brush Creek for a golf day full of adventure and challenge

This course is the epitome of serenity it is far from the highway and features house-free greens. They are just minutes from Eagle but this course feels like a world away. Enjoy!

Frost Creek is a 1,100-acre property nestled in the lush wilderness bordering the White River National Forest.

Other Amenities

  • Clubhouse
  • Member’s Lounge
  • Restaurant
  • Tennis Courts
  • Swimming Pool
  • Fitness Center
  • Fly Fishing

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See Also: The Year’s Best Golf Balls


Comments Vail Colorado Golf Courses

Which Vail Valley golf courses do you like to play? What is your favorite hole? Do you have a membership at one of these local golf courses, is it worth it? We would love to hear your thoughts, comments and stories about Vail area golf courses. Thanks for reading.

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4 Comments

  • Shannon

    Thanks for the info on Vail area golf courses. Me and my family are planning a golf trip to Vail this summer. We are staying at the Vail Arrabelle and can’t wait to get to the courses there. We are planning to play the Vail Golf Club but we believe that we may be able to play other exclusive Vail Resort golf courses that are usually private. I am not too concerned about the elevation as we have played in Mexico city before and that is pretty high as well. I will be bookmarking your page for a reference as we begin to decide where exactly we want to play and what to do while we are in the area.

    • ThinkVail

      Hi Shannon so happy you found the post about Vail area golf course helpful. Yes, the Arrabelle at Vail Square is a Vail Resort Lodge so that means aside from playing at the local public courses you will also have access to Red Sky Ranch with two amazing golf courses a Greg Norman Course and a Tom Fazio course. You can also golf at the Beaver Creek Golf Club as part of their Stay and Play program. Both of these golf clubs are exceptional and you will really enjoy these courses immensely. Also don’t forget, that soft balls work best at high elevations like Vail, so you may want to make sure you bring your favorite soft, low compression ball when you come. Check here for a list of the year’s best soft golf balls that will compliment your high altitude game perfectly. Have fun!

  • Karsha

    This is a really great detailed, article about Vail area golf courses. I usually go to Vail 3-4 times each summer specifically to play golf.  I am from Wyoming and we do have some wonderful courses there, but nothing compared to what can be found in Vail and I LOVE how much farther my ball goes because of the high elevation.  It is so cool. I usually play at the Vail or Beaver Creek Golf Club  (BC during the shoulder seasons) but your article really has me interested in the Eagle Vail course.  I love the activities they offer like Ladies on the Links, Kids First Tee, Buckets & Brews as well as the Par 3 course that they have in addition to their full 18-hole course.  Thanks for introducing me to this cool golf course that has really been, literally, right in front of me, but I never really saw it before.

    • ThinkVail

      Hi Karsha, I am so happy you were able to find a new golf course to try from the article Vail Area Golf Courses. The Vail Valley has some wonderful courses. I do love the Eagle Vail golf club it is a fun challenging course with a welcoming and laid back attitude. I have participated in the Ladies on the Links clinic in the past and it is a great way to meet other women who are learning/improving their game.

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