Welcome to ThinkVail – we hope you find this article about Vail area golf courses helpful.
The elevation of the Vail Valley ranges from East Vail at 8,200 ft. to Gypsum at 6,300 ft. and includes summit courses that top out at 9,200 ft in elevation. We are certainly up 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 the golf ball, which mean shots will travel considerably farther than usual. Vail golfers will 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.
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.
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
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.
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.
The Gypsum Creek public golf course is just minutes from the Eagle Vail Airport.
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.
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.
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.
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”
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.
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.
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.
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.