Deer Creek

Deer Creek GC, Littleton. Scott Miller, 2000.

This course offers a good mix of fun, short holes, decision holes, and punishers.

The 11th and 12th stick in my mind as an example of the balance. The 11th is a long, difficult par 4 of 484 yards with a wetland hazard hard against the green on the right. The 12th is actually 11 yards shorter from the back tees, but is a par 5. From middle tees the yardages make more sense, which is to say 12 is slightly longer than 11, but in either case it’s a fine sequence of half par holes that sort of shows it doesn’t really matter which one is a par 4 or par 5—the point is to play both of them in nine shots.

My favorite stretch on the course is the last half of the front nine as you come back with holes along the creek but away from the highway, including several where the creek crosses the line of play and demands thoughtful shot selection, particularly the seventh, a split fairway hole of about 400 yards with a creek dividing the fairway. The right fairway is the easier to hit with your tee shot but the longer carry over the creek to the left side sets up a much easier second shot, and the carry isn’t quite so long downhill.

The back nine finishing run is less inspiring—the last four holes are all right by the freeway and the 16th is a virtual island green in wetlands, which is not exactly inspiring design. But this was an awkward site given homesites and the freeway and a wetland creek and Miller got a lot out of it.

As of 2021, the course is apparently closed for renovations, presumably a part of this deal which calls for changes to the the front nine (unfortunately, what I described as my favorite stretch of the course) and the elimination of the driving range to build homes. But the changes appear necessary to save the course. Miller, the course’s original designer, was at least originally slated to do the work.

Colorado 3rd Decile [2005]

Credit: Golf Advisor