Highland Hills

Highland Hills GC, Greeley. Frank Hummel, 1961.

If you look at the designer and the era this course was built, you’ll have an idea of what to expect. Straight or gentle dogleg holes, mature trees, round greens. There’s just one fairway bunker here. It’s a fine place to play but not really interesting or worth a special visit.

I have two memories of note about the course. The first is the 16th hole, which was a longer par 4 that played as a gentle dogleg right. The green sat hard by a pond, but due to the dogleg and trees down the right side of the hole you couldn’t actually see the water right of the green. Now, if you’d played the course before you knew it was there and you could also notice it was there from the 15th tee, which sits on the opposite side of the pond. The course has only two small ponds on it and based on the direction of play even the first time visitor should have little trouble determining on the 15th tee that the green across the pond must be the 16th.

But most players, especially high school golfers in tournament mode, aren’t thinking about the golf course or checking out their surroundings. Guys would go absolutely insane when they would miss a long iron shot just barely right of the green and find it was in the water. Then again the tiny bunker short left of the green isn’t a great place to miss, either.

My other memory is that this is the site of the lone time I posted a better score than a certain high school competitor who I was often paired with and who has gone on to play—and win on—the PGA Tour. Not sure if they have my plaque by the first tee or 18th green.

Colorado 9th Decile [1997]

Credit: Golf Advisor