Legacy Ridge

Legacy Ridge GC, Westminster. Arthur Hills, 1994.

A sentimental favorite because this is the first place I broke 80, but beyond those nice memories I don’t have a lot of especially positive things to say about this course.

The most memorable holes are clunkers—particularly the dreadful sixth, which is an Art Hills classic forced layup misfire in every way. The 11th isn’t much better, with a forced carry so long they had to build a buffer fairway for those who can’t make it.

Looking back down #6 fairway from the green (Credit: City of Westminster)

Then there’s the 13th, which was in all the publicity photos when the course opened, thanks to its gorgeous mountain backdrop (oddly, photos of the hole are hard to come by now). The hole plays downhill over wetlands to a wide fairway that narrows and turns left around a large tree. This is a pretty good hole from the back tees, where you can either try to draw a drive around the tree into the narrow part of the fairway setting up a short approach or lay back to the fat part of the fairway. But the shorter tees were pushed so far forward to make the wetland carry manageable that this isn’t really an option, so it’s just an awkward layup hole with a nice view.

#13 (Credit: Regis University)

When the course opened, the back nine was out away from housing and at least had a much nicer vibe, but these days houses surround virtually the entire course which detracts from the views and makes the course harder.

The course has always been stern from the tips, despite only just reaching 7,100 yards. The 16th is a 244 yard par 3, slightly downhill, to a green that angle away to the left. The green does run away and you can land a shot in the front or middle part of the green to chase it to the back but shots that stray too far left will find a runoff short left of the green.

The 17th is 466 and uphill all the way with a bunker at 260 that must be carried and a narrow fairway even if you do.

After those holes, the par 5 18th at 502 yards seems like an easy birdie hole coming in but it is by far the narrowest hole on the course with a fairway just 25 yards wide and trees tight to either side. The fairway bulges a bit 70 yards short of the green but only to accommodate a tree in the right third of the fairway. Those laying up can either take that tree on or deal with the bunkers that guard the left side of the green on their approaches.

Looking back down the fairway on #18 (Credit: Golf Advisor)

Overall, too many holes here are either poorly conceived—whether that’s environmental constraints, housing constraints, poor design, or some mixture—or just mundanely forgettable. As munis go, you can do worse, but that’s damning with faint praise.

Colorado 5th Decile [1995]