Overland Park

Overland Park GC, Denver. William H. Tucker, 1895.

The city notes this was the original course for Denver Country Club and claims the layout is the oldest running course west of the Mississippi (though I feel like I’ve seen a lot of courses claim this in one way or another). The point is, this place has been here a while.

Is this a great course, a hidden gem? I wouldn’t go that far. But there are certainly worse places you could spend an afternoon.

#8 (Credit: City of Denver)

The routing is solid, on most days you’ll get some nice view of the downtown skyline, and you’ll play some solid if not really spectacular holes. The front nine is on the east side of the property with holes closer to US-85 and other busy streets; those holes aren’t really any better or worse than holes on the inward half but the experience on the back nine is more pleasant for being away from the traffic.

A couple of the par 3s—the eighth and the 10th— have some cool in ground features in front of the green, but the holes are so short that it’s hard to imagine they come into play for anyone who can get the ball airborne.

#10 (Credit: City of Denver)

The 12th and 13th run near the South Platte River but sadly don’t actually interact with the riverbank at all. It’s still a much preferable property line to the freeway on the other side.

If this is your home course, your handicap isn’t likely to travel well, as the 69.9 rating and 119 slope will attest. The course isn’t long, the greens are decent size and don’t have a tremendous amount of slope or tilt, the bunkers aren’t deep, and while there are some trees the course still has an open feel. That’s all to the good—the world needs solid golf courses that aren’t trying to be championship tests.

Colorado 8th Decile [1999]

#13 (Credit: City of Denver)