Red Rocks

Red Rocks CC, Morrison. Stanley Harwood (1976) with renovation by Dick Phelps (2000).

This is a private club in the Morrison foothills with some beautiful views and, at the time I played, only one particularly memorable hole—the 16th, a par 4 which played right up toward a large red rock monolith known as whale rock, which the club was once named after.

#16 with whale rock in the background (Credit: Golf Advisor)

But shortly after I played there, the club brought in Phelps to add a couple holes and make changes to a few others. His new holes on the front nine—particularly the fourth which plays over an exposed bit of red rock—look like by far the most interesting holes on the course.

Apart from the views, I’m afraid I don’t have too many positive memories of the course. The 16th has an amazing backdrop but isn’t a terribly interesting hole. The course is a tough walk with a lot of up and down at the beginning and the end, though the middle holes get into some much flatter terrain (and to be entirely fair I played it on a very hot day when multiple competitors went down with heat stroke, so any course was likely to feel like a tough walk).

There were a few clunky holes, like the 9th, a par 5 that plays out to the south then makes a right hard right turn around a cluster of bunkers (and more to the point, the property line) then plays uphill for 270 more yards with homes to the right and a road to the left but no other bunkers or any other feature of note. This hole doesn’t appear to have been changed during the renovation.

Then there’s the difficult run of holes from 12-14. The 12th is a 240 yard par 3, bunkerless and slightly downhill with the green surrounded by small humps and mounds. The 13th is a long par 4, 486 yards and uphill, straight, again with no bunkers. Finally the 14th, another long hole, 592 yards, again uphill, again straight, with just one bunker cut to the left side of the green. These aren’t bad holes by any stretch, but coming in a row they way they do, especially at the far end of the property, it almost feels like the holes were forgotten or unfinished.

Colorado 4th Decile [1997]

The “new” #4 plays across this red rock ledge (Credit: Red Rocks CC)