Telluride GC, Telluride. Telluride Ski Co., 1992.

Spectacular vistas abound in Telluride

This is one of those ski resort courses that basically plays down the mountain and then works its way back up. That’s not an ideal routing, but this one does better than some in keeping the trip back up from just being a miserable slog.

#7 almost looks like a par 3 and, at altitude, nearly plays like one

At over 9,000 feet of elevation, this 6,500 yard course is not long, though there are six par 3s. The most memorable holes are down at the low end of the course. The short par 4 seventh is easily reachable with a tee shot, but is guarded by water short and a road long of the green. The green can be driven with an iron, but it’s a true do-or-die shot. On the other hand, the layup is downhill and shouldn’t be played more than about 180 yards, so for some hitting that shot off the tee requires more fortitude than going for the green.

#13 is a classic down-then-up par 4 in a one-of-a kind location (Credit: Trip Advisor)

The 13th is a longer par 4, with a tee shot that plays downhill. The fairway runs out around 310 yards (very reachable, downhill and at altitude) in a creek that’s been dammed into a series of beaver ponds. The second shot plays back uphill to a beautiful green beautifully benched into a hill with bunkers and a falloff left and a stand of aspen trees to the right and beyond. Meanwhile an epic view of the San Juan Mountain towers over everything. It’s a good hole in a grand location.

The 17th may be the course’s signature hole. It’s a standard drop shot par 3, but the view is what you’re here for and this one is second to none. You also really appreciate it after the stair climb to the tee here.

It’s a big climb the the tee at #17 (especially at 9,000 feet) but checking in on the marmot population helps

This is a fun course with a lot of opportunities to go for birdies and a lot of dramatic drop shots with unbelievable scenery all around. It’s not a great course and not a reason to go to Telluride in and of itself, but then again there are plenty of other very good reasons to want to visit that magnificent little town.

Colorado 6th Decile [2004]