Golf at The Broadmoor 3X As Enjoyable.
by Kim D. McHugh
(Photos courtesy The Broadmoor Resort; golf images taken by Dick Durrance II)
Three stellar courses make a visit to this legendary resort and hotel a golfers’ fantasy come true. The setting for two U.S. Amateur Championships (1959, 1967), a Curtis Cup Championship (1962) one U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship (1982), the U.S. Women’s Open (1995), the U.S. Senior Open (2008) and the 2011 U.S. Women’s Open is evidence that The Broadmoor’s East Course is a worthy opponent. Conceived in 1917 by notable Scottish designer Donald Ross, the course opened in 1918, the same year the hotel debuted and was, at the time, America’s highest golf course with its setting at 6,400 feet above sea level. Though known for its wide fairways and large greens, the 7,355-yard layout won’t just hand over a great score, however, that is exactly what Jack Nicklaus posted to win his first major—the U.S. Amateur—in 1959.
“In my opinion Ross was the greatest golf course architect of all time,” said Russ Miller, The Broadmoor’s Director of Golf. “Even today, 97 years later, this course still stands up against any modern golf course.”
Playing downhill with a slight dogleg from left to right off of the tee, the par-5 Hole 3 is 420-yards from the red tees and 601-yards from the tips. What makes the drive difficult is that the landing area is not completely visible from the tee therefore golfers must pick out a good target in the distant landing area. If drives end up in the rough, golfers are almost always forced to lay up short of the pond guarding the green, leaving only a wedge shot. If drives stay in the fairway, golfers have an opportunity to challenge the pond and attempt to reach the green in two.
“The green is narrow and long, bunkered on the left and guarded by a deep swell over the green,” explained Miller. “Any shot that ends up over the green makes a chip very difficult. As is the case with all greens on the East Course, an uphill putt is ideal.”
In 1964 the resort created The Broadmoor’s West Course, a marriage of the original 1918 Donald Ross design and the mid-50s Robert Trent Jones, Sr. design. With more doglegs, water hazards, treed fairways and multilevel greens than the East Course, this 7,016-yard layout looks incredibly tough, but the West Course is more bark than bite. Opened in 1976, a third layout designed by Arnold Palmer and Ed Seay was called the South Course, though locals referred to it as the mountain course. An extreme makeover in 2006 by Nicklaus Design spawned the true Mountain Course, a stunning layout stretching 7,637 yards from the black tees.
“We’ve had people from the East Coast say they never even paid attention to the golf holes because the views were so extraordinary,” Miller added. “We have bears, deer and fox running around up there. It is a true mountain experience.”
Playing 114-yards from the red tees and 212-yards from the tips, the par-3 Hole 8 can be extremely enjoyable if you take advantage of the greens’ contours and slopes, and avoid the deep right front bunker. A flag location on the left side invites golfers to tee off a little left or long and watch the ball funnel back to the pin. Equally as stunning as its courses, The Broadmoor’s 779 rooms are comprised of suites, cottages, brownstones and ranch accommodations. The pet friendly hotel, the longest running consecutive winner of the AAA Five-Diamond and Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Awards (five consecutive decades), has 15 eateries, from mountain casual to white tablecloth. Three other ways to chill out are via the resort’s luxe spa, Cloud Camp and “off campus” fishing camp, the latter of which treats anglers of all abilities, led by guides, to public waters and over five miles of private fly-fishing waters.
“Virtually all of the public waters we fish are designated Gold Medal waters,” said Brad Tomlinson, Owner, The Peak Fly Shop. “The South Platte has a very equal distribution of rainbow, brown, and cutthroat trout, and we’ve caught all three species in the lakes.”
Details: Tee times for the three courses are reserved for hotel guests and members of The Broadmoor’s private golf club. Green fees range from $135 to $275, cart included. Special packages are available; note there is a $50 per pet per night fee with a max of two pets per room. www.broadmoor.com; (855) 634-7711.