Review of Divide Ranch and Club
Located on the top of a mesa overlooking some beautiful green meadows, the towering San Juan Mountain range, and another tall string of mountain peaks to the east is the Divide Ranch & Club.
Divide Ranch and Club is characterized by towering ponderosas, stunning views of two mountain ranges, tight fairways, and a great layout with some interesting holes. To score well on this course you need to leave the big dog in the bag, deploy some good course management skills, hit the ball strategically, and keep it in the tight fairways. This is one of these good news, bad news courses. The good news is that:
- The views are stunning – almost every hole is framed by the rugged mountain peaks, towering ponderosas, and huge beautiful vacation and mountain homes plus plenty of deer and other wildlife
- The course is fun and memorable to play and you’ll want to play it again
- It's fair but demanding
- It’s peaceful and quiet, the pace of play is excellent, the staff is friendly, and the food in the True Grit Grill is excellent
- Each nine was designed by a different architect which makes the course interesting to play
You’ll encounter a little bit of everything during your round – elevated tee boxes and greens, dog legs left and right, some uphill as well as downhill shots, berms, rolling and contoured fairways, bunkers and water that you need to avoid, and some excellent risk reward opportunities
The layout is excellent with some great holes like:
- #2 and #7 are both par 5s with sharp 90 degree dog legs left where you need to strategically place your tee shot so you don’t overrun the end of the fairway and give yourself a shot toward the green
- #12 is a fun 613 yard par 5 with a boomerang shaped fairway, an uphill shot off the tee, then a huge downhill shot to the green from 150 out
- #13 is a short 309 yard par 4 with a slight uphill shot to an intimidating looking green complex that is dramatically raised and has two huge steep and deep pot bunkers (they look like big eye sockets) guarding the front and a rocky hill protecting the back
- #18 is a fantastic finishing hole with an elevated tee box, sharp dog leg right, excellent risk reward shot to get within 80 yards of the raised green with swales on the front and a hidden bunker on the top right plus a pond along the left side – if you try the risk reward shot you need to fly the trees and the bunker and natural area to hit the tight fairway and if you play the safe route you’ll need to make sure not to overshoot the end of the fairway and OB and avoid the big bunker waiting for you if you’re tee shot is a little long
That’s all good news and makes this a must play course if you’re anywhere near it, but the bad news is that Divide Ranch has suffered through a severe drought, limited snowfall, and water restrictions which have dramatically impacted the fairway conditions. When we played the fairways were dry and cracked with limited to no grass and the same was true of the rough. What a shame – but management is actively working on a solution and has started filling some ponds that will help with watering the fairways. They have also lowered the rack rate to compensate for the conditions. Pray for rain.
The greens at Divide Ranch were in very good condition with few to no bare or damaged areas. The superintendent is cutting them high to help with the water restrictions which makes them soft but very slow. The greens are all shapes and sizes, a few are raised, most have at least one bunker, and they all have some slope or contour. They run true and are fairly easy to read – adjusting for the slow speed was a problem for us, but that should be solved once they fix the water problem.
The fairways are fairly tight but the rough is wide and provides a recoverable shot. Miss the fairways and rough and you’ll need to reload. The majority of the fairways have some slope and contour and lots of uphill as well as downhill shots plus the front nine has lots of berms along each side of the fairway and around the greens– so expect some uneven lies. There are some huge beautiful homes that line the fairways, you’ll see some wildlife grazing in or along the fairways, and the views of the towering San Juan Mountains are breathtaking.
The bunkers at Divide Ranch Golf Club range in size and shape but most are about average size with a thin lip – you may get lucky and hit in and roll out, but don’t count on it. A couple of the bunkers are steep and deep. The sand was gritty and thin and hard to get under.
Bottom line – the fairway conditions are not good but management has lowered the price to compensate for that. The layout is great and a lot of the holes are memorable. This course has lots of potential and we can’t wait to play it again when the conditions are better.
Read all about this fun trip to Southern Colorado/Northern New Mexico where this is one of the courses we played.
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The pro shop has the basics, all of the staff is very friendly and outgoing, the practice facilities are adequate, the clubhouse is beautiful and upscale, and the restaurant has a great bar and some very good food.