Four Mile Ranch Golf Club is a unique and exciting Jim Engh designed course that will benefit from an improved economy and more golf traffic.
The course is located just east of Canon City, CO and west of Pueblo in an area known as the "Banana Belt" of the Colorado mountain region due to it's mild and dry climate and 5,900' elevation.
A unique feature of Four Mile Ranch is that it has no sandtraps (in spite of the website illustration you may have seen). Rather it has loads of natural rock and brush islands that may either eat your wayward shots or spit them out in prime scoring positions.
The greens are super tricky…..Jim Engh design to the maximum. Many have two or three bowl areas. Hit the right one and you'll score nicely. Hit the wrong bowl and good luck trying to two-putt. I played the course on a hot day July 15, 2010 and scored 5 birdies from the Black/Blue combo tees but also had 5 3-putts due to hitting the wrong areas of the greens. Four Mile Ranch needs to resume supplying pin placement sheets daily to help their guests know the target on many shots where the actual hole is not visible on the approach.
The wildest hole is #6. It's a par 5 563 yds from the Black tee, 529, 458 and 430 from the Blue, White and Red tees. Hit a good drive down the middle of the blind, left sloping fairway then lay up to just short of a rock ridge. Notice the black and white striped pole on the ridge as your target to a blind green. Especially notice the arm on that pole indicating the position of the hole that day. Wait to hear the bell ring when the group ahead clears the green and hit a nice, high, soft shot to the two-tiered bowl green with a large backstop. See photo with stone ridge and striped pole. Good luck.
#12 is a tough little downhill par 3 with a deep valley splitting the right and left sides of the green.
#15 is a wild par 5 with about a 120 degree right turn dogleg to the green on your 3rd shot if you play it safely. See last photo.
#16 is a scenic downhill par 4 with large rock formations on your left. Don't expect a good kick off these. My ball disappeared when I hit one.
#17 and 18 are player friendly par 3 and par 5 heading back to the modest clubhouse.
Four Mile Ranch is a fun course to play on a tour of Colorado. The substitution of waste bunkers and mounds for sandtraps and the extreme bowl and tier greens make this a unique golf experience. Four Mile Ranch simply needs to improve a few basics including better scorecards and a daily pin placement sheet. Most of all they just need more golfer traffic.
Trevor Jackson, Pro, and his staff are doing a good job under some tough conditions. Again, an improved economy and substantially increased golfer traffic will greatly help Four Mile Ranch.
Trevor explained that in spite of their Colorado Mountain Region location they have normally been open for play all but about 30 days throughout the year since their opening in 2008. On those 30 days they'd get nailed by snowstorms that normally hit fast then moved out and were replaced with warm sunshine.