Review of Pagosa Springs Golf Club – Pinon Course
Pagosa Springs Golf Club is home to three nine hole courses that are framed by towering Pagosa Pines, some clear lakes, beautiful mountain homes, and the stunning San Juan Mountains. Each of the nines has its own unique personality and characteristics:
- Meadows is the longest at 3734 from the tips and it’s a links style course that has water on 7 of the 9 holes and several intimidating forced carries over the water – bring a life jacket or at least a long ball retriever
- Pinon is the middle of the roader in terms of length and difficulty and it’s got wide forgiving fairways, some elevation changes, and good greens
- Ponderosa plays up and down through the towering ponderosa pines and is the shortest of the three and the only par 35
We didn’t have time to play the Meadow Course but here is a link to our review of the Ponderosa Course.
In June 2013, Pagosa Springs Golf Club was in receivership, being managed by Tri Star a premier golf management company, and was going through a transition waiting for new owners. In addition, Southern Colorado and Northern New Mexico were suffering through a third year of drought and no rain, which has had a significant impact on the course conditions. In addition, the snowpack was light this year which also impacts the conditions. And even worse, in mid-2013 the water pump for the Pinon Course broke! What a streak of bad luck – pray for rain!
The Pinon Course is home to a little bit of everything – you’ll encounter some elevation changes, water on a couple holes, some dog legs left and right, six bunkers, some uphill as well as downhill shots, and some demanding putting surfaces. It’s relatively short at 2769 to 3419 yards and it’s the middle of the road course in terms of difficulty.
Some of the holes that we enjoyed included:
- #2 is the #1 handicap hole and it’s a challenging uphill 415 yard par 4 with one of the most challenging greens on the course
- Both of the par 3’s are fun – one has a fairly easy carry over a small ravine and the other is a 216 yard intimidating carry over a pond to the green
- #5 is great – a 328 yard hole with a dramatically elevated tee box and a sharp dog leg right – leave the big dog in the bag or you may overdrive the fairway and end up on the highway – the brave might try to fly the trees on the right to go for the green but it’s very risky
- #7 is a long 435 yard par four with a sharp dog leg left with a small creek crossing the fairway about 100 yards out, a large pond on the left side if you really spray the ball off the tee, and a tricky green that slopes right to left
When we played in June, the light snowpack, limited to no rain, and the broken water pump had severely impacted the fairway conditions – there were lots of dandelions, several damaged areas, as well as cracked and bare spots. The fairways are still very playable and don’t let this stop you from playing the course. We talked to several people who told us that normally the conditions are very good.
The fairways are ample and generous from tee to green, they range from flat to gently rolling, and there are several that run either uphill or downhill.
The greens on the Pinon Nine at Pagosa Springs range in size and shape with most being on the large side. All have some slope and contour that require some very careful study before you putt. They were in very good condition when we played, ran true, held the ball well, and ran at a good speed of between 9 to 10.
There are only six bunkers on the Pinon Nine and they seemed easy to avoid. But they are not pleasant when you do land in them – the sand was gritty and thin when we played.
Slope and rating are based on playing the Pinon and Ponderosa Nine.
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 a limited supply of the basic gear, the outside grill at the turn has good burgers/dogs/sandwiches, and the range is adequate. Service is ok.