Review of Telluride Golf Club
It’s not often that we find a course that we rate very close to a 10 and that constantly evokes lots of “WOWs” during our round – Telluride Golf Club is one of those! What a spectacular 18 holes of golf with fun and demanding holes, unbelievable breathtaking views from every hole, good conditions, and some huge beautiful homes. Don’t miss an opportunity to play this course.
Telluride Golf Club is about 10 minutes from the city of Telluride and sits at an elevation of 9500 feet – which should give you some extra yardage on each of your shots. The course is characterized by dramatic elevation changes, some intriguing and adventurous holes, an excellent layout with each and every hole a little different form all the others, and some unbelievable breathtaking views of towering mountain ranges, dense forests, open meadows with elk and cattle grazing, and some stunning huge mountain and vacation homes.
Every hole seems like it was designed to leverage the scenic views and I found it very difficult to keep my eye on the ball. Just riding the cart up and down the hills, through dense forests of towering trees, past colorful flowers, by jaw dropping huge homes, and to points with majestic views of the mountains is worth the cost of the green fees.
In addition to the views and stunning scenery what makes playing Telluride Golf Club memorable is that every hole is unique and different and will test your game. You’ll need to manage dramatic elevation changes both up and down, intimidating forced carries over ravines and natural areas, long uphill as well as downhill shots, dog legs, plenty of bunkers, water, and more. It seems like every hole will throw a little something different at you. But don’t let that scare you, Telluride Golf Club is fair but demanding and if you pick the right set of tee boxes, deploy some good course management and club selection skills (most to handle the elevation changes and wind), and keep your eye on the ball and not the scenery, you’ll have a fantastic round that you’ll hate to see end!
The front nine at Telluride Golf Course is a par 36 with three par 3s and 3 par 5s. Some of the holes we really liked on this nine included:
- The first hole sets the stage for your round – an elevated tee box with unbelievable views, a short 327 yard all downhill shot down a multi-terraced fairway to a green with a couple bunkers – this is a good opportunity to try and leverage the altitude, the dramatic downhill fairway, and the big dog to see if you can drive the green
- #4 and #6 have some long intimidating carries that will make you wonder why you picked that set of tee boxes
- #7 is a 254 yard par 3 with a large pond fronting the green which is guarded by 5 bunkers – a great risk reward opportunity if you want to try and stuff it on the green or a safer layup shot to the fairway and then a shorter approach shot over the water to the green
- #8 is one of those “WOW” holes – a dramatically elevated tee box with a panoramic scenic vista, a slight dog right (a good risk reward shot if you think you can avoid breaking some windows on one of the several multi-million dollar homes on the right side), 11 bunkers to avoid (one of which would swallow an 18 wheeler as it crosses most of the fairway about 100 yards out!), and a small pear shaped green with some good slope and contour
As great as the front is, we liked the back nine a little better – excellent variety, some fantastic holes, 3 par 3s and one par 5 (par 34), and some holes that require some strategic shot making, plus all the breathtaking views and unbelievably huge and beautiful mountain homes. On this nine our favorite holes included:
- #10 which seems like it has a 200 foot elevation change from the tee box, a large natural area to carry off the tee, and 7 bunkers to avoid on your way downhill to the green
- #13 requires some good course management skills to par this 443 par 4 with an elevated tee shot to a wide landing area that may be easy to overrun or loose a ball if you spray it left or right and then a second shot uphill over a natural area along a tight fairway leading up to an oblong green with a left side long bunker and no room for error
- #17 is a fun 137 yard par 3 over a ravine – the rock wall at tee box is home to Woody Woodchuck, a huge woodchuck who sticks his head out to watch your tee shot and chuckle when it hits the trees, lands in the bunker, or doesn’t make it across the ravine
When we played in June 2013, Telluride Golf Club like most of the southern Colorado courses was suffering from the drought and limited snowfall, both of which had impacted the course conditions. The fairways and rough were in good and very playable condition but would normally be lush and plush this time of year. The greens were also in good condition with a few damaged areas on some of them.
The fairways at Telluride Golf Club are very generous from tee to green and the roughs are also pretty wide – but spray the ball and miss both and you’re in the forest or some very thick natural areas. All of the fairways are rolling with ups and downs and some slope and contour that you need to manage – expect lots of uneven lies.
The greens range in shape and size from some big ovals, to some pear shaped, to some skinny oblongs. All of the greens have some combination of slope, undulation, or tiers. They were running around a good speed of 8 or 9, were very true, and held the ball well.
The bunkers at Telluride Golf Club also range in size from some small pot bunkers to a couple huge monsters. Most have a manageable lip (I got lucky a couple times and hit in and rolled out) and gritty but soft sand which makes it easy to get under the ball
The Telluride Golf Club GPS is great but seems like every other hole it sends you a message to watch for traffic as you cross the road, call in a food order, keep up the pace of play, etc.
Bottom line – a must play Colorado course with scenic vistas, great conditions, and an excellent layout.
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 is very well stocked with everything you need, the service and staff is first class (friendly, outgoing, and helpful), the new 10,000 square foot putting green is excellent (spend some time here before your round), the driving range has some big elevation changes which help you practice what you’ll find on the course, and the on course snack shop has some good burgers, dogs, and more.