Picturesque Colorado is one of the most scenic states in the country. Memorable, too, are the great golf courses that have spectacular scenery as a backdrop. Grand Junction, roughly 250 miles west of Denver, takes full advantage of Mother Nature’s handiwork. Five quality golf courses and half a dozen RV parks in greater Grand Junction are surrounded by natural wonders, including the 800-foot cliffs of the Colorado National Monument.
With Grand Junction’s elevation at around 4,600 feet above sea level, be prepared for some heavy breathing when golfing in the Centennial State. Here are a few of the courses ready for play in the Grand Junction area.
Redlands Mesa: Designed by award-winning golf course architect Jim Engh, the majestic Redlands Mesa has collected awards from most major golf publications. Opening for play in 2001, Redlands Mesa has been likened to golfing at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. Engh took full advantage of the desert landscape by creating a course that incorporates many elevation changes. Nine of the holes play downhill from elevated tees. Wherever possible, native terrain and plants were left untouched. Many areas of the course incorporate large rock outcroppings and feature marvelous views of the Grand Mesa, the Book Cliffs, as well as the Colorado National Monument. The par 72, 7,007-yard course features 11 elevated tee boxes and 41 bunkers.
Adobe Creek National Golf Course: Conveniently located north of Grand Junction just off Interstate 70 is the links-style Adobe Creek National Golf Course. Adobe Creek features 27 holes of golf, including the Monument nine, a par 36 that measures 3,397 yards; the Desert nine, also a par 36 that measures 3,397 yards, and the Mesa nine, a par 37 at 3,783 yards.
Chipeta Public Golf Course: This par 59, 18-hole executive course measures 2,108 yards and offers picturesque views of Grand Mesa, Book Cliffs and Uncompahgre Plateau. The stately clubhouse, full driving range, practice area and twin tennis courts are among other amenities. The course defines the executive golf experience and features a well-maintained track that’s perfect for a quick nine holes or a casual round with golfers of all skill levels. You can plan on using every club in your bag while at Chipeta; the par fours measure from 250 to 386 yards and the par threes vary from 114 to 235 yards.
Lincoln Park Golf Course: Dating back to the 1920s, Lincoln Park Golf Course is another nine-hole course that will challenge the best you have to offer. Located in the heart of Grand Junction, Lincoln Park Golf Course has six sets of tees with the tips stretching to 6,680 yards, for 18 holes. This walkable nine-hole course features smooth rolling and subtle breaking greens. A full-service pro shop, snack bar, rental clubs, pull carts and golf carts are available. Lessons from PGA professionals are available by appointment, and a 10-acre practice facility is a great stop before a round.
Tiara Rado Golf Course: Bordered to the west by the spectacular Colorado National Monument, with splendid views of Grand Mesa, the world’s largest flattop mountain, and the ever-changing Book Cliffs, the newly renovated Tiara Rado Golf Course is golf and nature entwined at its best. As a member of the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary program, the area is home to more than 90 species of birds during the year. Tiara Rado is challenging for any level of skill, with four tee areas to choose from and plenty of water hazards to avoid, including the short but ornery moat hole. It has an 18-acre practice area, golf carts, pull carts, lessons, rental clubs, and a full-service pro shop. The championship, par: 71 course measures 6,235 yards from the tips. This scenic 18-hole public course is located at the base of the Colorado National Monument. Red cliffs tower overhead as scenic vistas of the Grand Valley make it hard to keep your eyes on the golf ball. There is risk and reward in the architecture, making sure you use all the clubs in your bag.
RVers will especially enjoy the beauty of this area while driving along one of Colorado’s scenic byways. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the byways effort in Colorado, which promotes exceptional travel opportunities. Throughout the state you’ll find 25 scenic and historic byways, three of which are in the Grand Junction area, including Grand Mesa, Unaweep/Tabeguache and Dinosaur Diamond.
A half-dozen RV campgrounds are available in and around Grand Junction. Highline Lake State Park offers 31 grassy campsites year-round. Campers can enjoy coin-operated hot showers and laundry facilities at the camper services building. Water hydrants are dispersed around the campground and a dump station is available. Even though there are no electrical hookups, the campground routinely reaches capacity during the summer; reserve early!
The Grand Junction area is also known as the heart of Colorado’s wine country with 26 vineyards throughout the region. Colorado Cellars Winery, founded in 1978, is the state’s oldest operating winery. For more information on the area’s wineries, golf courses, RVing opportunities, and more, visit the Grand Junction Visitor and Convention Bureau website at visitgrandjunction.com.
Rick Stedman is an avid golfer, RVer, and writer. Rick writes a weekly golf blog, “The 19th Hole,” which is published every Saturday at rvlife.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.