In the last twenty years, the golf scene in the Roaring Fork Valley has gained nationwide prominence with the addition of exciting new courses with provocative challenges. However, this was not always the situation. There was a time in the 1970s and 1980s when the only course in Aspen was the Aspen Golf Club, notoriously frequented by a rowdy crowd more focused on imbibing adult beverages than chalking in a serious round. That era has passed, to some degree. Nowadays Carbondale and Glenwood Springs have attracted affluent retirees from around the country for private golf and fly fishing clubs, rustic residential communities, and an active four-season lifestyle of Rocky Mountain fun. Arnold Palmer is known to spend Christmas skiing at Snowmass , so the region can stake claim to some sort of atmospheric magnetism for golfers.
Originally founded as a mining town, Aspen has become a haven for the rich and famous, boasting great winter sports like skiing and dog sledding, a terrific cultural scene and endless summer days of fly-fishing, rafting, horseback riding and golf.
The public golf scene in Aspen isn’t large — about a half dozen golf courses altogether — but it’s tough to beat the environment with clean air, mountain and valley views and average temperatures in the 70s in the summer. The Aspen Golf Club, for example, has been ranked as one of the best municipal golf courses in the country. Audubon certified, the nearly 7,200-yard golf course is just minutes from downtown Aspen and offers full practice facilities as well as lessons and a grill. Other public golf courses in Aspen include the Glenwood Springs Golf Club, River Ranch Golf Club and Snowmass Club, a semi-private Jim Engh design with limited public play.