A Robert Trent Jones Jnr design from the 1970s, the course at Arrowhead Golf Club nestles in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, where fabulous red sandstone rock formations frame the emerald fairways and sparkling water features on the layout.
Fabulous day in the foothills. Spectacular backdrops and views galore. Enjoyable course with numerous elevation changes and largish greens that depending on the time of day are going to be fabulous or furry with scraped soles.
You're hard-pressed to find a more scenic course that's not alongside a body of water than Arrowhead. Holes 10-14 make up a great stretch of golf where you get to play through and around the beautiful rocks you see in the famous pictures of Arrowhead. Holes 3-6 offer a similar experience, which is a great way to set up your appetite for what's to come at the start of the back nine. My personal favorites amongst these nine holes that utilize the rocks are the 3rd, a mid to long iron Par 3 hole, where you essentially can't go over the green because of a large red rock being situated a few feet behind the green. Next would be the 4th, a downhill Par 4 requiring you to carry a pond on your 2nd shot to a fast, undulated green. The 13th takes the cake though as my favorite hole at Arrowhead, and my favorite Par 3 I've ever played. 175 or so yards from the tips, straight downhill, with the ambiance of nature surrounding you from every side. It's one of the most unique holes in America and something you have to experience to truly appreciate. Every time I've played here, that hole is what I look forward to most.
Arrowhead's one downfall is that the nine holes not directly utilizing the rocks in some shape or form are pretty forgettable, and don't have anything that's overly interesting to draw your attention to. The closest thing to that is a double green that shares the 1st and 17th holes, which makes those two holes pretty fun. The 9th is also fun because of the overhead view you get of those rocks that await once you make the turn. I've always been critical of the 18th though as it's a pretty weak finish to what's an exciting day before you reach that hole. A short Par 5 with a lake next to it that's not utilized nearly enough, and no other main defense, making it a straightforward hole that doesn't elicit a lot of strategy.
Arrowhead is something to see at least once just to get a taste of how different the golf here is versus any other course you experience. It can admittedly get repetitive and lose its luster once you've played the course several times, but there's no golf course comparable to it, which makes it an extremely worthwhile adventure.