Aspen Glen - Colorado - USA

Aspen Glen Club,
0545 Bald Eagle Way,
Colorado (CO) 81623,

  • +1 970 704 1905

The discovery of gold and silver in the Roaring Fork Valley in the late 1870s, led to a surge of prospectors pouring into the area to make their fortune. Soon after, the Sievers family established a family ranch on the Aspen Glen property and it was this land that was purchased to fashion the golf course in 1992.

Jack Nicklaus and his son Jack Nicklaus II were commissioned to design the 18-hole layout for the club and they played an exhibition match against each other to mark the official opening in 1997. It then took another three years before the clubhouse was constructed to accommodate golfers before and after their round.

Holes are laid out around a real estate development on the flood plain of the Roaring Rock River, with fairways located on both sides of its flowing waters. For those who want to mix and match their outdoor sporting activities, the club offers members the use of an outdoor swimming pool, tennis courts and trout fishing along a four-mile stretch of the river.

Notable holes include the 289-yard driveable 5th (“Horseshoe”), which requires a full 250-yard carry off the tee over a large pond to find the green. On the back nine, par fives at the 662-yard 12th (“Eternity”) and the 565-yard 18th (“Wow”) might just provide a birdie opportunity if played carefully to avoid yet more water on both holes.

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Description: Aspen Glen Club’s 7,455-yard layout sits in a Rocky Mountain valley at an altitude of over 6,000 feet. Jack Nicklaus and his son Jack Nicklaus II designed the course and they played an exhibition match against each other to mark the official opening in 1997. Rating: 6 out of 10 Reviews: 1
M. James Ward

Aspen Glen has plenty to enjoy when playing but the layout stalls out for a number of the holes on the inward half before resurrecting itself with the quality risk / reward par-5 18th.

The outward nine works in a counterclockwise loop -- there is housing within the internal portion of the area but it really does not impact matters.

You have to get off to a good start. The first three holes are quite rigorous and the long par-4 3rd is superbly protected in the drive zone with a series of diagonal bunkers.

Credit father/son Nicklaus for handling the tight end of the property on the front with a quality par-3 at the 4th and creating a devilish short par-4 at the 5th. Usually the words stellar short par-4 and Nicklaus design do not mesh but in this specific instance they do. The horseshoe green area is protected by water and players will undoubtedly feel the urge / temptation to go for the green. It's doable but if wind conditions intensify the drive is hardly an automatic result. Don't get wrong -- the short par-4 is not in the same breath as the 10th at Bel-Air or even the 17th at TPC / Scottsdale - but for team Nicklaus it's a fun hole that clearly provides a change of pace and it's routed into the mixture at the right time.

The par-4 7th needs to be highlighted because it mandates two well-executed shot. This long two-shot hole requires finding the fairway which tapers down considerably the longer one hits it off the tee. The green is separated from the fairway and is located within a wetland area that is adjacent to the Roaring Fork River. The approach can be a nerve-wracking situation. There's ample room but you must stand and deliver as called upon. A truly inspiring hole.

The front concludes with a satisfactory par-3 -- except when the pin is in the deep far left corner then it becomes a rigorous test. The 9th provides a quality conclusion as it parallels the Roaring Fork River and the green includes an internal center-placed bunker within the green itself. Some may frown on the placement but I think it works just fine here.

The back nine starts with a straightforward short par-5 that really should be played as a par-4 so that the total par score is 72 -- not 73.

The 11th thru the 17th are routed a bit too snugly with the adjoining housing and the details of the holes are mainly on the pedestrian side of things.

Fortunately, the concluding hole provides a bit of high drama as one must decide if going for the green in two shots on the par-5 with a fronting creek is worth the risk.,

Aspen Glen does not have the kind of inspiring terrain found at the nearby other top tier clubs. But credit Team Nicklaus for a valiant effort in providing enough engaging holes that are fun to play but challenging when tees and pin locations are stiffened. As I stated at the outset -- the front nine really gets matters started, but sadly the inward half fails to keep that momentum going.

All in all, Aspen Glen Club has its moments but not enough of them throughout the round to merit an even higher evaluation.,

I liked the layout -- I just wish there was a reason to like it even more.

March 25, 2022
6 / 10
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