If you assumed that the “Bear” nine at Breckenridge Golf Club was a reference to architect Jack Nicklaus, you’re at least partially correct. If you thought “Beaver” was a reference to a different, more obscure designer, you are far from correct. All three nines at Breckenridge were designed by Nicklaus, and the Bear and Beaver make up the championship route.
The Golden Bear doesn’t deserve all the credit for the name, however, as the title also draws from the black bears that frequent the area during the Summer months. That nine was also the first laid out at the club, opening during 1985 and featuring wide fairways to allow multiple routes to the green.
Perhaps a reflection of the direction of golf course area, Nicklaus laid out the Beaver two years later and the course featured much thinner fairways than Bear. The title also alludes to water hazards dotted throughout, where the title rodents are known to build their log homes (what they do with all the golf balls found at the bottom of the ponds is anyone’s guess).
Very nice course. Variety of holes gives you a few times to go less than driver. Greens were in superb condition as they rolled very well and read true. They were also the most fun as several are oblong or have small lobes that make pin hunting a tricky endeavor. The views are great especially along the Bear where you get great views of the mountains. Expect to hit your ball 15% further so even the 200yd par 3's mean you could be hitting a mid-iron. Practice facility and clubhouse were excellent.
Decided to try this course out while I was in Breckenridge.
First of all, the ball does fly further due to the elevation. The scenery is impressive, as you are surrounded by mountains all around.
Speaking of elevation, the course has a lot of fluctuation in the terrain, meaning you will play many shots from various uphill/downhill lies.
Overall this course is well maintained, fun, challenging but fair. There's no particularly stand out holes, but it is overall a nice golfing experience.