Jack Nicklaus designed the course at Castle Pines Golf Club in 1981 and he carved it out of a scrub oak and pine forest in the heart of Colorado, not far from Denver.
Castle Pines is famous for the International tournament which is played under an unusual and unique scoring system which, in a similar way to Dr Frank Stableford’s system, awards points for birdies, eagles or better and subtracts for bogeys or worse. This is Colorado’s only PGA Tour event and naturally it provides for some genuine excitement contested on a thrilling course.
The ball travels about 10% further at altitude and Castle Pines is set some 6,500 feet above sea level so expect some flattering distances. Jack Nicklaus disturbed very little earth here to create his course here at Castle Pines and the holes wind their way through avenues of trees. A couple of holes are more open and it’s from these holes that you appreciate the scale and delight of being perched at Rocky Mountain high.
Number 1 is a breathtaking downhill par 5 of 644 yards, then the longest hole on the PGA Tour. You could stand on that tee box all day just to drink in the fantastic vista. I hit a long sweeping drive that had a hang time over these mountains that would have made even an NFL punter proud. My 3-wood was equally well struck, and there I was 130 yards from the green and still more downhill to go. I hit a 9-iron to 20 feet and drained that 20-footer for birdie. “Yes! I birdied the longest hole on the PGA Tour. Take that Jack Nicklaus.” My partner joked, “Where were those shots on the other nine?” Larry Berle.