Cherry Hills - Colorado - USA

Cherry Hills Country Club,
4125 S. University Boulevard,
Cherry Hills Village,
Colorado (CO) 80113,

  • +1 303 761 9900

  • Kevin Hood

  • William Flynn, Tom Doak

  • John Ogden

Cherry Hills is located close to the “Mile High” city of Denver and Cherry Hills Village is one of the most sought after locations in Colorado. So it’s fitting that Cherry Hills Country Club is one of the best courses in the Colorado State.

A few of the older generation of readers may remember Arnold Palmer driving the 355-yard par four 1st on his way to victory in the 1960 US Open here at Cherry Hills. This was to be Palmer’s only US Open title. The club has hosted the US Open on three occasions, most recently in 1978. Wisconsin-born Andy North won the 1978 US Open title at Cherry Hills and subsequently went on to win his second US Open in 1985 at Oakland Hills.

William Flynn designed Cherry Hills in 1922 and if you do get the chance to play this famous course your driving distances will flatter to deceive. Denver is not called the Mile High city for nothing and Cherry Hills is certainly golf with altitude.

There are too many fine holes at Cherry Hills to mention them all, but we will touch on the par five 18th, which is named after President Eisenhower, a long standing Cherry Hills member. A lake on the left focuses the mind on this tempting closing hole and it’s certainly one of the finest finishing holes in golf.

Tom Doak’s Renaissance Golf Design Inc. undertook an eight-month, $7.6 million renovation programme at Cherry Hills and the course reopened in May 2009 with new tee boxes, bunkers and irrigation system. With some rebuilt greens and trees that were removed and physically relocated, the upgraded 7,442-yard Cherry Hills is now ready for the 21st century and the course certainly provided a fitting test for the world’s best amateurs when the club hosted the 2012 US Amateur Championship, which American Steven Fox won. In 2014, Cherry Hills hosted the BMW Championship (formerly known as the Western Open), which Billy Horschel won by two shots from Bubba Watson.

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Description: William Flynn designed Cherry Hills in 1922 and if you do get the chance to play this famous course your driving distances will flatter to deceive. Denver is not called the Mile High city for nothing and Cherry Hills is certainly golf with altitude. Rating: 4 out of 6 Reviews: 3

The golf course starts on flat ground and the first four holes are relatively straight forward. The elevation on the course begins at the fifth hole and basically gets progressively hillier as you play on.

The par five fifth hole plays as the #1 stroke index hole at Cherry Hills. The green is elevated, hard to hold and fronted by a swale. The 518-yard hole has interesting terrain and the fairway slopes right to left and the hole dog-legs to the right at the end.

The course really begins to pick up steam on the ninth hole. The 434-yard par four ninth hole plays up a big hill back toward the clubhouse. From the landing area of your drive to the green, the hole slopes severely from left to right, following the natural contours of the land beautifully. The difficult green is perched on a slope on this dog-leg right hole.

The 428-yard par four 10th hole is a mirror image of the ninth except it runs away from the clubhouse and slopes from right to left. They are an excellent pair of holes that use the hilly terrain very well.

The par four sixteenth is a good risk-reward hole as well and typifies the back nine, which is much stronger than the front nine. The hole is 402 yards and is a slight dogleg right. Your approach shot plays over the burn/stream to a green set at an angle to the fairway.

John Sabino is the author of How to Play the World’s Most Exclusive Golf Clubs

3 / 6
Cherry Hills
December 06, 2016

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Cherry Hills has a tame front nine followed by a challenging back nine. As the four of us stood on the 10th tee, I had to stop for a moment and take in the glorious view of the pristine fairway before us with the Rockies towering in the background under that incomparable Colorado blue sky… Ben Hogan picked Number 14 as one of the finest par 4s in America, and Golfing Magazine called Cherry Hills’ final four holes “four horrible hussies who revel in luring noble men to destruction.” How challenging is 16? So challenging that in 1938 Ray Ainsley had the highest single-hole score on it in the history of the Open (it was the first U.S. Open held west of the Mississippi). He hit his 5-iron approach into the creek and spent an eternity getting it out. He finally 3-putted for a 19. I could have beaten him that day. Larry Berle.
4 / 6
Cherry Hills
September 26, 2014

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Keith Baxter
September 26, 2014
The above review is an edited extract from A Golfer’s Dream, which has been reproduced with the author’s kind permission. A Golfer’s Dream, by Larry Berle, tells the story of how a regular guy conquered America’s Top 100 Golf Courses (following Golf Digest’s 2001/2002 list). Larry has exclusively rated for us every course in the hundred, using our golf ball rating system. However, Larry did not rate the 100 courses against every golf course he has played, but instead he rated them in relation to each other within the hundred. Consequently, in some cases, his rating may seem rather low. A Golfer’s Dream is available in Kindle format and also on Kindle Unlimited via Amazon... click the link for more. 
You can make Cherry Hills as difficult as you want, because it’s very playable. The opening 3 holes, despite the elevation advantage, play short, even if you were at sea-level. You’ll find yourself hitting a long-iron from the tee a short iron for your approach. After this, you need to be more conscious of what Flynn is asking you to do as Cherry Hills constantly offers a risk-reward strategy more than any other course I can think of. There are always multiple options to consider off the tee, it’s never straightforward because the short holes are tree-lined and some of the longer holes pinch in the right places. For example, the par 5 5th hole commands the number one handicap rating on the course. This par 5 can be reached in two by the long hitter with a long fade off the tee down the right side. The safest play here, however, is to lay up over the creek leaving an 80-100 yard third shot over a huge, intimidating bunker to the elevated green. Do you see what I mean about strategy options? The fifth is considered one of the tougher greens to putt because of its severe slope from back to front and it’s normally a slick surface. This course also has a creek meandering around the property which silently influences your choices, and it’s presence on the back nine is constant. Almost every hole has the creek running along one side of the fairway, or it’s happily running in front of the green waiting to welcome your ball. 13 through 16 go in different directions, but the creek is right there with you. The 17th for example is one of the most exciting and renowned par 5s in golf. This 544-yard hole requires a long, straight drive setting up a lay-up shot to this island green. Although this hole is reachable in two by the long hitter, it’s a risky venture. With the exception of some long par 3s (8th, 12th & 15th), the course is not too long from the members tees (elevation assisted), but you must compliment the architect on where he placed the hazards. The most memorable thing about Cherry Hills is that it will never ever be regarded as a penal golf course due to its graceful appearance and somewhat unimaginative looking bunkers, but you’ll find yourself relying heavily on your caddy to avoid making a triple as you roll up & down the hills and spend most of the day wondering what to hit. Best of luck to the US Amateurs this year.
5 / 6
Cherry Hills
January 08, 2012

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