This place is as good as everyone says it is. Although the entire Front Range is in the throes of dense smog and haze caused by the California wildfires, we teed off to a beautiful twilight. We, it should be noted, met that morning as I arrived as a single on what appeared to be a busy morning at CommonGround. I was accompanied by fifteen year old Jasline, a caddie in the Stolich Caddie and Leadership Academy, who proved to be lovely company as she toured me around. I am a high school administrator and I was struck by how mature and upright this young woman was; a testament to the programming and efforts of the Colorado Golf Association. She gets stellar grades and wants to be a doctor, and I guarantee she will achieve many of her goals in life. On the drive out, I noticed multiple kids summer camps occurring behind the clubhouse. Golf pros, industry professionals, and facility managers across the country would do well to pay a visit to CommonGround. This place really does live up to its name.
I played in 4 hours and 5 minutes, just under the benchmark. I found the pace of play in the morning to be more than bearable as we teed off on the back for morning maintenance on the front. The conditions were fantastic. Firm fairways allowed the ball to skip and run over Mr. Doaks subtle fairway contours. The bunkers were plenty saturated with water and felt like concrete under foot but they were actually quite fun. The lies were good enough to hit full irons out of the ones that weren't chasm-like. The bunkering is indeed strategic and you are often rewarded for playing it close to or over them. Despite large bunkers, firm fairways and the occasional water hazard, CommonGround is eminently playable. Another member of our group was in his late 70s and he plotted his way around the hazards posting pars and bogeys on every hole. The ground game is alive and well in Aurora.
The par 5’s and par 3’s really made the course for me with subtle but undulating greens. My notable holes are as follows:
2- (Par 3) I love short par 3’s and this one fits the bill perfectly. The green sits on a large plateau with only a sliver of green visible from the tee. Upon further inspection it is a large green with many good pin locations.
3- (Par 5) This is a fun par 5 with a large craggy bunker that juts into the fairway and entices the player to flirt with it. The awesome punch bowl green was pinned for an albatross.
6- (Par 3)This short par 3 cuts over the corner of the same pond that comes into play on 11. The green has some of the qualities of a redan, but the front right pin fell away oír the back and played difficult.
11- (Par 5) As is a pattern at CG, Doak asks the player to choose how close to the fairway bunker they can swallow. A heroic second shot to a back pin can be fired over water for those with the stomach, and higher handicappers can run the next two on if they please.
12- (Par 3) This hole played lengthy in the breeze, however it is difficult to see how much room you have on this sloping green. The distortion from the wispy tall grass made this a fun look from the gold tees.
15- (Par 4) This hole is a bear. Two excellent shots may not make the green and the greenside bunkering left is treacherous. The three members in my group commended my bogey.
Overall, I would recommend this course without hesitation. Quality golf at a great price in a great place. Sounds good to me.
Date: August 10, 2021