Come the busy season, finding a relatively uncrowded ski resort in Vail is a long shot. The founders of Eagle Springs Golf Club perhaps realized that they could at least guarantee a relaxed round of golf during warmer periods by creating one of the most private courses in the country.
The resulting course sits along the Eagle River and at the foot of the Red and White Mountain; architects Tom Weiskopf and Jay Morrish will give you the opportunity to place red numbers on your scorecard, if you can execute on a number of risk-reward holes (or get an invitation, for that matter).
One of the most intriguing examples is a Channel-style hole created at the par five No. 4. Although short from the back tees, the climb up the hill makes getting home in two a stiff test for those who take the primary fairway. There is, however, a fairway island to the left for those bold enough to attempt the carry upward.
The Eagle River plays both a scenic and strategic role depending on the hole. At No. 8, a long par three, players may opt to lay up short rather than challenge a green perched diagonally across the river. Five holes play along the river for idyllic scenery, if nothing else. The entrance to the club is marked by a covered bridge across the waterway.
Eagle Springs should probably be higher on this list and the only reason it's not, is because it's nearly impossible to play. Exclusive to its members (and their guests), Eagle Springs is in Augusta-level shape every day. It doesn't have any crazy good holes on it but it also doesn't have any bad holes. The whole experience is top-notch, for those lucky to experience it