Situated between Aspen Village and the local airfield, the mountain golf course at the Maroon Creek Club is an incredibly scenic Tom Fazio layout that features a set of wonderful par three holes.
Measuring 7,129 yards and playing to a par of 71, the course underwent a bunker renovation in 2006 when architect Denis Wise, a former Fazio associate, re-shaped the sand traps and installed new drainage.Although Maroon Creek is a private club, because part of the course is leased from the local municipal authorities, certain local residents are entitled to play at a reduced guest fee several times a year.
The main downside for Maroon Creek comes with its initial opening holes and the final two which end the round. The course is split by a roadway and the first two holes and the concluding duo are located on the same side with the clubhouse and are simply formulaic mimicking a style Fazio has done numerous times elsewhere. They are simply filler because the course picks up considerably as the round progresses.
The momentum begins to take hold at the par-4 4th. From that point onwards through the 16th hole Maroon Creek provides a constant thrill ride as the terrain clearly assists with the various design elements Fazio smartly employs.
Climbing upwards is always a challenge to any architect but Maroon Creek does this very well and, again kudos to Fazio in doing so. Plenty of movement and constant adjustments are called upon. Fazio's successful method has been to engage the eye and then up the meter emotionally with the striking appearances he's able to provide. Here at Maroon Creek the style fits naturally to the land - as the holes work within the terrain -- not stand apart from it. As mentioned, as the round progresses the anticipation increases and Fazio wisely provides for a routing that constantly changes gears and requirements.
The back-to-back par-4's at the 15th and 16th are quite compelling. Each moves in a different direction from the tee and for those who want to be super aggressive off the tee there's a way to attain such glory -- there's also a sure fire pushback when the execution fails. It's just too bad the round could not have concluded with the 16th.
The beginning and ending to any round plays a key role. Maroon Creek is a fine layout and, as I mentioned, picks up considerable momentum once you get into the better terrain, but the design is sadly shackled with such a mediocre opening and a ho-hum conclusion.
M. James Ward