The Golf Club at Redlands Mesa occupies a stunning Grand Valley location, where architect Jim Engh laid out the course around an attractive housing development in 2001. The property extends to over 500 acres, with more than one third of that area devoted to the 18-hole layout.
The verdant hues of the fairways contrast sharply against a “moonscape” of desert scrub and rocky outcrops that frame each and every hole and spectacular elevated tee positions offer golfers unparalleled vistas of the Grand Mesa and Colorado National Monument.
The 373-yard 4th (“The Cliff Hole”) is a dazzling par four that falls away severely on the right side of the hole. Slice the ball off the fairway here and forget about ever seeing it again.
The 164-yard par three 8th is another remarkable hole on the front nine, played from a rocky crag over a sizeable lake to a shallow green that’s bounded by huge boulders to the rear.On the inward half, the short par four 14th is another memorable hole, its fairway narrowing towards a green than dips sharply down to the right, behind a large rock formation.
Architect Jim Engh is a most resourceful designer and equally fine player too. He spent his early development years in Europe and then when coming back to the States took on some of the most demanding of sites to create golf courses. Redlands Mesa is very attractive layout -- the rolling land the course occupies provides for a wide range of situations. But there are times when Engh overplays his desire to shape the flow and tenor of the course. Sometimes, a less is more approach can yield even more striking outcomes. Among my favorites are the mid-length par-4's at the 11th and 16th holes respectively. My issue with Redlands Mesa is that the totality of the layout is just not there -- and the course benefits immensely from its setting near to the Colorado National Monument.
One of the more noted dimensions at Redlands Mesa is the deep and jagged edge bunkers which Engh specializes in creating. They are to be treated with respect because there's a far greater likelihood that anything but a flat stance and simple lie will happen.
Redlands Mesa reaped a good deal of awareness for Engh but the sum of his philosophy would come just a short time later with his more comprehensive efforts at two other public courses in the Centennial State -- Four Mile Ranch in Canon City and Lakota Canyon in New Castle and his fine effort with the private club Pradera.
by M. James Ward