THE TOP 6 AFFORDABLE GOLF COURSES IN DENVER
Preface: This list is in no particular order!
I moved to Denver in March 2020 for my first non-related golf job since before college. I was finally going to become the weekend golfer I never was. For myself, every aspect of golf would change. Never having played golf in Colorado before (yet alone at this elevation) I knew it would be a new experience. I’ll start by sharing with you the first round of golf.
South Broadway CC
Address: 2265 South Broadway, Denver, CO, 80210
Phone: (720) 389-7811
Do not let the name fool you. The slogan is “Non-Members Only.” This indoor golf concept provides a welcoming atmosphere to all people (even those who don’t golf!) It’s great for an all-year around experience where the temperature is always 70 degrees. The original location is south of Downtown off South Broadway Street. It features 2 state-of-the-art Trackman hitting bays that can be enjoyable for all skill levels. The software has almost 100 golf course programmed to play and games like Closest to the Pin. If you want to throw a private party for clients or friends it’s a great place for that. I’ve heard Jason throws some sick parties and even offers a ping pong table for those not playing golf.
The other Chapter is located on the north side Downtown in a cool, hip area called Berkley. Located on Tennyson street conveniently close to food like Sully’s Pizza and food trucks in the parking lot on weekends who make killer hotdogs. Stop by and say Hello to Laura Lee (who is awesome by the way) and grab a refreshing beverage while you’re at it! No bias here or anything but definitely my favorite spot in Denver.
Willis Case Golf Course
Address: 4999 Vrain St, Denver, CO 80212
Phone: (720) 865-0700
Tee was in the ground and my ball was in the air within the first few hours of arriving in Denver as a new resident. Having just drove 16 hours straight from Houston, I arrived in Denver at 8:00 a.m. I Googled Denver public golf courses to see what the availability would be on a beautiful 80 degree Friday in Denver, and I was fortunate to find a course just 10 minutes from the house.
The reviews for Willow Case were 3.5/5 stars on Yelp, but I was not expecting much coming from the country club side of golf. I snagged an 11:30 tee time for myself to be paired up with three strangers. Protocol at this time was to call the pro shop and give credit card information to pay for the round. The weekend rate was $48 at the time to walk 18 holes. This course does not have a driving range to warm-up on, but that was not a downside for me.
The first hole is a breathtaking elevated tee shot with mountain views in the background and even extra fairways on each side of your own. I was lucky enough to yell “FORE” at the group coming up the 18th fairway left and find my ball lying dead center of the wrong fairway.
Standing on 4th tee, a slight downhill 147 yard par 3, I pull PW thinking I was back at sea level. Needless to say, I went after it a little and airmailed the green by 20 yards (I played the rest of the round taking one club less than I thought just trying to hit it short of the green).
The front nine fared a slight challenge with some long holes and a few very undulating greens. The back nine was a little shorter and even a few holes being under 330 yards making them near driveable for the longer hitters at elevation.
The atmosphere was so laid back and everyone on staff was very welcoming and friendly. If you can ever get out on a weekday, this course has the best value with a $20-30 green fee depending on the time of year played. This is definitely my favorite course managed by the City of Denver Golf. I was most impressed by how well maintained the course was especially the greens. They were rolling a comfortable speed favoring more towards a ten on stimp.
Evergreen Golf Course
Address: 29614 Upper Bear Creek Rd Evergreen, CO 80439
Phone: +1 720-865-3430
The only true mountain course managed by the City of Denver Golf. Only 30 minutes west of Downtown, Evergreen Golf Course is a fun track if you’d like to get out of the city.
Upon arrival, if you have paid already, you check in with the starter and away you go. They have a unique clubhouse with a blue collar feel to it. The 1st and 10th tee boxes are just in front of the patio so expect a little audience on a nice sunny day. Evergreen is the shortest course (yardage-wise) in the city of Denver circuit.
The 1st hole being a short dog leg left par 4 and only 300 yards if you go for the green. This is a common theme throughout your round. Lots of narrow tree lines and blind tee shots offer the challenge for only the back tees measuring 6,200 yards.
Hole number 3 is a one-of-a-kind par 3. It only requires a short iron or a wedge but a giant boulder blocks your view of the entire green. Knock it in the hole and you would never know you made it! The green runs away from you as well so most golf balls find the back of the green.
I carried my golf bag and struggled up and down all the hills. This course definitely has the most character of all I’ve played. A lot of golfers prefer this track because of the shorter yardage. Accuracy is key here.
Highly recommended track if you are looking for a blue-collar mountainside golf experience for a reasonable $30-50 round depending on day and season.
Green Valley Ranch
Address: 4900 Himalaya Rd, Denver, CO 80249
Phone: (303) 371-3131
Home of the Colorado State Open, this is my favorite golf course of all I’ve played in the Denver area. Close to the Denver International Airport on the east side of town, this semi-private club offers a great experience for guests.
Every aspect from the clubhouse, restaurant, practice facility, and golf course is first class. Greens fees are slightly higher ranging from $60-75 on weekends but it is definitely worth it.
I was fortunate enough to caddy for a buddy of mine from Houston, Carlos Sainz, in the Colorado State Open. It was shocking to see real talent play a professional tournament there and score so well. Granted the conditions were perfect with a little rain earlier in the week but making 30 birdies and only 2 bogeys for 72 holes would be tough on your home course from the forward tees. The entire field played well with just over 50 participants posting -10 or better!
You likely won’t find a better maintained track open to the public than Green Valley Ranch.
Wellshire Golf Course
Address: 3333 S Colorado Blvd., Denver, CO 80222
Phone: +1 720-865-0440
This Donald Ross design is operated by the City of Denver Golf. Short commute from downtown makes it easily accessible. The first hole out of the gate is a short Par 5 with tree-lined fairway setting the tone for rest of the adventure. The greens are challenging being small and undulating, just like Mr. Donald Ross likes them. The narrow tree-lines fairways make accuracy crucial unless you want to be chipping out sideways all day. The grass was well manicured throughout the entire course. I heard the course was recently renovated but don’t quote me on that. Ben Hogan had some history playing here so they named the junior course “Hogan’s Alley.” The golf course exceeded my expectations and would definitely recommend.
Overland Golf Course Address: 1801 S Huron St, Denver, CO 80223
Phone: +1 720-865-0430
This old style course is operated by the City of Denver Golf as well. Right off Hwy-85 and I-25S this course offers the ideal experience for a beginner or not so skilled golfer. The tee shots are very forgiving due to the lack of trees on the course and flat terrain. The course was in decent shape with exceptional putting surfaces. The rough was fairly penalizing offering the only real defense. The driving range looked like it could hold about 100 golfers at a time. The putting green was large too. All conveniently located by the 1st/10th tee and clubhouse. In summary this golf course is nothing flashy but great place for beginners.
I hope you golf fanatics enjoyed my reviews on the experiences I’ve had with Denver golf so far. City Park Golf Course just opened 9/1/2020 upon completion of a re-design done by Todd Schoeder, so stay tuned for my next review on it if I get lucky enough to snag a tee time before the winter season.
Until then remember, Drive for show, putt for dough.