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Golfing Magazine Staff
By Golfing Magazine Staff
Published on 12/17/2009

Raven Three Peaks Tops Next Year’s Golf Destination Hot List by Shane Sharp

Traveling golfers in search of world-class mountain golf next season might be surprised to learn that a Rocky Mountain high is only a direct flight away from most major U.S. airports. The Raven Golf Club at Three Peaks, 60 miles west of Denver in Silverthorne, is one of Colorado’s highest – and highest- rated -- golf courses.


Designed by Michael Hurdzan, Dana Fry and Tom Lehman, Raven Three Peaks is a true destination golf facility easily worth the trek from points east and west. Once there, golfers can soak up its 9,000-foot-plus perch in the Front Range of the Rockies.


The golf course serves up scenery, strategy and 18 positively unforgettable holes, all in climate that is up to 20 degrees cooler than Denver and its environs during the summer months. That’s right, sweater golf in the summer is a true possibility at Raven Three Peaks.


The course is ideally situated off the first exit out of the Eisenhower Tunnel and at the cross roads leading to the famous resort towns of Vail, Breckenridge and Keystone (all three are less than 30 minute drives from Silverthorne).


After the easy one-hour drive from Denver, golfers will find a panorama of towering pines, snow-capped mountains, mountain streams and wildflower meadows. Hurdzan/Fry and Lehman utilized the routing of the former Dick’s Phelps-designed Eagle’s Nest Golf Course.


But the playing surface they morphed from Phelps’ original routing is unlike any other mountain course we’ve sampled. Landing areas are clearly defined on every hole, and rarely does one encounter a side hill or topsy-turvy lie. Raven Three Peaks has just the right amount of elevated tee shots, uphill approaches and level land to produce a truly fair, and challenging mountain golf experience.


The front nine climbs toward the upper reaches of the golf course, culminating at the 533-yard, par-5 sixth hole (“Warriors Mark”), the highest point on the golf course.  In plain view from the tee box are the signature “Three Peaks” for which the course is named.  The back nine flows across the distinctive mountainous terrain, leveling off relative to roller-coast ride out yet still choc-full of dramatic shot-making.


Raven Golf Club and Three Peaks closes with one of the strongest finishing stretches Colorado, with the final four holes providing a PGA Tour-level ending to an unforgettable round of golf. The 601-yard, par-5 16th features a 150-foot drop from the tee to the landing area below. It is an unforgettable prelude to the two final par 4s, stout two-shotters measuring 468 and 448 yards, respectively.


Unique to the region, Raven Golf Club at Three Peaks’ bunkers are patterned after the distinctive style first introduced by Alister Mackenzie at Cypress Point, Royal Melbourne, and Kingston Heath. Steep faces and deep furrowed edges give way to native grasses perched at the edge of the sand. In addition to being visually dramatic, the “Mackenzie bunkers” frame the golf course and help contain tee shots that can have up to a 10-percent increase in carry due to the course elevation.


For those golfers who like to make their plans well in advance, stay-and-play packages range from $180 to $250 per person, per day, and include accommodations at Main Street Station, Grand Timber Lodge, Beaver Run Resort and Conference Center, and Resort Quest, Breckenridge.


Getting There:


Direct flights to Denver International are available on a wide variety of major carriers (including low fare providers Frontier and Southwest) from major airports across the U.S. Connections are available on a number of airlines to Eagle County Airport, just minutes from the golf course.


For more information:  970.262.3636