“Winter in Colorado” sounds like one of the least golf-friendly things you can think of. It snows quite a bit around here, it’s cold from October to May … and did I mention the snow and the cold? Given that, “winter golf in Colorado” sounds like nothing but a farce.
Ski Country USA may be our home state, but we here at CGB can’t accept putting the clubs away for too long, regardless of how much we love our 29,000+ skiable acres. Colorado golfers aren’t the only ones who deal with several unplayable months per year, but for the sake of perspective, we’re basing this off what we know all too well. As dedicated we are to the grind, we feel it’s our place to prove that winter golf in Colorado is, in fact, a very real thing, and it can be pretty awesome.
Golf should be as much about the experience as it is about the sport, why else would we all be dreaming of the day we’re strutting the fairways of Augusta or St. Andrews? Colorado golf, at any time of year, can be quite an experience; Colorado winter golf is something else entirely — a right of passage almost — and something you won’t soon forget.
Grab your sticks, your spikes, and dress in layers — and maybe pack some snowshoes (kidding).
It’s not as bad as it sounds
We’ve already discussed the cold and the snow, but I didn’t tell you about the bright side — that is, the literal one. Colorado is home to 300+ days of sunshine per year, with plenty of the good stuff shining through the winter. And the state’s high-altitude geography means we’re a lot closer to the sun. All of this is to say that the snow doesn’t stick around very long after it falls. And even though the temperature gauge may be hovering in the 30s or 40s, you’ll still find yourself getting clammy in the solar heat — comfortable if you’re wearing the proper gear. If it’s the cold that’s keeping you away, your excuses can stop here.
High, dry, and long
Let’s talk about ball flight — already boosted by the higher altitude — and just how much more frozen turf can boost your confidence. The air is dry during the winter, sucking moisture out of everything. Add that with ground temperatures hovering close to freezing and it’s like you’re playing on astroturf set on top of a hard wood floor; big bounces and even bigger rolls. There’s no shooting darts during a winter round — unless your local groundskeeper is some kind of magician, or you’re good enough to not be listening to me — which can be good and bad. Ball control may suffer a bit, and the recently-thawed-from-last-night greens are always fast, but you probably won’t see yourself reaching distances like this anywhere else. Grip it and rip it.
Everyone is doing it
Kidding, it’s a select few. From Late October to early May, CO weekend warriors are packing into bumper to bumper traffic along the 1-70 corridor heading to and from ski country, and your grandparents golf group doesn’t have the joints to handle the cold weather anymore. That means there will be very little in between you and the next tee box when you’re on the course during the winter months — no 6-hour rounds this time of year. Play fast, and play two.
Show up or shut up
The courses are open — at least a lot of them are — and there are such things as cold weather gear, spikes, and hot beverages. So, obviously, winter golf in Colorado isn’t completely out of the question. There will be times when it is (call the pro shop to get the most reliable course information) winter happens often around here, and courses are quick to close when they need to. But when you’re gifted a playable window of time in the middle of February, it’s on you to take advantage of it. That is, of course, if you really are dedicated to the game.
See you at the turn.
Editor’s note: We know the embedded Instagram videos weren’t shot in Colorado. They’re just too good.