Black Forest, home to heavily wooded estates, remarkable views of the front range and one of the most demanding links tracks in the area. East of the town of Monument, off Highway 105, King’s Deer Golf Club will either make you feel like a peasant or royalty, there is no in-between. You need to play as smart as you do long and accurate if you want to master this realm.
From the blue tees, the 384-yard par 4 dog leg at no.1 welcomes players with a false line-of-sight to the green — you’re actually looking at the adjacent green at no.8. It’s safe to to play the same line from the tee, setting up center to right fairway for a clear shot at the flag. More scoring opportunities are spread throughout the front 9 — at the no.2 par 3, the no.4 par 4, and the 453-yard par 5 at no.5 — but don’t let a string of pars and birdies inflate your confidence too much.
The long par 3 at no.6 insists on length and accuracy, even for safe plays. The front fairway is all but off limits with a slim landing zone intersecting natural hazard short and a large bunker. A safe play is flying the front bunker a little more right to wider fairway spooning the green on the right side. If you’re going center green, you better stick it — another large bunker sits behind the green, and everything right is back in the natural hazard. Equally challenging are the tight, winding fairways at no.7 and no.8, a 533-yard par 5 and 326-yard par 4 respectively. The 7th green is heavily fortified with creek and a large bunker hampering your approach; you’ll find some reprieve at no. 8 with an unimpeded line from the fairway. The front 9 ends with a scoreable uphill par 3 — add a club and play for a bounce off the surrounding hills for the best chance at birdie.
The back 9 starts off with a bang. The most picturesque hole on the course, the 539-yard par 5 calls for a big swing from the tee — play center to right fairway. The view from your second shot may induce some dread, looking down at what might as well be an island green protected by water on three sides, though, playing front left or long over the green are safe plays. No.11 and no.12 are good chances to put some positive marks on the card, as is no.13 if you can avoid the deep bunkers spotting the fairway. There are safe plays from right an the left, but accuracy is crucial.
Numbers 14 and 15, a 513-yard par 5 and a 210-yard par 3 respectively, are best tackled by long hitters. Shorter players have opportunities, but you’ll need a little help to walk away even through these two. The road best traveled back to the clubhouse includes more target golf, finishing with the beautiful 351-yard uphill par 4 at 18. Your second shot here can be trouble if you wander too far right from the fairway, but the large circular green offers you a strong finish.
King’s Deer takes golf seriously, also hosting a well-stocked pro shop, excellent practice grounds, and a comfortable bar and grill with gorgeous views of the landscape. Greens fees set you back anywhere from $24 to $35 for 18 with a cart ($17-$19 for 9), though the course does offer competitive membership deals. You certainly get more than you pay for at the Deer, with the opportunity to dig deeper into your game with the course’s free mobile app. Use GPS to track distances, preview each hole with video tours, record your scores and follow the course leaderboard, and more with the easy to use interface.
Links courses come a dime a dozen, but King’s Deer delivers more than most, and in a true Colorado setting. If you take the game as seriously as the Deer does, you won’t regret a visit.