There are a number of different ways to describe the country club lifestyle — from sophisticated, premiere and indulgent to, depending on who you ask, stuffy and outdated. But no matter what side of the argument you’re on, there’s no denying country club courses are home to some of the best conditions you’ll find. That may be enough to get an average golfer to shell out a little more cash for a round now and again, but it’s the extra embellishments — and sometimes over-the-top resort luxuries — that send membership prices skyrocketing.
The Country Club at Woodmoor (18945 Pebble Beach Way, Monument, ccwoodmoor.com), a semi-private course located in Black Forest, just off I-25 north of Colorado Springs is an appealing, quaint and peaceful retreat — and everything you could want in a country club, amenities wise. The property, which changed ownership in 2015, features an 18 hole championship golf course by Press Maxwell, an impressive mountain-style clubhouse with 3 dining areas and bar service, 2 pools, a 2-level fitness area, and indoor tennis facilities and more tucked into the surrounding hillsides blanketed in ponderosa pine trees and estate homes. And we can’t forget about postcard views of the Front Range and Pikes Peak in the distance.
Woodmoor isn’t a course calling for long drives off the tee, covering 6,715 yards (from the tips) at 7,300′ elevation. The holes slice through the thick forest of Lodgepole pines narrowing your view and target lines, and preventing even the longest hitters from cutting corners. The greens on the front all have the back-to-front slant that many early designers used to show members a little love, and enticing everyday hackers tom come back. The greens on the back nine follow a more modern design with larger undulations and multiple tiers. The Woodmoor grounds crew has plenty of pin placement options to make it challenging throughout the round.
Since the change in ownership, the property continues to see upgrades and renovations, including around the green complexes, and on tees and fairways before the 2018 season. CGB made a visit upon invite from membership director and LPGA professional Debbie Zamprelli in the summer.
This course begs you to attempt those low percentage shots, but shooting for par and planning your shots will garner a better round. Play too aggressive in the trees and you’ll be sending search parties in the woods the rest of the day.
If you’re still feeling confident, test your luck at the short par 5 at no.1, playing only 461-yards from the back tees. It’s a good representation of what to expect from J. Press Maxwell design: tight, meandering fairways, elevated green complexes, and a sea of trees. Standing on a narrow, elevated tee box shaded by trees bordering the length of the doglegged fairway. 230-240 yards into the corner sets up a clear second shot to the green for an eagle look to start. But left and right greenside bunkers stand ready to catch any shots off line.
Our favorite holes on the front included the two par 3s, which provided a reprieve from the left and right turns through the trees. No.3 and no.8 offer hopes to make that elusive ace, but of course they aren’t giving it up very easily. For the majority of average golfers both holes play a middle iron into to the mountains. Both are surrounded on three sides with trees so it’s tough to get a good gauge on the wind speed and direction. The 172-yard par 3 no.3 starts at an elevated position and the green has added protection from a pond and greenside bunkers. The right side has a good bailout area but is covered in deep rough. The 186-yard no.8 is a straight on look at a large bunker sprawled across the right front of the green — the only real threat to a birdie.
The back-nine sets up to be more challenging as the course continues to dip and climb through the rolling, tree-covered hillsides. There are fewer doglegs to contend with with the layout adding almost 200 yards of length, and an increased wow-factor with some tricky blind shots, larger greens, and premiere putting surfaces. The 410-yard par 4 no.12 calls for a solid tee shot from another horseshoe-shaped enclave where the tees stand narrowly looking out to the a rising fairway. A pond on the right side is hidden from the tee but creeps into play with shots favoring that side.
If you’re somewhat of a nomad/traveling golfer that prefers to play a new course each time out, you’re probably skeptical of joining a club. But the Woodmoor property, at the very lest, makes you consider taking a tour, enjoying lunch, and maybe meeting some of the members and staff.
But for those who just want to plat, the Country Club at Woodmoor does have tee times open for non members (weekdays after 11am; weekends after 1pm). From the outside looking in, it seems hard to beat access to a peaceful property for a day around the pool with the family, or the bar with your foursome, playing some tennis, or socializing with new friends, but the golf a’int bad either.
Once the scheduled renovations are complete, Woodmoor will boast an even more well-rounded property, from the course to the club amenities. It’s a shot-maker’s course that makes you think about your targets to manage the thick surrounding forest while offering a natural sense of rest and relaxation in the wooded foothills. Regardless of your view of the country club lifestyle, you can’t discount tracks like The Country Club at Woodmoor.