The Broadlands in Broomfield: A Nice Course at Municipal Course Rates

By Joe E. Cervi, Contributor

BROOMFIELD -- The Broadlands.

After playing 18 holes on this Rick Phelps-designed track, it's easy to see where the name came from. This is a Texas-sized golf course deep in the heart of Colorado.

Broomfield's newest municipal golf course, which opened June 5, is a par-72 that plays 7,263 yards from the tips. It boasts expansive fairways and huge greens. And at $22 ($28 on weekends), it is a big-time bargain among new golf courses in the Denver metro area.

The course is a run as a joint venture between Evergreen Alliance Golf Limited (of Dallas), Landscapes Unlimited out of Lincoln, Neb., and the city of Broomfield.

Jay Crawford, 31, is the director of golf at the Broadlands. He said the course brought together upscale housing and upscale golf at municipal golf prices.

"The city of Broomfield owns this course and it has become a focal point of the community," Crawford said. "This is a course designed with every golfer in mind. It can play easy, just 5,350 yards from the up tee boxes, too more than 7,200 yards from the back. It can challenge even the best golfers, without making the average golfers go brain-dead out there."

The outward nine plays toward the foothills and the mountains serve as natural aiming points on many shots. There are lakes and streams throughout the course, but wide enough fairways for everyone.

"This is a course you have to play twice," Crawford said. "The first time you play it, you will be surprised by a few things. A pond here, a creek there. You have to know what you are doing a little bit to score well.

"At the same time, if you play the ball in the green stuff, it's not too difficult."

Case in point: No. 3 is 626 yards from the tips and there is plenty of room to the left to play the hole. Should you go right, you end up in either native grass (which is detrimental to your golf shoes) or water, which is detrimental to your golf ball.

The inward nine mixes both long and short par-4s, with two tricky par-3s. Miss the greens on either 12 or 14 and bogey (or worse) comes into play immediately.

"The greens hold the better shots, but because they are so big, even if you're on the green doesn't guarantee anything score-wise," Crawford laughed. Here is a little more on the Broadlands:

Signature Hole: No. 15, a 559-yard par-5 wrapped around a lake. This hole's tee box is hidden by a nice little forest, and players can bite off as much of the lake as they want. There are several bunkers to catch wayward tee shots, and the smallest green on the course is well-guarded by even more bunkers.

This hole is reachable in two but was designed to be a three-shot par-5.

"We've had trouble with the fairway because the water out there is salty," Crawford admitted. "That is something we're addressing because 15 could easily be the prettiest hole on the course."

Course Birdies: A pin placement sheet on every cart tells you in what sector of the green the holes are cut daily. This is important, because Phelps patterned the greens at the Broadlands after the course's name. These greens are more than generous, they are gigantic.

The fairways, too, are expansive. Players are encouraged to take a little chance off the tee box because most fairways can handle draws and fades. Should you stray from the fairways (and you will), you will pay the price of a stroke (or two) because the native areas are treacherous. Bad lies are common -- if you can even find your ball.

Course Bogeys: Hidden water. It felt like it was everywhere. And it does come into play on 11 of the Broadlands' 18 holes. One of the best tee shots hit during a round, you know, a 310-yard soft draw on the short, par-4 17th, ended up in a patch of wetlands that no one knew was there.

There are subtle creeks and giant lakes on the course, and, unless you've played the Broadlands before, you will no doubt lose a few golf balls into the water.

Tips for play: Rent a cart! Spend the extra $11 and ride. There is so much land out there that a walk in the park turns quickly into a walk in the countryside.

Overall experience: Our threesome -- a single-digit handicapper, a 12-handicapper and a 26-handicapper -- played the course bright and early on a Saturday morning and had a pleasurable experience. Phelps designed the course to be enjoyable for golfers of all abilities and we used three sets of tee boxes on this day. Except for the hidden water, the round was terrific.

Some of the fairways were too dry and the grass was thin (especially on the back side) but the greens were in fantastic shape for a course that has been open for just three months.

The pro shop staff was helpful, the grill had a nice selection and most items were reasonably priced.

We found it was worth the drive to Broomfield to play a nice course at municipal course rates.

How to reach them: The Broadlands is near the corner of 144th Ave. and Lowell in Broomfield. The phone number is (303) 466-8285. Green fees are $22 Monday-Thursday, $28 Friday-Sunday and holidays. Crawford said fees might increase slightly, but the Broadlands will still be a better bargain than other municipal courses in the area (Thorncreek, Legacy Ridge, and Coal Creek).

Tee times are taken three days in advance.

Broadlands Golf Course
4380 West 144th
Broomfield, Colorado 80020

Joe E. Cervi, Contributor

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