No. 2 on The Ridge at Castle Pines North is vintage Weiskopf

By Shane Sharp, Contributor

CASTLE ROCK, Colo. -- With the number of golf courses that open around the country each year, earning a spot in GOLF Magazine's Top 100 You Can Play is no small feat. Of course, Tom Weiskopf is not used to small feats when it comes to golf course design.

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The Ridge at Castle Pines North is vintage Weiskopf -- the type of course that is like really good hot sauce -- it is simultaneously painful and pleasurable and you always come back for more.

The pain is that The Ridge is no walk in the park. With a slope rating of 143, you have to play constant attention to your game and the strategy of each hole.

The pleasure is in the all around playing experience that marries a divine layout and immaculately manicured grounds with supreme customer service and golf atmosphere. The second hole at The Ridge captures more of the pleasure side of the golfing experience at Castle Pines by serving up a palatable, and reachable, par 5.

No. 2 on The Ridge at Castle Pines North

The second hole (Summer Snow) at The Ridge at Castle Pines North, is a 541 yard par 5. The course features Penncross creeping bentgrass on the fairways and Providence creeping bentgrass greens, and bluegrass rough.

An elevated tee box provides the stunning beginning to what is one of the truly great holes on a truly great course. A healthy par 5, the elevated tee box will help players of all skill levels get some extra distance off the tee. Water to the right of the hole provides more scenery than it does a threat. Well placed bunkers guard the green to ensure that going for it in two is as challenging as possible.

A generous landing area off the tee will support huge drives from good players who are thinking of capturing one of the rare birdie opportunities on the course.

Because the green is well guarded with bunkers, try to take as much distance off the hole as possible on the tee shot to allow for an approach with a mid-iron.

The average golfer should think course management and try to rally for a birdie put rather than an eagle attempt. In other words, play the hole in regulation by laying up your second shot in order to set up a wedge shot into the green.

An overly heroic shot on the second shot if you are a high handicap golfer. Landing the ball on the green with a fairway wood will be a very difficult play.

Because its the second hole, there is a good chance that you'll be playing the hole in the morning or in early afternoon. However, if you are able to get out for a late afternoon nine, the hole sets up nice in the evening with the view from the elevated tee box.

Shane SharpShane Sharp, Contributor

Shane Sharp is vice president of Buffalo Communications, a golf and lifestyle media agency. He was a writer, senior writer and managing editor of from 1997 to 2003.

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