Legacy Ridge Golf Course in Westminster, Colo. draws golfers from across the Denver metropolitan area
WESTMINSTER, Colo. -- Another riveting Arthur Hills design awaits the golfer in Westminster. Legacy Ridge Golf Course is one of over 150 Hills's designs across the country and up to par with what the public has come to expect from this architect.
Located at 104th Avenue between Federal and Sheridan Avenues, Legacy Ridge opened back in September of 1994 and continues to draw golfers from across the metropolitan area to play this par 72, 7,212-yard challenge.
Hills's courses have been recognized for excellence by Golf Digest for "Best New Course," "Best New Private Course," and "Best New Public Course." Another of Hills's original design can be found on the east side of Denver, off of the E-470 beltway, Heritage at Eagle Bend. His courses are increasingly popular because of the special attention he takes when blending the golf course into the landscape. The concept and design of Collier's Reserve in Naples, Florida is an outstanding example of a Hills's course and is the world's first Audubon International Cooperative Sanctuary Signature Course, a course created with sensitivity to the surrounding environment.
Mr. Hills' philosophy is best stated in his own words, "We try to build a course that is natural, that relates very carefully to the land, and doesn't require a tremendous amount of earth moving, always keeping in mind the strategy of the game and the elements that provide beauty in a golf course -- textures and colors, shadowing and framing."
At the foothills of the Rockies, Legacy Ridge's golf magic begins.
Typical of Hills's courses, the wetlands and native grass areas are off limits and are found at nearly every hole. Multiple tees are available for all levels of golfers. You'll encounter all but one of the water holes on the first nine holes.
The Legacy Guidebook offers some sound advice for the entire course that the wise golfer should take to heart: "Mounds quickly lose their aesthetic appeal when you try to exit from them. Sand bunkers force you to consider carefully your club selection and distance. The visual strategic placement of foliage mentally intimidates you. Downhill requires calculating roll as well as carry ... Take the water out of play, risk the rough, drop a club, or go for it. Don't forget the wind. Short is not necessarily better than long on some holes."
Sure, this is advice you've heard before, but for a round of golf at Legacy Ridge, this advice should be well heeded.
The first hole, open and downhill to a green nestled among the mounds, faces the west with a dogleg left and looks deceivingly simple. This 434-yard par 4 requires a tee shot at the cart path just beyond the center of the fairway and then your second shot will be set up perfectly.
Hole 3's long uphill par 5, 523 yards, is a narrow three-shot hole that will require a lay up on the second shot for a better approach.
The long green at Hole 4 can be intimidating, but you won't have time to think about it. This 203 yard, par 3 has the lake taunting you from the right of the fairway and the bunkers strategically placed both right and left of the green to mess with any coherent remaining thoughts. Straight shooters will be rewarded here, and the rest of us will wonder why we play the game.
Up next at Hole 5, a lay up shot of 240 yards or less is required off the tee box. This 364-yard par 4 serves up another water danger along the entire left of this hole, right up to the green.
A birdie opportunity is just around the bend at Hole 7. This short hole (Par 4, 380 yards) requires a shot right of the cottonwoods that line the left of the hole.
Hole 8 has the most amazing and longest green I've seen. A 177-yard par 3, this three-tiered green makes club selection and pin placement of utmost importance.
The finishing hole serves up another water obstacle and a spectacular view of the clubhouse. Aim for the clubhouse chimney off the tee and favor the right side of the fairway. Your second shot doglegs left, with the lake on the right side of the fairway and protecting the green.
Legacy Ridge Golf Course's back nine
Native grass. Native grass. Native grass. You'll find plenty on the back nine and many areas off limits. Native grass surrounds the entire #10 hole. This 360 yard, par 4 has a dogleg right with fairway bunkers midway on both sides and guarding the shallow green.
Balls hit in the wetland of Hole 11 cannot be retrieved, and this par 5 begins with trouble and ends with trouble. Your tee shot is over a field of native grass through a narrow opening between trees to drop onto a narrow fairway. Around 200 yards from the back tees will send you into safe territory; anything short of that is a lost ball and heartache waiting to happen.
The par 3 at Hole 12 is one of those looks-can-be-deceiving holes. 190 yards seems simple enough, until your perfect drive goes too long and you find yourself in trouble in the native grass and trees behind the green. Ease up and be safe here.
Legacy's signature hole is 13, and after you climb to the tee box, you'll easily agree. From this vantage point, you have a panoramic view of the city, and on the distant horizon, the Rockies. Your tee shot is over yet another field of native grass downhill onto a sloping fairway. More trouble can be had both left and right of the fairway, but a shot favoring the left side will offer up your best approach and par opportunity.
The green at Hole 14 is 39 long and 22 wide, so this 479-yard par 4 plays longer than it looks. Take plenty of club here.
Long seems to be the theme here at Legacy as Hole 16 is a 244-yard par 3 that requires attention to the pin placement.
Keeping with the theme, Hole 18's 612-yard par 5 will have you parched and looking forward to the 19th hole and that well-deserved beverage. Keep play in at all costs at this tight hole with loads of trees not just to the right and left of the fairway, but also in the middle. Bunkers protect the left and a big cottonwood sits just short and right of the green making this a great finishing hole with loads of challenge for all players.
Legacy Grill is the perfect place to complete your day. Their menu is well worth the price, and if you golf late enough, the restaurant offers prime rib dinner specials that will have you returning just for the food.
Arthur Hills has designed another award-winning course that keeps golfers coming back for more. Legacy Ridge continues this architect's "legacy," giving the golfer the best of the best -- a challenging game with breathtaking, environmentally-conscience surroundings.
Things to do in the area
About five minutes west, more activities area available. Take a drive west on 104th to Highway 36 (locals know this as the Boulder Turnpike) and visit the Promenade. The Westminster Promenade is a unique, outdoor pedestrian-oriented entertainment complex. A community-gathering place, Promenade includes small performance areas, outdoor restaurants and cafes (such as Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery, Johnny Carino's and O'Byrnes), sculptures, fountains, a lake, trails, and areas to sit and watch children play. The Promenade is anchored by four major facilities: AMC's state-of-the-art 24-screen theater complex, the Sun Microsystems Ice Arena, the elegant Westin Westminster Hotel and Conference Center, and the Butterfly and Insect Pavilion. Most definitely if you're visiting the area, a stay at The Westin will be a pampering you won't soon forget, and then, of course, you can return to play another day of golf at Legacy.
June 1, 2002