Lone Tree Golf Club and Hotel: Happy trails for you in Littleton, Colorado
LITTLETON, Colo. -- Grab your golf clubs and your sweetheart and head to Lone Tree Golf Club and Hotel before the snow flies for this 18-hole Arnold Palmer course and a romantic getaway.
Just off of I-25 and Lincoln, Lone Tree Golf Club and Hotel is a charming and pleasant surprise to golfers. Originally opening in 1985 as a private club, South Suburban Park and Recreation District bought it in 1991. The course itself is well kept and challenging, a typical Arnold Palmer course with bunkers galore and doglegs to outmaneuver.
Once you step into the pro shop and onto the course, you'll see why this is a spectacular find. Professional and friendly staff point you to the first tee box from an elevated tee with a view of downtown. The dogleg right has you playing it safe top center, taking care to avoid the creek and marsh directly in front of the tee that also runs along side the dogleg all the way to the green.
The fairway undulates its way to a bunker protected green. But don't let the 410-yard par 4 fool you. This is a tough fairway to hit, with the balls kicking downhill into the creek and bunkers on the right.
The second hole is an uphill climb through rolling hills, for a par 4 at 446-yards. Bunkers sit at the 150-yard marker on both the right and left. From there, your shot is onto a rolling green. The 172-yard, par 3 coming up next is a shot over a creek and again uphill to an elevated tee. A doable par if you can avoid those Palmer bunkers. Next, a dogleg left is a 378-yard par 4. Your tee shot is downhill, rolling to greens that are surrounded by bunkers.
Hole 5 a long 554-yard par 5, again straight downhill with a bunker on the right at 220 yards, but a nice long drive with another good hit will put you on the green or close enough for a chip shot to get you your par.
An interesting challenge with a delightful view awaits you on Hole 6, Lone Tree's signature hole, with a fairway that curves right around a lake. From the elevated tee, your best first shot is a straight and long shot, slightly right. With a good lay up, the lake is easily driveable uphill to the elevated green.
Lone Tree's seventh hole, a 201-yard par 3, drives from an elevated tee down rolling hills. Lake and trees border the fairway on the right, and on the left are hills and houses, uphill to a sloping green. More of the same awaits you at Hole 8's 543-yard, par 5, although this time your shot is fairly straight between bunkers across rolling hills, uphill again to the green. In front of this green at about 50 yards is a creek.
The finishing par 4, 441-yard hole is uphill, again across rolling hills, onto a green sitting slightly right of the fairway. There is a bunker on the right at 150 yards. The driving range runs along the right side of most of this fairway, too.
Lone Tree Golf Club and Hotel's back nine
The back nine starts off with a 209-yard par 3 across an undulating fairway. The golf ball vacuum is the sloping hill on the right and long deep bunkers on the right. Hole 11 is tough 531 yard, par 5 with another rolling hill fairway. The left slope kicks into a lake. The fairway moves downhill, then uphill to a long sloping green with bunkers protecting on both the right and left.
A par 4, 399-yarder at the next hole again gives a fairway with rolling hills that slope downhill. Beware the lake hidden below a hill crest at about 100 yards in front of the sloping green. After that surprise, Hole 13's par 3 is fairly straightforward 161 yard chip to the bunker protected green. The same lake borders this fairway on the right.
Hole 14's fairway shoots slightly left, then cuts to the right, with a grove of trees on the right and a grassy bank on the far right. After the trees, the fairway is uphill to an elevated green to complete this 363-yard, par 4.
The highest point of the course is Hole 15's 369-yard par 4 with a view of the Rockies to the west and downtown to the northeast. A shot from this elevated tee is best aimed to the right, the direction of the dogleg.
A straight shot will either set you too far back or put you in someone's yard or through a window. But beware. This hole is an Arnie special--break out your beach gear! At the dogleg and all the way to the green, the fairway is littered with bunkers.
551-yards of rolling sloping hills and grassy banks bordering the fairway up to a long, bunker-protected green are what's in store for you at Hole 16's par 5. You'll get a shorter repeat at Hole 17's par 4, 443 yards, with a bunker sitting at the 175 yard marker on the right. Then it's a downhill shot to the green.
The finishing hole to this back nine is a straight, uneventful 422 yards, but again with the rolling hills and bunker protected green posing some problems.
Lone Tree's 72-par, 7,054-yard course with four tee boxes provide choices for all skill levels of golfers and reasonable green fees. Add a cozy café, locker rooms, tennis courts, swimming pools, and a 15-room quaint hotel and a weekend near the city is looking pretty good.
September 13, 2004