Applewood Golf Course offers a friendly, neighorhood round in Golden, Colorado
GOLDEN, Colo. -- A few short minutes from I-70 and Youngfield exit you'll find the public Applewood Golf Course set in the middle of a pleasant Golden residential area. Owned by Coors and managed by American Golf, Applewood was once a part of the private Rolling Hills Golf Course, built in the 1950's by architect Press Maxwell.
My initial impression is that Applewood caters to the locals, and they do it well, making everyone feel at home. The friendly staff greeted golfers by name, as they passed by outside the pro shop or in the restaurant. The restaurant is more like a small diner, which offers a breakfast menu as well as hot and cold sandwiches, and beverages including alcohol. The pro shop offered many shopping opportunities for golf clothing, accessories, and equipment. Checking in was quick and efficient, but definitely busy with a full load.
The 18-hole golf course consists of 5,992 yards and is a par 71 for the men and 72 for the ladies, with two choices of tees. The 18-hole round generally takes 4 to 4 1/2 hours and is easily walked. I golfed this course at the beginning of May, after a particularly dry winter.
Applewood's first hole starts off just off the pro shop and faces north. It is a straight and short par 4. Too far right puts your ball on the driving range. Hole no. 2 is a short par 3, water to the right, and the third gives you another straight shot, par 4. Finally at no. 4, you're presented with a par 5, straight, but with a slight dogleg left.
The next hole (5), a par 4, gives you a bit more of a challenge with a lake and OB with barb wire on the right just before the slight right dogleg. The sixth hole is a straightforward par 4, dogleg left. As with most of these holes, if you stay in the fairway, you have a pretty straight shot. Outside of that will be rocky, bare or thick rough, making it difficult to set up for the green.
The par-5 seventh hole offered a sharp dogleg left with water and trees on the right, and a drainage ditch directly in front of the green.
Hole no. 8, a par 4, has a sharp dogleg left with water on the right. Your best bet here is to lay up straight at the big tree, then hit a shot up the hill to the green. Watch for trees and homes on the right and a sloping hill to the left.
Applewood's signature hole is no. 9, a par 3 that is 177 yards for the men/96 for the ladies, over water, with not a lot of room for error. The view from here is incredible as this hole is situated almost on a plateau overlooking the entire golf course with the city to the right, and the mountains on the left.
The back nine at Applewood Golf Course
Starting off the back nine is a par 4, on the east side, teeing off a ledge/plateau for the men and just below for the women, but still a straight shot. Water on the far right doesn't come into play unless you've used too many of the benefits offered by the beverage cart. Hole 11 is a par 3 with sand traps surrounding the green, requiring your approach to be right on. A par 4 comes next with another dogleg left and a fairly easy lay up, but two sand traps lay on the approach side of the green.
Hole 13 is a par 4/5 for the ladies and is fairly straight with water to the right. The par 3 that follows is another one across the water, followed by a long and straight par 5.
Hole 16 is a bit more challenging par 5, with a fairly straight fairway, but approximately 50 yards before the green is straight uphill. The flag was to the right this time, but directly in front are sandtraps and two tall cottonwoods. The round finishes with another straight-on par 3, and no. 18 gives you a par 4 with a slight right dogleg, but the challenge of water to the right and front of the raised green.
I should caution you that Applewood is not for the daring golfer looking for a challenge. The course leans more to the beginner golfer or one looking to improve his short game. Most of the holes are pretty straight with few hazards or obstructions. But golf is still golf, and if the price is right and the tee time is available, I'll golf anywhere.
The price is definitely right, and for me, the location is perfect. Add that to the friendly staff at Applewood Golf Course, and this one is a neighborhood winner.