Heritage Golf Course at Westmoor: Westminster, Colorado's best kept golf secret
WESTMINSTER, Colo -- Nestled in the hills between Highway 36 and Highway 93, west of Wadsworth and 108th, you'll find the yet-to-be-discovered Heritage Golf Course at Westmoor.
The Heritage was built in an open prairie environment, away from the hustle and bustle of too much construction and too many houses. This course features many natural areas and dramatic views of both the Rocky Mountains and the Denver area.
The Heritage is a member of the Audubon International Signature Status Program that promotes environmental awareness, sound land management practice and natural resource conservation. What does this mean to the golfer? Wild life, wetlands and native grass -- a natural beauty reserve PLUS a great game of golf.
This easily accessible Mile High course offers wide landing areas bordered by native grasses. With 250 feet of elevation change and constantly changing wind, the challenge is different at each hole.
The Heritage caters to their golf clientele in many ways, from their friendly Greetings, to a rustic-style clubhouse, to the well-stocked Pro Shop. A bar/grill offers a nice selection for lunch, and a fine restaurant offers a dinner menu with live jazz during the week. (Call ahead and check their schedule.) A very nice putting green and driving range is located just north of the clubhouse.
My favorite "gift" is their well mapped out yardage guide with an easy to understand legend. Legend drawings include wetlands, mounds, sand, water, water hazards, trees, and more. This is especially important with your play because of the many out-of-bound environmental sensitive areas on the course. (Hitting your balls here equals lost balls, as search and recovery is not allowed here.)
This guide is helpful to new players as well as repeat offenders. I suggest making notes in your book and keeping a hold of this for reference during your return visits.
The course offers tees for every range of golfer, for a total of five, ranging from the gold tees at 7,345 yards down to the red at 5,200. As this is a new course, golf carts must remain on the paths, so you'll get a bit of exercise. However, if you choose to walk it, the back nine is steep in places and will give you a work out.
The front nine offers mostly straight shots. The dogleg holes are 5, 6 and 8. The environmental out of bounds, native grass, water and rough come into play at most every hole. A straight, accurate game is the key here. No. 1's par 4 shows you a glimpse of the great course to come with wetlands on both sides and a canal 70 yards in front of the green.
When I visited the course, there was some problems with silt, which the course manager took control of quickly by sanding and watering the greens. Even though I was warned of this problem, the greens were not as bad as I anticipated and easily playable. A slicer will find his perfect hole at No. 8's par 4, with a dogleg right. Trouble is down the right side of this entire hole.
Located at the north and west of the clubhouse with great views the entire way, the back nine is a different game. Again, the environmental out of bounds will come into play here, too, so make sure you check your distance and your club. If you're not a straight shooter, you might want to invest in an extra sleeve of balls, because environmental areas are off limits to golfers.
As mentioned earlier, what I liked best about this course was that homes were not built around the golf course (as of yet) and only a few businesses. This is definitely a golf getaway from the city but still within a reasonable driving distance. Without buildings to slow the wind down, you will have to adjust your game to the gusts, but again a minor point considering the beauty surrounding you.
The Heritage's signature hole is its long 595-yard par 5 at 13. Burrowing owls were recently discovered here. Take a look to the right of the tee box, and hold your breath. You might be lucky enough to get a glimpse of them. Then look in front of you, and you'll see the Rocky Mountains tipped with snow almost year-round.
To the east and south is a fantastic view of metro Denver. This hole is definitely a long three-shot hole, with two approaches to the green that fork at the second set of bunkers on the right. The approach to the left will give you a steeper climb up to the long green and over more bunkers directly in front of the green.
Hole 15 is a long, downhill par 4 that will give you a run for your money. Favor the left side for your best approach. Be smart on No. 16's par 4. There's a dogleg left to a well-protected green, with water on the left. Favor your right side, and you should have a good play.
The back nine finishes with a par 5 with a slight-right dogleg. The hole is protected by a lake all along the right side. Lay second shot up left for your best approach, or the lake will suck your ball in the downhill roll.
February 2, 2012