Green Gables Country Club: A Memorable Round Of Golf

By Seth Goldfogel, Course Reviewer

As an avid golfer, you couldn't ask for a more beautiful setting to play a round of golf than Green Gables Country Club in Lakewood, Colorado. This par 71 course is far more than just a challenging round of golf. Green Gables boasts a rich history in the Denver metro area, as it has been around longer than almost any course in the state. With a membership consisting primarily of members from Denver's Jewish community, Green Gables also often hosts parties and celebrations for events such as weddings, bar/bat-mitzvahs, anniversaries, birthdays, and other occasions. The country club also offers an Olympic sized pool, tennis courts, restaurants, and a clubhouse that is second to none. However, if you're anything like me, golf is probably your main interest.

If you go

When playing a round at Green Gables, you are almost assured a pleasant and memorable experience. The eighteen-hole course is among the best kept golf courses in the area. In all of Colorado, I have never played another course with as true of rolls or as green a grass as at Green Gables. While there are most definitely longer courses in the area, few, if any, boast as thick a growth of trees as Green Gables does. Granted, the rough may not compare to that of Augusta's, but if you're out of the short grass, plan on chipping out and laying up. There's no playing through the trees on this course.

The front side of the course is the longer side, as it consists of three par fives, three par fours, and three par threes. Hole one offers players a great opportunity to start in the red, as the par five is easily reachable in two shots. While the second hole is a pretty straightforward par three, the third and sixth holes challenge a player's control, as they bend around more than a windy mountain road. In more cases than one, Green Gable's is tricky because it invites you to hit the big clubs when in reality, laying up is the smarter play. Nonetheless, if you can find the greens in regulation, putting is probably one of the least challenging aspects of the course. The greens are mowed extremely thin, yet the rolls are quite true. There are some undulations and tiers to deal with, although most of the greens are relatively small and manageable.

Moving on to the back nine, holes ten, eleven, and twelve (all par fours) are dissected by a creek that runs directly through the fairways. Holes ten and twelve require that you lay up off the tee, as the advantages of clearing the creek don't outweigh the risk of going into the water. Hole eleven is a pure driving hole, as it is straight and long. On a side note, I found hole eleven to be much more challenging before the staff decided to remove the bunkers that surrounded the front of the green.

The only other notable holes on the back nine are holes fourteen and sixteen. These two holes represent the postcard scenery at Green Gables, as each boasts a gorgeous lake between the fairway and the green. Fourteen is a par four that again, begs you to hit the driver, although laying up with a five or six iron is the prudent play. The only person that I have ever seen clear the lake on his drive was the club pro, Ron Vlasich. Sixteen is equally challenging as the one hundred and fifty-yard par three sports a lake that blankets the front edge of the green, and a bunker on the left side. There is no room for missing on either of these two holes.

As a general rule, like any other course, if you can keep the ball in the fairway throughout your round, your score will stay down. Should you decide to take the more scenic route to playing the course, playing from the trees will guarantee a score that won't help your handicap. The fairways are trimmed and even, the rough thick and shady, and the greens roll fast and true. However, no matter how low or high a score you shoot, the scenery and history generally leave players with a pleasant taste in their mouths. On a side note, I would strongly recommend staying out of the sand traps, as unlike other fine Colorado courses, the traps at Green Gables play more like a shot from the cart path than one from a bunker.

Aside from the technical aspects of the golf course, the staff at Green Gables, whether associated with the grill, the course, the pro shop, or otherwise, are most accommodating. Unlike public courses in the area, Green Gables' staff is pleasant to deal with throughout. The halfway house and grill offer tasty menus, while the pro shop is stocked to satisfy any of your golf needs. The teaching pros are excellent, and the driving/chipping range is both well maintained and spacious. However, along with the sparse sand traps, the only other problem you might encounter is this: While Green Gables probably does take American express, you must be a member to play there. Having said that, as wonderful a round of golf as this course is, I would strongly suggest that if you don't already know someone who belongs there (so that you can go as a guest), either make a friend or apply for membership. Green Gables may be a little pricey (about $70 per round as a guest), but it is most definitely a day of golf you will likely never forget.

Seth Goldfogel, Course Reviewer


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