The golf season in Colorado is much shorter compared to other golf destinations like Florida, Arizona, California, South Carolina, and Georgia because of the snowy weather, the elevation, and course conditions. Nonetheless, there are a consortium of world-class champion golf courses scattered throughout the immediate Aspen vicinity and the Roaring Fork Valley, including three Jack Nicklaus-designed courses that have popped up in the valley in recent years.

Golfing at an elevation of 8,000 feet in the dry, windy, and thin air can present its own set of rewards and challenges. High altitude golf in Colorado means drives fly higher and further, decreasing the aerodynamic drag on the ball and potentially putting you closer to the pin. On the other hand, thin air also means hooks and shanks are to the extreme, so sea level golfers should be prepared for the occasional mulligan. The high country links are often characterized by long drives, narrow fairways, short approaches, and playing amidst some of the most spectacular mountain topography in the country. Lining up a drive with the peak of Mt. Sopris, Maroon Bells, Pyramid Peak, or the Roaring Fork River is a memorable experience in itself whether you’re a newcomer to the game or a trophy-clinging professional.

While many courses in the immediate Aspen area are exclusive and private, some golf gems like the acclaimed Snowmass Club allow occasional public play. Call in advance for tee-times and to see if arrangements for play are possible with existing club memberships outside the Roaring Fork Valley.