Golf At The Ranch – Granby Ranch, Colorado

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So you want to golf at a ranch? Well, in this case that’s not quite possible, but you may feel as if you are out on the range playing Grand County’s Golf Granby Ranch. The newest of Colorado’s Grand County’s four primary golf facilities is Granby Ranch. Its unpaved entrance may have you wondering if you made the wrong turn, but rest assured, attractive golf waits.

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The begins early and lasts throughout. The  first (above) and last (below) holes at Granby Ranch are par-fives that bend to the right and force you to decide just how much of the dogleg you want to cut off from the tee.  (Both photos by Robert S. Fagan)

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The par-three 2nd hole occupies the very tranquil valley setting at Granby Ranch.  (Photo by Robert S. Fagan)

The setting is rustic and scenic, almost serine. Granby Ranch begins with play in the lower section of the property among the flat wetlands with the Fraser River and Amtrak railway adjacent to its valley front nine. In contrast, after a lengthy cart ride, the back nine is very much a adventurous, mountainous one. Here the terrain spills up and down and affords some exciting in-course vistas.

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The terrain on the back nine becomes very hilly and picturesque as shown at the par-four 13th tee.  (Photo by Robert S. Fagan)

The Nicklaus Design Group reworked the original Mike Asmundson design and the shaping and bunkering artfully fits the terrain. They even fit a lake into the par-3 17th. As the yardages range from just under 5,300 yards to nearly 7,200, it is critical that you not over-estimate your talent by choosing too long a test though the hitting areas are quite generous.

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The par-three 17th is all carry over water to a wide putting surface that runs quickly from left-to-right.  (Photo by Robert S. Fagan)

I immediately liked the look and ambiance of the golf course, but the routing with the back nine can only be termed as bizarre with long and disjointed treks between holes. I was later informed that when the Nicklaus Design Group came in for changes, they created new holes and left two dormant for a possible expansion of the 18-hole layout perhaps in the future. Anyway these holes forced the extended cart ride from the clubhouse area, and the transition from the 16th green to 17th is so cumbersome as to not advise walking this nine.

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Just one of many attractive holes with the par-four 4th green in the foreground and the long par-four 5th beyond. And beyond that is the Fraser River and Amtrak line.  (Photo by Robert S. Fagan)

The scenic views there, however, made up for that. My only criticism was that several of those back nine putting surfaces are very severe. As an instance, when we played, someone chose to position the holes locations right in the midst of slopes and everyone’s the putts would approach the hole even inches away, stop, and trundle back off the putting surfaces or back to their feet. Again, I later received feedback that these unfortunate cup placements were corrected later in the day, but the point is that the ample greens play quite smaller than they look.

The conditioning was very good and there was much to enjoy about Granby Ranch with many solid and several spectacular holes. You’ll want to include this in your golf itinerary to Grand County!

 

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