Adam’s Mountain Country Club debuts
Vail CO, Colorado
EAGLE ” The opening of the Adam’s Rib Ranch Golf Course south of Eagle at Frost Creek signifies the realization of a dream for developer Fred Kummer. After more than 30 years of effort to develop his property south of Eagle, the Adam’s Mountain Country Club is close to reality. Being so close to Vail, Colorado, the stakes are high.
When asked if it was worth the fight, Kummer responded, “You are wherever you are in life. That’s the one thing I’ve learned about. Nobody has all successes,” said Kummer, who first proposed a resort development on Brush Creek in the early 1970s; but faced decades of citizen opposition.
Kummer was proud of the accomplishment of “finally having a grand opening in Eagle, Colorado.” In the beginning, the goal was to have a ski hill on Adam and Eve Mountain. Over the course of 30 years the project saw innumerable changes and plans. Eventually, Kummer sold 1,700 acres of the property to the state for inclusion into Sylvan Lake State Park.
Gated communities surrounding golf courses are nothing new to the Eagle Valley, although Kummer’s project s the first on Brush Creek.
“When you look at the proximity of this golf course to Vail, you really have to do something really special,” Kummer said, noting that the project also includes an equestrian center on Salt Creek, a swimming pool, and tennis courts.
“You know you’ve got to be a little special to get folks (to buy here),” he said.
The clubhouse, built of large-gauge logs, is almost finished, located in the rustic setting of what once was a ranch. The clubhouse is guarded by a huge bald eagle with a trout in it’s talons, a tip of the cap to the wildlife legacy of this part of Eagle County.
Kummer said there would be a limited amount of memberships available to the general public.
“It’s not going to be a public golf course,” Kummer said. “We’re certainly going to work with the public to have some tournaments here and so forth.”
The Frost Creek drainage provides the backdrop to the Tom Weiskopf designed golf course. The 20-year veteran of golf course design praised Kummer who allowed the design of the golf course to come before drawing lot lines.
Kummer said he chose Weiskopf because “you literally get a man who is involved in the design of the course.”
“I followed Tom around one day, and I can tell you that this course is designed by Tom Weiskopf,” Kummer said. “I tried to help him a little, but he rejected it … and the golf course is probably better for it.”
Weiskopf was the man of the hour as he approached the lecturn. He engaged the media gathered in an event tent as a college professor would on the first day of class.
Each of the golf course holes have their own personality.
“I feel like this is the best course I’ve ever done in the mountains,” Weiskopf said.
Kummer told him to place the golf course first; and then the design of the community would come later.
“I can’t thank you enough for being unique as a developer in letting us put the golf course in as it should be,” Weiskopf said, “usually, we’re the last ones in.” Weiskopf said golf course designers often have to work around residential components such as roads, sewers, and streets.
“Consequently, something has to suffer in the end,” he noted.
It was apparent that Weiskopf appreciated the flow of the project and the fact that the course had been allowed to mature before opening.
“The holes fit naturally into the terrain, there’s less construction involved, it’s more efficient and economical to build. I know that after having done over 50 golf courses in 20 years, whenever you get a chance to fit a golf hole into the terrain, they turn out very, very pretty and memorable and a fair golf experience.”
The course is designed to fit players of all ability levels. With five huge rectilinear (rectangle or square) tee boxes on each hole, the length of the course can be customized to a variety of skill levels. The bunkering on the course is traditional, with flat sand at the bottom and “flashes” up the sides.
The yardages for the course range between 5,000 from the forward tees to 6,750 from the men’s; and an impressive 7,250 from the tips (championship tees). Balance on the course is provided by an equal amount of hazards on both the left and right throughout the course.
The front nine is located slightly higher in the property, offering expansive views of the White River National Forest with lots of elevation changes. On the back nine, creeks dribble through the course with wetlands and mature trees outlining the tightly manicured fairways. Native grasses provide natural hazards beyond the edges of nearly all the fairways on the course.