Red Sky Ranch opens first 18 Saturday |

Red Sky Ranch opens first 18 Saturday

Chris Freud

“When you’re driving down the highway near Wolcott and you look out to the left of the car, you wouldn’t visualize a golf course,” Red Sky Director of Golf Jeff Hanson said. “But as soon as you drive just one mile up on top of the bluff, it levels out and creates this perfect golf environment. That’s what we’ve created sitting up in Bellyache Ridge, this great golf environment with two clubhouses, a Fazio and Norman course.”

The front nine of the Tom Fazio-designed course at Red Sky Ranch opened June 14 and the back is expected to open Saturday. The Greg Norman-designed course is slated to open in 2003.

But if early feedback is any indication, golfers at Red Sky will be in for an experience as the project develops.

“(The Fazio) course has a lot of diversity,” Hanson said. “The front nine winds through junipers and sage and creates kind of a desert-like atmosphere. The back nine, beginning with 10, a 231-yard par-3 from the championship tees, winds through the aspens up at Bellyache Ridge and creates a true mountain course experience.”

From the back tees – there are five sets – the Fazio course plays 7,113 yards. Most men will likely hit from the blue tees at 6,813 yards. The front tees measure 5,265.

Support Local Journalism

Challenges abound as the course winds its way through Bellyache Ridge. Bring plenty of club to No. 5, a par-5, 605-yarder, that heads toward Castle Peak. Another gem is No. 7, an uphill par-3, that plays as far as 237 yards from the back.

Golfers start the back nine with another par-3 test on 10. Another memorable hole on the back nine will likely prove to be No. 16, a breathtaking 505-yard, par-4 from the back tees that has an elevated tee shot.

This year, the Tom Fazio course will be available only to member play, although there will be selected VIP tee times in the afternoon for $195. When the Norman course opens next summer, one course will serve as the designated member course and the other course will be a resort course for tourists and people staying in Vail Resorts hotels in Vail and Beaver Creek. That designation will vary on a day-by-day basis.

For more information on memberships at Red Sky, call Susan Hoy at (970) 477-8404. For more information on golf at Red Sky, call the clubhouse at (970) 477-8425.

Support Local Journalism