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Keystone Ranch

1239 Keystone Ranch Rd
Keystone, CO 80435

Par: 72
Phone: 970-496-4250

Men's Summary:
Tees Yards Rating Slope
Blue 7090 72.5 137
White 6521 69.4 133
Gold 5842 66.9 117

Women's Summary:
Tees Yards Rating Slope
Gold 5842 71.2 132
Red 5582 69.9 128

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Keystone Ranch

Keystone Ranch Clubhouse

First fairway -- a straight par 5

#2 -- back the other way

#3 - hit it over that bunker on the right

Negotiating #4 -- a long iron is probably plenty

Par 3 number 5

A confusing look at #6 -- steer left of that bunker on the right

The intimidating #8 - its bark is worse than its bite...

The tee shot on #10

#11 - hit a long iron left or short of that bunker

Par five #13

A gorgeous look at the valley

Par three #14

The approach to #15

The view from the tee at #17 -- find the fairway???

#17... Oh, there it is!

Approach at #17 -- take plenty of club!

The tee shot at #18

A sudden squall at Keystone Ranch

Click on one of the thumbnails above to see an enlargement.
The Bogey Golfer Course Guides

Keystone Ranch- Overview

Keystone Ranch is basically a mountain meadow course, just east of Dillon up Highway 6, near the ski area. It was designed in 1980 by Robert Trent Jones, Jr.

The green fees aren't too steep for a mountain course, but check around for coupons and/or Internet deals. The Colorado Avid Golfer coupon book is one such place to check.

The course has some elevated tee boxes, but not as drastic as some mountain courses. Carts are not equipped with GPS, so if you have your own, bring it. Yardage is marked on sprinkler heads, and cart paths. Every fairway has a 150 yard pole, which also features a colored ball on top to tell you what the pin placement is (red forward, white middle, blue back).

The greens run pretty fast, so take a few moments to familiarize yourself with the speed before your round. The starter warned of a "valley effect" on the greens, which I found to be true. If you're having trouble reading the break, assume it's going to head to the floor of whichever valley you're in. The native areas off the fairway can be very thick, and while it's worth a quick look, you'll be able to tell right away if you've got any chance at all. The course supplies a yardage book on every cart. The book will give you helpful pointers about how to play each hole.

Keystone Ranch - Detail

This writeup was done from the white tees. Even so, this course beat me up pretty bad, mostly due to poor play on my part. Nothing wrong with the course...

The first hole is a downhill straightaway par 5. Take advantage of the elevated tee box, hit a decent tee shot, and you've got an excellent chance of reaching the green in two.

The second hole is a straightaway par 4 coming back up the other way. What you see is what you get. Hit two shots straight and you can make a par here.

Number 3 is a par 4, dogleg right. The biggest feature you see off the teebox is a humongous fairway bunker on the right. The best shot is one that flies over that bunker. I got skittish and tried to steer away from it, and wound up in the left hand bunker, which is further away, but still reachable.

The fourth hole is a strategy hole. It has a significant forced carry over a native area from an elevated tee. For all the intimidation, it's best to hit your 200 yard club here. Because of the altitude and the elevated teebox, you should get 230 yards or so, which will leave you 150 yards into the green. There's trouble everywhere, so the important thing is to keep it in play!

#5 is a longish par 3. Depending upon the pin placement and the wind, it can play as long as 200 yards. While there's a significant forced carry, you again want to keep it in play. Hit a club you have some confidence in, and be satisfied if it comes up a little short.

#6 is a confusing par 5. It's confusing because the teebox doesn't give you a very good luck at what you're dealing with. Either look at the yardage book in the cart, or even the aerial view on the stone hole marker. The best tee shot just misses the right-hand bunker to the left. Once you're off the tee, and down past the bunker, the hole opens up nicely, and you can start to plan your layup short of the creek that crosses the fairway 100 yards from the green.

#7 is another longish par 3, again playing 200 yards depending upon the pin placement and wind. There's lots of trouble down the left side, so favor the right. I wound up in the sand which was okay. The valley effect was pretty pronounced on this green.

#8 plays 391 yards, and is mostly a mental hole. The tee shot features a long forced carry over the native junk. Don't panic! Hit a solid tee shot at the 150 yard pole and you'll be fine. I jerked mine left of the traps into the junk and never did find it. The green is very well protected with a complex bunker system. Make sure you've got plenty of club on your approach shot, and hit it solid.

#9 is a very short par 4 over a lake. Do NOT hit your driver here (high risk, low reward). 200 yards is plenty. Aim at the left bunker, and let the fairway tilt you back to the middle to set up a soft wedge shot. I butchered this hole, mostly due to chunked wedges (yes, that's plural -- I don't want to talk about it any more).

The tenth hole is straightaway 421 yards. Hit it hard, and keep it play. If you don't quite reach it in two, that's okay.

#11 is another short par 4. I made it harder than it really needed to be by hitting a driver into the bunker. Far better to hit a long iron out in the middle of the fairway...

#12 is a 143 yard par 3. It started to hail when I played this hole, so I left my tee shot short in the right hand bunker, but still salvaged a bogey. Pay attention to pin position because this is a very deep green.

#13 is a narrow-looking par 5 (529 yards). However, it's not that long, so if you're more comfortable hitting a 3 wood, that's plenty of club to get there in three shots.

The fourteenth hole is another short par 3 (143 yards). It's a bit downhill, so you might want to take one less club, especially if there's a tailwind (in which case you might want to take two less clubs).

#15 is a 375 yard par 4. What you see off the tee is utterly bewildering, with native areas and bunkers everywhere, and no sign of a fairway. There is, in fact, plenty of fairway. Pick a line that's well left of the rightmost bunker. It looks like you're aimed directly at another bunker. That bunker is actually pretty close, and not really in play.

#16 is a 392 yard straightaway par 4. What you see is what you get, so keep it in play and you'll be fine...

The seventeenth is a bit stickier. First, it's longer (402 yards). Second, it's narrower (find the fairway...???). The best visual cue is the creek down the left side. Stay away from it, and the rest will take care of itself. Once you get off the tee and past the native area, the hole makes a lot more sense.

The home hole tees off over a lake. Take some time studying the lake, and hints on the teebox which tells how far to clear the bunkers. As you study the lake, you'll eventually realize there's a set of bunkers just over the lake, and just left of those is basically your line. The safe bailout is to aim at the bunkers across the fairway to the right, but they're pretty close and you'll probably reach them. Assuming you get the tee shot you want, now comes the all important 2nd shot. I yanked mine left in the lake. Unnecessary. Aim at the bunker on the right, and lay up (six or seven iron should be safe).

This is a lovely course, which really gives you an enjoyable afternoon cavorting in the mountain meadows. If you like rustic, there are a bunch of old weathered farm buildings they still use for storing maintenance equipment. Great course.

Background photo: The Marina by #16 at Coronado Golf Course, San Diego, CA

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