The Bogey Golfer © Course Guides
Legacy Ridge - Overview
Legacy Ridge, in Westminster, is one of several excellent suburban tracks in the North Denver area. It offers as much course as you want to bite off, ranging in length from 6050 yards to 7157. It offers some wide-open driving holes for those of you who like to air it out once in a while, plus a few narrow crafty strategy holes. There's even a couple that can go either way.
The course is roomy enough to accommodate the occasional stray shot, but in several places, it insists on accuracy. A word to the wise -- don't get greedy. Take what the course offers, and your score will be better off.
The driving range is very nice -- lots of targets at lots of distances to give you a chance to work on your irons in addition to your driver. In addition to the driving range, there is a huge putting green, giving you a good look at uphill, downhill and crosshill putts.
The last time I played this course, it was right after a rainstorm, but despite the softness of the course, the greens still ran very fast. Be sure you allow enough time before the round to get a feel for speed on the practice green.
Legacy Ridge has some separation between some of the holes, and a cart speeds things up considerably. On the other hand, there isn't too much elevation change, and I played one day with a couple of high school kids who were walking, and they didn't seem any the worse for wear. Bear in mind, however, that kids are indestructible...
Legacy Ridge Detail
This guide is written from the perspective of a bogey golfer, and is therefore shaded to the conservative side. The game is meant to be fun, and if you're feeling frisky and want to go for it when the stodgy advice is to lay up, well heck -- go for it. On the other hand, you do know deep down inside that your scores will be lower if you're conservative, right? I mean we're not exactly players of the caliber of Tiger and Phil, ... Anyway, this is written from the Blue tees, which play 6663 yards.
Hole 1 is a straightaway par 4, playing 403 yards. Despite the hole's length, my advice here is to hit it straight, and I usually don't hit driver because the rough is thick, lush and well-watered. The green sits at the bottom of the hill, surrounded by burms on the right, and a trap fronting the left side. Pay close attention to pin placement on your approach shot, since the green is pretty big. (Just landing on the green is no guarantee of a two-putt.)
Hole #2 is a bit longer, and a bit wider, but the green is just as thick and lush. It's also a bit uphill off the tee, so a driver is definitely the right play here because of the length. If you miss the fairway, start thinking of it like a par 5 though. This is another huge green, being somewhat elongated from front to back, so make sure you are allowing for that as you pick your club for the approach shot.
#3 is a relatively short par 5, at only 495 yards. However, it makes up for its length by a) being uphill, and b) having trouble EVERYWHERE. Between the bunkers, the natural areas, the rough, and the narrow fairways, you feel like you're picking your way through a minefield. So expect to take three full shots to get to the green, even if you choose driver off the tee. (A drive in the fairway still leaves plenty of opportunity for trouble, believe me!) Once you get to the green, you'll see that they buried an elephant in the middle of it during construction. The green is very wide, but not very deep, so aim at the flag, wherever it is. Landing short will almost certainly land you in a bunker. Landing long will leave you with a downhill chip from a burm.
The fourth hole is a 165 yard par 3, which is just long enough to be dangerous if your accuracy isn't quite up to snuff. There's a huge bunker on the back left corner to catch any errant shots in that direction, and a pond on the right to catch anything that strays there. Short left is a good miss, leaving a pretty easy chip to most areas on the green.
#5 is 336 yard strategy hole. The fairway is pretty narrow, and there's a pond at the bottom of a hill. Do not hit driver here. An iron or a fairway wood (depending on your length) straight to the middle of the fairway is the play here. On your approach shot, stay away from the pin if it's back left -- the pond fronts the green which slants diagnoally back to the left. A little bit of a miscue on either direction or distance will dunk you in the pond. Take plenty of club and aim at the right side, where the hill behind the green will act as a backstop.
#6 is the hardest hole on the course. Here's why: It's a par 5 with a creek running across the fairway exactly where a booming well-hit drive wants to roll out. So that means really big hitters have to lay up, and the rest of us never had a chance to get there in two anyway. Next, the shot over the creek is kind of narrow, meaning if you spray your tee shot at all, you've got no angle to land your second shot across the creek in the fairway. Third, if you're in an ideal position to play your second shot across the creek, there's a fairway bunker on the left (with the slope of the fairway oblingingly feeding it) around 100 yards out from the pin where most people ideally want to play their third shot from. So you either want to be shorter than that or longer than that just to stay out of trouble. And finally (as if this wasn't enough trouble), there are traps on practically all sides of the green. The green is wide but not deep, and stretches from front left to back right.
#7 is a welcome relief from #6, being both less mental and less physical. It's 372 yards, mostly straightaway (ignore the lake off the tee -- it's not that long). Aim at the 150 stake in the middle of the fairway (always good advice). The green is very, very elongated from front to back, so make real sure you pay close attention to pin placement. The green is down a small hill, and surrounded by a huge burm on the left and a small one on the right. The rough on all sides is thick and lush, so accuracy pays off.
#8 is a straightforward par 3, playing about 149 yards. Again, the green is very elongated, so be sure to make at least one whole club's adjustment if the pin isn't in the middle.
#9 is 398 yards, and pretty wide, so you can use pretty much any club you like on the tee shot, bearing in mind that it's the approach shot that's the real trick on this hole. There's a large tree on the left side of the fairway at the top of the hill going down to the green. Behind that tree is really the only bad spot on this fairway. Favor the center... Back to the approach shot: There's a pond on the right, and burms on the left. The burms are preferable if you're going to miss the green.
#10 is a strategy-cum-strength hole. At 344 yards, it's pretty short, and an iron to the middle of the fairway is always a good play. However, if you want to put a little bit of risk in play, you can cut the corner off the dogleg and save some distance -- the dogleg is pretty pronounced. On the other hand, you bring all those bunkers and the native rough into play... Your choice!
The par 5 eleventh is a tasty challenge. It's 528 yards, which isn't that long, but it has a forced carry of at least 200 yards off the tee, over a swamp on a fairly narrow line. Slices are dead here -- hooks have a chance (vice-versa if you're a lefty). Once you've landed safely, the fairway winds over to the right next to the creek, where it gets narrow. Ignore the fairway and play a straight line to the pin. Yeah, you'll have to play your final shot from the rough, but that's probably easier than trying to find a line that stays in the fairway without rolling out into the creek. This is another monstrous green, that can vary 40 yards from front to back. If you stray right, a long bunker can actually save you from rolling into the hazard. (I almost never use the words "bunker" and "save you" in the same sentence...)
#12 is a 160 yard par 3. There is no room long, since there's a sharp 10 foot drop into the creek. There are bunkers on the left side. The bailout is short and right.
#13 is a real piece of work. It's only handicapped as 8, but it ought to be in the top 3. It's 392 yards, and the first 200 yards is a forced carry over the native junk (mostly weeds and thistles). The ball lands on the steepest sidehill to the left that you're ever likely to see. Then the fairway narrows down to a chute to the green. All draws will roll off that hill into the rough at the bottom of the hill on the left. If you can hit a ball completely straight, or better yet, with a bit of fade, you'll be fine as long as you land high up on the hill to the right. Then you're well positioned for a downhill approach shot to the green. The green is guarded by a tree short and right, and by the hazard to the left. So for most shots, you have to come in high and soft over the tree to avoid rolling off the green to the left.
#14 is a 444 yard brute (479 from the tips). It's straight away and it's wide open, so hit it has hard as you can, twice. Then after you find yourself in the weeds, try to place a final wedge shot next to the pin...
#15, by contrast, is only 356 yards. Steer clear of the bunkers, aim at the 150 stake, and you'll be fine.
The sixteenth hole is another par 3. It plays at 232 yards (244 from the tips). No, that's not a misprint. You might have to hit a driver off the tee if there's any kind of a headwind here. Bogey is a good score here.
The seventeenth hole is an uphill brute, playing 424 yards. Most bogey golfers can't clear the bunkers on the left with their tee shots, so play out to the right of them. But hit your driver, because you really need all the distance you can get. My advice on your second shot is to lay up (most of us bogey golfers aren't that accurate with our long irons, and there is all kinds of trouble to the right up around the green). Bogey is a good score here too...
The home hole looks like it winds through the forest as you're standing on the tee box. It's a par 5, but it's only 485 from the blues. My advice is to take what the course gives you. Leave the driver in the bag, and hit your "straight club", whatever that is. For me, a six iron will go 180 yards, and is reasonably straight. Two of those gets you to 360 yards, leaving you 125 to the pin. Meanwhile, your 250 yard driver is going to hit a tree - hard - and bounce sideways out of bounds. (Things that make you go "hmmm"...)
This is a fun course because it offers lots of challenges, and lots of options. There's about 1000 yards worth of difference in length based on your tee selection. You can find a course that suits your game here. Have fun!