By Shane Sharp
With the Olympic games just ending, it seems like the perfect time to extol the virtues of a golf vacation to off-the-beaten-path Steamboat Springs, Colorado, referred to by downhill aficionados as Ski Town U.S.A.
Steamboat has produced more winter Olympians than any other town in North America. For the 2022 Winter Games, 13 athletes with ties to Steamboat will be in attendance, four who are attending for their first time, which brings the total number of Olympic athletes with ties to Steamboat to a record 100 and counting.
As the saying goes, though, folks come for the winter and stay for the summer.
And summer in Steamboat means golf at elevation amid the aspen trees, fly fishing the local rivers, soaking in the town’s name-sake hot springs, and hiking and biking the area’s network of trails.
Focusing on golf for purposes of this missive, this authentic ranch town offers several enticing options. Catamount Ranch and Club is a par-72 gem designed by the vastly underrated Tom Weiskopf. It embodies the best of golf played in the mountains: endless vistas, big elevation changes, and (hopefully) long drives.
Four sets of tees accommodate all levels of golfers, with the tips measuring just over 7,000 yards. The front nine meanders throughout the valley floor, with holes cut from aspen groves along banks of the Yampa River. The back nine heads up into the mountains and back down, taking full advantage of the property’s natural undulations.
Besides Catamount, Haymaker is another excellent option for golf in Steamboat Springs. One of Colorado’s top public tracks, Haymaker offers five sets of tees starting with the 2,700-yard Family tees ranging up to the 7,300-yard tips. Haymaker is also a top Nordic skiing facility when the snow flies.
Rollingstone Ranch Golf Club, operated by Troon, should also make onto any avid golfer’s dance card. Designed by Robert Trent Jones II, the course is perennially ranked among the top 10 resorts courses in the state by Colorado Golf Magazine. It measures anywhere from 5,800 yards from the Copper tees to 6,700 from the Black tees.
For lodging, Steamboat Grand is the area’s premier place to stay, offering 328 beautifully appointed hotel rooms, spacious condos, and luxurious penthouses just steps from the base of the ski area. Other Steamboat hotel options include the Sheraton Steamboat Resort, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Holiday Inn, and La Quinta.
On the topic of coming for the winter and staying for the summer, vacation homes in Steamboat continue to be popular with buyers seeking wide-open spaces and room for their families to roam. Especially with the ongoing trend of working remotely, more and more buyers are opting for a “life on vacation” lifestyle in Steamboat Springs.
Alpine Mountain Ranch & Club, a 1,216-acre luxury ranch community located in the South Valley, is enjoying an uptick in sales due to in-migration from urban areas. Bordered by the Steamboat Ski Resort, Catamount Golf Club and the national forest, the ranch features 63, five-acre homesites starting at $2 million and 900 acres dedicated to wildlife preserve and open space only five minutes from town and the ski area.
Ranch amenities include an Owners’ Lodge, Guest Cabin, concierge services, fishing lake, equestrian facilities, a private backcountry retreat, five-miles of trails, private fishing on a 1.5-mile section of the Yampa River, and membership opportunities at the five-star, slopeside, Alpine Mountain Summit Club, located at One Steamboat Place. For more info visit www.alpinemountainranchsteamboat.com.