Steamboat Springs has long been known for its champagne powder in the winter and its friendly laid-back Western lifestyle in the summer.
But more recently Steamboat Springs, and the entire Yampa Valley, has also earned a reputation as one of the top summer stops in Colorado for destination golfers.
"People come to Steamboat because of this town's reputation for great family vacations," Haymaker pro Hank Franks said. "But they're discovering that we also have a lot of terrific golfing opportunities in the valley."
For years, the nine hole Steamboat Golf Club and the Sheraton's 18-hole Robert Trent Jones Jr. course were the only choices for resident golfers and visitors.
But in the past decade Steamboat has added the city-owned Haymaker Golf Course, and for a lucky few, the course at the Catamount Ranch & Club to the mix.
Catamount is only open to members or member's guests, but Franks said it pulls golfers to the area that tend to play all of the courses while visiting.
If that's not enough the Yampa Valley Regional Golf Course can be found just 45 minutes from Steamboat Springs in Craig.
The semi-private Steamboat Golf Club, west of Steamboat along U.S. 40, was the first golf course built in Steamboat.
9-hole 18-hole Twilight Haymaker resident $26 $41 *$30 non-resident $54 **$83 *$54 Yampa Valley Golf Club resident $13 $21 NA non-resident $16 $28 NA Steamboat Golf Club resident $26 $39 non-resident $36 $54 Sheraton $80 $130 *$80 rates include cart *Twilight rates begin after 4:30 p.m. at Haymaker and after 3 p.m. at the Sheraton. The twilight rates at the Sheraton are $80 to walk and $95 with a cart. **The rate for non-resident golfers for Haymaker is active from June 18 through Sept. 12. Before and after those dates the cost to play 18 holes is reduced to $54.
The course was completed in 1964 by a group of private investors. The course is owned by its members but allows public play throughout the summer.
"Our course is great for the beginner who just wants to play nine, but it can also challenge even the most experienced golfers," course manager Scott Matthews said. The course's tight fairways and pin placements make it a challenging course where accuracy and ball placement can make the difference. This year, golfers will be greeted by a new clubhouse.
Haymaker is a public course designed to bring a little bit of Scotland to the Yampa Valley.
The 18-hole, links-style course can play up to 7,300 yards. It opened eight years ago and was ranked No. 16 in the state by Golf Digest in 2003. It was fourth among public courses.
"It's amazing that in a town of 10,000 people we have two (Catamount was ranked No. 10 last year) of the top golf courses in the state," Franks said.
Not to be outdone, the 6,900-yard, 18-hole Sheraton golf course is considered by many to be one of Jones' best efforts.
The course is owned by the Sheraton and managed by Troon Golf and offers limited open play throughout the summer.
Built on the flanks of Mount Werner in 1974, the rambling waters of mountain streams and the dramatic tee shots will challenge and entertain.
Over the years the course has won awards from the Denver Post, Colorado Golfer, Colorado's Best and Golf Digest.
In Craig, the fairways and greens of the Yampa Valley Regional Golf Course offer golfers one of the best values in Colorado.
The challenging 6,548-yard layout earned regional and statewide recognitions over the years. "We are a hidden gem," pro Tom Dockstader said. "But people are starting to discover us here in Craig.