Did you miss the article about the front nine? See Rifle Creek Golf Course: great golf near the Rifle Gap.
The back nine at Rifle Creek is completely different from the front. The back of the course is more a mountain course, with more elevation changes and excellent views.
Hole #10 is across the street, not far from the driving range. It’s a dogleg left at 389 from the tips and 312 from the front, with a pond next to the tee boxes. It’s pretty straight and flat, with a large sand trap on the left about half way down the fairway.
Number 11 is the first par 3 on this side. At 200 from the tips and 118 from the fronts, it’s not that far. Players are shooting to a slightly elevated green sheltered by a large hill on the right and a deep bunker on the left. Keep right here – use the hill on the right to roll the shot towards the center of the green.
After handling number 11, Hole #12 starts up the mountain. The hole is pretty straight, with the tee boxes set on the left side. Players are hitting up the hill, 371 from the back tees and 301 from the fronts. The entire fairway slopes down, right to left so it’s prudent to try to put your shot at the far right on the fairway. There’s a creek winding through just in front of the green, so be careful here. Our shots ended up in the native areas on the right, but luckily the balls were easy to find.
Still climbing, number 13 is a dogleg right. Players are shooting from 448 from the backs and 368 from the front tee box. There’s a forced carry here over the native grasses – for the fronts it’s 145 and for the backs it’s 225. There’s plenty of fairway once you get over, with no other hazards for most of us, unless you can hit far enough to put it on the hill that lines the fairway. Once in the middle, the fairway slopes from left to right. The green is elevated, so you many need a bit more club to get over the sand and onto the green.
Number 14 is the signature hole here – or at least it should be. This hole is not really that long at 405 from the back and 314 from the front. Players hit from an elevated tee box that provides views of the surrounding golf course and beyond. Hit pretty straight from here or the ball finds the thick trees on the left or the native scrub areas to the right. The fairway slopes right to left so stay right, just out of the junk. The green is elevated and protected by a large, deep bunker on the left.
Hole #15 is a short par 3, but the views from the tee box are magnificent. This hole is harder than it looks, with players shooting down from elevated tee boxes to a large green. The green is backed by part of the mountain, with a couple of pot bunkers and a pond on the right. There really isn’t any fairway to speak of, so be accurate here.
Winding up the mountain, number 16 also has elevated tee boxes and wonderful views. This hole is a par 4, with 390 from the backs and 268 from the fronts. It’s a sharp dogleg left. Strong hitters might have a chance at cutting the corner to the green, though it’s over a hill and a blind shot. There is a creek that runs in front of the green at 16, so be aware with the approach shot.
Number 17 is also a dogleg left, and the longest hole on this side of the course at 509 from the tips and 435 from the front. The tee boxes are elevated and many strong hitters can cut the corner. The fairway is pretty narrow, so be careful the ball doesn’t end up in the trees and rough lining the fairway. The green slopes from left to right and is protected by a large bunker on the left.
The 18th is the final par 4 here, with the fairway hugging the large pond on the right. Stay left with tee shots to avoid the water and to set up the approach shot with the water out of play. There’s a large rock formation in the middle of the fairway to aim at near the curve of the dogleg right.
We really liked this course. The back nine is different from the front, feeling like you’ve played two different courses. For the high handicapper, there are a few holes that could be frustrating because of the carries, but overall it is pretty forgiving. For the low handicapper, there’s plenty of challenge in shot placement and club selection. We’ll be back.
Rifle Creek Golf Course, 3004 Hwy 325, Rifle, Colorado 81650, www.riflecreekgolf.com, 970-625-1093.
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