Telluride Golf Club: One of the Most Beautiful Places You'll Ever Tee

Telluride Golf Club: One of the Most Beautiful Places You'll Ever Tee
Those visions are spot-on, especially with all the surrounding 14s and 15s (mountains between 14,000 and 15,000 feet in elevation) coated with fresh powder and Conde Nest Traveler recently naming the top resort in town – Telluride Ski & Golf Resort – 'America's Best Ski Resort.'

Yet, as alluring as the winters are, the summers in Telluride are also worth pursuing with festivals, hiking and golf ... yes, golf at the forefront.

The best place to tee it up: Telluride Golf Club, a par-70, 6,574-yard gem that is considered one of the "most beautiful places you'll ever tee." The golf club opened in 1992 in the heart of haute Mountain Village. Perched nearly 10,000 feet above sea level, the course offers majestic views as far as the eye can see – snow-capped peaks, towering pines and aspen groves.

While the views are mesmerizing, the course also presents challenges that make it a solid test of golf. Battalions of pines line many emerald-green fairways while natural streams and serene water hazards keep golfers in check on the approaches. And as with any mountain course, the elevation changes and altitude are also major factors.

Telluride Golf

That's clearly evident at the 377-yard, downhill opener. The steep drop-off and thin air makes it temptingly drivable, and also brings double-bogey into play. Scoring opportunities abound as back-to-back par 3s follow, and as the front nine progresses, famed Mt. Wilson dominates the backdrop as golfers negotiate consecutive par 5s culminating with the 635-yard eighth hole.

The back nine ascends even deeper into the 14,000-foot-plus peaks of the San Miguel Range. Here, golfers realize that numbers do sometimes lie – Telluride Golf Club plays longer than listed. The closing holes are a perfect mix of brawn and beauty. The 486-yard, par-4 15th – climbs from tee to green and plays like par 5. Conversely, players who climb the 92 steps to reach the tee box on the par-3 17th are rewarded with a 100-foot drop over 137 yards to a pine-encircled green below.

Telluride offers platinum and silver memberships that encompass golf, skiing, snowboarding, spa, fitness, dining and other amenities and exclusivities. The membership – which includes celebrities and business luminaries from different ports of call across the U.S. – get first dibs on daily tee times through 10:30 a.m.

The Inn at Lost CreekThe Inn at Lost Creek

Staying and playing at Telluride is a cinch thanks to a variety of first-class accommodations including the posh Peaks Resort and Spa or the critically acclaimed Inn at Lost Creek. The Peaks offers an array of luxury accommodations from modern rooms and cabins to condos and penthouses. The Telluride golf shop can be found at the Peaks, as well as a luxurious 19th hole in The Palmyra and the state's largest spa.

The Inn at Lost Creek boasts 32 impressive and intimate suites, as well as some of the area's finest restaurants. It also offers a ride in style to Telluride Golf Club – a golf limo picks guests up (and their clubs, and darts them about 200 yards to the clubhouse.

Getting to Telluride involves a little more than golf limo, but nine major U.S. hubs offer direct flights to Montrose-Telluride Regional Airport (MTJ). From there, it's a straight shot to sparking your own visions at this luxurious summer destination.

For more information, reservations and tee times: 800-778-8581,

Golf photos: Telluride Golf Club | Dick Durrance