Beer and dinosaurs, man.
Fossil Trace Golf Club is set upon a bluff overlooking downtown Golden, Colorado. Yes, it’s that Golden… the one with the ridiculously huge Coors factory that can produce a mind-blowing two to three million bottles of beer per freaking day.
But save the factory tour for later (it’s actually a little bit disappointing). The golf at Fossil Trace is amazing.
And, yes, it’s called Fossil Trace for a reason. You can literally — while you’re golfing a few holes on the back nine — check out some prehistoric history in the boulders lining the course.
On the day we went, the course wasn’t overrun by golfers. But we can imagine that backups are frequent beginning around the 13th hole as people check out fossils that include stegosaurus footprints!
Fossil Trace gets you started off right.
The opening hole at Fossil Trace is a great starting hole. It sets up with a blind tee shot to a split fairway. Either you keep it short and safe in the first part of the fairway, or you rear back and let it rip to the second and downhill-sloping fairway that can make you feel a little like Dustin Johnson if you hit it right. Or you can be like this guy here and hit it behind large sandstone pillar that sits directly in the center of the second fairway just a few yards onto the short grass.
The fun doesn’t stop at the first hole.
The rest of the course is awesome in so many ways. There are a number of elevation changes and rolling hills that provide so many distinct and challenging holes. Many greens have large undulations, making it imperative to first hit the right part of the green and second to read the breaks correctly. Although the greens are framed at times with deep bunkers, many of them are fairly accessible and bordered by hills that make for breathtaking scenery and some interesting chips.
Some of the par fives are reachable in two and there is room for the wayward drive. However, there are also some hidden marshes and snaking fairway greens that will get you from time to time.
Hole 4 – Par 4 (383/426/480)
Hole 8 – Par 4 (317/372/412)
Hole 10 – Par 4 (270/305/333)
Hole 12 – Par 5 (507/545/585)
Hole 15 – Par 5 (480/536/565)
Hole 16 – Par 3 (128/141/160)
Final Thoughts on Fossil Trace
This is a fun course and definitely is highly recommended for your Bars & Pars journey. The price point is solid in the $70-80 range and the views are amazing. And it’s in a great location.