Fred Funk reveals plans for new RainDance National course in Colorado


Fred Funk reveals plans for new RainDance National course in Colorado
Sean Dudley
By Sean Dudley

Plans for a new golf course in Colorado have been revealed.

RainDance National Golf Club will be located less than three miles from its sister course – the Pelican Lakes Golf and Country Club near Windsor in the north-west of the state.

The course will be the first design by PGA Tour winner Fred Funk, who described the project as an ‘unbelievable opportunity’. 

RainDance National will form part of the RainDance master planned community, to be located three miles west of the Water Valley residential community. Water Valley is home to a series of beaches, lakes and restaurants, as well as the 27-hole Pelican Lakes Golf and Country Club.

Speaking to the Water Valley blog, Harrison Minchew, Funk’s lead architect said: “This is a pretty unique deal. There are not very many new golf courses getting built in the U.S. right now. This is going to be a treat.”

Minchew designed the Kildare Hotel and Country Club course in Straffan, Ireland, the host of the 2006 Ryder Cup. He was formerly the vice president and senior golf course architect at the Arnold Palmer Design Company.

Funk is good friends with Water Valley’s CEO Martin Lind, and commented: “Martin offered it to me to be my first course. I wasn’t shopping around looking for one, but I met him and he said ‘I want this to be your first signature course. I’m serious.’ I thought he was kidding. I looked at the topographical map and was amazed at the potential the piece of land had. When we walked it the first time, I saw that it designed itself. The layout is already there.”

Pelican Lakes Golf and Country Club opened in 1999 and is home to the 18-hole Pelican Lakes course and the nine-hole Pelican Falls course, both of which were designed by Ted Robinson Sr. The Pelican Lakes courses are characterised by challenging elevation changes, but the Water Valley blog indicates that RainDance and Pelican Lakes will be very different in terms of look and feel.

“We customise the design to the site,” said Minchew. “We don’t try to overcook anything. I want to go with the flow of the land. This particular piece of land has got my attention and I don’t want to screw it up because it’s so good.”

Funk will be at Pelican Lakes on 26 May to discuss the project in an event that is open to the public.

“The RainDance property is extraordinary,” added Michew. “It’s perfect for golf. I’ve been designing courses for 35 years and I’ve not seen a site so well suited for golf as I have with RainDance.”