Golf Course Architecture - Issue 72, April 2023

50 TEE BOX Minchew reflects on RainDance National’s first year RainDance National Resort & Golf near Windsor, Colorado, designed by Harrison Minchew and former PGA Tour professional Fred Funk, opened in July 2022. The course, part of a development led by Windsor-based The Water Valley Company that will include 2,500 homes and a hotel, can play up to almost 8,500 yards, making it one of the longest in the world. “Every hole is scenically fantastic and architecturally diverse,” said Minchew. “The irregularly shaped bunkering and native plantings blend naturally into the course’s vast front-range prairie and massive arroyos. The large putting surfaces have numerous pin placements separated with subtle rolls, slopes, and swales. The greens sites are surrounded by closely mown apron areas that will allow golfers to run approach shots on. Variety in greens, our bunkering and fickle Colorado wind will allow each hole to play differently each day.” The Colorado Golf Association has selected the course as the venue for the 2023 Colorado Amateur, and Minchew highlights some holes that players can look forward to. “The fifth is a downhill, 587-yard par four that doglegs left to a green that is visible from the tee,” he said. “A vast arroyo along the left crosses the hole between the landing area and green. The left-sloping landing area is obscured from the tee by a prominent ridge that crosses the line of play. A solid tee shot to the right centre of the fairway over the ridge will roll out some 50 yards to a flat landing area. “The second shot over the arroyo, is slightly uphill to a huge bunkerless green that slopes from left to right. With firm conditions and a left pin placement, the best play is to hit an approach shot well short and left of the green. The centre of the putting Native plantings blend naturally into the course’s front-range prairie and arroyos Photo: Harrison Minchew