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Thursday, September 22, 2005


Author’s Note: While this site is primarily about public courses and golf course architecture, we will spend some time over the next month or two reviewing some courses up for this year’s Best New Private Club award. The author’s views are his own and are in not meant to be impugned to either GolfObserver.com or the monthly periodical to which I contribute, unless my name appears in the by-line in that periodical, of course.

5225 Raintree Dr.
Parker, CO 80134


Architect: Jim Engh
Par - 72
Excitement Level – 9/12
Difficulty – 8/12
Conditioning – Four and 1/2 stars
Cost - $29,000 + $335 monthly for the family
Value – Five stars
Overall rating – Four and ½ stars

Tees Yards Rating Slope

Black 7290 72.9 138
Gold 6531 70.0 122
White 5780 66.6/72.5 108/142
Red 5021 68.0 118

There are also three “flex” tees, which mix and match the various sets.

Jim Engh’s best new private course award for Sanctuary Golf Club in 1997 put him on the map and heralded the arrival of
America’s current “hottest designer” (according to several magazines). Good thing for golf lovers Engh didn’t sit on his laurels as he won three more best new course awards for Tullymore, Black Rock and Redlands Mesa, all from 2001-2003.

This year, Engh opened the private Club at Pradera in Parker, Colrado just minutes from his firm’s Castle Rock office. The course is a refinement and further evolution of Engh’s already well celebrated style and is a good candidate (along with Mike Strantz’s redesign at Monterey Peninsula C.C. short course for best new private course...Brian Silva and Tom Doak might also have a thing or two to say before the final scores are turned in.)

General Manager Troy Sprister was spot on when he wrote “Our golf course never reveals itself the same way twice, which makes it enjoyable to play again and again.” Normally, I would dismiss this broad, somewhat general observation as marketing fluff, but on this occasion I am happy to report that Spister has accurately highlighted one of the greatest attributes of Pradera…both in terms of being worthy of national recognition and in terms of how good it is as the choice of private club for the consumer.

Yes, it is obvious Jim Engh has been blessed with gorgeous sites to ply his trade, but Engh’s great talent lies in a) maximizing the routing to take full advantage of tee box views and natural green setting; b) weaving strategic holes with multiple options on the land and; c) coming in on time and under budget. With numerous pulpit tees overlooking wide Colorado vistas, Pradera is beautiful. But Engh dipped into the endless bag of design features he built while designing in the UK and Europe to make Pradera a strategic tour de force.

Four tees and three “flex” sets, mixing and matching tee boxes to suit individual tastes.

$29,000 + $335 monthly dues for a family membership

Contact membership director Greg White, 720.851.9600, gwhite@theclubatpradera


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