The starting hole at the Angel Fire Resort Golf Course & Country Club begins on an elevated tee box with majestic views of the Moreno Valley. A downhill par 4 that measures 367 yards from the white tees, the hole has a generous landing area that is pinched by bunkers on each side, and the green is protected by a bunker in front and water long and right.
PRO TIP: Play for a miss to the left of this fairway to avoid trouble on the right.
Boasting a narrow tree-lined fairway that demands precision off the tee, this short par 4 will challenge golfers of every level. A creek to the player’s left runs the entire length of the hole and a cluster of bunkers gives the image of a very narrow landing area. A green that slopes back to front puts a premium on distance control with your approach.
PRO TIP: The hill on the right of the fairway will kick an errant shot left. Driver is not the choice on this short par 4.
Next is the first par 5 on the course. While not very long at 483 yards, the key to a birdie is a solid tee shot. The hole lies in a fir-lined canyon and gives the golfer a narrow target to shoot at. A creek down the left side of the fairway makes the tee shot that much more daunting. The green is tucked behind a stand of spruce with deep bunkers guarding its front. For the ladies, this is the #1 handicap hole on the course.
PRO TIP: Keeping it in the fairway is a must on this short par 5.
At 400 yards, hole #4 is the longest par 4 on the course and the #1 handicap hole. The fairway is very wide, but the landing area is bordered by a creek again on the left and a large bunker on the right. On the approach, the golfer sees a false front to the green, which can make judging distance tricky. The green is slightly elevated and bunkers on the left are deep and slope down to the creek. Additionally, prevailing west winds can cause the hole to play much longer. You’ll need driver and an accurate wood or middle iron to birdie this one. Par is a good score with birdie opportunities coming up.
PRO TIP: Play for a miss to the right to avoid trouble left of this fairway.
A true test of risk vs. reward, the par 4 5th hole can yield a birdie but can also result in bogey or worse. The tee shot is somewhat blind as the hole rises up over a ridge and doglegs right. A pair of trees in the middle of the fairway gives the hole much of its character and challenge. At 318 yards from the regular tee, the safe play is a fairway wood off the tee. A large bunker guards the green short right and the green slopes severely from back to front.
PRO TIP: Aim right of the trees in the middle of the fairway. 3-wood is all you should need.
The signature hole at the Angel Fire Resort Golf & Country Club, the 6th hole is a 216-yard, par 3 with the tee box a spectacular 200 feet above the green. Bunkers on left and right frame the green against the aspen, fir and ponderosa pines. Wind will play a part in your club selection. Some days call for a 3-wood, other days an eight-iron. Depends on whichever way the wind blows. Amazing 360-degree views of Wheeler Peak and the Sangre de Cristo Mountains makes this hole the most memorable on the course.
PRO TIP: Plenty of room right to avoid trouble left. Downhill drop will reduce club selection 2-3 clubs.
The course’s second par 5 is also the longest hole on the course at 568 yards. Winding through a canyon, the hole doglegs left and then back to the right. A creek lines the right side of the fairway and three bunkers surround a large and receptive green.
PRO TIP: Play short of the fairway bunker on your second shot if there is any doubt about carrying it.
The second par 3 on the front nine is a 163-yard test of accuracy. A narrow throat yields to a large and deep green that has many subtle breaks. A creek crosses the hole but is not in play. Bunkers on each side of the green make the approach slightly more challenging and the hole seems to play shorter than the yardage.
PRO TIP: Club selection is critical; play one club less than you think.
A great hole to finish the front nine, the par 4 9th measures 336 yards from the white tee box. With the wind generally behind you, the safe play is a fairway wood to the large landing area short of the lake. This will leave you a mid-iron to a blind landing on the green. More aggressive players will take a driver and aim right to cut the corner of the dogleg and clear the lake. A short iron up the hill and over the trap short and left gives you a better chance at birdie, but the risk off the tee is substantial.
PRO TIP: The safest play is a fairway wood to the 150-yard marker.
Another short par 4 begins the second nine at the Angel Fire Resort Golf & Country Club. A sharply uphill and semi-blind tee shot forces a shorter club choice. A slight dogleg right finds the fairway narrowing to the mouth of the green, which has a false front.
PRO TIP: Favor the right side of the fairway on your tee shot as it slopes from right to left.
Perched atop a ridge, the tee for the par-4 11th gives you a bird’s eye view of the hole. Of course, with the elevated tee, your drive will sail and at 377 yards, long players may take a shot at driving the green. But beware! Hazards surrounding the green include three bunkers and a creek behind the green. Two bunkers and a lake to the left plus out of bounds to the right equals bogey or worse for an errant tee shot. A stand of fir trees at the corner of the dogleg also presents an obstacle.
PRO TIP: Long iron or fairway metal is the safest choice off the tee.
The lone par 3 on the back nine comes up next. A slightly elevated tee gives you a nice view of the lake between you and the green. Pines surround the green where wind sometimes comes into play. For the accurate golfer, this is a definite birdie opportunity.
PRO TIP: Play to the left of this green. A miss to the right will take the slope down the hill leaving a blind pitch uphill.
Starting with the 13th hole, Cienguilla Creek meanders along and across the next five holes. Rolling hills add to the challenge. This 382-yard, par 4 begins by teeing off over the creek to a landing area bordered by water left and long. The fairways slopes right to left and a fairway wood is likely all you’ll need to have a short iron into the green.
PRO TIP: Play for the right side of this fairway, which slopes right to left.
With hole 14, the course turns back to the north with views down the Moreno Valley. Once again, the prominent feature of this par 4 is the creek that comes into play. Depending on the wind, reaching the water that borders the fairway is possible. In addition, the fairway slopes down to the creek so one bad bounce can mean trouble. The smart play is a fairway wood from the tee, leaving a short iron into this elevated green. A deep bunker looms short left of the green and tall pines stand post behind.
PRO TIP: Fairway metal will keep you out of the creek.
At 356 yards, the par-4 15th just teases you to pull driver out of the bag. The fairway slopes downhill steadily all the way to the creek and you can’t help but tell yourself you could clear it. But looks can be deceiving. It’s a solid 300-yard carry over the creek and many a ball has found its way downstream. Solid course management and a good approach will give you a great shot at birdie.
PRO TIP: Leave yourself with a full shot into this green for your best chance at birdie.
The first of two consecutive doglegs left, the 371-yard, par-4 16th hole offers another risk-reward decision. The landing area is generous at the corner but is then pinched by a bunker on the right and a creek long and left. Landing past these two hazards rewards the golfer with a wedge into a target green. Be sure not to miss majestic Wheeler Peak rising up behind the green.
PRO TIP: Trying to cut this dogleg will give you more risk than reward.
At 359 yards from the championship tee, the 17th gives a warm-up before tackling the finishing hole. Creek and marsh areas sit just off the front of the tee and a small pond sits to the right of the fairway. This slight dogleg left rises back up the hill towards the green. Three pot bunkers guard the front of the green and the approach up the hill makes judging distance more challenging. Par here is a good score.
PRO TIP: Aim to the right of the trees for a good shot at birdie.
The second hardest hole on the course will test even the most seasoned player at the end of a great round of golf. At 502 yards, the 18th hole is the only par 5 on the back nine and always seems to play much longer. Between you and the fairway lie a creek, native grassland, and a road. You’ll need at least 200 yards to carry your drive over the road to the large landing area. A bunker at the corner of this dogleg shouldn’t come into play as you hit your 2nd shot up a chute between tall pines and fir trees. Deep bunkers in front and back and ridge running through the middle guard the elevated green. Pin position will play a huge role in your score.
PRO TIP: For a clear approach shot, favor the left side of the fairway on your second shot.