The European Club

Brittas Bay, Co. Wicklow

Cherry Hills Country Club (Englewood, Colorado)

Cherry Hills Country Club logo Golf Course Review by: Bill Satterfield

Rankings: 

   

The Takeaway:  The premier host course for USGA events in Denver, Cherry Hills is a historic course with Colorado's most impressive resume. The routing, variety, and challenge throughout the course are outstanding with the back nine being one of the finest inward nines in the West.  Grade A-

Quick Facts

Designer:  William Flynn in 1922

Cost:  Private

Phone Number:  303-761-9900

Course Website:  Official Website - Visit Cherry Hills Country Club's official website by clicking on the link provided.

Directions:  Get here! - 4125 S. University Blvd., Englewood, Colorado  80113 – UNITED STATES

Photos:  See additional photos of Cherry Hills Country Club

What to Expect:  Cherry Hills Country Club is the most storied course in the Rocky Mountain West acting as the venue for the U.S. Open three times (1938, 1960, 1978), the PGA Championship twice (1941 and 1985), three U.S. Amateurs (1990, 2012, and 2023), a Women's U.S. Open (2005), a Senior U.S. Open (1993), and additional USGA events. The newly renovated clubhouse is beyond impressive and is even better equipped for handling major events than before. The rolling terrain and meandering creek located on the property are conducive elements to creating great golf course architecture and Cherry Hills delivers on many levels. The opening hole is best known for being the par four that Arnold Palmer drove on the final day of the 1960 U.S. Open which led to a birdie and eventually a victory. But it is the back nine at Cherry Hills that is the course's real strength on the merits of the 12th, 14th, 16th, 17th, and 18th holes which feature several hazards and classic shapes. The variety of hole lengths, shape, and challenges throughout the course are impressive and provide long term playability while the water features on the closing holes can quickly put a big number on your scorecard. A feature that will stand out to architecture geeks is the uniquely impressive routing where the front nine is shaped in an hourglass before the back nine encircles the outward nine in a counter-clockwise direction. The constant changing of direction paired with the mature trees that are peppered throughout the layout create exceptional variety when the wind is moving through the property. Overall, Cherry Hills is a classically designed parkland course that may not blow you away with visuals on your first visit but is the type of design that builds up throughout the round and finishes with a bang.

By the Numbers

Tees Par Yardage Rating Slope
Championship 72 7316 75.5 145
Back 72 7016 73.5 144
Member 72 6694 72.3 142
Regular 72 6278 70.2 136
Forward (Ladies) 73 5573 72.5 144

Individual Hole Analysis

Signature Hole:  18th Hole – 484 Yard Par 5 – Played as a par four in major championship events, this short par five is the most memorable hole on the course. Water runs up the left side while o.b. borders the right side of this hole that runs hard uphill during the later portion of the fairway. A pair of bunkers protect the front of the green with the bunker on the right being about three times larger. The green is mostly blind on the approach due to the elevated location of the putting surface which adds an element of excitement when you climb the fairway to find where your ball has landed. Whether it is during your round or while watching a major championship, this hole is sure to provide plenty of drama.

18th Hole at Cherry Hills Country Club (484 Yard Par 5)
18th Hole at Cherry Hills Country Club (484 Yard Par 5)

18th Hole at Cherry Hills Country Club (484 Yard Par 5)
18th Hole at Cherry Hills Country Club (484 Yard Par 5)

18th Hole at Cherry Hills Country Club (484 Yard Par 5)
18th Hole at Cherry Hills Country Club (484 Yard Par 5)

Best Par 3:  15th Hole – 242 Yards –

15th Hole at Cherry Hills Country Club (242 Yard Par 3)
15th Hole at Cherry Hills Country Club (242 Yard Par 3)

15th Hole at Cherry Hills Country Club (242 Yard Par 3)
15th Hole at Cherry Hills Country Club (242 Yard Par 3)

Best Par 4:  16th Hole – 465 Yards – One of Colorado’s finest holes, this two-shotter is a dogleg left with Little Dry Creek running along the left side of the green and then cutting diagonally across the fairway. The creek comes into play on the approach shot while a long bunker runs up to the front left corner of the putting surface and a green-length bunker rests along the right side. Staying up the right side on your drive will give you the best angle to avoid the trees, bunker, and creek protecting this green. It is a fantastic hole that is a formidable challenge late in the round.

16th Hole at Cherry Hills Country Club (465 Yard Par 4)
16th Hole at Cherry Hills Country Club (465 Yard Par 4)

16th Hole at Cherry Hills Country Club (465 Yard Par 4)
16th Hole at Cherry Hills Country Club (465 Yard Par 4)

16th Hole at Cherry Hills Country Club (465 Yard Par 4)
16th Hole at Cherry Hills Country Club (465 Yard Par 4)

Best Par 5:  17th Hole – 544 Yards – Another drama creating hole is found down the stretch at Cherry Hills with this mid-length par five. Reachable in two with a big drive in the fairway, most players will still elect to layup due to the water hazard that surrounds this island green. Two sets of cross bunkers bisect the fairway and will need to be contended with during every shot made along the way. This hole became famous during the 1960 U.S. Open when Ben Hogan spun his third shot off the green and back into the water; a shot that woke Hogan up at night thinking about it. The legend never did get over that shot, one that he admitted was only two feet off his mark and that he would play the exact same way if given the opportunity again. Nothing is tougher on a golfer than hitting a great shot just the way you want, and getting a lousy result.

17th Hole at Cherry Hills Country Club (544 Yard Par 5)
17th Hole at Cherry Hills Country Club (544 Yard Par 5)

17th Hole at Cherry Hills Country Club (544 Yard Par 5)
17th Hole at Cherry Hills Country Club (544 Yard Par 5)

17th Hole at Cherry Hills Country Club (544 Yard Par 5)
17th Hole at Cherry Hills Country Club (544 Yard Par 5)

Birdie Time:  3rd Hole – 325 Yard Par 4 – Amazingly it was the 1st hole rather than the shorter 3rd hole that Arnold Palmer drove the green during the final round of the 1960 U.S. Open a scored a birdie enroute to a 65 and a stunning victory. But for the rest of us, carding a birdie at the 3rd hole may be an easier feat to accomplish since it plays about 70 yards shorter. A long cross bunker enters the fairway and causes havoc on players choosing to layup while a bunker several feet short of the green will try and catch tee shots from players trying to drive the green. Regardless of whether you go for the green or layup, this hole sets up well for snagging a birdie early in the round.

3rd Hole at Cherry Hills Country Club (325 Yard Par 4)
3rd Hole at Cherry Hills Country Club (325 Yard Par 4)

3rd Hole at Cherry Hills Country Club (325 Yard Par 4)
3rd Hole at Cherry Hills Country Club (325 Yard Par 4)

3rd Hole at Cherry Hills Country Club (325 Yard Par 4)
3rd Hole at Cherry Hills Country Club (325 Yard Par 4)

Bogey Beware:  14th Hole – 515 Yard Par 4 – This is a long challenging hole with o.b. to the right and trees lining both sides of the fairway. The lengthy approach shot into the green will be faced with a creek on the left and bunker on the right of the putting surface. The back tee plays about 480 yards, but a championship tee has been installed which stretches the par four out to a whopping 522 yards; unreachable in two by some golfers. Taking bogey on this hole will put you in more company than those scoring par.

14th Hole at Cherry Hills Country Club (515 Yard Par 4)
14th Hole at Cherry Hills Country Club (515 Yard Par 4)

14th Hole at Cherry Hills Country Club (515 Yard Par 4)
14th Hole at Cherry Hills Country Club (515 Yard Par 4)

14th Hole at Cherry Hills Country Club (515 Yard Par 4)
14th Hole at Cherry Hills Country Club (515 Yard Par 4)

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