· guides · 6 min read

Least Busy Golf Courses Near Denver: How to Avoid the Crowds

Discover Denver's least crowded golf courses and best times to play. We unpack how to avoid the rush, enjoy serene solo rounds, and master your game in peace.

Discover Denver's least crowded golf courses and best times to play. We unpack how to avoid the rush, enjoy serene solo rounds, and master your game in peace.

Photo by Benson Ehlert on Unsplash

Golf’s popularity has surged in recent years, making it harder than ever to find a quiet moment on the greens. In Denver, prime weekend tee times are often fully booked weeks in advance.

Some golfers don’t mind hopping into a foursome with strangers. They enjoy meeting new friends and the social aspects of the game.

But for others, golf is more fun without a crowd. They prefer to play alone or with a small group of friends. They want to focus on their game and enjoy the tranquility of the course. They want to play at their own pace, without feeling rushed by the group behind them.

If that sounds like you, you’ve come to the right place.

In this guide, we cover:

Least Busy Golf Courses in Denver

We checked the inventory of last-minute tee times at 40 public courses around Denver. Our underlying assumption: if a course has lots of empty tee times within the next 24 hours, it’s not very busy. The tee times had to meet a few criteria:

  1. They were fully open, meaning all four slots were unbooked
  2. Teeing off within the next 24 hours, so they’d be less likely to fill up
  3. They had to be at a regulation 18-hole course (no par 3s or executive courses)

For all 40 courses, we recorded the number of last-minute tee times available. Here are the top 10 courses with the most open tee times:

RankCourseCityLast-minute empty tee times: Weekday (Weekend)
1Knolls Course at RiverdaleBrighton45 (5)
2Buffalo Run Golf CourseCommerce City43 (1)
3Hyland Hills Gold CourseWestminster34 (10)
4West Woods Golf CourseArvada27 (0)
5Springhill Golf CourseAurora26 (5)
6Walnut Creek Golf PreserveWestminster24 (9)
7Colorado National Golf ClubErie20 (9)
8Heather Ridge Golf CourseAurora20 (7)
9Todd Creek Golf ClubThornton20 (5)
10Indian TreeArvada20 (2)

Based on our study, The Knolls at Riverdale, Hyland Hills Gold Course, and Buffalo Run seem to be the standout winners for least busy courses. Particularly, during weekdays.

Least Busy Time to Go Golfing

A golfer teeing off.

Photo by Brandon Williams on Unsplash

If you’re looking to avoid the crowds, timing is everything. Here are some tips for finding the least busy times to play.

Weekdays

It’s no secret that Friday through Sunday, most golf courses are swarming with weekend warriors. If you have the flexibility, playing during a weekday is a surefire way to avoid the crowds.

Late Afternoon and Twilight Golf

A golfer lines up a shot as the sun sets.

Photo by Christoph Keil on Unsplash

Mornings are always the busiest time on golf courses, especially in Colorado. Early birds and retirees crowd in for early tee times to avoid the late-day heat and afternoon storms.

But if you’re willing to brave the elements, late afternoon and twilight tee times are a great way to avoid the crowds on the golf course. Plus, you can often get a discount on tee times after 6pm, since you’ll likely need a rain check for incomplete holes when it gets dark.

Off-Peak Season

Peak golf season in most of Colorado is roughly May to September. During this time, the courses are packed and green fees are at their highest.

Conversely, during the off-season you can find great deals and plenty of empty tee times. The Colorado weather is obviously unpredictable. But there are always a few majestic 65-degree days in the middle of winter that are perfect for golf.

How to Find Solo Tee Times

Solo golfing can be a therapeutic experience. The freedom to play multiple balls, set your own pace, and immerse yourself in the game is a cool experience.

However, finding a solo tee time can be tricky. Most courses are set up for groups of four, and often have a two-player minimum for booking an empty tee time. So, how do you book a solo tee time without joining another group?

  1. Book a last-minute tee time. If you’re flexible and willing to play at the last minute, you can often find empty tee times that are too late for other groups to join.

  2. Choose courses that allow singles to book an empty tee time. If a tee time is empty, most courses prevent a single player from booking it. However, a few Denver courses allow solo players to reserve an empty tee time on their website. These include:

    • All Aurora municipal courses: Murphy Creek, Saddle Rock, Meadow Hills, Aurora Hills, and Springhill
    • Buffalo Run
    • Walnut Creek
    • Colorado National
    • Heather Ridge
    • CommonGround
    • Legacy Ridge
    • Broken Tee
    • Heritage Eagle Bend

More Tips for a Less Crowded Golf Experience

Check out ‘first come, first served’ golf courses. Some courses, like the Par-3 at Indian Tree or CommonGround, operate on a walk-on basis without specific tee times. These can be a great opportunity to play a quick round without a crowd. We’d suggest hitting some balls on the range while you keep an eye on the par 3. When it clears out, you can jump on and play a quick round.

An aerial view of Homestead Golf Course in Lakewood, CO.

Photo courtesy of Homestead Golf Course

Play shorter courses. Don’t underestimate the charm of Par 3s, Executive Courses, and 9-hole layouts. They’re far less popular and crowded than typical 18-hole courses. Plus, they’re a great way to practice your short game.

Some of the best short courses in Denver include:

Places to Avoid - The Busiest Golf Courses in the Denver Area

If you’re looking for the quiet corners of Denver’s golf scene, then it’s worth knowing where to avoid. Here are some of the busiest courses in the Denver area.

  1. Denver City courses, especially City Park, Willis Case, Wellshire, and Overland Park, are almost always packed. In our analysis, these courses usually have zero last-minute open tee times on weekends or weekdays.
  2. The same goes for premium courses like Arrowhead and Fossil Trace. These are some of the best courses in Colorado and they draw the crowds to match.

While you’re here…

Ready to book a tee time? Check our comprehensive guide to booking every course in Denver.

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