· course reviews · 8 min read

Red Hawk Ridge Golf Course - Detailed Course Guide

Discover the Red Hawk Ridge Golf Course in Castle Rock, CO. Our detailed guide has course info, photos, reviews, scorecard, tips, and more.

Discover the Red Hawk Ridge Golf Course in Castle Rock, CO. Our detailed guide has course info, photos, reviews, scorecard, tips, and more.

Photo courtesy of Red Hawk Ridge Golf Course

Course Snapshot


Nestled in the picturesque town of Castle Rock, Colorado, Red Hawk Ridge Golf Course stands as a testament to the beauty and challenge of mountain golf. Designed by the renowned architect Jim Engh in 1999, this public course has quickly become a favorite among local and visiting golfers alike. With its dramatic elevation changes, stunning vistas, and strategic layout, Red Hawk Ridge offers a golfing experience that is both exhilarating and memorable.

Course Overview

Red Hawk Ridge is a par-72 championship course that stretches to 6,942 yards from the back tees. However, don’t let the yardage fool you – the elevation changes and mountain terrain make this course play longer than the scorecard suggests. To accommodate golfers of all skill levels, the course features five sets of tees:

  • Black: 6,942 yards (Rating: 71.8 / Slope: 130)
  • Gold: 6,276 yards (Rating: 68.9 / Slope: 124)
  • Blue: 5,923 yards (Rating: 67.3 / Slope: 117)
  • White: 5,356 yards (Rating: 69.2 / Slope: 123 for women)
  • Red: 4,636 yards (Rating: 67.0 / Slope: 107 for women)

The course is characterized by its extreme elevation changes, which not only provide a physical challenge but also offer breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. As you navigate the 18 holes, you’ll encounter a variety of uphill and downhill shots, each requiring careful club selection and strategy.

Red Hawk Ridge

Photo courtesy of Red Hawk Ridge Golf Course

Course Features

Tees and Greens

Red Hawk Ridge boasts immaculate bent grass tees and greens. The putting surfaces are known for their subtle undulations, providing a true test of a golfer’s reading and putting skills. The greens are generally large and receptive, but their contours can make two-putting a challenge if you find yourself on the wrong side of the hole.

Fairways and Rough

The fairways at Red Hawk Ridge are generously wide and lush, featuring bluegrass that provides excellent lies. The contrast between the manicured fairways and the native grasses and scrub oak that line them is not only visually striking but also adds to the strategic elements of the course. Errant shots that find the native areas can lead to difficult recoveries, emphasizing the importance of accuracy off the tee.

Hazards and Bunkers

Jim Engh’s design incorporates strategic bunkering throughout the course. These well-placed sand traps not only add to the visual appeal but also influence shot selection and strategy on many holes. Water hazards come into play on several holes, most notably on the dramatic 18th, where a large pond guards the right side of the fairway and green.

Signature Holes

14th Hole: 216-yard Par 3

The 14th hole at Red Hawk Ridge is widely considered the course’s signature hole and for good reason. This stunning par 3 plays from an elevated tee box, offering panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. The green is perched on the edge of a ravine, with a catch bunker running along the left side to save pulled shots from a more severe fate.

The elevation change makes club selection crucial, as the ball will hang in the air longer than usual. Depending on the wind conditions, players might find themselves hitting anything from a long iron to a hybrid or even a fairway wood. The green is large but tiered, making distance control essential to set up a reasonable birdie putt.

18th Hole: 533-yard Par 5

The finishing hole at Red Hawk Ridge is a prime example of Jim Engh’s risk-reward design philosophy. This reachable par 5 tempts long hitters to go for the green in two, but not without significant risk. A large pond runs along the entire right side of the hole, from tee to green, while a border bunker further protects the putting surface.

Players who choose to lay up will have a better angle for their approach, but must be careful not to drift too far right with their second shot. The green is receptive to well-struck long irons or fairway woods, but anything short or right will find a watery grave. It’s a thrilling finish that can lead to dramatic swings in match play or tournament situations.

Playing Experience

Playing a round at Red Hawk Ridge is a journey through varied terrain and shot-making challenges. The course’s layout takes full advantage of the natural topography, presenting golfers with a mix of uphill and downhill shots that require careful club selection and course management.

Many holes feature risk-reward options, allowing aggressive players to attempt heroic shots while offering safer routes for those who prefer a more conservative approach. The par 5s, in particular, showcase this design philosophy, with several offering the opportunity to reach the green in two for those willing to take on the risk.

The green complexes at Red Hawk Ridge are a highlight of the course. With their subtle undulations and strategic pin placements, they demand precision in approach shots and a deft touch with the putter. Many greens are protected by bunkers or slope away on one or more sides, adding to the challenge of getting up and down for par.

Throughout the round, players are treated to scenic beauty and the possibility of wildlife encounters. It’s not uncommon to see deer, foxes, or various bird species during a round at Red Hawk Ridge, adding to the course’s natural charm.

Red Hawk Ridge

Photo courtesy of Red Hawk Ridge Golf Course


Red Hawk Ridge offers a complete golfing experience with its range of amenities:

  1. Pro Shop: The full-service pro shop stocks a wide selection of golf equipment, apparel, and accessories. The knowledgeable staff can assist with equipment fitting and offer advice on course strategy.

  2. Clubhouse Grill: After your round, or even at the turn, the Clubhouse Grill provides a perfect spot to relax and refuel. With a menu featuring classic golf course fare as well as more substantial options, it’s a great place to discuss the day’s play or simply enjoy the views.

  3. Practice Facilities: To warm up before your round or work on your game, Red Hawk Ridge offers excellent practice facilities. These include a driving range, putting green, and short game area.

  4. Banquet and Meeting Rooms: The course’s facilities make it an ideal venue for tournaments, corporate events, or weddings. The banquet rooms can accommodate groups of various sizes and offer stunning views of the golf course and surrounding landscape.

Awards and Recognition

Red Hawk Ridge’s quality and popularity are reflected in its numerous accolades. Most recently, in the 2024 CAGGY Awards (Colorado AvidGolfer’s annual reader’s choice awards), Red Hawk Ridge was named:

  • Best Denver Region Course – Public/Resort
  • Best Conditions (Public Course category)

These latest honors add to a history of recognition, including previous CAGGY Awards for Best Par 5 and Best Value Course. The consistent acclaim speaks to the course’s enduring appeal and the staff’s commitment to maintaining excellent playing conditions.

Furthermore, Red Hawk Ridge is recognized as a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary. This certification acknowledges the course’s commitment to environmental stewardship, sustainable resource management, and conservation of wildlife habitats.

Tips for Playing Red Hawk Ridge

To make the most of your round at Red Hawk Ridge, consider the following tips:

  1. Club Selection: Due to the significant elevation changes, club selection is crucial. Uphill shots will play longer than the yardage suggests, while downhill shots may require one or two clubs less than usual.

  2. Course Management: While the course offers plenty of risk-reward opportunities, it’s important to play within your abilities. Don’t be afraid to lay up on longer holes or take a more conservative line if you’re not confident in carrying hazards.

  3. Green Reading: Pay close attention to the subtle breaks on the greens. What might look like a straight putt could have a slight curve due to the mountain terrain.

  4. Elevation Effects: Remember that you’re playing at altitude. The ball will travel farther in the thinner air, so adjust your expectations and club selections accordingly.

  5. Stay Focused: With such beautiful surroundings, it’s easy to get distracted. Take time to enjoy the views, but remember to refocus when it’s time to hit your shot.

  6. Dress Appropriately: Mountain weather can be unpredictable. Dress in layers and be prepared for potential temperature changes throughout your round.

Booking and Rates

Tee times at Red Hawk Ridge can be booked online through the course’s official website or by calling the pro shop. It’s recommended to book in advance, especially for weekend tee times during peak season.

Green fees vary depending on the time of day and season, ranging from $44 to $93, including cart rental. The course often offers twilight rates and special packages, so be sure to check the website for current promotions.


Red Hawk Ridge Golf Course offers a golfing experience that is truly unique to Colorado’s Front Range. With its dramatic elevation changes, strategic layout, and stunning mountain views, it provides a challenge and aesthetic appeal that few public courses can match.

Whether you’re a low-handicap player looking to test your skills or a casual golfer seeking a memorable round in a beautiful setting, Red Hawk Ridge delivers. The course’s consistent recognition in the CAGGY Awards speaks to its quality and the high regard in which it’s held by Colorado golfers.

From the opening tee shot to the final putt on the risk-reward 18th, Red Hawk Ridge takes players on a journey through some of the most spectacular golfing terrain in the Denver area. Its combination of natural beauty, strategic design, and excellent conditioning make it a must-play for any golfer visiting or living in Colorado.

So next time you’re looking for a golf adventure that offers both challenge and scenic beauty, set your sights on Red Hawk Ridge. With its panoramic views, diverse shot requirements, and top-notch facilities, it promises a round of golf you won’t soon forget.

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