Local golf courses worth a look

Challenging layouts, friendly service define local golf scene

Lou George reacts as he misses a chip onto the green by inches while playing at Conquistador Golf Course. Enlargephoto

Sam Green/Cortez Journal

Lou George reacts as he misses a chip onto the green by inches while playing at Conquistador Golf Course.

Nestled between high mountains and vast desserts, Cortez’s unique geographical terrain renders it somewhat of a golfer’s paradise.

Taking advantage of the area’s green grass and rolling hills, two golf courses reside in Cortez, to the delight of local golfers.

While a full appreciation of Cortez golf courses requires an actual presence on their fairways, below is a synopsis of what makes this area’s golf scene special.

Conquistador Golf Course

Northeast of downtown Cortez, Conquistador Golf Club serves as the city’s only 18-hole golf course.

Featuring iconic views of mountains and several unique holes, the par-72 course is capable of testing players of all abilities.

Conquistador’s total yardage from the championship tees is 7,152 yards, while the front tees provide a total distance of 5,655 yards. Two sets of middle-distance tee locations are also available.

In addition to its challenging holes, Conquistador features a full-service pro shop, which offers cart rentals, lessons and a variety of gear. A driving range is also available at the course.

New this year at Conquistador are recently refurbished bunkers, which, according to club staff member Jeff Carr, improve the course’s aesthetics.

A true gem among small-town courses, Conquistador is worth a look.

“We have a very friendly environment,” said club staff member Dominique Johnson. “It’s easy to make memories out here.”

To learn more about Conquistador Golf Course, contact the course’s pro shop at 970-565-9208.

South Forty Golf Course

Offering golfers a second option, the South Forty Golf Course south of Cortez provides a distinct golfing experience.

Opened in 2007, the nine-hole par-three course weaves its way across gullies, through former farm fields and over a small stream.

What makes the course unique, however, is its relaxed, family-friendly atmosphere.

“We’re just really laid-back,” said course co-owner Nancy Magness. “When somebody goes out there to hit the ball and they miss the ball or it goes two or three feet, nobody really cares.”

In large part because of to its unique layout and atmosphere, the South Forty was recently featured in the June edition of AvidGolfer magazine.

Like Conquistador, the South Forty offers golf carts and club rentals. The course can also be reserved for weddings and other special events.

“We try to be very customer-oriented,” said Maness. “We’re very-user friendly.

To learn more about the South Forty course, call 970-565-3501.