Why we love it: We only have to drive five minutes to tee off at this urban course with stunning mountain and city views.
No matter how old you get, dinosaurs are still pretty neat. In the shadow of the foothills at Golden's Fossil Trace course, your golf cart follows the footsteps of dinosaurs that roamed the area 64 million years ago. Adjacent to the 12th hole—a par five with a straight fairway between a rock wall and a deep ravine—Triceratops footprints and fossils add a touch of historical whimsy to the challenging course, which includes exposed rocks on narrow fairways, plenty of water and sand, and one punishing 659-yard par-five hole.
When we need a quick, close-to-home round, we’re fond of Denver’s affordable city courses (the open fairways are kind to our gnarly slices). In particular, we prefer the historic links at Overland, site of the original Denver Country Club, which includes the oldest nine holes west of the Mississippi. We’re drawn to Overland’s just-challenging-enough layout, which forces us to choose the correct club but rarely leaves us wanting to smash said club around a tree in a fit of self-rage. 1801 S. Huron St., 303-777-7331, cityofdenvergolf.com
2500 York St., 720-865-3410, denvergov.org/golf