Devil’s Thumb Golf Club, lying north of Delta and the Gunnison River on Colorado’s western slope, is simply one of the state’s best public golf courses. Rick Phelps, the course architect, described it as a “prairie style” course with over 60 sand bunkers, three lakes, and 18 holes nestled in a dry valley in the Adobe Hills, a barren moonscape of shale hills. Devil’s Thumb, a 5,380-foot pinnacle, towers over the golf course. The 7,176-yard, par-72 desert course is open all year, offers stunning mountain views of Grand Mesa, the West Elk Mountains, and the rugged San Juan Mountains as well as outstanding and challenging golf. Most golfers rave about Devil’s Thumb’s pure links experience since no houses line the course and there are no tennis courts or swimming pools.
- The 18-hole Devil’s Thumb Golf Club is open year round and is often the only western Colorado course open in winter. The club has a pro shop, in-house pro, rental clubs and carts, putting green and a driving range. The greens fee is also affordable, especially during the shoulder seasons, plus they sometimes have a special over-50 price.
- The course, built in 2001, has five sets of tees, making it accessible to every golfer or so you can play it hard or easy. The course plays 7,176 yards from the back tees and 5,180 from the front ones. Be prepared for careful shot-making since some of them demand strategy and accuracy. The bunkers and split fairways keep it interesting. Watch for fast greens when putting. Tee times can be reserved up to three days in advance by calling 970-874-6262 or book on-line.
- Camp and play? Yes! Devil’s Thumb Golf Club offers dry camping sites to traveling golfers who need a place to park their RV or trailer overnight while playing a few rounds. Sites are free as long as you play a round each day that you stay. Length of stay is limited to three days. No tents though.
- Devil’s Thumb Golf Club has partnered up with a bunch of western Colorado hotels for a play-and-stay deal. Call the Comfort Inn in Delta, the Holiday Inn and Hampton Inn in Montrose, or Courtyard Marriott, Doubletree, Grand Vista Hotel, Hampton Inn, Hawthorn Suites, Holiday Inn, La Quinta Inn, and Residence Inn in Grand Junction to find the best deal and come and play some desert-style golf.
Recommended season(s): Year-round.
—Stewart M. Green