Fossil Trace Golf Club

Fossil Trace Golf Club – Played June 2017

  • Rankings: None of the four lists
  • Location: 3050 Illinois Street, Golden, Colorado
  • Year: 2003
  • Architect: Jim Engh
  • Course Access: Public
  • Walking Rules: Carts Available

Score Card Information:

  • Black: 6,831 yards, Par 72, 72.3 Rating/138 Slope
  • T-Rex: 6,577 yards, Par 72, 71.4 Rating/136 Slope
  • Blue: 6,241 yards, Par 72, 69.0 Rating/133 Slope (Men’s), 74.5 Rating/145 Slope (Women’s)
  • Trike: 5,933 yards, Par 72, 67.8 Rating/122 Slope (Men’s), 72.8 Rating/140 Slope
  • White: 5,559 yards, Par 72, 66.6 Rating/112 Slope (Men’s), 71.4 Rating/133 Slope (Women’s)
  • Palm: 5,197 yards, Par 72, 69.1 Rating/127 Slope (Women’s)
  • Gold: 4,681 yards, Par 72, 66.5 Rating/117 Slope (Women’s)

The only non-ranked course on this trip was my second Jim Engh track in as many days.  While it wasn’t ranked the course was very fun and featured great views.  The large stone below welcomes you at the entrance followed by the clubhouse.

They take the fossil portion of their name pretty seriously.  The photo below is from the clubhouse.  This exhibit details the area’s history shares info on the dinosaur tracks and fossils found while excavating the course.

Also, the course website mentions that is was opened 64 million years after the dinosaurs walked the land.  Apparently this is where holes 11-15 sit.  Set just in the foothills of the Rockies the scenery is awesome.

I was lucky enough to play with two employees who guided me around and showed me the lay of the land.  We played the blue tees so all distances will be from those markers.

Hole 1 – 544 yards – Par 5

The first is a mildly difficult tee shot with a large drop off to the left and long grass on the right.

The blue tees below and T-Rex marker again embrace the prehistoric theme.

As you get further down the hole you can see it dips severely to the lower fairway towards the green.

Below is a look at the third shot and the green.


Hole 2 – 297 yards – Par 4

This hole is driveable, but the landing area is quite small.  In my opinion the rish outweighs the reward.

The hole bends around to the left to reveal the green.

It sits down in a hollow and it quite narrow.  Classic Engh right here.

Hole 3 – 135 yards – Par 3

The first one-shot hole plays uphill quite a bit and is fronted by a deep bunker.  I can say from personal exprience that you want to avoid it :).

This shot from the back of the green shows the large hill behind.  You can also see the other bunkers guarding the green.

Hole 4 – 426 yards – Par 4

This is the toughest hole on the course in my opinion.  The trees provide cover up the right side and the fairway falls off on the left.  A long and straight drive is crucial.

The approach is also tough with the hazard up the left side.  More than likely it will be a longer shot as well.

Hole 5 – 95 yards – Par 3

I love a short par 3 and this one definitely qualifies as it’s under 100 yards.  Be accurate though as there are bunkers all around.

Hole 6 – 372 yards – Par 4

The power lines are a little distracting, but if you block them out you will see a wide fairway and a good chance at birdie.

A look at the second shot.

The green is really big.  The photo below illustrates the internal contouring of the putting surface.

Hole 7 – 338 yards – Par 4

Interesting hole here especially once you get past the tee shot.  At this length a 200 yard tee shot is all that is really needed.

I took a look at the scenery around me on this hole.

The approach is uphill over a large bunker.  The sand is certainly to be avoided.

The green sits down in a bowl and is pretty flat.

The shape of this bunker is unique.  It is large, but not wide.  It has a somewhat serpentine shape.

Hole 8 – 372 yards – Par 4

Not a long hole, but there is challenge with the fairway bunkers.  Find the short grass and you can attack this hole.

I liked the sloping on this green.  You can get some interesting putts and focus is required.

Hole 9 – 570 yards – Par 5

This is a long one with OB to the left.  The fairway is quite wide.  Rip one here!

The third shows the green emerging among the mounding.

The green is quite large, but narrow.  If you are able to swing for it in two the green is inviting.

Hole 10 – 305 yards – Par 4

As a shorter hole the hazard becomes less of a problem.  Theoretically you can take less club for precision and take it up the left side.  If you want to get greedy the green is to the right.

You can start to see the green and the slopes.  You can also see the outline of one of the green-side bunkers.

Hole 11 – 154 yards – Par 3

The sign below details out some of the more recent history of holes 11-15.

This hole will remind you of some of the par threes at other Engh courses I’ve profiled (Tullymore and Lakota Canyon).  It is slightly uphill to a green hemmed in by large mounds.

You can see the narrowness of the putting surface along with some large contours.

Hole 12 – 545 yards – Par 5

This is one of the more fun holes out here.  The view is spectacular.  You can pound driver here.

The old rocks that start to rise up from the fairway are something I haven’t seen anywhere else.  You have to be precise on your shots to avoid them. The green sits amidst the rock formation.

You can see the large ridge that bisects the green.  Be cognizant of where the flag is or you will have a difficult putt over the ridge.

Near the green sits this awesome exhibit showcasing the ancient history of the place.  It houses Triceratops footprints and other prehistoric markings.  Really cool and unique.

Hole 13 – 381 yards – Par 4

This dogleg right features some more interesting rock formations.  There is plenty of room in the fairway.  You will need to carry it longer if you go to the right.

Below is a look at the second shot.

The photos below show the cool slopes of the green.

Hole 14 – 205 yards – Par 3

This one is long and uphill.  Luckily we got a front pin.  You will see in the next photo that their is a massive ridge in the middle of this green.

Told ya.  This ridge is 5-6 feet tall.

Hole 15 – 536 yards – Par 5

This one is straightaway as you can see.  Avoiding the bunkers is goal number one.  The fairway funnels everything towards the middle.

We’ve seen a lot of greens sitting in bowls.  This is just another example.

My playing partners were telling me that this green has had trouble with holding too much water.  They said it sits too low and I agree with them.  I believe the hole would be better if the green was much higher.

Hole 16 – 141 yards – Par 3

I liked this one because it was a little different from the other par 3’s.  It is flat, but offers resistance with the bunker and water hazard front, right.

A closer look.

The green has some great challenge with the ridge seen below.  Cross-green putts are all about speed.

Hole 17 – 320 yards – Par 4

This short hole features plenty of danger up the right side.  Keep the drive up the left side and you’ll be in business.

The approach is not too hard, but the green is guarded by a large bunker.

The putting surface has a unique shape as seen below.

Hole 18 – 505 yards – Par 5

I wanted to show the hole markers and I remembered that by the last hole.  Check it out.

The hazard from the last hole is also in play here up the right side.  This hole is gettable in two.

The green sits behind a bunker raised above the fairway.  Don’t let your shot leak to the right.

The large green extends in all directions like a starfish.  You can have some interesting putts around fringes.

I really enjoyed this course.  The playing confines are wide and allow you to pound driver.  The conditioning of the course was great.  I enjoyed the quirky prehistoric theme as well.  My playing partners were great and very hospitable.  There knowledge of and pride for their course was evident.  Fun day all around.

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