Breckenridge Golf Club, Beaver/Bear Course, Breckenridge, Colorado Challenging Mountain Golf and One of the Top Upscale Places to Play

Breckenridge Golf Club boasts three championship nine-hole courses, including the Bear and the Beaver. All the nines are Jack Nicklaus signature courses, and provide a mountain-golf experience at an elevation of more than 9,300 feet above sea level, where a golf ball flies farther and straighter than at lower elevations.

Stunning views of the Colorado Rockies are visible on every hole, and the courses feature dense woodlands, as well as more open native grasslands and wetlands. Wildlife abounds and it's not uncommon to see beaver, elk, deer, red fox and red-tail hawks, along with the occasional moose or bear.

The Bear Course was the first to open in 1985 and offers golfing challenges not unlike what the gold-seeking miners experienced on the land many years earlier. Neither the gold nor the low scores are easy to come by, even though the Bear Course has the most open feel. Holes 7, 8 and 9, in particular, are some of the most challenging to be found, and also offer some of the most notable views of the Ten-Mile mountain range.

The Beaver Course was the next to open in 1987, and features the narrowest, most-demanding fairways of the three courses. There are still "tailings'' - leftover rock piles, as the miners called them - visible on holes 6, 7 and 8, as well as the beaver ponds for which the course takes its name. There are also elevation changes and swirling breezes to contend with, adding to the already significant challenges found on this nine.

Golfers can choose from four sets of tees to suit a challenge equal to their game. For golfers choosing the Nicklaus tees on the Beaver/Bear rotation, the par-72 course plays 7,279 yards, with a course rating of 73.9 and a slope rating of 147, making for one of the most difficult courses in the state.

Since opening, Breckenridge Golf Club has received a number of awards and accolades, including "Best Mountain Course'' and "Toughest Mountain Course'' by Colorado Golfer newspaper. Golf Digest magazines rates Breckenridge as a 4 1/2 Star Facility and one of their top "Upscale Places to Play'' in the nation.

Practice facilities at Breckenridge include grass-tee driving range, two greens to practice chipping and putting, as well as an area for practicing sand bunker shots. PGA-certified professionals are also available and offer a variety of teaching programs.

The Breckenridge Golf Club also features one of the best golf shops in the nation, having been named one of "America's 100 Best Golf Shops'' eight times by Golf Shop Operations.

For relaxing and dining, the clubhouse offers some beautiful views as it sits at an elevation of 9,324 feet, and offers a selection of appetizers, meals and cocktails on the deck. The Clubhouse Restaurant features a full menu and bar service, including Thursday Night BBQ - one of the local favorites for dining choices.

Other activities include hiking and mountain biking. And when golf is not in season, the resort transforms into the Breckenridge Ski Area, which offers four terrain parks, three half-pipes that consistently rank among the world's best, North America's highest chairlift, and one of the few resorts that allows snowboarding.

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