Getting To Know: Raven GC at Three Peaks
An Insightful Interview With Mark Nickel, Director of Golf
By Brian Weis
Whether you have played a course 20+ times a year or looking to play the course for the first time, insights from an insider can help enhance your golf experience. Below is an interview with Mark Nickel who shares some valuable tidbits about the course, memorable holes and must eats and treats at the 19th.
Give Our Readers An Overview of the Golf Course/Property
Stunning, both in its natural beauty and course design. The Raven at Three Peaks is consistently ranked as a Top Course, both nationally and locally. Designed by Hurdzen & Fry along with Tom Lehman the course will challenge you and it will awe you. It will leave you wishing there were 19 holes. With the inspiring elevation changes, colorful aspen groves, beautiful landscape and ample wildlife make sure you don't forget your camera.
* Top 10 you can Play in the U.S." - Golf Magazine
* 1 Mountain Golf Course" - Avid Golfer
* Second Highest Rating in Colorado" - Zagat
If Someone Was Looking To Golf In The Area, Why Should They Play Your Course?
We understand the meaning of service and we take it as a personal challenge to deliver a customer experience that equals the quality of our course. Impeccable golf, impeccable service, impeccable food & beverage equal an impeccable experience.
What Tips or Local Knowledge Would You Provide To Help Them Score Better At Your Course?
Sitting at the base of the amazing "Three Peaks" - Buffalo and Red Mountains and the jagged Thorn Peak and just above the rapid, trout filled "Blue River". You'll most likely get lost in the beauty of the surroundings but beware of the designers attempt at twisting you around and causing you to lose focus while forgetting about the natural slope of the terrain. They'll confuse you with their creative green shapes and dramatic hole layouts keep your perspective on the peaks and river trusting the natural elevation change and fairways wider than they appear. Club selection is also key as you will enjoy about 20% extra distance playing at 9000 ft elevation and at over 7400 yards from the back tees you may feel you'll need driver from every tee, which is an option but sometimes less club may position you better and help avoid the many elusive and challenging obstacles.
Recent Awards or What You Are Most Proud About The Course?
Consistently rated in the top 10 best courses in Colorado as well as:
* Top 10 you can play in the U.S." by Golf Magazine
* #1 Mountain Golf Course" by Avid Golfer "Second Highest Rating in Colorado" by Zagat T
he design is spectacular but the natural terrain of the area provided a most remarkable layout for the architects to merely gently shape the contours to provide a spectacular golf experience for all level of players
What Is The Signature, Most Talked About, or Most Photographed Hole?
#16 is our signature and probably most photographed hole measuring over 600 yards long this par 5 has a view that will make your jaw drop showcasing a gentle right hand dog leg and dropping about 200 feet in elevation from tee to green. A golfers delight that can be easily reached in two but a well bunkered and severely punishing green will make you think twice before pulling out that fairway wood.
#9 is our most dramatic elevation drop at over 300 feet from tee to green suggesting you may be able to drive this 500 yard par four but relax it still requires a monster hit to reach this one off the tee and severe hazard lirks down the entire right side with OB to the left so slicers and hookers beware. An easy straight shot down the fairway is all you need to enjoy this remarkable turn hole.
Right before lies our always talked about par 3 number 8. Another dramatic drop measuring over 180 yards from the back. You'll probably only need an eight or a nine iron though to get there but don't celebrate yet because you can trust the large undulated green will add a little pressure before that ever elusive birdie falls into the hole.
What Is Your Favorite Hole? Any Tips to Play It?
My favorite hole at the Raven GC at Three Peaks is hard to pick out of so many great holes but it would probably have to be #11. Maybe the hardest and is the #1 handicap hole for the ladies and always giving our ladies league players fits but is in my opinion our truly most "risk-reward" designed hole on the golf course. Another dramatic 600 yard par 5 with a beautiful large mountain lake lying about 280 yards from the black tee and following along side the fairway through your second shot which must be carried to reach a comparatively smaller yet very well protected green, this hole gives everybody goose bumps. With a good tee shot you can risk the carry of only about 230 yards on your second shot for a chance at eagle but a very costly miss will usually result in at least double bogey or possibly worse.
Shaped like a reverse question mark (making you question what to do next) most players will choose to navigate down the fairway staying to the left of the lake while searching for the best opportunity to slip one over to the green. the further you can knock your second shot down to the end will give you a shorter shot over the water but then faced with carrying a steep faced bunker to a narrower portion of the green. Too far to the right and your again risking the water and too far to the left you're off the back and playing from the knarly, thick native grass. Good luck on this one but if you escape with a birdie, run and don't look back.
Must Have Dish or Drink after the round at the 19th Hole?
Treat yourself to our bi-weekly "9 & Dine" every other Friday evening and enjoy meeting some great new friends with a fun and social nine holes of golf followed by a fantastic three course dinner each themed around a different country's cuisine. Our chefs prepare mouthwatering selections from our international cookbooks with appetizers, soup or salad, dinner and dessert. Pair this with one of our signature martinis or a nice bottle of wine from our international selection and you'll have the best evening ever for less than an evening at the local pub.
Who Holds Course Record and What Was Their Score?
A young man by the name of Eric Frishette shot a mere 67 with five birdies & no bogeys when the course first opened more than twelve years ago and it still stands today. Many have tried and as achievable as it sounds the course continues to bite anyone attempting to snatch it away no matter how well they're playing keeping the elusive target out of everyone's reach.
Back Tee Stats
Raven GC at Three Peaks
2929 N. Golden Eagle Rd
Silverthorne, Colorado, 80498
Revised: 04/25/2013 - Article Viewed 33,444 Times
About: Brian Weis
Brian Weis is the Publisher of GolfTrips.com, a network of golf travel and directory sites including GolfWisconsin.com, GolfMichigan.com, ArizonaGolfer.com, GolfAlabama.com, etc. Professionally, Brian is a member of the Golf Writers Association of America (GWAA), International Network of Golf (ING), Golf Travel Writers of America (GTWA), International Golf Travel Writers Association (IGTWA) and The Society of Hickory Golfers (SoHG). In 2016, Brian won The Shaheen Cup, an award given to a golf travel writer by his peers.
All of his life, Brian has been around the game of golf. As a youngster, Brian competed at all levels in junior and high school golf. Brian had a zero chance for a college golf scholarship, so he worked on the grounds crew at West Bend Country Club to pay for his University of Wisconsin education. In his adult years, his passion for the game collided with his entrepreneurial spirit and in 2004 launched GolfWisconsin.com. In 2007, the idea for a network of local golf directory sites formed and GolfTrips.com was born. Today, the network consists of a site in all 50 states supported by national sites like GolfTrips.com, GolfGuide.com and GolfPackages.com. It is an understatement to say, Brian is passionate about promoting golf and golf travel on a local, regional, national and international level.
On the golf course, Brian is known as a fierce weekend warrior that fluctuates between a 5-9 handicap. With a soft fade, known as "The Weis Slice", and booming 300+ drives, he can blast it out of bounds with the best of them.
Contact Brian Weis:
GolfTrips.com - Publisher and Golf Traveler