High Altitude Courses in the U.S.


High Altitude Courses in the U.S.


High-altitude courses, defined as anything above 4,900 feet or 1,500 meters, allow you to play through beautiful and distinctive settings, such as mountains or high desert. Air density is lower at higher altitudes, which reduces drag and lift on the golf ball, resulting in longer, flatter drives. It’s likely that you’ll hit your longest drive ever at a high-altitude course!

Since playing at high altitude can be such a fun and unique experience, we wanted to highlight the high-altitude courses that we have in our database.  In addition to providing elevation data for over 1,300 courses in the United States in our course profiles (data source:  ProVisualizer), elevation data is also part of the calculation we use to generate our Walkability Ratings. For this particular study, we flagged any course that reached an elevation over 4,900 feet and identified 42 high-altitude courses across the United States (21 public, 21 private).

Paako Ridge, outside of Albuquerque, is played at an elevation of 6,690 feet and is one of Golf Digest’s top 100 public courses. Photo: Paako Ridge website


Before we share the list, here are a few takeaways and fun facts:

  • Breckenridge Golf Club had the highest elevation at 9,324 feet. Someone who hits the ball 225 yards at sea level would hit the ball almost 250 yards at Breckenridge!

  • There were no high-altitude courses east of Colorado.

  • Colorado had the most high-altitude courses of any U.S. state in our database with 15. Utah and New Mexico followed with seven and six courses respectively

  • The Denver area had the highest concentration of high-altitude courses of any U.S. region (11) in our database followed by the Great Salt Lake region (7).

  • Only one course is ranked by Golf Magazine as a Top 100 course in the world: Rock Creek Cattle Company in Montana. Two courses, Rock Creek and Cherry Hills, are ranked in Golf Magazine’s U.S. Top 100. Castle Pines is the highest ranked course by Golf Digest, #48 in the U.S.

  • Six high-altitude courses are included in Golf Digest’s Top 100 public courses in the U.S.: Red Sky Ranch (Norman & Fazio courses), Paa-Ko Ridge, Broadmoor (East), Edgewood Tahoe, and TPC Colorado.

  • Only one high-altitude course has hosted a Men’s Major Championship: Cherry Hills.

  • Three high-altitude courses have hosted Women’s Major Championship events: Broadmoor (East), Colorado Golf Club (2013 Solheim Cup), and Cherry Hills.

  • Only one high-altitude course hosts an annual PGA Tour event: Old Greenwood in Reno.

  • Six high-altitude courses have hosted multiple United States Golf Association Championships: Cherry Hills (9), Broadmoor – East (7), Forest Highlands-Canyon and Meadow (2), Edgewood Tahoe (2), and Denver CC (2).

  • Jack Nicklaus has designed the most high-altitude courses on our list (10), followed by Tom Fazio (4), and Ken Dye (3).

  • About half of the courses had a moderate Walkability Rating, meaning that 18 holes walking would be generally suitable for anyone who wants a bit of a challenge. The other half had Strenuous or Very Strenuous Walkability Ratings, meaning they would be a challenge to walk or impossible to walk for most golfers

In the table below, we list the high-altitude courses in our database sorted by elevation. We even highlight how far someone who hits it 225 yards off the tee at sea level would hit it at these courses!

Colorado Golf Club, outside of Denver, has hosted the Solheim Cup and USGA Mid-Amateur, and is played at an elevation of over 6,200 feet. Photo: Jon Cavalier (LinksGems)

The List

Recent additions:

  • Victory Ranch (UT) – 6,859 feet

  • The Club at Cordillera (Valley) – 7,455 feet

  • The Club at Cordillera (Mountain) – 8,401 feet

  • The Club at Cordillera (Summit) – 9,063 feet

  • The Club at Cordillera (Short) – 8,049 feet

These courses are not included in the summary stats above.

If you have elevation data for any high altitude course not listed, please send an email to contact@openlinksgolf.com or leave a comment below.

Open Links Website

To find courses near you, register for free on our website. In addition to our golf course search engine, you can view course reviews from fellow passionate golfers, submit course reviews, view courses on a map, view in-depth course profiles (including elevation data!), track courses played, create a wishlist, and save course notes. We have also recently expanded our course coverage outside of the U.S., adding nearly 1,000 courses across Great Britain, Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico and the Caribbean.

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