West Woods Golf Course is always a pleasant place to play although it has split personalities.
The many regulars who play the Arvada golf course, just five minutes from Interstate 70 and Ward Road, know that every time you play the course, you get something a little different.
Not only does the course offer three different nine-hole options, but it sits on a massive acreage on at the edge of the foothills, so a bad shot could somehow find its way onto the green or fairway.
However, what may look like a great ball off the tee could end up in a pond, lost out of bounds or in an Arvada resident’s backyard — or in the rough or the bunker.
“Every time you play here, each round brings something a little different,” West Woods assistant golf course manager Scott Weyer said. “Not only do we have 27 holes but each nine is distinctly different.”
West Woods, a Richard M. Phelps-designed course, opened in 1994 with 18 holes, with the front nine dubbed the Sleeping Indian and the back nine the Cottonwood.
In 1998, Rick Phelps, Richard’s son, designed West Woods’ third nine-hole course, the Silo.
The Sleeping Indian is a pretty traditional nine-hole course. It’s wide open and will allow golfers to spray the ball left or right, but offers a chance to score and save pars.
The Cottonwood plays a little tighter. With narrower fairways and trees everywhere, golfers can find trouble on the Cottonwood, and pars can quickly turn into bogeys.
The Silo is even narrower than the Cottonwood, and it is the shortest of the three nine-hole courses. It is a true shotmaker’s course for those using their A-game.
“You can play the course long from the tips or play it short if you are not a long ball hitter, so this not a course just for lower-handicap players. Anyone can play here,” staff member Chad Duran said.
As golfers approach the No. 1 tee box at West Woods Golf Course, they can look directly west at the mountains to see an outline of the Sleeping Indian on the mountain. The course’s signature hole is considered No. 23, the fifth hole on Silo.
It’s a 493-yard, par 5 that is severely uphill and has a large silo, left from the area’s ranching days.
“When you play West Woods, you feel like you’re playing a course that is not your average municipal. The view of the Sleeping Indian is amazing, the course is always in great shape and it’s affordable,” West Woods regular Rick Simms said.
West Woods is also on the verge of celebrating its 20th anniversary. For the 10th anniversary, the course offered free golf to patrons, who were only asked to pay for their card. The course gave away nearly 600 rounds of free golf that year. For this anniversary, they plan to offer something similar.
“We, as the staff, can all do a good job running and maintaining the course, but the people who come is what makes playing here such an enjoyable experience; we have great people,” Weyer said.
West Woods is also known for having some of the best practice facilities around. Besides a massive driving range with 30 grass stations, the course features putting and chipping greens that are in as good condition as greens on the course.
In addition, West Woods has made an effort to get more kids into golf. Weyer said that all of the club’s professionals believe in having youth involved in golf at an early age.
To accomplish that, he course holds junior clinics and events, as well as men’s and women’s clubs, Get Ready Golf, Friday Nights and Ladies Nights Out.