Two golf courses, two towns and two completely different settings

  Photo courtesy Rio Grande Club and Resort

Photo courtesy Rio Grande Club and Resort

A vacation in Rio Grande County offers all the sights within the San Luis Valley. Near the sandy hills of the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, some of the most scenic golf courses in the state linger close by. 

Designed by Jason Newman and built in 1928, the Monte Vista Golf Club offers a family golfing experience for visitors and members alike. During an era where few courses could be found west of the Mississippi, The Rio Grande Club and Resort golf course stood among the few as one of the first 15 built in Colorado. Golf pros made their journey over time, and in recent years, those who have played the course have noted the challenge the course brings. 

  Photo courtesy Rio Grande Club and Resort

Photo courtesy Rio Grande Club and Resort

Further upstream, the Rio Grande Club and Resort (rgcresort.com) straddles the Rio Grande. The Rio Grande, also known for its gold medal fishing waters, adds more than a golf challenge: those who join obtain both fishing and golfing privileges. Designed by Ric Buckton in 2001, the course was recognized as one of Golf Digest’s top 10 resort courses in 2006. Elevation changes and a distinct course style changes between the front and back nine make for a fun and interesting play. 

 “This is a challenging and fun course. It’s also gorgeous. Number 14 is very pretty. Alder Creek runs through and creates a beautiful photo opportunity,” said Golf Pro Britt Jardon. 

The resort, recently purchased by the Freeman family of Million Air Interlink FBO’s, offers a luxury experience. Golf play, Timbers Dining Room and Big River Grille are open to the public at this semi-private club. Members enjoy access to the fitness center, swimming pool, fishing lodge, tennis and pickleball courts as well as invitations to social events throughout the year.

For both courses, the season runs from April through October. Golfers interested in planning a vacation to the area can find information on lodging options at riograndecounty.com. The base camp to both courses in South Fork feature festivals and events throughout the season. For a little change in setting, Del Norte, located about halfway between Monte Vista and South Fork, offers a brew pub and a renovated historic downtown. Del Norte also serves as home to the county’s museum—a great stop for kids and adults.

Check riograndecounty.com to learn more about events and activities to enjoy during your golf vacation in Rio Grande County.