Omni Interlocken Golf Club

Depending on the time of day you tee off, you can see when the next storm's coming in.
Depending on the time of day you tee off, you can see when the next storm’s coming.

Omni Interlocken Golf Club is a 27-hole facility located about 15 minutes outside of Boulder in Broomfield, Colorado. It was designed by Graham and Panks International, the collaboration of 1981 U.S. Open Champion David Graham and Gary Panks (who also designed the courses at Whirlwind Golf Club among others) and opened in 1999.

There are three regulation nine-hole courses stretching over 300 acres. El Dorado, Vista, and Sunshine weave their way through a fully landscaped grass driving range featuring five landing areas, a 12,500 square-foot practice putting green, and a short game area. All of the range balls are TaylorMade, and they are in great shape. Love a good grass driving range! You can definitely spend some time here working on your game.

With more than 400 feet of elevation changes, the course offers stunning, panoramic views of the Colorado Rockies. From the 4th hole on the Vista Course, you can see the front range of Pike’s Peak in the south to Long’s Peak in the north as well as views of downtown Denver and the Eastern Plains. It’s been rainy and cold in this area for about the last month or so, and creeks and rivers are quickly approaching flood stages. We were fortunate to catch a break in the weather as we headed out to play the Vista and Sunshine Courses. This combination plays 7,040 yards from the Black Tees to a Par of 72, a course rating of 72.5, and a slope of 135. Here are some of the highlights of the round:

Holes Worth Writing Home About
All of the greens here are bentgrass, and even though it’s been rainy, cold, and wet, they were still relatively fast. The thing that stuck out for me was the undulation of the greens. If you didn’t hit the ball in the proper quadrant, a two-putt was nearly impossible. All of the greens here break to either the Flatiron Cross Mall to the north or the Omni Hotel to the east with which the course shares its name.

The bunkers guarding the Vista's driveable Par 4 6th are just begging for errant tee shots.
The bunkers guarding the Vista’s driveable Par 4 6th are begging for errant tee shots.

My favorite hole on the Vista Course was the driveable Par 4 6th. The hole measures 321 yards from the tips and sweeps downhill from right to left. It’s a stunning view of the city down below. The green is guarded by four, wide-mouth bunkers that can’t wait to collect any errant tee shot. The other thing about this course is the rough. It is thick, and it is punishing. Chances are, if you find the rough, you’re punching back out onto the short grass just so you can get a club on it.

The 4th hole on the Sunshine Course is prettier and deadlier. It’s only 337 yards, but your tee shot has to be perfectly placed over a large ravine between two sets of bunkers. Your approach shot is over water and a stacked rock face to another undulating green. Again, put your ball on the wrong quadrant, and this hole will have you begging for mercy. There are several blind tee shots out here as well as a lot of forced carries. There’s a lot of “junk” out here that you have to hit your ball over.

Quiet Please…
It has been raining here for almost a month, and the course as just about had enough. When we called to confirm our tee time the day before, we were told that it was going to be cart path only. I don’t know what happened overnight, but it was to our pleasant surprise that the course allowed 90-degrees. It really made a difference in our pace of play, and I commend the course for doing it. But it was really wet. The courses here are lush and green because of all the rain, but these nine had had enough. There was plenty of spinning out and fishtailing as we made our way around the course.

The 4th hole on the Sunshine course is short but requires an exacting tee shot to the right of a small ravine.
The 4th hole on the Sunshine course is short but requires an exacting tee shot to a landing area right off of a ravine.

My best shot of the day came on the Vista Course’s 321-yard Par 4 6th hole. After my drive came to rest outside of its pitch mark just short of the green, I used a 7-iron to chip the ball up to the top shelf where the pin was sitting. I made the four-foot putt for birdie and got the heck out of there.

While We’re Young
We got around the course in about four hours and 20 minutes after a ten-minute stop at the turn quick for a bite to eat. We rarely had to wait for the group in front of us to clear before we hit our next shot, and the pace of play was great. No more than ten minutes after we finished our round, another storm pounded the course. The storm siren was blaring as we pulled out of the parking lot. We just happened to catch the perfect weather window, and now the hail and lightning were back!

Next On the Tee
Whirlwind Golf Club in Chandler. The Cattail Course hosted a Nationwide Tour event from 2000 until 2005.

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