Hidden Haven: Golf at Frost Creek

Vail Valley’s Frost Creek is a golfer’s paradise.

Frost Creek is mountain golf at its best. Photo: Townsend Bessent

Frost Creek is mountain golf at its best. Courtesy Townsend Bessent

This is mountain golf, at its best. And, chances are, you haven’t tried this course yet.

A hidden gem for Colorado’s golf-lovers, Frost Creek is a private course stretched across 1,100 dramatic acres in the mountains beyond the small town of Eagle. Imagine standing on the greens, surrounded on all sides by rolling, purple hills, scurrying wildlife and open space that makes you feel like you’re not only the sole person on the course, but the only person in the world.

Until recently, Frost Creek was relatively unknown. The land, 45 minutes past Beaver Creek on I-70, was originally slated for a hopeful ski resort. But when plans fell through, it opened as Adam’s Rib Ranch, a golf community with only 32 members and one homeowner.

The new owners closed shop last March and reopened in May as Frost Creek, and membership quickly skyrocketed to more than 165 members, with five homeowners and 15 new home sites, says Garrett Simon, a partner with Meriwether Co., the project manager. “We have great golf,” Simon says. “There’s no question about it. It’s fantastic, very playable and fun. This is a course you can play every day.”

As with typical mountain golf, the best time to hit the links is in the morning or later in the day, after the storms roll through. Frost Creek stays open until dark, because late evening play is especially charming—and that’s when you can see the most wildlife on property, too. Needless to say, that adds a different dimension to the game. The 285-acre, eight-lake course is one of Tom Weiskopf ’s “marquis courses.” “He did an amazing job with this course,” Simon says. “The greens are arguably the best in the valley. We realized we wanted a club that had great golf, but we wanted even more.”

GOING GREEN Amenities at Frost Creek include a swimming pool, a Tom Weiskopf-designed eight-lake course and luxury stand-alone cabins available to members for rental. Photo: Townsend Bessent

GOING GREEN Amenities at Frost Creek include a swimming pool, a Tom Weiskopf-designed eight-lake course and luxury stand-alone cabins available to members for rental. Courtesy Townsend Bessent

And that’s what makes Frost Creek really stand out.

Beyond the golfing, it features five (and growing) stand-alone, fully furnished cabins that members can rent at relatively inexpensive rates. The cabins include full kitchens with upgraded appliances, a fireplace, outdoor grill area and views that go on for days.

The two-level cabins feature multiple TVs, four bathrooms, two living rooms and laundry facilities, making them ideal for families or groups that want a luxurious, yet remote mountain vacation with access to top-notch golf.

A short distance away from the lodging looms the dramatic, 40,000-square-foot luxury clubhouse, where members regularly gather for expertly prepared social dinners, or to relax in the pool or hot tub. The clubhouse also houses a spa and fitness area, with group fitness classes and body treatments to help golfers recover from a long day on the greens.

Because of Frost Creek’s secluded location, Simon says it’s designed to be a destination, in and of itself, with everything you need for a full vacation without ever needing to leave the site. In fact, once you make the drive to the resort, Simon says he hopes members don’t have to touch their cars until they leave.

“You can walk right out your front door to the trails,” he says.

In warmer months, take golf carts out to the lake for fishing, or grab an electric “fat bike” (with wide, all-terrain tires) and explore the area. In the winter, Frost Creek may not offer golf, but the activities don’t slow down. Members can go ice skating, sledding on the driving range (quite possibly the best sledding hill in the area, Simon claims), make s’mores in the fire pit and take out cross-country skis or snowshoes (all cabins come stocked with the gear).

Simon says Frost Creek is designed to be used. While its four-star rating assures the quality of service and amenities, it’s not meant to be a precious, untouched place, he notes.

“Our goal is to create this full mountain experience,” Simon says— where the golf is what draws you here, but the community, the activities and the mountain itself is what keeps you.

THE LOW-DOWN ON FROST CREEK
When does golfing start? It depends on the weather. Frost Creek is prepared to open in May, but mid-June is when it gets busiest. The course remains open until early October. Because of its location, Frost Creek has a longer golf season than other courses in the Vail Valley, which is a big selling point to members.

Want to join? Frost Creek still has openings for members. For a golf resort community, it aims to be reasonably priced, Simon says. National membership starts at a $15,000 initiation fee and $5,000-a-year annual dues and locals pay a $20,000 initiation fee and $7,500 in annual dues. The four-bedroom cabins rent for $300 a night and can comfortably sleep eight to 10. Cabin rentals are booked online, first come, first served, with a seven-day maximum stay per trip. “We’re very intentional about making this affordable to the Front Range family. Not everyone wants a 5,000-square-foot house in the mountains,” Simon says. Potential members must apply to a committee, but the application is open to anyone.

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