Most golfers who have played Eagle Ranch would probably consider Hole #12 to be our “Signature Hole”. This beautiful Par Five hole plays uphill towards the Abrams Creek Gulch and is one of the most challenging holes on the course. It also offers the golfer a very unique opportunity to choose between two different greens to complete the hole.
When the golf course was built, the original green for #12 was built into the hillside on the left of Abrams Creek. This green requires a golfer to hit a shot across Abrams Creek to a second fairway and then hit a shot back across the creek to the green. The original green is very small and has some severe slopes, which also make it very challenging. Shortly after opening the course, we quickly realized that we needed to make the green and the hole more playable.
Here is where Arnold Palmer enters the story. Mr. Palmer arrived for Eagle Ranch Golf Club’s Grand Opening Ceremony about a month after the course opened for public play in 2001. After he landed his plane at the Eagle County Airport, he was picked up and driven to the course. On the way, his design team told him that we would like to get his assessment and recommendation for the green on #12. A crowd of approximately 200 people, me included, was stunned when Arnold Palmer arrived at the course and immediately rode off in a cart to look at the hole! It took him about five minutes to suggest we build a new green on the right side of Abrams Creek and give golfers the option of which green to play. Construction on the new green began that Fall and it was open for play the following season.
For several years, the original green on #12 has sat idle. Most golfers preferred the easier new green and it was not fully maintained like the rest of the course. We realized a couple years ago that this green is a unique treasure that most courses don’t have and we needed to revitalize the direction given from Arnold Palmer years ago . Now, our staff maintains the green and there is a hole with a flag. It is still the original green, so it’s still small with a lot of undulation. We certainly aren’t suggesting that everyone play to the original green all the time. However, we think you would enjoy giving it a shot every once in a while!