Course News & Information
What's That Thing on #15?
Eagle Ranch Golf Club is uniquely situated on what was once an actual working ranch in the 1900s. Several of the old ranching implements can still be found on the golf course today, including that “thing” on Hole #15, officially called a “Mormon Derrick,” or haystacker.
Eagle-area ranchers relied on horses to help harvest hay/alfalfa. The “haystacker” now residing on the golf course was used to stack hay with a weight and pulley arrangement using a crane to lift and move the hay. Horse teams and rakes would push the hay to the loading area (see photo). These ranchers also typically raised cattle, sometimes sheep and hogs.
Today’s bustling community of Eagle Ranch was once a part of the Mayer Ranch, run by William and Cora Mayer and later by their son, Chester (Chet) and Ruth Mayer -who celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary in 1984.
William Mayer also started the first Dairy in Eagle which was later taken over by rancher Ross Chambers and named “Castle Peak Dairy”. Chet Mayer was one of the first members of the Eagle County Historical Society and a member of the local Cattlemen’s Association.
In addition to the haystacker, there are a few other ranching implements on the golf course, do you know what and where they are?
Arnie’s Alternate Green on #12
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!
Cheers to 20 years!
The 2021 golf season marks Eagle Ranch Golf Club’s 20th year of operation. An Arnold Palmer Signature Design Course, Mr. Palmer visited the course just a few weeks after it opened and General Manager Jeff Boyer, who served as his caddy that day, has been managing the course for the past two decades. A lot has happened since the summer of 2001, including a family-friendly mountain community that has grown around the golf course, which sits on what was previously a working ranch since the early 1900s.
Eagle Ranch Golf Club is truly a reflection of the community, where there is something for golfers age 7 to 70 and beyond. With five sets of tees, there’s fairness for golfers of all abilities. Kim and Victor Galko have golfed at Eagle Ranch for all 20 of those years and built their home on the golf course 17 years ago. “Jeff Boyer and his staff have provided many avenues for the community to develop long lasting friendships for young and old alike; on and off the golf course, while enjoying the game of golf.”
Eagle Ranch Golf Club and its staff support several competitive tournaments and scrambles, host junior golf events and practices, and is a founding partner in The First Tee of Eagle County Chapter, which aims to educate and inspire youth academically, socially, and physically through the game of golf.
"I feel very blessed to have been at Eagle Ranch for 20 years now. I have had the pleasure to work with so many wonderful staff members and golfers who all became good friends. One of the greatest joys for me is to see our junior programs thrive and get to see those kids grow up," says Boyer.
The course is popular among locals who enjoy its challenging layout, excellent course conditions and a longer season than most mountain courses. Along with taking care of the golf course, Superintendent Derek Rose and his staff proudly take care of nature as well, and the course has been certified as an Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary since 2003.
Like Boyer, Rose has also worked for the Golf Course since it opened. “Looking back at the past 20 years, I am so honored to say I have been a part of the golf course growing from plans on paper into an absolutely beautiful Arnold Palmer Signature Course. It has also been a lot of fun to watch the Eagle Ranch development grow into this wonderful place where there is such a strong sense of community.”
Eagle Ranch Golf Club is located in the picturesque small town of Eagle, just 30 minutes west of Vail. The course is open to the public and includes a terrific practice facility and grille, which serves breakfast, lunch and refreshments all season long on its patio with spectacular views. For more information or to book a tee time visit eagleranchgolf.com or call 970-328-2882.
Article from the 2022 summer issue of 81631.co Mountain Living Magazine.