BROOMFIELD, CO - Nestled against the backdrop of the Rocky Mountains, between Denver and Boulder, is the golf jewel of the north, Omni Interlocken Resort. This year-round facility features a 27-hole championship golf course, and the L.A.W.S. Academy of Golf. A shuttle away is the Omni Hotel with luxury rooms, exquisite dining, full-service spa and fitness center.
Opening in 1999, this 7,040-yard 27-hole Championship course, consists of three individual regulation 9-hole courses: Eldorado, Vista and Sunshine and is open to the public. Omni strengthens its crème de la crème status with its fully landscaped 12-acre practice facility with driving range, multi-tiered putting greens, and chipping greens that are located south of the clubhouse. The clubhouse, pro shop and Fairway's Restaurant and Bar welcome the golfer with rustic décor.
Graham & Panks International, the partnership of David Graham (1981 U.S. Open Champion and PGA Senior Tour player) and Gary Panks, designed all three courses. The Omni Interlocken Golf Club is home to the "Sun Microsystems/John Elway Celebrity Classic Golf Tournament" held every June. Omni Hotel and Golf Course is fast gaining an outstanding reputation since their opening: ranked third in "Best Resort Courses of Colorado" and also awarded the 2001 Connoisseur's Choice Award (www.resortsgreathotels.com).
Dave Troyer, Head Golf Professional, said: "Only about 15 percent of our players are guests of the hotel, so primarily our course caters to the public. All levels of golfers enjoy this course. The conditions of the greens are exceptional, thanks to Tom Kramlich our Golf Course Superintendent. We have a unique layout for our area with lots of rolling fairways and trees to add depth perception. Of course, the views are the best Colorado has to present. We offer resort service to the public with top of the line golf carts and many complimentary services. We pride ourselves on the extra special attention our staff is trained to pay to our golfers."
Year round golf instruction program is also available, featuring Mike Adam's L.A.W.S. Academy of Golf. Formerly a touring professional, he is one of the game's leading instructors, teaching an average of 1,800 students each year. Golf Magazine rated L.A.W.S. as one of the "top 25 golf schools in the nation."
With more than 400 feet in elevation changes, the Omni gifts the golfer with panoramic views of the Colorado Rockies, the Front Range with Pike's Peak in the South, Long's Peak in the North, and views of downtown Denver and the eastern plains. The terrain consists of gently rolling hills stretching out over 300 acres of fairways with added challenges in avoiding the nearly 3,000 trees. Landing areas are generous and multi-tiered.
Each nine carries a name: Vista, Eldorado and Sunshine. Any 18-hole combination will net total course yardages of 5,100 to 7,100 yards and a choice of five levels of difficulty. I found this course extremely woman friendly with yardages creating reachable birdies and probable pars. However, don't let the numbers fool you. With its rolling hills, bunkers and elevation, the course will give every player a challenge.
If you want to know more about the course before you head on over, check out Omni's Virtual Course Tour at http://188.8.131.52/golf/denver/index.html. This site features each hole with detailed graphical yardage markers and full 360-degree panoramic views. To tantalize your taste buds, keep on reading for a sampling of the Omni holes.
The Vista course begins with an uphill, 427-yard par 4 and a generous landing area for short and long drives alike. You'll find thick grass on the right and trees to the left. Stay on the fairway for this dogleg right finishing with a high, soft approach to the green.
Omni has several "featured" holes and Vista's #2, par 3 at 183 yards is one of those beauties. This hole challenges the player to carry a 40-yard watery ravine just in front of the green. Placing the ball between the front fringe and the pin or putting from behind the hole toward the front of the green will give you a challenging two putt.
Vista #5 is an Omni signature hole. Although this long Par 3 is rated as the number 8 handicap on the Vista, it is more difficult to play than the rating suggests. Windy conditions are likely to make club selection tricky and hazards to both the left and right make accuracy important. Tee markers on this hole range from 150 to 240 yards.
The Sunshine course offers as many enticing views as Vista. My favorite Sunshine hole was #4-a par-4, dogleg left measuring just 337 yards from the back tees. The green is difficult to reach from the tee with pesky bunkers along both sides of the fairway. Water and thick grass guard the left of the fairway and front of the green. Proper club selection from the tee is necessary to set up the correct approach shot over the ravine to the severely sloped green. Missing the green is a test for anyone's short game-and a frantic search for a cart service beer if you miss it.
The Sunshine course ends with a great finishing 540-yard par 5 hole. The blind tee shot is best played right to left. The hole is slightly downhill and reachable by most players. Playing long will get you in trouble with either a bunker surrounding the entire green, or into the lake behind the clubhouse.
The Eldorado Nine course is the favorite of Larry Collins, Omni's Director of Golf, as well as most regular Omni golfers. Eldorado #2's short Par 3 has been deemed the entire course's toughest club selection hole. With a small landing area in front and to the left of the green and a large body of water and bunker to the right, the wrong club will dash any hopes of a birdie.
All in all, I have to say the Omni course offered the best views I've seen in metro Denver. Each hole was playable but still with plenty of challenge to keep the game far from tedious. The staff was far and above the friendliest and most knowledgeable.
With all these extras offered to you at Omni's Golf Course, you'd think you'd pay upwards of $200 for green fees. Not at the Omni. The 2001 peak season 18-hole green fees run $85 and off-season rates are between $55 and $65. Tee times can be made in advance by calling (303) 464-9000 or accessing their web site: http://www.omnihotels.com/ Select from the drop down menu, Broomfield (Denver), Colorado, Omni Interlocken.
800 Eldorado Blvd
Broomfield, CO 80021
Phone: (303) 464-9000
Fax: (303) 464-9100
Vista/Sunshine Sunshine/Eldorado Eldorado/Vista
Black 72.5/136 72.2/133 72.3/136
Gold 70.4/133 70.2/127 70.6/133
Blue 68.4/123 68.7/119 68.7/123
White 66.8/115 66.7/112 66.9/114
Women's White 71.8/142 72.2/140 71.8/141
Red 68.5/130 69.4/132 68.7/130
Where to Stay: Whether you are a traveler to Colorado, a transplant, or a homegrown native, the Omni Hotel is quality at its best. Choose from 390 deluxe and luxurious guest rooms and suites with spectacular views and a plush terry robe to wrap yourself up in while enjoying the view. Order up gourmet room service any hour of the day.
If work brings you here, the dedicated line for computer or fax with Ethernet service and a desk with a pullout surface for papers or laptop make the necessity of work just a bit easier. Without leaving the hotel, drinking and dining establishments are readily available: the Lobby Bar for wine, cocktails and piano tunes; Meritage for regional cuisine with breathtaking mountain views; the Tap Room, an upscale sports bar and pub serving indoors or poolside; and the Fairways Restaurant and Bar overlooking the golf course and the ever-present mountains. Rates range from $99-$299 per night.
Omni Interlocken Resort
500 Interlocken Blvd.
Broomfield (Denver), Colorado 80021
Phone: (303) 438-6600
Fax: (303) 438-7224
Reservations: (800) THE-OMNI
Where to Shop: A stone's throw from the resort is the new and exciting FlatIron Crossing, a shopping center with over 200 exceptional retail shops, restaurants and cafes including upscale shopping at Dillard's, Nordstrom, Foley's, Lord & Taylor and Galyan's.
FlatIrons is a unique shopping experience with streetscaped outdoor shopping at the Village & Plaza and an indoor center surrounded by over 30 acres of parks landscaped with native plants, streams, fountains, and trails. Free shuttle service is available from the Omni to FlatIrons.
One West FlatIron Circle
Broomfield, CO 80021