Tee It High, Let It Fly

Record-breaking RainDance National, with plenty of resort amenities planned or in place, holds its long-awaited opening day

By Gary Baines – 7/12/2022

Twenty or 25 years ago, it wasn’t unusual for seven, eight or even more golf courses to open in a given year in Colorado. Nowadays, when the average is a little under one a year, each one is more newsworthy, particularly when it has some uniqueness, some novelty about it.

And so it is when RainDance National Golf Course in Windsor had its opening day on Tuesday, with an estimated 150 to 200 people attending the event — many playing the course and some just there for the other festivities. (Note: There had been rounds played earlier at RainDance, including by a group led by Colorado Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar on Monday, but Tuesday marked the formal opening.)

Project developer Martin Lind cuts the ribbon at opening day, joined by wife Viki, course designer Fred Funk and course architect Harrison Minchew.

On Tuesday, there was a ribbon-cutting, plenty of thank-yous and socializing, and lots of folks seeing the RainDance National course for the first time since it’s fully taken shape. Among the people of the moment were landowner and project developer Martin Lind, course designer/Tour player Fred Funk and architect Harrison Minchew. 

So where does the aforementioned uniqueness and novelty coming into play for this high-end, public-accessible, semi-private facility?

Well, as we noted last year was likely going to be the case, RainDance National is the longest traditional golf course in North America, based upon sheer yardage, though because it’s at elevation it doesn’t play as the longest. According to RainDance National’s official scorecard, the Tour tees measure 8,463 yards. That’s nearly 500 yards longer than the back tees at TPC Colorado, which hosts The Ascendant presented by Blue on the Korn Ferry Tour. But it doesn’t quite rank up there with, for instance, Dragon Snow Mountain Golf Club in Lijiang, China (8,548 yards).

The first hole at RainDance heads toward Longs Peak.

For those who are into such details, the rating and slope from RainDance National’s Tour tees are 79.9 and 155, respectively. In other words, darn difficult.

But, it should definitely also be noted that RainDance has a half-dozen tees listed on its scorecard, starting at 4,919 yards to the aforementioned 8,463, which would primarily come into use should RainDance officials be able to lure a tour event of some sort to the site, as they hope will be the case. 

Meanwhile, for us mere mortals, while there can be some intimidating forced carries depending on tee selection, it’s up to a player to bite off only as much as he or she can chew and still have fun. 

An example of the ever-present arroyos at RainDance National.

The topography of the course is most certainly highlighted by the picturesque arroyos — some of them very deep — that meander through the property. And those arroyos have a tendency to swallow stray golf balls. (The arroyos are basically steep-sided gullies: most natural, and some created.) In all, the RainDance National course features about 225 feet of elevation change.

The other thing Lind hopes makes RainDance National Resort stand out is the amenities that have been built — or will be over time — in areas on and around the 300-acre property: a three-acre short-game/putting area dubbed the “Goat Ranch”; two driving ranges; skiing, sledding and mountain biking on “Hoedown Hill”, which is called the highest point in Windsor; a large fire pit where folks can gather and swap tall tales about golf; a zipline; glamping; walking trails; and a hotel — to name some. There’s even a place planned for pond hockey and cornhole. And, of course, a permanent clubhouse is in the works.

The Fire Pit, a congregating area between some of the holes at RainDance.

“It’s a huge day for northern Colorado, a huge day for Windsor, a huge day for my family,” said Lind, who also owns the nearby 27-hole facility at Pelican Lakes, which opened, in two phases, on previous July 12ths. “And basically a huge day for anybody who likes to be outside. And I don’t mean that for just golf because RainDance has so many things beyond golf. …  It’s just going to be a magnificent place.”

Think a destination resort, because that’s the way Lind views it when taking into account both RainDance National and Pelican Lakes.

The short-game/putting area dubbed the “Goat Ranch”.

For public green fees, the rack rate to play 18 holes at RainDance National is $230 on weekdays during peak season (June through September) and $250 on weekends. Rates are lower in shoulder seasons (March through May and October and November) and considerably lower in the winter season (December through February). Other rates apply for juniors and guest of members.

Featured here are some photos from Tuesday’s opening day.

The scorecard for RainDance National.