Fossil Trace Golf Club is located in the historic city of Golden, CO just minutes from downtown Denver. The course is a premier destination for golf, nestled adjacent to the foothills of the Rocky Mountain Front Range, where you will enjoy a unique golf course experience that is truly one of a kind.
The golf course opened in July 2003, approximately 64 million years after the first dinosaurs walked. The property is well known for its historical significance, and the award-winning golf course continues to attract golfers from around the world. Fossil Trace guests are treated to a golf experience like no other, featuring gorgeous views, unparalleled course conditions, undulating greens, and a unique character-laden layout. Players have come to appreciate the variety and volume of signature holes, both short and long, and a mountain-course feel in an urban setting.
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Travel back to millions of years ago, before the Rocky Mountains existed. A huge tropical lake covered the area where Fossil Trace Golf Club now sits. As it receded, the first thing to drop to the bottom of the lake was sand, followed by clay, then trees, brush, etc. This happened numerous times and eventually created multiple alternating layers of sandstone and clay. A dinosaur would step in the soft clay and make an imprint – later covered by another layer of sandstone. Years later, the Rocky Mountains began rising and exposed triceratops footprints, as well as other prehistoric creatures’ fossils. These trace fossils can be viewed adjacent to Hole #12 green. The clubhouse also features an exhibit of the property’s history, where we share information about the dinosaur tracks and fossils uncovered on the site.
Fast forward to the early 1900’s of Golden, CO. On the fairway of Hole #1 is an often-photographed incinerator used by the adjacent Boy’s School in the mid-1900’s to burn trash. Root cellars were built into the hillsides on either side of the fairway which also housed farm equipment. The entire area was a working farm with cows, hay fields, and fruit orchards. In the early days, the school also housed a blacksmith, laundry and tailor, plumbing and vocational shops – used by area townspeople.
As you travel to the second nine holes, you encounter what remains of the Rockwell Mine – mined by George W. Parfet in 1877. His heirs continued to mine clay until 2001. After removing the clay, all that remained was the sandstone column (by Hole #12 green) which houses the palm frond wall and exposes triceratops and hadrosaurs footprints. The path and fence were put in place as part of a Boy Scout Eagle Badge project.
Several pieces of machinery still exist on the property. Prior to the purchase of an Army Surplus Bay City half-ton yard shovel in 1954 (located above Hole #15 green), all mining was done by hand and dynamite. The two pieces of machinery on Hole #12 and Hole #14 are caterpillar powered machines purchased in 1956. They are essentially American ¾-ton dragline bucket-and-shovel brooms.
Upon opening in July 2003, golfers from every all 50 U.S. states and 48 countries have played Fossil Trace Golf Club. The course was soon recognized as a premier golf destination by critics such as Golf Digest, Denver A-List, and Colorado Avid Golfer, thanks to its rich historical journey and creative architectural layout. While the spectacular view, signature design, and uncompromising course conditions are par for this course, it is our welcoming and helpful staff that truly immerses our guests in the Fossil Trace Experience. Come and see the course that has been 64 million years in the making.
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