There’s more antelope than people in Wyoming. It’s a fact. And the state is one of the biggest in the Union.
Ever since I was a kid, Wyoming has fascinated me. When I was younger, I read every book imaginable about the trappers of yesteryear and always dreamed about being a cowboy on the wide-open range, surrounded by nothing but pristine wilderness.
I still harbor some of those fantasies and quietly admire the last bastion of frontiersmen that make their living off the land while showing it complete and utter reverence at the same time.
Since those formative years, I’ve been able to spend some in Wyoming hunting, fishing, and of course playing golf. All three activities are world-class in Cowboy State. Keep in mind, you’re looking at some serious highway time if you’re going to see and do everything. But I’ll be the first to tell you, it’s more than worth it.
Before I get too far off on the wrong track and start reciting cowboy poetry, let’s get into the golf.
Rochelle Ranch Golf Course
Rochelle Ranch Golf Course is owned and operated by the city of Rawlins.
This championship design was named the “#2 Golf Course in Wyoming” by Golfweek Magazine in 2021. It’s always in fabulous condition and a treat to play for golfers of skill levels. Of particular note are the bent grass greens that roll like billiard tables.
How the course came to be is a testament to the spirit of the people in Wyoming. Local sheep ranchers, Curt and Marian Rochelle, donated the land on which it sits and even paid for its construction. They chose a heck of an architect in Ken Kavanaugh.
At an elevation of 6,800 feet, you can expect some tape measure drives here. Coupled with magnificent mountain views and a back tee yardage of 7,925 yards, you won’t forget Rochelle Ranch.
Jacoby Golf Course
One of our writers dated a girl that played golf for the University of Wyoming and had the chance to visit the town of Laramie a number of times.
He says Jacoby Hills is one of the best university courses in the country. And you guys know about my own affliction for university tracks. That’s why it should come as little surprise that Jacoby Hills is high up on our list.
Even though this track isn’t that long and somewhat open off the tee, the wind blows almost constantly. That means choosing the right club and hitting the ball solid are of the utmost importance.
A constant theme about courses in Wyoming is elevation. Jacoby is at 7,220 feet. You guessed it; the ball goes a long way.
Star Valley View Golf Course
Star Valley View is a Johnny Miller signature course. Even though it’s one of the shorter courses in the state, it’s rich with character.
Of particular note are the par threes. Each one plays downhill and offers unforgettable views of the Star Valley below to the west.
If you like to walk, this is the place to do it. The course lacks any major terrain, and the greens and tees are close together.
Relatively straightforward yet a true treat to play, don’t miss a chance to put a peg in the ground Star Valley View.
The Links at Teton Peaks
Even though it’s located in Driggs, Idaho, the Links at Teton Peaks is just across the Wyoming state line.
A wide-open layout, you won’t find many trees bordering the fairways here. Instead, long native grasses gobble up errant shots and can make recovery difficult.
Lack of trees also means the wind is a prominent factor on full shots. Choose your clubs wisely.
Strategy is important too. A number of holes feature double fairways which offer plenty of chances for risk and reward.
Along with enjoying spectacular scenery, expect to use every club in your bag and your imagination at Teton Peaks.
The Powell Golf Club
The Powell Golf Club is the epitome of an old-style western layout. The course isn’t overly long, but each hole is well guarded by mature trees and bunkers. The greens are small but undulating. Your touch had best be deft.
What I liked most about this track are the variety of shots you’re asked to hit. Holes bend left and right, and trying to bomb driver over the corner isn’t a recipe for a low score.
Local knowledge is key here. And chances are you’ll want to play more than once. Plan your trip accordingly.
Cottonwood Country Club
Cottonwood Country Club is one of the older courses in Wyoming having opened way back in 1959.
The layout is typical of courses from this era. Majestic cottonwood trees frame the fairways and stand guard at the entries to small, quick greens.
This is a ball striker’s course, but not in the way you might think. Instead of hitting it long off the tee, you’re asked to shape shots in both directions and control your distances.
The staff at Cottonwood are some of the most welcoming you’ll find anywhere too. Each time I’ve played here, I’ve felt more than welcomed. The great value is the cherry on top.
Newcastle Country Club
We haven’t talked about a nine-hole course for quite a while. And you guys know I love a good nine-hole track.
That’s exactly what you’ll find at Newcastle Country Club in its namesake town.
This par 36 track is on the shorter side but don’t be fooled. The fairways are narrow and the greens small. You’d best be precise if you’re going to score.
A full-service restaurant and bar, driving range, and practice area round out this facility. Even though Newcastle Country Club is little out of the way, it’s easy to see why the locals take so much pride in this gem of a track.
Three Crowns Golf Club
Robert Trent Jones Jr. designed Three Crowns Golf Club which is located in the town of Casper.
Of the 110 total acres this property occupies, 45 have been left as native grassland.
A modern layout, the features at Three Crowns are visibly large and present a challenge for even the most discerning player. Fortunately, multiple tee options make this track enjoyable for everyone.
If you’re looking to sharpen a particular aspect of your game, the 13-acre practice facility is the perfect spot to do it.
More than worth the price of admission, I can’t wait to get back to Three Crowns.
Buffalo Golf Club
Golf Digest called Buffalo Golf Club “Wyoming’s Best Municipal Golf Course” in 2009. It’s easy to see why.
Located in the eastern foothills of the Big Horn Mountains, Buffalo Golf Club has been the town’s centerpiece since 1934. Stunning views and perfect conditions can be found on all 18 holes.
Mature deciduous trees come into play often. Accuracy and precision trump length.
The staff here take pride in this hidden gem, and it shows in the way you’re treated. Even though it takes some work to get here, it’s little wonder golfers continually come from near and far to play Buffalo Golf Club.
Purple Sage Golf Course
Evanston is home to Purple Sage Golf Course.
Known for exceptionally pure greens and verdant fairways, Purple Sage should be on the list of every golfer that comes to Wyoming.
This is a golf course with big greens. And there’s lots of undulation. From the fairway, pay close attention to hole locations. Once you’re on the green, look at the mounds and slopes around you to help read break.
When you’re finished up for the day, grab a cold beverage and bite to eat in The Pub as you recount your round. The menu is locally inspired, delicious, and the portions plentiful.
No better choice for golf when you’re in Evanston.
I love everything about Wyoming. The raw ruggedness and wildness of the place is something most of us don’t get to experience that often.
While I’ll always hold on to my childhood fantasies about this western frontier, I’ve come realize there’s a whole lot of great golf to be played too. Is some of it out of the way? I’d be lying if I said no. Is it absolutely worth taking the time to experience? Without question.
Our readers played an integral part in making this course guide possible. You know who you are, and I can’t thank you enough for your continued efforts and support.
Until next time, let ‘er buck!