Colorado’s Best Golf Course Sunset Bars - Colorado AvidGolfer (2024)

A toast to Colorado clubhouses where golfers love to sip co*cktails as the sun goes down

By John Lehndorff

Evenings have always been something special in Colorado as sigh-worthy layers of Technicolor fill the Western skies.

Those panoramic sunsets seem to form the perfect backdrop for 18th holes and golf course patios. Knowing the competitive nature of local golfers, Colorado Avid Golfer recently asked: “Which course patio has the best sunset views?”

We were flooded with insistent recommendations for ideal, day-ending co*cktail spots in every corner of the state illustrated with exclamation points and readers’ own gorgeous sunset photos. One possessive golfer refused to share her favorite private sunset spot, noting: “I can’t tell you. It’s already too crowded.” We completely understand.

We couldn’t help but notice that that almost every Colorado clubhouse and restaurant seems to be aimed due West.

That orientation is no coincidence, according to veteran golf course architect, Art Schaupeter.

“When you’re setting a clubhouse location, you think about what’s going to entice people to stay afterward, socialize and have something to eat and drink. One important aspect is definitely the patio and a place to enjoy the sunsets,” Schaupeter says. His Art Shaupeter Golf Course Architects firm designed TPC Colorado in Berthoud, Windsor’s Highland Meadows, and a new course, Bella Ridge, set to open in the next year near Mead.

When it came time to plan TPC’s championship course and orient the clubhouse, Shaupeter visited the site weekly. “It was interesting for me to watch the sunset in the various locations over the various mountains,” he says.

“I thought it was cool that on a clear day you could see from Pikes Peak on the south to Longs Peak in the north.” The panoramic views at TPC forced Shaupeter to abandon the traditional course design philosophy.

“Standard operating procedure for designing golf courses is to have both nines return to the clubhouse. That TPC setting on the hill was so spectacular that it had to be the clubhouse location. The property was so narrow that we had to commit to doing one big 18-hole loop,” he says.

“The owners were willing to make that sacrifice because they believed in the strength of the setting of the clubhouse. The clubhouse designers took full advantage.”

When we tabulated our readers’ recommendations, certain courses and clubhouses were the clear favorites. Our Colorado golf sunset itinerary comes complete with co*cktail recipes shared by clubhouse mixologists. The process raised one more pleasant question. Isn’t it nice that sunset and happy hour always seem to coincide after a great round in Colorado?

CITY PARK TAVERN // CITY PARK GOLF COURSE, DENVER

When we asked Colorado golfers to name their favorite clubhouse to enjoy a sunset with co*cktails and dinner, one clear favorite immediately emerged.

“City Park …and it’s not close.”

“City Park, hands down.”

“City Park!”

One fan noted that even people who don’t golf come to eat at the City Park Tavern “just for the view.” Since City Park Golf Course reopened after three years of renovations, a whole new generation of golfers has discovered the grandeur of a panoramic sunset over the Denver skyline and the Rockies from the City Park Tavern. Those in the know told us to arrive early on Thursday evenings. Prime rib special night at City Park Tavern always draws a big crowd.

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Ocotillo Restaurant and Bar // REDLANDS MESA GOLF COURSE, GRAND JUNCTION

“Our golf course is right up against Colorado National Monument. From the restaurant, we have a full view of the entire monument, the mesa, and the national forest. We see amazing sunsets here and a lot of rainbows,” says Kate Weckerly, restaurant manager at Ocotillo Restaurant and Bar.

A patio wraps around the entire clubhouse providing multiple viewpoints. For sipping on the patio, Kate Weckerly recommends the Redlands Sunset, a colorful, layered Bacardi Rum-based co*cktail with Grand Marnier and Grenadine floats. Redlands Mesa offers twilight hours for golfing with the summer’s later sunsets and toasts afterward.

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PATTY JEWETT BAR & GRILL // Patty Jewett Golf Course, Colorado Springs

Open to the public year-round, the Patty Jewett Bar & Grill boasts a premium view from the patio of the majestic Pikes Peak. “The patio overlooks the putting green and the 18th fairway. We refer to the PJ Bar like the old ‘Cheers” where everybody knows you, especially at sunset” says Jeff Wichman, veteran superintendent at the historic Patty Jewett Golf Course.

The restaurant has been featured as one of the 50 Best 19th Holes in the country by Golf Digest Magazine.

Golfers toast the end of the day with The Greenskeeper, a co*cktail concocted by the resident mixologists with Hendrick’s Gin and St. Germain. If you’re lucky, you may get a famously generous “Patty J pour,” according to Jeff Wichman.

LEGACY RIDGE GOLF COURSE // THE GRILL AT LEGACY RIDGE, WESTMINSTER

Colorado golfers used a lot of exclamation points expressing their love for the sunsets at the Grill at Legacy Ridge.

“From the patio, you have a sweeping view northwest from Longs Peak and the northern end of the Front Range,” says Tim Davis, golf course superintendent at the city-owned Legacy Ridge Golf Course.

One favorite club sunset beverage at The Grill is a classic Old-Fashioned made locally using topflight Peach Street Distillers Colorado Straight Bourbon.

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CENTER STAGE // TPC COLORADO, BERTHOUD

“Is the TPC patio a nice place to hang out with for a couple hours with friends? Absolutely,” says Art Shaupeter, the architect who designed the course at TPC Colorado.

“You get the bonus of being 10 feet away from golfers playing the 16th hole, and you get to watch them try to make a hole-in-one. It’s extremely engaging as the sunset and that panorama backdrops the whole thing,” he says.

Golfers who have kicked back on the patio outside Center Stage restaurant told us they feel the same way.

THE STEAKHOUSE // FLYING HORSE RESORT & CLUB, COLORADO SPRINGS

The fans of Flying Horse Resort & Club tell us that when it comes to sunsets, “there’s nothing even close. The Steakhouse patio has one of the best views of Pikes Peak in the Springs,” says Brandon Phillips, membership director at Flying Horse Resort. At sunset some evenings, the majestic peak even glows purple, he says.

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co*cktail Menu for a Colorado Sunset

From the Patty Jewett Bar & Grill at Patty Jewett Golf Course

The Greenskeeper

1.5oz Hendrick’s Gin

0.5oz St. Germain

2 Dashes cucumber bitters

Squeeze of simple syrup

Squeeze of lime juice

From Ocotillo Restaurant and Bar at Redlands Mesa Golf Course

Redlands Sunset

1.5oz Malibu Rum

1oz orange juice

1oz pineapple juice

Float of Grand Marnier

Float of Grenadine

Garnish with maraschino cherry and

orange wedge

From The Grill at Legacy Ridge at Legacy Ridge Golf Course

Colorado Old Fashioned

2oz Peach Street Distillers Colorado Straight Bourbon

2 teaspoons simple syrup

4 good shakes Angostura Bitters

Sugar cube

3 maraschino cherries

Serve on the rocks

John Lehndorff is the former dining critic for the Rocky Mountain News. He can be reached at[emailprotected].

Colorado AvidGolfer Magazine is the state’s leading resource for golf and the lifestyle that surrounds it, publishing eight issues annually and proudly delivering daily content via coloradoavidgolfer.com.

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Colorado’s Best Golf Course Sunset Bars - Colorado AvidGolfer (2024)

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