Teeing off to breathtaking views
A game at Tiara Rado Golf Course in Grand Junction should be a Colorado bucket list item thanks to awe-inspiring views and challenging play. With the Colorado National Monument to the west and views of the Grand Mesa and Bookcliffs, this course sits among a special landscape unique to Colorado’s Western Slope.
“I have played Tiara Rado hundreds of times and it never gets old,” said Brian Franco, a PGA Professional formerly at Tiara Rado, now at Lincoln Park in Grand Junction. The course is fairly short at just more than 6,400 yards from the back tee, but what it lacks in length it more than makes up for in challenge and beauty.
There are several risk-reward holes at Tiara Rado, Franco said. Hole no. 8 is a par 3, measuring anywhere from 100 yards to 180 yards and runs through an apricot orchard. Hole no. 12 is the signature hole and also a par 3, measuring anywhere from 85 yards out to 170 yards. The difficulty lies in the fact that no matter what tees you play, you must carry water to find the green. “Make sure to take enough balls because if you come up short, there is a good chance your ball will roll back into the lake,” Franco said. Finally, hole no. 18 is a short par 4 which can be drivable if you can hit your driver straight.
Classification: Regulation 18-hole public municipal course.
Year built: Front nine was built in 1971 and the back nine followed in 1976.
Fees: Monday-Thursday: 9 holes for $20 (cart additional $10); 18 holes for $36 (cart additional $16). Friday-Sunday: 9 holes for $24 (cart same as above), 18 holes for $40 (cart same as above).
PGA Golf Professional: Chance Semones
Dress code: No tank tops, cut-off shorts or work boots. Jeans and t-shirts are accepted.
Course description: Bordered to the west by the spectacular Colorado National Monument, with splendid views of the Grand Mesa, the world’s largest flat top mountain, and the ever changing Bookcliffs, the newly renovated Tiara Rado golf course is golf and nature at its best. Tiara Rado is challenging for any level of skill with four tee areas to choose from and plenty of water hazards to avoid, including the short but ornery moat hole. It has an 18-acre practice area, golf cars, pull carts, lessons, rental clubs, and full service pro shop.