The Experience

A Modern Course Experience with Prehistoric Character

Fossil Trace Golf Club is located in Golden, Colorado, just minutes from downtown Denver, Colorado. The course is the latest achievement in Jim Engh designed championship golf courses. Nestled adjacent to the foothills of the Rocky Mountain Front Range, you will enjoy a unique golf course experience that is truly one of a kind.

Historic and Prehistoric Significance

There is a rich history surrounding the Golden area and this also is the case for Fossil Trace Golf Club. Various buildings and structures still exist from the early 1900’s; on the lower fairway of Hole #1, there is an “often-photographed” incinerator which was 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 which were used by area townspeople. 

Millions of years ago, before the Rocky Mountains even existed, a huge lake covered the area and as it receded – the first thing to drop to the bottom of the lake was sand, followed by clay, then by trees, brush, etc…. This happened numerous times which eventually created a horizontal layer of sandstone, clay, sandstone, clay, and so on. A dinosaur steps in the soft clay and makes an imprint which is later covered by another layer of sandstone. Years later, the Rocky Mountains begin rising which pushes the horizontal layers to a somewhat more vertical position. As you travel to the Back 9, you encounter what remains

#14 Crane Green to Teeof the Rockwell Mine which was mined by George W. Parfet (downtown Golden park named after him) beginning in 1877. His heirs continued to mine clay, used for brick making, until 2001. After removing the clay, all that remained was the sandstone column which houses the palm frond wall (#12 green) and exposes the triceratops footprints (#12 green) and hadrosaurs’ footprints just west along the crusher fine walk path. The path and split rail fence were put in place as part of a Boy Scout Eagle Badge project and allows for bikers and pedestrians from 6th Avenue bike paths to access the area without stepping onto the golf course in a “walking tour” format.

The Golf Course

Several pieces of machinery still exist on the property. Prior to the purchase of an Army Surplus Bay City ½ ton yard shovel (located right of 11, above 15 green) purchased in 1954, all mining was done by hand and dynamite. The 2 pieces of machinery on #12 and #14 (photo right) greens are caterpillar powered, consecutive serial numbered machines purchased in 1956. They are an American ¾ ton dragline bucket and shovel boom respectively.

Fossil Trace Golf Club is currently a premier public golf course designed by renowned golf course architect Jim Engh. Golf at Fossil Trace is available for daily fee play and is open for limited private and corporate golf outings & events. The golf course opened in July of 2003, approximately 64-million years after the first dinosaurs walked where holes 11 through 15 now sit. Triceratops footprints, as well as other prehistoric creatures’ fossils can be viewed adjacent to the 12th green. Located just inside the main doors is an exhibit that details the rich history of the property and shares information about the dinosaur tracks and other important fossils uncovered on the site.

From the day that Fossil Trace Golf Club opened, local and national golf course awards and accolades have been steadily rolling in, making Fossil Trace Golf Club a renowned golf course not only in Colorado but in the United States.

From the simplicity of a 100 yard Par 3 to the cruelty and challenge of a 659 Yard Par 5, Fossil Trace Golf Club offers every level of golfer a unique and satisfying challenge. Length of hole is not the only concern as the undulation of the greens combined with the treachery of 10 foot deep fairway and greenside bunkers will test even the most accomplished golfer. Combined with pristine course conditions and a unique & challenging Jim Engh golf course layout, Fossil Trace continues to be a must-play golf course in Colorado.