GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. -- Few inland backdrops in golf compare to the high desert scenery surrounding the Golf Club at Redlands Mesa. The Jim Engh design -- ranked the top public course in the state by Golfweek in 2015 and no. 95 nationally by Golf Magazine in 2014 -- is blessed with views of the Colorado National Monument, the Book Cliffs mountains and the Grand Mesa.
The brown and red rocks look spectacular juxtaposed against the green grass of the 7,007-yard course. The barrage of elevated tees showcases all the scenery.
True to form, the Colorado-based Engh created some intriguing holes. The par-5 fifth hole at Redlands Mesa doglegs right, playing to a massive green cut above a rocky shelf. The tricky par-4 14th hole whips right toward a green hugging some gigantic boulders.
Golfers won't find a better set of par 3s. The 197-yard third climbs uphill to a green hidden behind mounding. Only the top of the flag is visible. The rest are all drop-shot par 3s -- the 164-yard eighth over a pond, the 151-yard 12th into a bowl and the 218-yard 17th hole bracketed by rock outcroppings.
Be sure to hike up the narrow, winding steps to the back tee at no. 17 to find the most picturesque moment of the day.