Tom Fazio strikes gold at Red Sky Golf Club in the Vail Valley of Colorado's Rocky Mountains

WOLCOTT, Colo. -- Some debates can go either way and both parties still end up right: Lennon or McCartney? Candy or chocolate? What should we play, the Fazio or the Norman Course at Red Sky Golf Club?

After playing both golf courses within the past year, I give the Fazio Course at Red Sky the edge by the narrowest of margins, but both are top-100-caliber experiences. The 6,846-yard Fazio Course seems to be just a little more fun, playable and scenic than Greg Norman's excellent design on the same site high above the I-70 corridor in the Vail Valley.

Red Sky provides a private-club atmosphere for public golfers. It rotates public access between the Fazio Course and the Norman Course every day. When the members are playing one course, eligible golfers who are staying at a high-end resort owned by Vail Resorts are enjoying the other. Each group checks in and dines at separate clubhouses.

Fazio's funhouse starts at the 323-yard third hole, where he uses shaping and a water hazard running the entire length of the left side of the hole to visually intimidate players. The fairway is plenty wide, like it is on every other hole. Fazio's routing gradually climbs the mountainous terrain without feeling too penal or demanding.

The end result of this trek is a fabulous three-hole stretch run that falls back into orbit. The par-4 16th, the par-3 17th and par-5 18th holes all tumble downhill, a memorable finish to a memorable day.

Rocky Mountain High, indeed.

Aug 12, 2016

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Jason Scott Deegan

Senior Staff Writer

Jason Scott Deegan has reviewed more than 700 courses and golf destinations for some of the industry's biggest publications. His work has been honored by the Golf Writer's Association of America and the Michigan Press Association. Follow him on Twitter at @WorldGolfer.