The Reserve At Moonlight Basin Golf Club
The most beautiful inland course I've ever seen
The view from the first tee might be the most epic in golf. Your jaw drops when you arrive to see the hole unfurl more than 250 feet below the elevated tees with the backdrop of the mountains soaring overhead.
It's the first glimpse that you're in for something special. Moonlight Basin is, without a doubt, the most beautiful inland course I've ever seen (other candidates include Banff, Jasper and Silvertip in the Canadian Rockies and Redlands Mesa in Colorado). This is backwoods mountain golf at its finest. The completion of the front nine and the 6,600-square-foot log clubhouse in 2015 signaled the private club's revival from bankruptcy. The first nine holes of the 8,000-yard routing (the back nine) debuted in 2008.
The rugged terrain creates a demanding test of golf where flat lies are extinct. The blind tee shot and uphill climb makes the fourth hole the No. 1 handicap. The par-5 sixth and par-4 12th are probably too extreme for most players, but otherwise Jack Nicklaus did a solid job making a difficult site feasible as a golf course. He chose five par 5s and five par 3s as the best way to tame the land. You might not score well, but it's a round you'll remember for a long time. Comfort stations are stocked with free snacks and drinks.
There are plans to built a resort hotel that allows some more outside access to this private playground. Currently, non-members who stay at rental properties in the Spanish Peaks/Moonlight Basin communities have limited access to tee times.