Red Sky Golf Club - Fazio course - hole 17
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Red Sky Golf Club - Fazio course - hole 17
It's tough to select the right club on the downhill par-3 17th hole of the Fazio Course at Red Sky Golf Club in Colorado. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
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Red Sky Golf Club - Fazio course - hole 2
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Red Sky Golf Club - Fazio course - hole 2
The view from the elevated second tee on the Fazio Course at Red Sky Golf Club captures the beautiful setting. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Red Sky Golf Club - Fazio course - deer
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Red Sky Golf Club - Fazio course - deer
Can you spot the two deer hidden in the brush of the Fazio Course at Red Sky Golf Club? Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Red Sky Golf Club - Fazio course - hole 3
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Red Sky Golf Club - Fazio course - hole 3
Water runs up the left side of the 323-yard third hole on the Fazio Course at Red Sky Golf Club in Wolcott, Colorado. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Red Sky Golf Club - Fazio course - hole 4
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Red Sky Golf Club - Fazio course - hole 4
Check out that backdrop on the fourth hole on the Fazio Course at Red Sky Golf Club in Wolcott, Colorado. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Red Sky Golf Club - Fazio course - hole 7
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Red Sky Golf Club - Fazio course - hole 7
The uphill climb to the par-3 seventh green on the Fazio Course at Red Sky Golf Club plays much longer than the 198 yards on the scorecard. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Red Sky Golf Club - Fazio course - hole 8
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Red Sky Golf Club - Fazio course - hole 8
It's best to stay on the left side of the eighth fairway on the Fazio Course at Red Sky Golf Club, so you can get a proper angle into the elevated green. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Red Sky Golf Club - Fazio course - hole 10
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Red Sky Golf Club - Fazio course - hole 10
The 10th hole on the Fazio Course at Red Sky Golf Club is a sweeping par 3 guarded by loads of bunkers. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Red Sky Golf Club - Fazio course - hole 14
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Red Sky Golf Club - Fazio course - hole 14
The Fazio Course at Red Sky Golf Club wraps through memorable stands of Aspen trees. Courtesy of Red Sky G.C.
Red Sky Golf Club - clubhouse
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Red Sky Golf Club - clubhouse
There are two clubhouses at Red Sky Golf Club, including one just for members. Courtesy of Red Sky G.C.

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.

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