Fossil Trace GC: #15Fossil Trace Golf Club

Fossil Trace Golf Club
3050 Illinois St.
Golden, CO 80401
Jefferson County

Phone(s): (303) 277-8750
Fax: (720) 497-0690

Fossil Trace Golf Club is situated at the base of Lookout Mountain just 15 minutes west of downtown Denver. The golf course is named after the fossilized triceratops footprints and palm fronds that can be found in the sandstone next to the 12th green. Millions of years after the dinosaurs, the terrain served as a clay mine prior to becoming a golf course in 2003. Some of the equipment remains on the golf course, adding another historic element to the terrain. Locals consider the challenging layout one of the best in the state. The greens are large and undulating and there are cavernous sand traps that are over six feet deep. Fossil Trace Golf Club is not long but very few holes run beside each other, making for a more interesting round.

Fossil Trace Golf Club
4 stars out of 5 (based on 12 reviews)
See all reviews | Submit your rating

A view of the 15th hole at Fossil Trace Golf ClubA view of green #10 with clubhouse in background at Fossil Trace Golf ClubA view of the 5th green at Fossil Trace Golf ClubFossil Trace GC: View from #12Fossil Trace GC: 2nd greenFossil Trace Golf Club

Golf course details

  • Holes: 18
  • Designed by: Jim Engh
  • Public/Private: Municipal
  • Year opened: 2003
  • Golf Season: Year round
  • Guest Policy: Open
  • Tee times welcomed: Yes
  • Fairways: Blue grass
  • Greens: Blue grass


  • Pro in house: Yes
  • Driving range: Yes
  • Rental clubs: Yes
  • Rental carts: Yes

Green fees price ranges

  • Week days: $45 - $80
  • Weekends: $45 - $90

Course policies

  • Metal spikes allowed: No
  • Dress code: Collared shirts w/bermuda length shorts or slacks are required for all practice areas and if playing Fossil Trace Golf Club.
  • Credit cards accepted: Yes

Length, slope and rating for each tee

Tee Par Yardage Slope Rating
Black 72 6831 138 72.3
Blue 72 6241 133 69
White 72 5559 112 66.6
Gold (W) 72 4681 117 66.5
T-Rex 72 6577 136 71.4
Trike 72 5933 122 67.8
Blue (W) 72 6241 145 74.5
Trike (W) 72 5933 140 72.8
White (W) 72 5559 133 71.4
Palm (W) 72 5197 127 69.1

Reader Ratings / Reviews

  • Fossil Trace Golf Club
    4.5 stars out of 5
    by Sam Sherstad
    on June 28th, 2018 20:51
    Our Colorado Golf Binge two foursomes played Fossil Trace at 7am July 21, 2016 as the final round of our 5 day binge. We all love this course. It was is great shape as usual. We settle our bets at Three Tomatoes overlooking the 10th hole. A perfect ending to a great week.

    Previously replayed Fossil Trace with my college student nephew. On the first day of Spring, March 20, 2014 we skied Arapaho Basin in the AM then drove down to Fossil Trace for a great lunch at Three Tomatoes. We teed off at 2 pm about 3 hours after skiing our last run.

    The course is in surprisingly good shape for March. Fairways were nice and green. The greens weren't as smooth and fast as their summer greens but mighty nice for early season. Their bunkers were still under winter wraps on most holes but uncovered and good on a few holes. Fossil Trace is better than ever with new carts and advanced GPS, enlargements to greens 1 and 18 and a cart path extension to the 18th green.

    Fossil Trace Golf Club lies right behind that big golden domed government building in Golden north of I-70. Their slogan is “Escape the Ordinary, Experience the Extraordinary” and they claim their course was 64 Million Years in the Making! They’re right on their first claim. The experience is Extraordinary…especially for a Texas Flatlander. I’ll just have to trust them on their 64 million year claim. But this is also probably true because the walls of the cliffs on the back nine contain fossils of prehistoric creatures and plants that have been studied for years by students of the Colorado School of Mines. In fact two walls by the famous 12th hole are set with lights for students and tour groups doing evening studies of the fossils.

    Before you head to Fossil Trace check out their great website and their helicopter fly over. It's a terrific way to get a feel for what you'll experience.

    I’ve been able to play this course 12+ times and have improved progressively as I’ve learned how to play Colorado golf course designer, Jim Engh’s bowl greens and sloping fairways. Some golf purists criticize Engh’s designs as being too golfer friendly but I find them to be great fun. In fact on my 2010 round I got a hole-in-one on the uphill par 3 third hole by using the backstop. I was hosting a group of my TX and IL buddies and we had fun celebrating the special day at Fossil Trace's Three Tomatoes bar/restaurant overlooking the course.

    Head Golf Pro, Jim Hajek, will warn you not to bite off more of the course than you can handle. But in 2009 we didn’t listen. We played from the tips (Black tees) for 18 holes. The 6,831 yards at a high altitude with a 72.5/139 rating/slope didn’t seem too tough to handle but the narrow 480 yard par 4 4th and the 659 uphill into the wind 9th hole proved too much for us. So we squeezed in another nine holes after a great lunch at Fossil Trace’s Three Tomatoes Restaurant on the deck over looking the beautiful 10th and 18th holes.

    This time we played the Blue tees at 6,241 yards with a 69.3/131 rating/slope and found it much better for our game and egos. Another option would be to play the "T-Rex" tees (a combination of the Black and Blue tees measuring 6,577 yds and 71.2/135 rating/slope). Before you go check out Fossil Trace's great website including very well done videos of holes 1, 10, 12 and 15. These will give you a good taste of what you'll experience on a golden day in Golden. Have your cameras rolling when you play the unique 12th and 15th holes. Both are par 5s. The 12th makes you feel like you’re the ball in a pinball or bumper pool game as you pick your route through tall rock formations in the fairway.

    Golden is a fun town to visit après-golf. You’ll see some of the Coors Brewery near the Fossil Trace Golf Club - a tempting tour after 18 holes on a 64 million year old golf course!
  • Fossil Trace Golf Club
    1 stars out of 5
    by Lee Maes
    on August 31st, 2015 18:36
    Dear Director of Golf--

    I have been waiting for a long time in anticipation of playing your golf course. Everyone I ever talked to sung your praises. Their praise and my anxious anticipation turned into a nightmare. First of all, where and how do you justify asking $68.00 (senior rate) to play such a "goat track? Your course was in terrible shape...hard pan everywhere. The course was a high mountain desert. The only thing missing was the goats. As a middle single handicapper, and never playing there previously, not one person from your staff offered some tips as to some of the nuances associated with the course. Additionally, the pace of play was abominable...5 hours and 2 minutes. Today was Monday for crying out load. Comparing your course conditions with that of others in the area, and the price associated, you and the entire staff should be ashamed to to command the fees that only a lunatic should pay. I will gladly pass this information on to everyone of my many golfing buddies.

    Lee M.
  • Fossil Trace Golf Club
    5 stars out of 5
    by David R.
    on April 29th, 2012 22:40
    Absolutely beautiful course. Very well maintained. The staff was very friendly. If you decide to walk the course better be ready for a workout. Lots of hills to climb and every green is nestled in a bowl that you'll eventually have to climb out of. Would play this course again for sure.
  • Fossil Trace Golf Club
    5 stars out of 5
    by Charlie Hoyt
    on April 01st, 2012 12:26
    Fossil Trace is one of my favorite golf courses anywhere.

    Each of the holes has individual character and the course is always in very good condition.

    The green fees are very reasonable.
  • Fossil Trace Golf Club
    4.5 stars out of 5
    by Ian
    on October 05th, 2011 17:00
    If you began playing the game because you wanted to have fun - then this is the place for you.

    It was certainly aided by perfect weather in October, but he course was still in great condition and the greens rolled very smooth - better than what I have recently experienced. With the surrounding grass gold colored, the views reminded us of a desert style course - visually awesome!

    I see others mentioning Fox Hollow which is indeed a nice course but for $3 more, Fossil seems a far better value given layout, carts w/gps, condition, fun factor and the after round food and drink. Overall there is no comparison for me and my group although we play most everywhere.

    If I'm seeking a special place to entertain or a course which offers more than just a simple round of golf - Fossil Trace take the lead for our clients and colleagues. Kay is the restaurant is a superstar!
  • Fossil Trace Golf Club
    5 stars out of 5
    by Lee B
    on October 04th, 2011 16:55
    Wow - a roller coaster in the variety in holes requiring you you use most every club in your bag. Our group just had a blast playing and will be back.

    This course was in great shape, better than most if not all I've played in metro Denver. The staff friendly and welcoming, nice golf shop with actual golf equipment AND priced the same as Golfsmith - something you don't find many as many courses anymore.

    Some might say "too pricy" but I find you get what you pay for and Fossil seemed well worth it to us. I brought a group of out of state and they loved it - made me look good as they enjoyed the whole experience.

    It is not an easy course, you have to actually "think" about what shot to hit or club to use. This is not a step up, hit it, find it and hit again course - there are way too many of those out there in my opinion. You can score but you will have to manage your game thru every hole or fire a big number at any time.
  • Fossil Trace Golf Club
    2.5 stars out of 5
    on September 06th, 2011 10:05
  • Fossil Trace Golf Club
    5 stars out of 5
    by Ryan
    on July 19th, 2011 10:17
    Awesome, extremely challenging golf course! It's a little pricy but well worth playing a couple times a year.
  • Fossil Trace Golf Club
    2 stars out of 5
    by Phil Barberi
    on May 31st, 2011 14:42
    As was said too expensive. Nearby Fox Hollow is a much nicer course and cheaper. The Staff here act like they're doing you a favor letting you play there. Once was enough and I live nearby.
  • Fossil Trace Golf Club
    5 stars out of 5
    by Matt M
    on May 22nd, 2011 13:00
    By far the best public course in all of Colorado! You might think the greens fees are a little high but you get what you pay for. Outstanding customer service and an incredible design. You will feel welcome and taken care of from the moment you step into the pro shot. The Par 5 12th with the sandstone columns in the middle of the fairway is my favorite.
  • Fossil Trace Golf Club
    4 stars out of 5
    by PHersh
    on February 21st, 2011 13:37
    Great course very well maintained. Only complaint is the course is a little expensive and does not ever seem to offer any deals like twilight rates. Overall it is one of the best public courses close to Denver.
  • Fossil Trace Golf Club
    2.5 stars out of 5
    by J Zacherman
    on February 21st, 2011 10:15
    This is one of those public courses that thinks it's a country club. Overpriced green fees and you have to wear a collar even on the driving range. Could be a nice course and I'll rate it higher whenever the management changes. Save your money and play nearby Fox Hollow instead, a much better course.
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