This story first ran on BizWest.com, a BusinessDen news partner.
“Everything Martin [Lind] builds is big,” Matt Hernandez, chief sales officer at The Water Valley Co, said of his boss’ new baby: the RainDance National Resort & Golf in Windsor. “We go big or we don’t do it.”
At more than 8,400 yards, the par-71 course designed with consulting from PGA Tour legend Fred Funk, RainDance is the longest course in North America, according to the developer.
The 300-acre course, which traces the Cache la Poudre River, was designed by Funk, architect Harrison Minchew and Lind, whose Water Valley Co. is the master developer of the mostly residential RainDance community.
Even if it’s the longest course on the continent, Raindance isn’t necessarily the toughest course, given the ball tends to travel farther at elevation, Hernandez said. “If you play the right tees, you should be all right.”
The course and resort are hosting a week-long grand-opening celebration the week of July 10 that will feature a concert by country musician Colt Ford atop Hoedown Hill, a hundred-plus-foot-tall mound that will eventually serve as a man-made ski and sledding slope.
“Words will never match what you will experience when you visit RainDance. The view from the top gives you grand vistas of the Rockies and the endless visual north to Wyoming, and the town of Windsor below,” Funk said in a prepared statement. “But the view from the bottom of RainDance blows you away as you look up into the arroyos that make RainDance so unique.”
The feel inside RainDance is rustic and agricultural, with old tillers, rusted wagon wheels and tractor carcasses dotting the landscape.
The aim of the aesthetic choices are to “pay homage to the farmers who built this town,” Hernandez said.
Like the farmers before them, the golf course designers took advantage of the lay of the land when setting up shop.
“We could have come in and just demolished all of the land and built the golf course over top of it,” Henandez said. Rather, the course is contoured to the land, with fairways tumbling down into gulches and arroyos that remain home to a herd of deer. Elevated tee boxes set on hilltops provide views of Long’s Peak to the west and smokestacks from Weld County’s industrial and energy-production facilities to the east.
RainDance National is semi-private, so non-members can make a tee-time three days in advance.
Hernandez said course officials hope to host a PGA Tour Champions, formerly known as the Senior PGA Tour, event at RainDance in the next few years.
Lind is no stranger to golf courses, having opened the Pelican Lakes Golf Club in 1999 and the nearby Pelican Falls course addition in 2006.
Northern Colorado is increasingly becoming a hotbed for golf activity.
The TPC Colorado at Heron Lakes course in Berthoud opened in summer 2018 and is home to a Korn Ferry Tour stop.
Nearby in Timnath, plans are being laid for the construction of a Topgolf facility within the roughly 240-acre Ladera development near the intersection of Harmony Road and Interstate 25.