Rochelle Ranch Golf Course in Rawlins, Wyoming: Where the humans and antelope play

RAWLINS, Wyo. -- The hum of trucks and traffic along Interstate-80 does nothing to distract from the natural beauty of Rochelle Ranch Golf Course. Playing the city-owned municipal track is such a unique experience on a wind-swept prairie lined with sagebrush and salt flats in south central Wyoming.

Fact is, Rochelle Ranch might be the best $48 round of golf (peak rate) you'll ever play.

Antelope regularly play through without warning. Golfers can thank sheep ranchers Curt and Marian Rochelle for their generosity. They paid for construction of the 7,925-yard course as a gift to Rawlins residents in 2004.

This remains one of the longest and most difficult golf courses in the country, despite sitting at an altitude of 6,800 feet that helps the ball go farther. Golf Digest ranked the Ken Kavanaugh design no. 29 among "America's 50 toughest courses" in 2007 but left it off the list of its updated "75 toughest" in 2011. The nines were reversed in 2013 so players could get off to a more forgiving start. The new no. 1 plays 343 yards from the 6,629-yard white tees, compared to the daunting 415-yard old first hole (now the 10th) which bends left around a marsh.

Kavanaugh created endless risk-reward options with bunkers in the middle of wide fairways on holes 3, 4, 10 and 17 and a split fairway at no. 5.

The totally awesome 13th hole, a 360-yard par 4 (white tees), bends it like Beckham around a large pond. It's just a 200-yard carry from most of the tees to reach dry land near the green, so going for it is almost required.

After golf, stop by the Bunkerz Bar & Grill inside the clubhouse for killer home-made milkshakes. For stay and plays, check out the Hampton Inn Rawlins right across the street.

Jason Scott Deegan has reviewed and photographed more than 1,000 courses and written about golf destinations in 20 countries 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 Instagram at @jasondeegangolfpass and Twitter at @WorldGolfer.

Related Links

Latest Popular Content
4 Min Read
September 14, 2023
Here's a look at the history of golf handicaps, how they are calculated, and where you can get one.
2 Min Read
September 6, 2023
Golf course logos come in a huge variety of styles, making hats, shirts and other accessories from pro shops very collectible. What are your favorite logos?
2 Min Read
September 6, 2023
This terrific twosome in Nisswa, Minnesota, is one of the anchors of golf in Brainerd, one of the Midwest's best golf destinations.
4 Min Read
September 17, 2023
Fortinet fans are spoiled with burger dogs, weekend concerts and the chance to get up close to the players.
Renewed Golf Gets Rave Reviews! Come Play at Saddlebrook's two Arnold Palmer signature 18-hole golf courses and enjoy deluxe accommodations, award-winning dining, and much more!
3 Min Read
September 29, 2023
The 36-hole club with onsite villas for stay and plays in Sparks, Nev., is thriving in the post-pandemic golf boom.
5 Min Read
September 13, 2023
Puttr, a new technologically-advanced putting mat, could help you make more putts on the golf course.
Now Reading
Rochelle Ranch Golf Course in Rawlins, Wyoming: Where the humans and antelope play