At 7,500 feet above sea level, the ball travels at least 10 percent farther for most amateurs, and closer to 15-20 percent farther for professionals.
So, while a quick glance at the scorecard leads you to believe the opening hole is a daunting challenge, it's really the equivalent of a 400-yard hole at sea level, and shorter still when you consider the tee shot is played from a steep hillside across a valley to an uphill fairway.
We used Aspen trees on the right to protect the inside of the dogleg. The left side is guarded with a fairway bunker. The fairway bunkers at Red Sky were placed at a variety of distances from the tees. In an effort to challenge the low handicap player, some are as much as 330 yards from the back tee. Others are 240-270 yards out. This variety keeps the course challenging yet playable for all skill levels.
The green sits left to right and is very large. A greenside bunker guards the right half of the green and makes all back right pins difficult to attack. A large, sloping area left of the green allows you to play a safer shot up the left side and then watch as the slope kicks in and pushes the ball onto the green. Alternatively, you can challenge the bunker and fly your approach all the way to the hole. Giving players multiple options is part of what makes this golf course exciting.