Fossil Trace is more than just the name of one of the most charismatic golf courses in the United States, it’s a literal translation of the land. When architect Jim Engh designed Fossil Trace, he laid several back-nine holes on the grounds that housed mind-boggling fossils of triceratops footprints and other prehistoric fossils, which are on display next to the 12th green. Fossil Trace leans into its prehistoric roots with two sets of combo tees named after dinosaurs, the T-Rex tees, a combo of the black and blue tees, and the Trike (short for Triceratops) tees which are a combo of the blue and whites. The fascinating history of the property is not the only unique characteristic of Fossil Trace. Engh prides himself on shaping outside-the-box courses with features and layouts that break the mold of what many golfers have come to expect in a standard golf course. This is obvious from the very beginning of your round, as the opening hole features a large brick chimney stack in the middle of the fairway, which was used to burn trash on the land as far back as the 1940s. Long, narrow and deep bunkers protect several greens while constant elevation changes offer priceless mountain views. A spattering of put bunkers can also be found on the course if you’re not careful. It’s easy to access Fossil Trace from Colorado’s major cities. It’s just 22 minutes from Denver and 35 minutes from Boulder. Even from Fort Collins or Colorado Springs, the drive is in the 1 hour and 15 minutes range, a mild exchange for a truly unique golf experience. As a municipal course, rates at Fossil Trace vary. Golden residents can play 18 holes during the week for $70, while non-residents pay $100. Those rates jump up by 10 bucks on the weekends. You can save a little cash by playing Fossil Trace in the offseason, with discounted rates from January through late April. The course is open year-round, weather permitting. If you want to warm up or sharpen your game at Fossil Trace, the practice facilities include a more than 300-yard long driving range with 20 hitting stations, and a large practice putting green. Fossil Trace offers five sets of tees, plus two combo tees that are rated by the USGA, giving golfers seven options to tee it up on the par 72 course. The longest tees, the blacks, measure 6,381 yards, while the gold tees are the shortest of the five at 4,681 yards. The blue tees, which are recommended for players with handicaps from 11-15, measure 6,241 yards with a rating of 68.9 and a slope of 130. The scorecard recommends pace of play not to exceed 4 hours and 40 minutes.