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Elevating the Game.



FITTING YOUR 15TH CLUB • Key Stretches and Moves • Keeping Fit after 50 • Can Hemp Oil Loosen Joints? • How to Build Grit PLUS: BEST GOLF FITNESS TIP EVER!





How senior golfer

ROBERT POLK defies his 63 years

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CONTENTS | May 2019



48 The Joy of Flex 17

DEPARTMENTS 8 Forethoughts

Stretch your body, stretch your game. Two clients of golf-fitness expert Dee Tidwell show moves that keep them in the game. By Jon Rizzi

54 Best Golf Fitness Tip Ever!

Leave the cart in the barn and walk your way to lower scores, improved health and deeper friendships with your playing partners. By Andy Bigford

Secret Aging Man By Jon Rizzi

10 The CGA

Youth On Course is Golf’s 401(k)

12 #coavidgolfer

Keep up on gear and other news.

Special Section

60 Beat the Clock

17 The Gallery


How to get younger—really!—and play better after 50. By Neil Wolkodoff, PhD

63 Oil That and More

By Ryan Smith

Jennifer Kupcho Conquers Augusta National, Hale Irwin Medal, Columbine Polishes its History, CoBank Colorado Women’s Open preview, more.

Make New Mexico’s top golf resort your Albuquerque HQ.

64 Blind Shot


By Ehren Joseph

39 Fareways


Brothers and other sweet brunch spots. By John Lehndorff

27 Travel

42 Nice Drives

By Suzanne S. Brown

new rides from the Denver Auto Show. By Isaac Bouchard

A Shot from Above

Puerto Rico is Back in Business

32 Instruction

How to Practice Grit By Trent Wearner

34 Fashion

Mother’s Day gift ideas By Suzanne S. Brown


Can cannabis-derived products help your game? By Jon Rizzi

Julep, Dazzle, Ginger & Baker, Bourbon

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE and great

ON THE COVER Robert Polk performs a golf posture chop at Colorado Golf Fitness Club. Photograph by Ehren Joseph


27 coloradoavidgolfer.com



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May 2019 | Volume 18, Number 2 president and group publisher

A llen J. Walters editorial director

Jon Rizzi

SALES, MARKETING & ADVERTISING associate publisher

Chris Phillips

digital strategist and content manager

Drew Kor t

office and operations manager

Cindy Palmer

projects and special events manager

Melissa Holmberg ART & EDITORIAL creative director

Jani Duncan Smith art director

Chelsea Oglesby editor - at- large

Tom Ferrell

automotive editor

Isaac Bouchard style editor

Suzanne S. Brown

Now’s the time to invest in your financial health These may be your earning years, and retirement may feel like a lifetime away. But now is the time to lay the financial foundation for your future. Commit to making an investment in your long-term financial health by scheduling a fiscal checkup. Call for a complimentary portfolio consultation and a discussion about healthy investing for your future.


Sam Adams, Andy Bigford, E.J. Carr, Clarkson Creative, Tony Dear, Denny Dressman, Sue Drinker, Dick Durrance, Chris Duthie, Scott Gardner, Gar y James, Ted Johnson, Kaye W. Kessler, Kim D. McHugh, Phil Mumford PRINCIPALS Ray L . Baker, C. Don Baker, Dick B. Baker advertising inquiries : cindy@coloradoavidgolfer.com editorial inquiries and letters : jon@coloradoavidgolfer.com customer service and subscriptions :


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Vice President – Investments 5613 DTC Pkwy., Ste. 1000 Greenwood Village, CO 80111 Direct: 303-200-9523 thomas.gunnersen@wellsfargoadvisors.com home.wellsfargoadvisors.com/thomas.gunnersen

Colorado AvidGolfer (ISSN 1548-4335) is published eight times a year by Baker-Colorado Publishing, LLC, and printed by American Web, Inc. Volume 18, Number two. 7200 S. Alton Way #A-180, Centennial, CO 80112. Colorado AvidGolfer is available at more than 250 locations, or you can order your personal subscription by calling 720-493-1729. Subscriptions are available at the rate of $17.95 per year. Copyright © 2019 by Baker-Colorado Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is prohibited. Postmaster: Send address changes to Colorado AvidGolfer, 7200 S. Alton Way #A-180 Centennial, CO 80112. The magazine welcomes editorial submissions but assumes no responsibility for the safekeeping or return of unsolicited manuscripts, photographs, artwork or other material. magazine partner of choice :

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Secret Aging Man

On April 17, the Rocky Mountain Golf Course Superintendents joined with the Colorado PGA, Colorado Golf Association and the Mile High Chapter of the Club Management Association of America in Colorado Golf Alliance Day at the Colorado State Capitol.


to all the legislators who visited our table to learn about the positive impacts that golf and golf courses make throughout the state and on the environment.




THIS MONTH, for the first time since 1948, the PGA Championship will take place in May instead of August. Bethpage Black in Long Island, 21 miles east of my hometown, will play host. Ironically, it will be the first May in the history of this magazine that I haven’t gone back. For all those years my father’s birthday occasioned my visits, but he celebrated his 96th and final one last year, and with the family house now titled to someone else, it’s just too soon—even when it involves the enticement of attending a major championship. Cleaning out his house last year, I came across a photo of my teenaged self: a full head of Roger Daltrey tresses and a shirtless, testosterone-fueled torso chiseled by daily eightmile runs and thousands of sit-ups, bench presses and curls. Forty years later, the old workhorse whose photo appears here bears little resemblance— hormonally, physically or follicularly—to that frisky young colt. Remaining active and fit becomes harder as the responsibilities of life intervene. I’m the first to admit I don’t hit the gym as often as I’d like. And, as I stare down 58, I know it’ll be another 20 years before I can consider shooting my age—if I somehow maintain my fitness and golf skills that long. While the stories in this year’s fitness issue apply to everyone, they hold particular significance for us tail-end baby boomers who came of age when a six-pack was something that fattened your abdomen, not describe its corrugated contours. Senior amateur Robert Polk’s fitness level has kept him competitive on the course into his sixties. Our cover story, “The Joy of Flex” (page 48) offers some of the stretches Fitness Instructor Dee Tidwell asks him and 31-year-old professional long-drive athlete Mike Synek to perform. In “Beat the Clock” (page 60), Dr. Neil Wolkodoff provides a head-to-toe guide to defying your chronological age. Your “functional age” is far more important and relevant. The expression “50 is the new 40” comes to mind. Following his advice, you could conceivably shift that 50 to 60 and leave the 40 equally as new. Andy Bigford’s “Best Golf Fitness Tip Ever!” (page 54) is a bit of a teaser to extol the virtues of the traditional method of traversing the course: walking. Even in the purported “fittest” of these United States, most Coloradans play golf between rides in a golf car. As you’ll learn, the benefits of hoofing four or more miles of hilly terrain go far beyond burning calories and speak to the essence of why we play. Whether walking or riding, the golf swing puts stress on our backs, shoulders, hips and other body parts. To combat the aches and pains, more and more golfers—including those on the PGA TOUR Champions—are turning to hemp-oil extracts and products containing CBD. They won’t get you high, but they could help your yips. Find out more on page 63. The most inspiring example of golf fitness has to be 43-year-old Tiger Woods, who has overcome injuries to his back, neck, knee and reputation to win his fifth Masters and 15th major. He’s the favorite to win his 16th at Bethpage, where he captured the U.S. Open in 2002. I’ll be watching from the elliptical machine at the gym. ­— JON RIZZI



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Golf’s 401(k) Youth on Course’s innovative model is a win-win-win for kids, courses and the future of the game. By Ryan Smith ED MATE HAS BEEN in the golf business long

larly promising—nationally as well as in Colorado—is Youth on Course. The program subsidizes the cost of golf for juniors between the ages of six and 18, who pay no more than $5 per round at participating facilities in the U.S., often with some date and time restrictions. At the beginning of 2018, the Junior Golf Alliance of Colorado, founded and operated by the CGA and the Colorado PGA, became the 20th state in which the program was formally sanctioned. As of March of this year, that number had grown to 29 thanks mainly to YOC partnerships with USGA Allied Golf Associations. Youth on Course, a non-profit started in 2006 as a Northern California Golf Association initiative, has now accounted for more than 765,000 rounds of subsidized golf for juniors in

FIVESOME: For only $5, kids can play at 27 Colorado courses.

GET INVOLVED In order to participate in the Colorado Youth on Course program, youngsters can join the JGAC for $25. Youth on Course members in Colorado can play for $5 or less at participating courses outside the state as well. For a list of Colorado courses currently participating in the Youth on Course program, go to juniorgolfcolorado.org/youthoncourse. COLORADO AVIDGOLFER | May 2019


FUTURIST: O’Shaughnessy’s Meadow Hills course saw the most YOC rounds in 2018.

Locally, 15 courses spanning Colorado participated in Youth on Course in 2018, including the City of Aurora facilities. In all, Colorado junior golfers played 661 subsidized rounds last year, and participating facilities received more than $3,800 in subsidies. Those numbers will jump considerably in 2019. More than 25 courses, including those from the City of Denver, are on board. They range from facilities in Grand Junction to Aurora, from Pueblo West to Fort Collins. The national Youth on Course foundation is responsible for the subsidy for the first 18 months of the program in the state, then JGAC-facilitated funding will take over. “I see Youth on Course just growing exponentially, I really do,” Mate said. “I think we can expect to see 50 percent growth year-over-year for YOC for the foreseeable future.” The subsidy courses receive for each youth round through YOC—which normally amounts to $6 in Colorado—is no small matter in making the program successful. Facilities love the idea of creating long-term customers, but like to see, as Bill Murray’s character says in Caddyshack, a little something for the effort. “When they first gave us the info (on Youth on Course), we read it over and thought, ‘Win, win,’” said Dan O’Shaughnessy, PGA head professional at Meadow Hills Golf Course in Aurora, which had a state-high 230 Youth on Course rounds in 2018. “First and foremost, we’re not doing something that reduces our revenue. We keep it the same, but by reducing the cost to the participant, it’s a winner. A kid comes in at 2 o’clock, pays $5 and he’s off and playing. We’ll get our $6 back (on an $11 junior green free). It’s fantastic from that perspective.” “I think of all the player development programs out there, this is probably the closest thing we have to a 401(k) for the future, to borrow a line from National Golf Foundation President Joe Beditz,” Mate said. “These are the kids that are going to be carrying the game for the future. I’m a huge fan of it.” coloradoavidgolfer.com


enough—more than 30 years—to have seen marked ups and downs in the industry. There was the stretch from 1997-2007, when an average of almost seven courses per year opened in Colorado. On the other extreme, there was a period of almost nine years—sandwiched between CommonGround in 2009 and TPC Colorado in 2018—when no new regulation 18-hole courses debuted in the Centennial State. Nowadays, Mate, the executive director and CEO of the Colorado Golf Association, has reason to be upbeat. “I’m very bullish on the future of the game because I think we really are investing in our future now,” he said recently. That “investing” has taken many forms, but one of the initiatives that appears to be particu-

the last 13 years, with more than $5.1 million reimbursed to participating facilities. There are roughly 48,000 YOC members, representing a 55 percent increase in 2018, at 1,000 courses. “And we’re finding that 64 percent (of YOC participants) bring a paid adult,” Devin Meheen, the national Youth on Course program manager, said during a visit to Colorado earlier this year. “It’s pretty awesome for public courses to get some extra revenue.”

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Switching Gears With all the new equipment releases from major brands in 2019, it can be difficult to keep abreast of what will most benefit you and your game. Lucky for you, gear expert Tony Dear is on the case. In our weekly newsletter, Tony details the latest and greatest gear from every part of the bag, while giving honest and in-depth feedback on price, playability and quality. To sign up, go to bit.ly/CAG-Newsletter or visit our website, coloradoavidgolfer.com.

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The Gallery NEWS | NOTES | NAMES

KUPCHO RUNNETH OVER: Clockwise from left, Jennifer exults after sinking her birdie putt on 18; with Maria Fassi on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon; and on Today with Al Roker, Sheinelle Jones, Craig Melvin and Dylan Dreyer.

Kupcho Conquers Augusta

UPLIFTING: Her victory inspired one magazine to call Kupcho “golf’s newest ambassador.”


tion she hadn’t had since high school. As the pain intensified over the next three holes, she relied on Augusta National caddie Brian McKinley for yardages and putt reading. A three-jack—her first in seven competitive rounds—on the par-4 10th cost her another shot to Fassi. Everything changed on the par-5 13th when Kupcho hit what she called “probably one of the best shots I’ve ever hit”—a gutsy 3-hybrid missile from 211 yards that led to a six-foot eagle putt to draw her even. The two alternated birdies on the next two —Maria holes, leading to the pivotal par-3 16th. With the pin in its traditional Masters Sunday spot, Kupcho and Fassi both played shots towards the right side of the green in order to catch the ridge that has funneled so many balls into short birdie opportunities. Kupcho’s shot trickled toward the hole, resulting in a six-foot birdie; Fassi’s remained atop the ledge, leading to a bogey and a two-shot lead that Kupcho would carry to 18. As Fassi tried to make something happen, Kupcho hit two perfect shots— and when her third, a 20-foot birdie putt, dove into the hole, history was hers. “Best day of my life!” her brother Steven, a former Colorado Player of the Year and aspiring pro, wrote on Facebook. “My sister is going to change the world.”

Equally as impressive as Kupcho going 5-under on Augusta National’s final six holes—a feat last accomplished by Jack Nicklaus in 1986—was the sportsmanship demonstrated between the two competitors. The only players in the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur field to have

“That’s one of the things I admire and respect most about her; she’s not afraid of going for it. She’s not afraid to be great, and that’s what makes her great. I’m extremely happy that she got that win…She deserves it so much.”


Fassi about Jennifer Kupcho deferred their LPGA Tour qualification until after their senior seasons in college, friends Kupcho and Fassi fist-bumped, smiled during the match and embraced on the green afterwards. “I said, ‘You need to get used to this because we’re going to be doing it a lot in the future on the LPGA Tour,’” Fassi shared in an interview. “I think that is what women’s golf should look like every Sunday in the last group. It’s the players’ responsibility for it to be like that.” “I think both of us kind of just wanted to send the message that golf is about having friends, and to be out there with her, we were cheering each other on, and that’s kind of how golf is supposed to be,” Kupcho said. “And to make it look fun; it is fun. So to make it look that way for everyone watching, I hope it encourages people to pick up a club and go play.” May 2019 | COLORADO AVIDGOLFER


IN ONE OF the most clutch and electrifying performances of her already storied career, Wake Forest University senior Jennifer Kupcho of Westminster triumphed in the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur—the final round of which was the highest-rated amateur golf telecast (for men or women) in 16 years, according to The Nielsen Company. Seas of patrons also filled the galleries at Augusta National, as Kupcho, who turns 22 this month, overcame a vision-blurring migraine and outdueled University of Arkansas senior Maria Fassi of Mexico over the final nine holes. Shooting a 68 and 71 during the event’s first two rounds at nearby Champions Retreat Golf Club, Kupcho entered the day leading Fassi by a stroke. After the eighth hole, however, Kupcho found herself down by one and having blurred vision on her left side, a migraine-induced condi-

The Gallery

A Hale of an Honor

HEADY MEDAL: Hale Irwin (left) and the CGA’s Ed Mate announce the creation of the inaugural award.

accomplish great things at the national level.” Mate contends he doesn’t know “if this is going to be a one-year award, a 10-year award, but we do know we want to honor the greatness of the state of Colorado and HAIL DALE: 1986 U.S. Senior Open winner Dale Douglass will connect that greatness receive the Hale Irwin Medal. to Mr. Hale Irwin.” The connections between Irwin and the two honorees run deep. Now 83, Douglass grew up in Fort Morgan and starred for the University of Colorado shortly before Irwin’s arrival at the school. Kupcho and Irwin are the only two Coloradans ever to capture the NCAA individual titles, and she participated in the Hale Irwin Player Program, a CGA initiative “designed to inspire young people and, frankly, to remind them that you can come out of the state of Colorado and win three U.S. Opens and become a World Golf Hall of Famer,” Mate explained. Current members of the Irwin Player Program attended the announcement of the Hale Irwin Medal at Meridian Golf Club in Englewood. “I’m not one to beat my chest, but I’m very proud of having my name on that medal,” Irwin said. “It is very special.” Douglass and Kupcho will receive their medals at a November 23 gala at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs. Proceeds from the event will support the Colorado Golf Foundation and its effort to support Junior Player Development, Caddie Programs and Community Golf Partnerships across the state. coloradogolf.org

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FITTINGLY, LESS THAN a week before Jennifer Kupcho’s gritty victory at the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur, she and 1986 U.S. Senior Open Champion Dale Douglass were named the first recipients of the Colorado Golf Association’s Hale Irwin Medal. Named for the winner of three U.S. Opens, 20 PGA TOUR events and a record 45 tournaments on the PGA TOUR Champions, the medal “recognizes Colorado’s outstanding golfers who exhibit competitiveness, resiliency and a proven record of winning.” Now 73, Irwin, a Boulder product, rates as “the best player ever to come out of the state of Colorado,” CGA Executive Director Ed Mate said. “The Colorado Golf Association believes it’s critically important that when you have a player like Hale Irwin, you celebrate that legacy. You don’t let time go by without honoring that incredible career. So we’ve concocted this idea to create the Hale Irwin Medal for Colorado players who have gone on to

experienceThe Ridge

Enjoy The Ridge’s Newest Dining Experience

The Ridge, located in Castle Pines, Colorado is excited to announce that we will be re-launching our restaurant this Spring! Newly named Park Place, the restaurant is named after Grace Park, a 12-year LPGA Tour Player who collected a total of six victories and one major. New items will include enhanced ambiance, western theme, new menu and fresh BBQ selections! Visit www.playTheRidge.com or call 303.688.4575 for reservations today.

1 4 1 4 C A S T L e P i N e S P K W Y, C A S T L e P i N e S , C O 8 0 1 0 8 | 3 0 3 . 6 8 8 . 4 5 7 5 | P L AY T h e R i d G e . C O m

T H E R I D G E I S m a n aG E D by T R o o n G o l f, ÂŽ T H E l E a D E R I n u p S c a l E G o l f co u R S E m a n aG E m E n T


The Gallery


Chunya Boonta

FOR THE PROS competing in the 101st PGA WANAMAKER BET: 52 years later, Championship at Bethpage Black Golf Course, Columbine can salute Don January May 18 will be moving day. For the members of (center) with more than bourbon. Columbine Country Club, some 1,850 miles west of Long Island, that Saturday will be a moving one as well, as the club, which hosted the 1967 PGA Championship, finally gets to unveil a replica of the Wanamaker Trophy—at 28 inches tall, the largest silverware in professional golf—from that historic championship. Not even Don January, who won his only major in an 18-hole Monday playoff at the event, got to keep a trophy. In lieu of a gleaming replica prize, he received a bottle of privatelabel Kentucky whiskey. Some whisper he may not have even collected the $25,000 winner’s share, because the championship took place at its history more. the height of a nasty schism within the PGA of So last year, the club reached out to the PGA of America that pit touring pro golfers against club golf pros America about getting a replica Wanamaker to display. that resulted in the formation of the stand-alone PGA The effort led to trophy specialist John Bowles and the TOUR in 1968. same silversmiths in Dartford, England, who created the “There were 200 players playing for their lives, inreplica trophy for last year’s centennial PGA Championtertwined with 6,000 club pros with steady jobs,” Deane ship and the one for this year’s. The gleaming icon will Beman, the PGA TOUR’s second commissioner, recalled be unveiled May 18 after the first round of Columbine’s in a Golf magazine article. “And the needs of those two men’s opening tournament. groups no longer aligned.” “It’s a best-ball we’re calling the ‘Columbine PGA,’” Columbine recently met the needs of its members by replacing the clubhouse that predated January’s victo- explains Head PGA Professional Bryan Heim. “After the ry with a $25 million, 56,000-square-foot structure. The round, each team randomly draws the names of two pros new clubhouse, coupled with the distinction of being one who have made the cut at Bethpage and adds the lower score to their own for both days. It’s sort of a twist that of only three Colorado courses to host a major champities everything together.” columbinecc.com onship, inspired the Columbine membership to celebrate

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Colorado juniors excelled in this April’s Drive, Chip & Putt National Finals at August National Golf Club. Centennial’s Chunya Boonta came in second—the highest finish ever for a Colorado player—in the Girls 12-13 division, while Caitlyn Chin of Greenwood Village finished fifth among Girls 10-11, as did Colorado Springs’ Grady Ortiz in the Boys 7-9. drivechipandputt.com

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Golf by Numbers

Non-Members Only KEEPING WITH GOLF tradition, South Broadway Country Club closes on Mondays. But that’s where the similarity between it and other country clubs ends. Billing itself as “Non-members Only,” SBCC occupies a stand-alone former auto-repair shop at South Broadway and Iliff in Denver, with nothing more to trumpet what’s within than a stylized logo and the hand-painted words GOLF and SPIRITS writ large on the brick façade. The spirits of golf and its many elixirs memorably commingle in the 3,300-square-foot space, which opened in August. Colorful mid-century modern décor continues the throwback vibe in the hip lounge and gaming area, but owner Kelly Huff’s approach to the game is anything but retro. With more than a decade of professional instruction experience, the 33-yearold Georgia native invested in two state-of-the-art TrackMan units—one for lessons, the other available for practice or simulated rounds on more than 80 courses. “We’re booked more than a month out for lessons and for TrackMan/Simulator rentals,” Huff says. “I love what Topgolf is doing, but this is a golf-first facility, not a nightclub with golf. We don’t have a kitchen but we have a bar and people can order in food. It’s the kind of place the NO COVER: South Broadway Country Club stylishly avid golfer would appreciate.” blends golf and spirits. The avid golfer also appreciates Huff’s custom club-fitting with high-end components from Callaway and other manufacturers, as well as the ability to book online. Lessons with Huff range from $65 for 30 minutes to a package of eight 60-minute sessions for $700. TrackMan/Simulator rentals run $40 per hour. This summer, Huff plans to open a second location at 42nd Avenue and Tennyson Street in Denver’s hip Berkeley neighborhood. It will feature all the ambience and amenities of the original, including cool craft cocktails and Herman Joseph’s Private Reserve on draft. southbroadwaycc.com


Colorado Arcis Golf properties—The Pinery, The Club at Pradera and Arrowhead Golf Club—participated last month in the nationwide “Arcis Round Up For Autism” in conjunction with Ernie Els and the Els for Autism Foundation. The program encouraged members, guests and patrons to “round up” to the nearest dollar on any purchases of merchandise, food and beverage, or golf as a donation to the charity. The Round Up ended April 30, but golfers can still make a difference. Ernie and Ben Els Arcis will accept additional contributions through September, with clubs or individuals raising or donating $15,000 or more invited to send a two-person team to play in the Els for Autism Golf Challenge Grand Finale event at The Breakers Palm Beach in mid-October. Els established the Els for Autism Foundation in 2009 with his wife, Liezl, after learning of their son Ben’s autism diagnosis. The Els Center of Excellence is a world-class facility hosting leading-edge autism programs and services in Jupiter, Fla. With one in every 59 children born with some degree of the disorder, Els for Autism commits itself to helping those with autism lead positive, productive and rewarding lives. arcisgolf.com; elsforautism.org

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The Gallery

Ladies Lead Off Joy Trotter

Becca Huffer

100,000 is at stake if President Donald Trump accepts sportswriter Rick Reilly’s challenge to play a match accompanied by rules officials and no “cheating caddies.” Famous for the bestsellers Missing Links and Who’s Your Caddy?, the Colorado product and former Castle Pines Golf Club member recently penned Commander in Cheat: How Golf

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FOR THE FIRST TIME since 2012, the CoBank Colorado Women’s Open will kick off the three-event CoBank Colorado Open Championship season. The field for the $150,000 championship—the richest in the country for a women’s state open, with a winner’s share of $50,000—will tee it up at Green Valley Ranch Golf Club May 29-31, swapping places in the schedule with the CoBank Colorado Senior Open, which will now take place August 28-30. The switch, Colorado Open Foundation Chief Executive Officer Jill McGill Kevin Laura explains, should attract a stronger field. “We won’t be scheduled against a full-field LPGA or Symetra event, which we have been in the fall,” he reasons. He hopes also to get college players who were unable to play in late August because they were back in school. “Plus, with the semester and season ending, those women who plan to turn pro can make their debut with us.” That could mean Katrina Prendergast, the Colorado State senior who led last year’s event after two rounds and finished second. Although the event overlaps with the U.S. Women’s Open, Laura knows a number of solid players may not qualify, and with the last qualifying round taking place May 7, “that leaves enough time for those women to sign up to play with us.” The CoBank Colorado Women’s Open qualifier is May 27. If she doesn’t qualify for the U.S. Women’s Open, Explains Trump. While mulligans regularly 2013 Colorado Women’s Open champion Becca Huffer defined President Bill Clinton’s rounds, Reilly has verbally committed. Other standouts in the field provides dozens of firsthand accounts of how potentially include 2012 champion Joy Trotter, recent our current leader has taken rule-breaking to Cactus Tour winner Brittany Fan, 2005 champion another level—foot wedges, pencil-whipping, Erin Houtsma, Colorado PGA Women’s Champions even tossing an opponent’s pin-high approach Alexandra Braga and Sherry Andonian, and Colorado into a bunker. Golf Hall of Famer Jill McGill, who is trying to enlist “I don’t know much about politics,” fellow Legends Tour players to compete. Reilly told an AP reporter, “but I know golf “This is a great opportunity for mature and exand it really offended me, not as a voter or as perienced players,” says McGill, who recently moved a citizen—just as a golfer.” Should they play, back to Denver with her family. “I’d love to see more the President, a 2.8 index, would have to give opportunities where you have a population of seasoned the sportswriter, a 4.8, a stroke per side. professional golfers mixed in with the younger ones.”




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Player’s Corner TRAVEL VAMOS A LA PLAYA: The Bahia Beach Resort Golf Club at St. Regis Bahia Beach.

Open for Business 18 months after Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico’s golf resorts are flourishing again. By Suzanne S. Brown


It might seem hard to find the positives resulting from a storm that took a $43 billion toll on the Puerto Rican economy, but not only have the island and its top properties recovered, operators of golf courses and resorts used the bad fortune of Maria to upgrade and refresh their holdings. The St. Regis spent $60 million to restore and improve its facilities, guest rooms and landscaping. At the Ritz-Carlton Reserve in Dorado Beach, 114 beachfront guest rooms and suites were redesigned, the landscape replanted, a restaurant added, menus updated and the spa refreshed. The Wyndham Grand Rio Mar replaced furnishings in guest rooms and public areas, renovated its conference center and created new restaurant concepts.

And that’s not all that’s happening at a few of the island’s top golf resorts. BAHIA BEACH GOLF CLUB Located about 30 minutes from San Juan in Rio Grande, Bahia Beach endured less destruction than many courses on the island because the storm mainly damaged vegetation rather than structures, according to Alberto Rios, the club’s general manager and PGA professional. The golf club opened a month after the hurricane hit, even though extensive cleanup was required, as well as work restoring 48 of its 60 bunkers. The golf course, designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr., opened in 2008. The Troon Golf-managed property is certified as a silver signature PHOTOGRAPH BY SUZANNE BROWN

FOLLOWING THE BELLMAN along a dark, winding path to my room at the St. Regis Bahia Beach, I couldn’t help but notice the late evening soundtrack. “Ko-keee, ko-keee, ko-keee” came the refrain—loud, persistent and somewhat otherworldly. “Is that a bird or an insect?” I asked. “Neither one,” he replied. “That is the coquí, our native frog.” One to two inches long and weighing a couple of ounces, the creature might be tiny, but the song it uses to attract females has been measured at 90 decibels, about as loud as a lawn mower. It’s a sound you quickly get used to hearing and lulled by, like crickets on a summer night. Yet, as befits a luxury property like the St. Regis, the rooms are soundproof. Once inside, you can block the frog’s song if you so desire. Hoteliers on the “enchanted isle” cater to every need of their visitors, and that is as true now as it was before the American territory suffered its worst natural disaster in 80 years. A devastating Category 4 storm, Hurricane Maria landed in Puerto Rico two weeks after Hurricane Irma in September 2017. It was responsible for 3,000 deaths, while the cost of damage to both manmade structures and natural areas exceeded $90 billion. All of which makes what vacationers were experiencing just 18 months later that much more impressive. Discover Puerto Rico reports that 139 hotels were up and running at the end of February. Add short-term rental options such as Airbnb and HomeAway and the number increases to 8,000-plus lodging options. “People need to know that Puerto Rico is open for business and ready for visitors,” says Xiomara Rodriguez, communications director for Discover Puerto Rico. An island native, she recently moved back after spending 20 years in Florida.

IN THE SWIM: Wyndham Grand Rio Mar’s pool complex lies just beyond the ocean.



Player’s Corner TRAVEL

PALMS FOR THE TOUR: TPC Dorado Beach’s East Course hugs the shoreline.

Savoring San Juan

Puerto Ricans love strong coffee and fine chocolate and the ideal place to sample both is Chocobar Cortés in Old San Juan, which has been family owned since 1929. The chocolate-centered menu features everything from indulgent chocolate pancakes for breakfast to chocolate martinis for cocktail hour. Want to try something new? Among the 12 types of hot chocolate is the Puertorriqueño Traditional, served in a glass mug and accompanied by a little square of cheddar cheese. As the cheese melts into the hot chocolate, the savory quality cuts the sweetness and the resulting flavor is addictive. chocobarcortes.com Vianda is getting a lot of buzz in the Santurce neighborhood. Chef Francis Guzman’s concept is a farm-to-table menu anchored by local ingredients and products, evolving depending on the season. Entrées include items like grilled shrimp with a green tomato salsa verde and avocado (above), and lamb sausage with chimichurri and smoked mustard cream. viandapr.com Among the other new hot spots is Raya in the O:LV Fifty Five, a boutique hotel adjacent to the beautiful Condado Lagoon in Condado. The décor is ultra-stylish with marble-top tables and lime green velvet seating. Chef Mario Pagan creates tasty bits like Korean fried chicken, wasabi grilled cheese and lobster lollipops. Before or after dinner, head to the rooftop bar Arya for drinks overlooking the water. olvhotel.com; book dining reservations through opentable.com After a tour of the historic governor’s palace of La Fortaleza, stop by Barrachina, which claims a bartender on its staff invented the piña colada in 1963.





Even the most golf-obsessed visitor has to eat, right? Puerto Rican food is a delicious combination of influences from the native Taíno people, Spanish, African and American cuisines—all waiting in San Juan.

sanctuary by Audubon International and those 1,400 acres of coastal island real estate, the area with sharp eyes can occasionally spot a Puerto was a coconut and citrus plantation first develRican parrot as well as other avian occupants. oped by Dr. Alfred Livingston in 1905. Laurance With five sets of tees, ranging from 6,890 Rockefeller bought it in 1955 and turned it into a to 5,277 yards, the course accommodates golf- resort and nature sanctuary that drew the likes of ers of all abilities, including beginners and youths John F. Kennedy and Hollywood stars. who can use the family tees. There’s also a par-3 Today, Puerto Rican celebrities like Ricky course in the practice area. Since water comes Martin own homes at Dorado, and swanky resinto play on many of the holes and tight fairways idences line sections of the East Course origiand bunker placements also provide challenges, nally designed by Robert Trent Jones and redeRios recommends first-timers use a caddie. signed by his namesake son in 2011. While four Stay and play: The St. Regis resort’s 139 Jones courses once inhabited the property, two rooms have been upgraded with new furnish- remain: the East and Sugarcane. The facility beings and amenities, as has the full-service Spa came part of the TPC network in 2015. Remede. Dining options include Seagrapes for The East Course’s 481-yard, par-5 No. 4 breakfast and lunch and Greek-inspired SWEET AND STOUT: TPC Paros for dinner. Dorado’s Sugarcane has more Paros, which occuforced carries than the East. pies the upstairs floor of the Plantation House, is sleekly remodeled with contemporary furnishings. The muted color scheme draws your gaze to large windows looking over the green lawn and ocean beyond, as well as to the bright painting hanging above the St. Regis Bar. Puerto Rican artist Arnaldo Roche Rabel’s mural, The Long-Awaited Voyage, sus- is a double dogleg that asks a competitive playtained damage in the hurricane, and the artist re- er to cross two ponds to make it to the green stored the work shortly before his death late last for a birdie opportunity. “The hole is one of the year, according to general manager Jose M. Torres. best risk-reward holes you will play,” says Jeff Room rates go from about $900 to $2,500 per Willenberg, director of golf and the PGA pro at night at the property and include butler service. the property, noting the hole is famous for the bahiabeachpuertorico.com swaying palm trees that sit behind the green and the ocean glimmering beyond. TPC DORADO BEACH Stay and play: Bring your wallet if you’ll be About 35 minutes west of San Juan, Dorado lodging at either the Plantation Resort ResidencBeach has a rich history and is now a Ritz-Carlton es luxury villas or the Ritz-Carlton Reserve. This Reserve property loaded with amenities (a wa- is luxury with a capital “L.” The website lists terpark, nature trails, surf-side equipment rent- high season rates for the residences starting at als and five-acre spa, to name a few). Covering about $1,000 a night, and $1,200 and up for

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Player’s Corner TRAVEL the reserve accommodations. doradobeach.com; doradobeachreserve.com WYNDHAM GRAND RIO MAR GOLF & BEACH RESORT The two 18-hole Troon-managed courses adjacent to the Wyndham Grand resort in Rio Mar were designed by two different architects and reflect the variations in their tropical surroundings. El Yunque National Forest borders the property to the south and the Atlantic Ocean lies north, with the Mameyes River flowing along the east

PROFESSIONAL GRADE: Coco Beach hosted the PGA TOUR’s Puerto Rico Open in February.

to leave the property since nine dining options are available, including Roots Coastal Kitchen, serving Caribbean comfort food. wyndhamgrandriomar.com COCO BEACH GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB Coco Beach hosted the PGA TOUR’s Puerto Rico Open tournament for the 11th time in February and the course remains in great shape. Martin Trainer got his first PGA TOUR win at the event, carding a 5-under 67 in the final round. The Open took place on the Championship Course, one of two layouts designed by Tom Kite

© 2017

TWICE AS WET: Water guards holes on Wyndham Grand Rio Mar’s Ocean and River courses.

side. Greg Norman did the layout for the River Course, while Tom and George Fazio created the Ocean Course. The River Course took the biggest hit from Maria, with trees and tree stumps flowing through the river after being swept down from El Yunque, reports Jamie West, general manager of the golf club. They’re still removing trees from both courses and have renovated all the bunkers. The 35,000-square-foot clubhouse which sits above the golf courses was completely redone and has a pro shop, restaurant, bar and terrace with expansive views. The spacious locker rooms have saunas, Jacuzzis and spa services. Stay and play: Compared to some of the seriously swanky oceanfront resorts in Rio Grande and Dorado, the Wyndham Grand is a bargain, starting at about $300 a night. The hotel got a major refresh after the hurricane, with all 400 rooms redecorated. Views are outstanding, with scenes of either the ocean or El Yunque from guest-room balconies. A spa, casino, pools and beachfront beckon. There’s little need

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featuring seashore paspalum and beaucoup water hazards. Averaging 10 percent longer from each set of tees, the Championship plays about four shots harder than the International course. The Rio Grande property sits on a peninsula jutting into the Atlantic Ocean, so trade winds blow constantly. “If wind blows around, it makes the course a lot harder,” said Sidney Wolf, president of the Puerto Rico Golf Association and a former Open tournament chairman. Stay and play: The resort hotel on the property is in the process of being sold and isn’t currently open, but there are villas and timeshares that can be rented as well as other hotels nearby. cocopuertorico.com


Suzanne S. Brown is Colorado AvidGolfer’s Style Editor.

San Juandering Be sure to stroll the cobblestone streets of Old San Juan to shop, dine and visit cultural sites and museums. The most Instagrammable spot? The colorful umbrella art installation (right) on Fortaleza Street just outside of the governor’s vivid blue official residence, La Fortaleza. Another must-visit is the Castillo San Felipe del Morro fort built in the 16th century, a National

Historic Site maintained by the National Park Service. Take a tour, enjoy views of San Juan Bay and watch people fly kites on the grassy area below. nps.gov/saju/index.htm The artsy Santurce neighborhood is known for the Plaza del Mercado or, locally, “La Placita.” By day, vendors sell fresh produce and trinkets. At night, the area comes alive with bustling restaurants and bars. For more ideas, visit discoverpuertorico.com. –SSB

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Player’s Corner LESSON

Learn to Deal with It Practicing resilience separates the great golfers from the not-so-great ones. By Trent Wearner

Practice with a Purpose Many things make up a well-rounded golfer, but if you better prepare yourself mentally in practice then you will be better prepared for all the challenges on the course.

NO SPORT TAKES you, in practice, further away from what is experienced in a real game than golf. Practice in other sports prepares for different scenarios and situations. Not golf. The endless pursuit of a mechanically “perfect” golf swing leads many people away from the elements of the game that will assist in lowering their score. Consider this. Most people would love to have a swing like Justin Rose or Adam Scott. But out of 215 tour pros, they’re in the middle of the pack when it comes to hitting fairways and greens in regulation. Even with their perfect swings, they only average 8.5 fairways and just under 12 greens in regulation between them. The difference is that they practice the other things—intangibles that truly make up the heart of golfer. How you incorporate these intangibles into your practice will either make or break your ability to play better golf. Chief among those are tenacity and resilience— traits that allow a golfer to deal with the misses even the best players regularly have. People talk about the importance of getting over bad shots, but no one practices it, which makes it nearly impossible to have a great attitude or reaction when one occurs on the course. But how do you practice tenacity and resilience? Consequences.

Divide your practice in ways that help you to transfer your game to the course with more success.

Practice your routine and your commitment to the shot.

Practice under pressure and with score involved.

Practice alternating clubs and targets with every shot hit on the range.

Work on aiming and committing to a target slightly right or left of the flag on the range because you’ll be needing to aim right or left of the flag with most of your shots on the course.

Above all, work on your resilience and reactions to poor shots by “dealing with it” mentally and physically.


ON THE RANGE Say you’re working on something with your 7-iron. When you hit a shot that would have missed the green, instead of raking over another ball and hoping that something better appears on the next ball, grab a wedge and hit a pitch shot to a target that is close to you. This process will help you deal with the consequences of that poor 7-iron by hitting a great wedge shot. After the wedge shot then go back to your 7-iron. Repeat this process for any shot on the range that isn’t spectacular.

AROUND THE GREEN If you flub a chip, where the ball barely gets onto the green, instead of chipping a “better” one, grab your putter and go deal with it by putting out. Develop the willpower to dismiss the poor chip and get into your routine on the putt.

Trent Wearner is the owner of the Trent Wearner Golf Academy (TrentWearnerGolf.com) located at Meridian Golf Club in Englewood. He is a three-time Colorado PGA Teacher of the Year, a two-time Colorado PGA Player Development Award winner and known for his practice book Golf Scrimmages. Reach him at 303-645-8000 or trent@trentwearnergolf.com. COLORADO AVIDGOLFER | May 2019






Player’s Corner FASHION

Mother Lode Feminine and functional gifts to please mom— or any woman golfer—this spring. By Suzanne S. Brown

FLOWER POWER Her garden won’t be the only thing sprouting blossoms this month. Glove It’s new Bloom pattern appears on its visors and gloves, as well as bags, totes, towels and headcovers. The visor has an adjustable coil, wide brim for improved sun protection and is constructed from UV 50 material, $16.95. The glove is made of Lycra and has a cabretta leather palm, $19.95. gloveit.com

SPORTING LIFE Miami-based designer Denise Cronwall started out specializing in tennis and activewear but golf wasn’t far behind. Now the company offers tops, bottoms and dresses in technical fabrics with feminine styling, as well as layering pieces such as cardigans and jackets. Cronwall’s “Shabby Chic” collection includes a gathered-sleeve T-shirt-style top, $85, and Maritza 17-inch skort in an abstract floral print, $95, to wear on the links and beyond. denisecronwall.com

BRAND NEW BAG A hefty handbag just doesn’t cut it when you’re riding or walking the course, but it’s nice to have a separate carrier for your phone, money, keys and other necessities. Sue Fuller thought about that when coming up with the 24+7 Crossbody Belt Bag that is one of the many designs for her company Oliver Thomas (named for her beloved shih tzu). The bag, with top and side zippers, is made of a washable polyester quilted fabric and comes in 10 colors and patterns. With a removable crossbody strap, the purse can easily convert to be worn around the waist, $49. theoliverthomas.com


SWISS PRECISION KJUS brings to golfwear the same attention to technical fabrics, refined style and clean tailoring consumers love in its skiwear. The Swiss company’s spring women’s line includes a floral print Enya polo made of UPF 50-plus, four-way stretch fabric that absorbs moisture, dries quickly and has an anti-bacterial finish, $109. The Ikala slim-fit, high rise 7/8th length treggings (a combination of trousers and leggings) look classic but are easy and comfortable to wear because of their stretch fabric which has the added benefit of a water-repellent finish, $149. kjus.com



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Player’s Corner FASHION

PRINTS CHARMING Ellabelle’s Swirl dress in nylon and spandex was born out of designer and company owner Heidi Ehrlich’s love of a flattering sleeveless turtleneck. The sassy skirt moves along with the wearer as she twirls down the fairway or along the boardwalk on a resort vacation. The style comes in black as well as four bright prints, including Cheers (left), $105. ellabelle.com

CONNECT THE DOTS Everyone from Minnie Mouse to Marilyn Monroe has been crazy for polka dots, so it’s only natural they’re popping up on golfwear as well. Golftini designer Susan Hess includes the mini-dot pull-on Putt Putt skort, $110, in her spring “Fun and Games” Collection. It’s a perfect piece to team with spandex leggings, $100; a brushed fleece zip-front jacket, $116; and UPF 30 sleeveless collared polo, $84. golftiniwear.com

FEET FIRST Let’s face it, golf shoes can be a little clunky. British designer Alex Bartholomew set out to change that a few years ago when she started creating stylish men’s and women’s footwear under the Royal Albartross label. Crafted in Italy and Portugal, the women’s designs can step seamlessly from the fairway to a fashionable restaurant. Among the new offerings is Runway, with a pebble-flex sole that offers traction and support, comfort and a breathable leather lining. The style comes in seven color combinations featuring patent leather toe accents, $199. us.albartross.com

REVISITING THE CLASSICS You won’t find kitschy prints or superfluous details on golfwear created by Saad Hajidin. The founder and creative director of InPhorm honed his design skills at companies like Ralph Lauren before starting his own brand in 2008. He specializes in eco-friendly performance fabrics styled in crisp looks, like the short-sleeve stretch top with mesh overlay, made of recycled polyester and spandex, $88. It’s worn with a straight skirt featuring pleats on one side and a card pocket in the back, $123. inphormnyc.com Style Editor Suzanne S. Brown is a former editor for The Denver Post and contributor to Colorado Expression.








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Colorado Section


MORNING GLORIES: Clockwise from left, Julep’s Buttermilk Biscuits and Sausage Gravy; Ginger & Baker’s lovingly restored building and Coconut Pie.

Peak Brunch

Destination spots dish more than Benedicts, bacon and Bloodies. By John Lehndorff I LOVE GOING to brunch. It’s the rare dining occasion where you can kick back when the sun is out, catch up with family and friends and take a break from the weekday diet rules. In other words: Quality baked goods and relaxing adult beverages are often involved. The best brunch places serve more than the usual breakfast suspects plus a couple of sandwiches and salads. They deliver a variety of sigh-worthy, “brunch-y” dishes that please everyone at the table. Herewith a list of stellar destinations along the Front Range that not only have great fare and service, but are set in memorable locations. These gems are well worth the drive on a weekend morning, but reservations are recommended, if not obligatory, especially for Mother’s Day on May 12.

JULEP I experienced true fried chicken nirvana and appreciated the value of patience on a recent Sunday morning a few blocks from Coors Field. Julep looks like one of those new hipster bistros in coloradoavidgolfer.com

DAZZLE AT BAUR’S As your eyes adjust from the bright sunny street to the soothing, coolness of Dazzle, you hear the music and




RISE AND SWINE: Bourbon Brothers’ bacon-wrapped meatloaf.

downtown Denver with a sunny patio and a skillful conversation and smell the pancakes. It feels like bartender. It’s actually a bona fide Southern eat- you are at a celebration. ery in disguise, and its weekend brunch hits all Musicians and fans know Dazzle as one of the the right notes, starting with legit fried chicken— premier jazz clubs in the U.S. Brunch lovers like three pieces of high-quality bird fried long and me also revere it, especially since the 15-year-old slow enough to yield that quintessential crunchy Sunday morning tradition got a serious upgrade crust, moist meat and fall-off-the-bone goodness. when the club relocated to downtown Denver a Add chewy waffles, honey and spicy slaw and I few years back. The historic Baur’s Building, with had to smile. its tiled floors and pressed tin ceiling, gives the Such tastiness takes a long time to arrive, so space a classy, timeless charm. The combo playsettle in, turn off your phone, and sip a Pimm’s ing onstage has fun with the American songbook Cup or a perfect Mint Julep. Kids can order the and provides a nice groove. It’s not a concert, but Kool-Aid “flavor of the day.” Start with a fun it allows kids to experience live music, and the house-made pimento cheese ball crusted with volume of the music and chatter means they can toasted pecans and Triscuits. Julep also rewards be themselves without getting shushed. your patience with a board of baked-to-order The big buffet in the adjoining room feacrusty buttermilk biscuits. The warm middles are tures breakfast favorites, stations for made-tomade to absorb butter, honey and housemade order omelets and waffles plus carved brisket or marmalade or be drenched in peppery white gravy ham. Each week showcases a theme—from Texas dotted with sausage chunks. barbecue to Mexican with appropriate entrees. The modest menu satisfies with TUNE UP: Dazzle savory dishes like eggs Sardou (with accompanies brunch spinach and artichokes) and beef with live music. grillades over Anson Mills grits and Creole sauce. The sweet side also has a drawl: Rotating desserts include a banana raisin bread pudding soaked in bourbon butterscotch sauce. 3258 Larimer St., Denver 303-295-8977, juleprino.com

Side Bets | FAREWAYS DELECTABLE: Ginger and Baker’s Eggs Benedict.

BRUNCH SITE: Bourbon Brothers’ Sun Room.

famous Sunday brunch buffet—boasts hard-tobeat views of Pike’s Peak. Monday through Saturday barbecue and the bar draw a steady crowd, but Sunday is something completely different. The big attraction is juicy smoked prime rib, carved to order, as much as you like. The kids can visit the waffle station (and the sweet toppings) while Mom gets her omelet made just the way she likes it. Everybody can load up at the extensive salad bar loaded with fresh berries or wander toward side dishes like mashers and green beans. The real challenge is to restrain yourself so that you don’t miss dessert—a farrago of fresh treats including beignets, blueberry popovers, cobblers and cakes. As you enjoy a bottomless peach Bellini and gaze at the hills, be assured that you aren’t the first diner to start humming “God Bless America” and thinking about purple mountain majesties. 13021 Bass Pro Drive, Colorado Springs 719-219-1830, bourbonbrothers.com

GINGER AND BAKER Red-haired Ginger Graham is a diehard baker who also loves the spice of the same name. It made sense to name her remarkable establishment “Ginger and Baker.” Looking to open a pie shop, she rehabbed a marvelous old feed store in Old Town Fort Collins and constructed an adjoining building. Together they are home to a fine culinary attraction: two restaurants and a market/bakery with a couple of patios and a cooking school. The kitchen is dedicated to old-school cooking and baking using high-quality ingredients which make for a memorable brunch. Plus, the eatery’s oversized mugs hold enough good coffee that you don’t have to flag down a server. I loved my biscuit Benedict with thick cut country ham and lemon-y hollandaise. The a.m. choices range from avocado toast and a towering pecan sticky roll to a carnitas burrito smothered in green chile and pico de gallo. On the savory lunch side, the star is CRISPY GOODNESS: clearly the pastry-wrapped chicken pot pie Julep’s Fried Chicken. jammed with meat, veggies and herbed gravy. Other attractions include a hanger steaktopped iceberg wedge and a pastrami Reuben with Swiss on house-baked rye. Do not leave without sharing a slab—no slim slices here—of pie encased in a truly flaky butter-drenched dough. I endorse the tart cherry, quadruple coconut and coffee cream pies. Yes, the subject of Ginger Baker, petulant percussionist for the ’60s rock band Cream, comes up fairly often. Graham said she hopes the former Colorado resident stops by one day for a slice of gingerbread, a pot of tea and a chat. This ginger has drummed up a better brunch. 359 Linden St., Fort Collins 970-223-7437, gingerandbaker.com John Lehndorff is the former dining critic of the Rocky Mountain News, food editor of the Boulder BOURBON BROTHERS Daily Camera and chief judge at the National Open five years, Bourbon Brothers Smokehouse Pie Championships. He writes Nibbles for the & Tavern near the Air Force Academy holds a Boulder Weekly. His “Radio Nibbles” podcasts special place in the state’s brunch landscape. on KGNU are available at news.kgnu.org/category/ radio-nibbles. Literally. The aptly named Sun Room—site of its COLORADO AVIDGOLFER | May 2019




Tables overflow with appetizers, salads and desserts, but the longest line always seems to be at the breakfast cereal station, where sheepish adults stop for Lucky Charms and Apple Jacks. The build-your-own Bloody Mary area at the bar is stocked with an array of over-the-top garnishes. I always leave Dazzle feeling full, but with a bounce in my step. 1512 Curtis St., Denver 303-839-5100; dazzledenver.com


WAKE-UP CALL: Snooze’s Union Station location, pineapple upside-down pancakes and Bloody Marys.

These Colorado-born bruncheries have grown from single restaurants to operate a total of 31 locations along the Front Range serving brunch daily.


The Homegrown Chain Gang SYRUP Don’t Miss: The New Yorker: Smoked salmon and spinach on grilled tomato slices with poached eggs and lemon-y hollandaise. Three Denver locations. syruprestaurant.com

SNOOZE Don’t Miss: Banana pancakes with white chocolate chips, topped with vanilla creme, whipped mascarpone, strawberries, coconut and chocolate sauce. Nine locations from Fort Collins to Lone Tree (and in other states). snoozeeatery.com

TANGERINE Don’t Miss: Monte Cristo sandwich: Brioche French toast middled with Swiss, ham and turkey served with blackberry preserves. Locations in Boulder, Lafayette and Longmont. tangerineboulder.com URBAN EGG Don’t Miss: White bean hummus on multigrain toast with avocado, egg (any style), sprouted quinoa and local honey. Seven locations from Fort Collins to Highlands Ranch. urbaneggeatery.com

JELLY Don’t Miss: Molly Hot Brown with turkey over French toast smothered in poblano chile queso and topped with bacon. Three Denver locations. eatmorejelly.com LUCILE’S CREOLE CAFE Don’t Miss: Eggs Pontchartrain: Pan-fried trout and poached eggs with béarnaise sauce, grits and buttermilk biscuit. Six locations from Fort Collins to Littleton. luciles.com





Mercedes-Benz GLE

A Stampede of Size Trucks, SUVs and crossovers continue to dominate the market, upping the ante with amenities and power. By Isaac Bouchard Sales of pickup trucks, SUVs and crossovers now comprise almost three quarters of all new vehicle sales. This huge structural shift is having two main effects on consumers. One is the lowering of trade-in value for most sedans, coupes and sports cars; another is “sticker shock,” since manufacturers can sell a crossover for $2,500$5,000 more than a car that costs the same to build, and a truck for over $10,000 more. That trend doesn’t appear to be changing anytime soon, as we learned at March’s Denver Auto Show, which is where I saw all of these vehicles—with the exception of the Mercedes, which I drove. They all should be available by the time you read this.

2020 MERCEDES-BENZ GLE Starting MSRP: $53,700

Twenty years and two million sales after Mercedes invented the midsize luxury SUV, we have its fourth generation, code word W167. An all-new frame and structure gives it more room—especially in the back seat—and provides the basis for a brilliant, active suspension that can scan the road and control the movement of each wheel independently, pushing them down or even pulling them up. This imbues the GLE with a magic-carpet ride and excellent handling. Even basic versions are smooth over broken tarmac and exceptionally quiet. To get the fancy suspenders, however, one needs to plump for the


GLE450, powered by a refined new turbocharged, inline six cylinder engine whose low-end is boosted by a 48-volt electrical battery/motor system. Its 362hp/369lb-ft give the Benz appropriate acceleration alacrity, but most folks will be content with 350’s turbo, 2.0L four, whose 255hp/273lb-ft are more than adequate. Inside, the new GLE shocks and awes with two giant, horizontal monitors that can be configured in a myriad of confusing ways; hopefully the cloudbased AI brain that controls many of the new MBUX infotainment system’s operations will soon learn to stop asking what it can do for you every time someone mentions the word “Mercedes.” Until then, occupants can enjoy the new cockpit architecture, which is modern yet classic.


2019 RAM HEAVY DUTY Starting MSRP: $35,090

The class-redefining interior of the new Ram now sits atop Ram’s HD chassis and comes in a Cummins diesel version that breaks the 1,000 lb-ft of torque barrier—all the better to haul loads of over 35,000. Genius towing aids—like the ability to drop the air bags that suspend the 2500 model’s bed— mean you can hook up to a trailer without even getting out. And monitors that include the trailer’s tire air pressure should make the travails of travel less likely to include emergency roadside changes.

Ram Heavy Duty


Side Bets | NICE DRIVES Chevrolet Blazer


Starting MSRPs: $28,800 (Blazer); $31,990 (Passport) Competing in the same class, the new Blazer and Passport couldn’t be more different. The former offers sexy looks; the latter boxy roominess. The Chevy takes Camaro styling cues and successfully spreads them over the inside and outside of the Blazer, which rides on a shorter version of the platform that underlies the dynamically excellent Traverse. It out-handles the Honda, which rides better and is actually slightly faster, despite being down a few ponies. The Passport is basically a lifted, shorter Pilot, and while this gives it some aesthetic challenges, its vast interior is more practical. Both serve as compelling alternatives to the aging Ford Edge and Nissan Murano.



Starting MSRP: $27,900 Mazda found that people were frequently cross-shopping the top lastgen Mazda3 and the Audi A3. Although the Japanese machine handled better than its German competitor, it lacked Audi’s name and interior. With its all-new model, Mazda stands a good chance of capturing more premium-wanting buyers. The 3’s interior is the equal of the Audi’s. Its tech is intuitive and fast, and it is now available with all-wheel drive in both hatch and four-door forms. All four versions are roughly $5,000 less than the equivalent A3s. If Mazda keeps this up, it may indeed move the brand as far upmarket as its ownership desires.

2020 JEEP GLADIATOR Starting MSRP: $33,545

For Jeep to create a pickup version of its best-selling Wrangler was basically a no-brainer. But the predictability of that move in no way detracts from the brilliance nor desirability of the Gladiator, a name drawn from the company’s ’60s back catalog. An all-new frame allows it to tow up to 7,650 pounds and its five-foot bed can be stuffed with 1,600 pounds of toys, gear or home remodeling detritus. That new frame means the Gladiator has a wheelbase almost 20 inches longer than the Wrangler Unlimited and passengers benefit from a cab that is roomier than the class-defining Toyota Tacoma and a better ride. And no other manufacturer offers removable roof panels and doors, meaning the Jeep becomes the first open-air pickup in decades. Right now the sole engine is the long-serving but lovable 285hp 3.6L Pentastar V6; next year we get a V6 EcoDiesel with 442lb-ft of torque.

Honda Passport

Automotive Editor Isaac Bouchard is the owner of Englewood-based Bespoke Autos (303-475-1462). Read more of his writing on coloradoavidgolfer.com and bespokeautos.com. COLORADO AVIDGOLFER | May 2019

Jeep Gladiator



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Sandia Resort & Casino serves as the ideal base for an Albuquerque golf vacation.


award for best New Mexico course, the resort’s Sandia Golf Club boasts a challenging Scott Miller-designed layout and sports a 10,000-square-foot putting and chipping practice green, as well as a driving range with a double-tier teeing area. The course, which has hosted the New Mexico Open the last three years, stretches from 5,112 to 7,755 yards and rolls through the rugged high desert landscape, incorporating 48 bunkers, water features, washes and multi-tiered green complexes. The club’s signature par-4 18th finishes in front of patrons dining on the clubhouse’s stunning outdoor covered patio. Now managed by Troon Golf, the club operates from the stunning Sandia Golf Event Center, a sprawling facility appointed with modern New Mexican décor and posh finishes. Its 5,300-square-foot ballroom can divide into four separate spaces, with an allglass north wall facing the Sandias. Another collapsible glass wall erases the boundary between indoor and outdoor patios. The Event Center spills onto a dramatic private lawn, making for an especially memorable tournament or wedding venue. The building conveniently connects through the bridal suite/dressing room to the equally magnificent Green Reed Spa and its 14 new treatment rooms and salon. Green Reed’s encyclopedic menu of natural treatments and therapies means guests get pampered and rejuvenated in luxury. All 228 of Sandia’s lavishly decorated


A round on Sandia’s (left) topranked course can lead to such Duke City attractions as Isotopes Park and historic KiMo Theatre. rooms and suites showcase views of the city skyline or the Sandias. Sandia’s plush, 140,000-square-foot casino features myriad gaming options, and the resort’s 4,000-seat outdoor amphitheater has scheduled a retro summer lineup featuring Foreigner, Boys II Men & En Vogue, Rascal Flatts, Steve Miller and Peter Frampton, who’s on his farewell tour. On May 26, Sandia will also kick off the 8th Annual ABQ Beer Week with the ABQ Blues & Brews festival, featuring four blues bands and more than 70 breweries. Other outdoor pleasures await at Sandia’s fabulous pool and, nine stories above, at the lively rooftop patio and lounge connected to the resort’s five-star restaurant, Bien Shur. Specializing in steaks, chops and glorious views, Bien Shur also makes a number of savory appetizers—including the New Mexico Lobster Roll and Tequila Spiked Shrimp Cocktail—available in the lounge. Order up a signature watermelon-mint martini—which matches the magical color of the mountains viewed from the patio during happy hour—or choose a bottle from its Wine Spectator Award-winning selection. Sandia Resort & Casino 30 Rainbow Rd. NE, Albuquerque sandiacasino.com; 800-526-9366 coloradoavidgolfer.com


WHILE SANTA FE’S soigné charms seduce the gastronomes and gallery-goers, the golfers keep heading southwest on I-25 to Albuquerque. This isn’t to say New Mexico’s most populous city lacks the culture and vitality of its enchanting state capital. Far from it. The Duke City—so named for Spain’s El Duque de Albuquerque in 1706—also features a historic plaza, as well as a cross-cultural collection of galleries, shops and restaurants in Old Town and on Central Avenue. Attractions include mission-style churches, the intriguing Albuquerque Museum and October’s annual International Balloon Fiesta. You can also catch the Rockies’ rising stars at an Albuquerque Isotopes game or take in a performance at the celebrated Art Deco-Pueblo Revival KiMo Theatre. Tee times await at such layouts as Paa-Ko Ridge, Twin Warriors, Santa Ana, Cochiti, Isleta Eagle and the University of New Mexico Championship Course. However, you’ll find Albuquerque’s top golf offering on the north side of town at the Sandia Resort & Casino. Named for the beautiful watermeloncolored Sandia Mountains that dominate the resort’s eastern views, the Sandia Puebloowned resort continues to the standard for luxury in Albuquerque—and provides a convenient base from which to explore all the area has to offer. Ranked 4½ stars by Golf Digest, and the winner of Colorado AvidGolfer CAGGY





The By JON RIZZI Photographs by EHREN JOSEPH


Stretch your muscles,

stretch your game.







• Lay on your side and place your lower leg on a foam roller or something like it.

• Make a 90-degree knee angle with both bottom and top leg.

• Place both hands on top of each other. • Keeping your legs stationary, open your chest and reach as far as you can with your top arm. • Repeat 6-12 times and switch sides.


Working with athletes of all ages and abilities, Colorado Golf Fitness Club owner DEE TIDWELL stresses the primacy of flexibility and mobility. On the following pages, two of Tidwell’s clients—63-year-old senior player Robert Polk (above) and 31-year-old World Long-Drive competitor Mike Synek—demonstrate the myofascial stretches that keep them in the game and free of pain. 49


Mike Synek (left) and Robert Polk


A hip muscle originating deep within the pelvis, the obturator internus (OI) rotates the leg externally and has a major role in stabilizing the head of the femur into the hip socket.


Located deep in the buttock, the piriformis runs from the lower spine to the upper surface of the femur. The piriformis muscle helps the hip rotate, turning the leg and foot outward.

• Sit on the floor in a 90-degree hip and knee angle (right). Grab your knee and shin and pull yourself upright, keeping your spine as vertical as possible. • Turn your upper body toward your back leg with the goal of having your chest be perpendicular to your thigh. • Now, if you can, reach forward with both arms turning your pinkies to the ground as far as you can, then push arms forward (above). Then sit up tall and push your arms forward again. • Repeat for up to 45 seconds • Slowly unwind and switch sides.

• Sit with both legs forward, hands on the floor behind you. • Bend one knee so it’s 90 degrees from the other. • At this point either your sameside butt cheek or knee is up, or both are up if you are really tight. The goal is to lower either the hip or knee to the floor while keeping chest up and as straight a spine as possible. • Hold for up to 45 seconds, then come out slow and switch.

“MOST AMATEUR GOLFERS lose the ability to turn their hips and torso because they bring their hunched desk posture to the golf course,” says Tidwell, who’s coached golfers in Colorado for 20 years. “And if you can’t turn, you hit it shorter and you get hurt.” Consistently doing these exercises, which are based on famed French osteopath Guy Voyer’s Soma Golf method, will result in a more efficient and effective swing. COLORADO AVIDGOLFER | May 2019





Among Colorado Golf Fitness Club owner Dee Tidwell’s numerous credentials are Level Three Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) certifications. A Top 50 Golf Digest Golf Fitness Pro and Soma Golf Trainer, he is certified as an ELDOA Trainer and uses Osteopath Guy Voyer’s ELDOA method and Myofascial Stretching to prevent and relieve pain. An orthopedist’s recommendation brought long-driver Mike Synek to Tidwell to rid himself of the back and shoulder pain medical professionals couldn’t relieve. Within six months, he could swing pain-free. “From when I started to where I am now, it’s a night-and-day difference,” he says. “My flexibility is up, my swing speed is up to 145 from 135 miles per hour, and my ball speed is above 200, when last year at this time I wasn’t even touching 185.” More than 30 years Synek’s senior, Robert Polk didn’t arrive with pain, just a simple desire: “I didn’t want to hit it longer, I just didn’t want »

Dee Tidwell


The thoracic spine attaches to the ribs, rendering it less mobile than the cervical or lumbar spines. Of the 12 thoracic vertebrae, numbers 8 and 9 take the most stress from the golf swing. • Sit on the floor and grab your knees. • Knee angle should be about 90-110 degrees and about a fist width apart. • Keep feet grounded with toes down. • Now pull yourself up so you are sitting on the front part of your sit bones, which will straighten your spine. • Push your head to the ceiling and push the back of your head to an object behind you. Think about being as tall as you can in this position.


• Now the hard part! Put both arms out in front of you and turn your pinkies to the floor while spreading your fingers and extending your wrists. Then raise both arms overhead. • Try to get your spine and arms to be as straight as possible. Now hold for up to one minute, working on everything you just read. When done, unwind slowly, grab your knees and relax all. • Do one to two times per day and especially in the evening after golf.



GOLF POSTURE CHOP • Place a band or cable machine on a high position. • Get into your normal 5-iron golf posture. Now grab the handle with the toward-target hand and put the other on top of it. • Form a triangle with your arms and work on a chop move from the top of the backswing.

to hit it shorter.” He’s the anomaly, Tidwell says. “99 percent of 63-year-old dudes are saying I want to hit it longer—and not hurt.” Polk, whom Tidwell calls “Spider-Man” because of his client’s preternatural flexibility, says he “wanted someone to give me some good ideas, refine my stretching and work on the areas where I was weak, like my legs, and strengthen them.” “Because they’re so mobile, Robert and Mike just really need to make sure they’re strong so they don’t get injured,” Tidwell says.

• Your pelvis moves first, torso (chest) second, lead arm third and hands (club) last. Do this slowly. Speed is not important. Sequence and timing are. They are the DNA of an efficient swing. • Do this in front of a mirror to make sure you aren’t losing posture, swaying, sliding or making any other kind of swing fault. Perform up to 2030 reps slowly and do 2-3 sets.

Thanks to Tidwell’s regimens, both players are hypermobile and strong. Polk’s age means his muscle tissue requires more recovery time than Synek’s. “Playing every day and getting no rest, which is very common for amateur golfers, is stupid as an older golfer,” Tidwell says. At any age, the key is to “have hips and a torso that move well. When it just becomes an arm swing, he says, you get elbow, wrist and back issues. “Once you set that rotary movement on the backswing, it makes it easier to rotate from the pelvis, then the torso drags behind, then the lead arm and then the clubhead contacts the ball right after that,” Tidwell explains. “That sequence is really important and dependent upon your ability to use your pelvis and your torso.” He says people who think a new driver is going to revolutionize their game are delusional. “Any golf club is only going to be as good as the person moving it,” he says. “Most amateurs can’t utilize the full potential of their golf clubs because they don’t move right.” Golf-fitness professional and soft-tissue therapist Dee Tidwell owns Colorado Golf Fitness Club in Greenwood Village. Reach him at dee@coloradogolffitnessclub.com or 303-883-0435.

ONE-LEGGED BACK SWING CHOP • Place a band or cable machine on low position. Get into golf posture, then lift the leg away from the target without changing any of your posture, especially your pelvis. • Make a triangle with your arms by grabbing the handle with your target-away hand first, then place the other on top of it. • Turn your torso into your backswing keeping your elbows straight. • Emphasize the torso turn without the posture changing and with minimal pelvis movement. You will probably only be able to turn your torso a maximum of 50 degrees. Perform up to 15 reps and do 2-3 sets. • Try lifting the opposite leg, focusing on your weaker balance leg.




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Best Golf

Leave the cart in the barn, smell the flowers, protect the turf and walk your way to lower scores, improved health and deeper friendships with your playing partners. By ANDY BIGFORD

*Although “golf car” is the preferred trade term, for the purposes of this article we’ll use the colloquial “cart.”


saves money on cart fees, allowing you to buy that new $650 A.I. driver, and prevents what can be significant damage to your golf course from the wear and tear of carts. Pace of play? No doubt golf can be faster in a cart, but typically the pace is set by the slowest groups on the course, and walking doesn’t need to exacerbate the problem. Golf has closed the door on its Scottish origins as a walk-only endeavor in favor of a sedentary game where the cart is viewed like the remote for your TV: a necessity. Today, an estimated 70 percent of rounds in the U.S. are played in a cart, despite mounting evidence that walking is good for you and the game in general. Alas, there’s probably a better chance that marketing to the lazier tendencies of the population will win out, and that even less strenuous variations on the game, entertainment-based diversions such as Topgolf, will end up winning the


match. And that’s a shame. “The golf cart has destroyed the game we know,” says Ed Mate, the executive director of the Colorado Golf Association,

“Walking 18 holes typically covers five to seven miles, easily eclipsing that 10,000-daily-step goal.” after returning from a trip to Santa Barbara, Calif., where he drove by a perfectly flat muni to see that it was absolutely swarming with carts. “It has completely taken over.” In his day job, Mate and the CGA advocate coloradoavidgolfer.com


AVID GOLFERS WILL digest via fire hose any information that may remotely promise to improve their game. So they are scouring this issue to learn how diet, exercise and fitness can help them launch 300-yard drives, calm their nerves over slick three-foot sliders and stay fresh through the closing holes. Perhaps the game’s greatest irony is that the vast majority will then choose to ignore the gimme health option that is right in front of them on most first tees: the choice to walk instead of ride in a golf cart.* Whether carrying a bag, hiring a caddie, or using a trolley (even a motorized version), walking burns almost twice as many calories, can lower your score and improves the overall experience (except for those whose definition of good golf is being able to carry and consume a 12-pack). It also

Fitness Tip Ever! UNSEATED: Club Car’s Tempo Walk provides walkers with a high-tech, autonomous golf car alternative.

walking to this state’s 65,000 members for all the obvious reasons, as does the game’s national authority, the USGA. Personally, Mate goes steps further, as an extremely knowledgeable, thoughtful and skilled opponent of today’s definition of golf as a cart-based game. As the incubator of the nationally trendsetting Solich Caddie & Leadership Academy at the CGA’s Commonground Golf Club, Mate uses that entree to demonstrate to cart devotees that walking promotes an enhanced version of golf, in which participants actually converse, stroll in leisure and escape from the world’s problems for four hours. Between starts and stops, ins and outs, ball searches and cart-path only rules, riding in a cart robs players of the game’s true charm. “No good conversation has ever been had in a golf cart,” Mate maintains. “I have a dream of a new golfer who coloradoavidgolfer.com

wants to walk,” says Mate, who has been brainstorming ideas to “put the cart Genie back in the bottle.” His working plan is called Five-Club Golf: it would introduce new players to a walking sport, with a light carry bag, fewer stressful club choices (five to 10 clubs) and a simplistic approach. As a 2-handicap, Mate’s experience shows he plays best with nine or 10 clubs, and that he most enjoys stripping down to five: One for the tee (3-wood), one for the fairway (7iron), one for chip shots (sand wedge) and one for the green (putter). That leaves room in the bag for yet another choice, probably a 9-iron. Such a movement could even lead to cracking the holy grail, bringing experiential-based newcomers (millennials?) to a sport that is not growing. It could also place Mate in the bull’s-eye of two major players in the golf business: the clubmakers who sell


HARD BY THE SEA: The walkingonly edict at Bandon Dunes adds to its authentic “experience.”

clubs and the course operators who rely on cart revenue. For this exercise, let’s focus on the latter. It’s true that for health reasons, some golfers absolutely cannot walk. It’s also true that some course topography and weather demands carts, and, were it not for the existence of the golf cart, a number of May 2019 | COLORADO AVIDGOLFER

HIGH-PLAINS DRAMA: The caddies at Ballyneal Golf Club enable healthy hikes through Eastern Colorado chop hills.

AMBULANT AMBIENCE: North Berwick Golf Club in Scotland hasn’t seen a buggy since it opened in 1832.

stunning Colorado golf courses—including Sanctuary in Sedalia, which has raised more than $100 million for charities—would never have been possible. In addition, for many courses, cart revenue—even after factoring in the capital expense and operations (staffing, maintenance, battery charging, cart path construction and repair, etc.)—is a critical part of the bottom line, and that’s just fine. But as no less than the USGA concluded in an exhaustive analysis of the issue in a 2014 report: “The net revenue from carts is important for many facilities, but it does not need to be the foundation for success.” Would you like to play Bethpage Black, Chambers Bay, Streamsong, Merion, Pinehurst No. 2, Seminole, Shoal Creek, Erin Hills or Cypress Point? All of these iconic layouts restrict cart use. Mike Keiser’s Bandon Dunes Golf Resort on the Oregon EASY CARRY: The Tempo Walk eliminates the shoulder and back strain of lugging a bag. coast is the most recent poster child for disproving the necessity of carts, and in fact the act of getting in shape to walk Bandon has become part of the “experience” of visiting the 2019 CAGGY Award winner for top destination in the country. seems apparent to me that it really helped The successful experiment has also them.” In the end, Galnick says there are done its part to fuel a small revival of the all kinds of player and personality traits to caddie trade, which has been in decline for accommodate, and the best approach is to decades before seeing recent signs of life. It let them do what they want to do, with a few is now going strong in parts of Colorado, led friendly suggestions along the way. He also by CGA’s Commonground and a handful belongs to a club outside Scottsdale where COLORADO AVIDGOLFER | May 2019


99.9 percent of the play is by cart, because it makes sense for that membership and that course (it’s also in one of the residential areas where the cart has become all-purpose transportation, a growing trend). Neil Wolkodoff, the medical program director for the Colorado Center for Health and Sports Science, wanted to see what science had to say. So he donated 500 hours of his time, bought $27,000 of complex equipment, recruited eight golfers and set out to look for answers. First and foremost, he learned that “ just the act of swinging a golf club 100 times uses a significant amount of energy.” Carrying a bag burned 721 calories in just 9 holes. Using a push cart removes 718, while playing with a caddie registered 621. Riding in a cart dropped all the way to 411 calories burned on average. Golfers using a trolley or caddie scored the lowest average scores in Wolkodoff ’s study, conducted at a Denver course; carts were next, and carrying a bag came last. The study did not include the fast-emerging battery-powered push cart, an ideal gateway for those looking to wean themselves off carts. When physically fit collegiate golfers started rolling push carts a decade ago (and winning NCAA championships), some old-school PGA TOUR players reacted in horror. Then several pros revealed shoulder and other health problems stemming from their early years of carrying a bag, the stigma evaporated and trolleys became cool, not dorky, as well as healthy. A push-cart company CEO predicted three years ago that trolleys would become more prevalent than carrying by 2021, and their popularity will continue to rise...especially as scores go down. Walking 18 holes typically covers five to seven miles, easily eclipsing that 10,000-daily-step goal, and can be the coloradoavidgolfer.com


of Denver’s premier, old-line private clubs— among them Cherry Hills, Columbine, Denver Country Club and Lakewood. For a more mainstream example, look to Lake Valley Golf Club in Boulder County. Granted, it is located in one of the healthiest regions in the country; is an amenity-free golf-only club that tends to draw serious golfers; and offers a course that is quite walkable. Sixty percent of rounds at Lake Valley are played on foot, with only 40 percent in carts, more than an inversion of the nationwide norm. When the course went private in the late 1990s, the cart fleet was eventually reduced from 64 to 46 carts. If the rest of the applicable golf course world could follow this example, it would equate to no less than a major U.S. health initiative. Lake Valley co-owner and GM Mitch Galnick monitors his membership habits closely, and notes that he’s seen several longtimers who converted from carts back to walking—and the benefits are clear. “They lost weight and felt better,” Galnick says. “It




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SAVING SHOULDERS: Pros no longer call NCAA players “soft” for using trolleys.

ClubCar foresees a trend toward walking, and so is aiming to appeal squarely at tech-savvy millennials, and to woo any golfers who want to leave their riding carts behind. It could also provide replacement revenue for golf course operators; it is not a consumer product, but will be leased by the facilities. Look for Tempo Walks at Colorado courses this summer. The Troon North Pinnacle course is considered by many to be one of the finest in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area, but until a while ago you’d never be able to walk it. Then original designer Tom Weiskopf reconfigured the Pinnacle (swapping some holes with the resort’s other course, Monument), eliminating the long green-totee distances between holes and restoring walkability. The designer said he was simply returning the course to its natural flow, as it was meant to be. Just as the game of golf was meant to be played. On foot.

Colorado AvidGolfer contributor and lifetime golf bag schlepper Andy Bigford is now, after researching this story, using a trolley. He swears he’ll quit golf when he has to ride a cart, but won’t.

SOLE OF GOLF: Far from pedestrian, walking 18 at Ballyneal brings fitness, camaraderie, tradition and oneness with the game.

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equivalent of a two- to three-mile run. Besides maintaining proper weight, it can prevent or manage heart disease, high blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes, while strengthening muscle and bones and promoting balance and coordination. Wolkodoff cautions that golf (even while walking) is still an intermittent task, and that it probably can’t be a primary source of exercise (Sorry, President Trump). So unless you’re playing five rounds a week, Wolkodoff recommends other fitness regimes to reach the standard goal of burning 4,500 to 5,000 calories a week. Phoenix/Scottsdale is the epicenter for many Coloradans seeking a winter golf getaway. But when its almost 200 golf courses are pared down to the high-quality ones you can walk, the list dwindles to a handful: TPC Scottsdale Champions, Ak-Chin Southern Dunes, Wigwam Blue and Papago among them. (Another, ASU Karsten, shuts down this month.) Mind you, there will be no discount for not taking a cart in most cases, but you are allowed to play the game as it was intended. Standing tallest on his soapbox, Mate (the traditionalist lover of the game, not the CGA leader) says bringing a new golfer to a cart-only golf course is like taking your child to a new school and introducing him to the loudest, most obnoxious bully in the schoolyard. Maybe the riding-cart genie can be stuffed back in the bottle, one small step at a time. Today’s “push carts” are a far cry from that rusty, rickety three-wheeler that your father used. ClubCar, a leading cart supplier, has just released Tempo Walk, a 90-pound, Jetsons-like walking cart that not only reliably follows you from four feet behind, but has all the amenities—GPS, USB, Bluetooth, bag transport—and other accessories of a luxury riding cart.

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Beat the Clock How to get younger—really!—and play better after 50. By NEIL WOLKODOFF, PHD  Illustrations By DAVE PALMER MOST SENIOR GOLFERS don’t think about how aging affects their game until aches, pains and loss of distance begin to encroach. Your chronological age is your age in years, and your functional age is how you function. The two can be completely different. Some 73-year-old golfers function at strength, power and endurance levels of those who are 47. Conversely, a sedentary 47-year-old can have the functionality of an average septuagenarian. Unfortunately, just continuing to do the same routine you did at age 24 does not respect the critical changes to the body as it ages. While not a total list, here are some of the research and application concepts to playing better golf, gaining health and function and being more vital if you are over 50. RESPECT STRUCTURE After 50, your joints show signs of wear and have less structural support. For the shoulders, the ligaments around the rotator cuff lose density, making injuries more likely. Twice per week, take five to nine minutes and perform a rotator-cuff program with elastic bands. COLORADO AVIDGOLFER | May 2019

Knees have less support and cushioning after 50 just from wear, so minimize impact activities like running in favor of cycling and the elliptical. Your feet lose support in the arch, which tends to fall with increasing age. The fat pads under the ball of the foot and heel also wear out, diminishing your ability to take even the typical impact of walking. The simple solution is properly fit orthotics combined with more traditional golf shoes offering increased lateral and heel support compared to minimalist/athletic styles. And remember to change your golf and athletic footwear yearly if not sooner, as they lose their lateral support and cushioning sooner than you think. WORK AND MOVE Sitting at a desk slows metabolism, leads to swollen legs and encourages poor posture. The first goal is to sit less. Getting up once per hour and taking a three-minute walk will lessen fluids settling in the legs and elevate metabolism. If you can, sit on a FitBall at work instead of an office chair. Or opt for an adjustable standing desk. After looking down at the computer most of the day, our shoulders round,


affecting our spines. Every time you hit “save” on your keyboard, stand up straight and pull your shoulders back. THE CORE PROBLEM The reasons golfers over 50 lose distance are lack of a consistent and optimal golf posture and the ability to rotate around a stable spinal angle. This all literally pivots around your core. With the core, simple is better, so use a FitBall every day for three to five minutes to train the core and work on total body flexibility. Because the FitBall is mildly


unstable, it activates the deep muscles in the core as they are righting muscles, or muscles that keep you from falling. Short bursts of 10-15 repetitions are very effective at engaging these muscles. They are endurance muscles, and if you could ask them, they would prefer limited repetition sets with just body weight in various positions. Additionally, the FitBall offers some unique ways to stretch the whole body rotationally in a short time. LESS PLASTICITY, MORE CONSISTENCY Every decade above the age of 30, it takes 10 percent more time to make a training gain and 10 percent more time to recover. Plan your exercise carefully with scheduled breaks to recover. For example, exercise Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, take off Thursday, exercise again Friday and Saturday, and rest Sunday. Also, only lift weights twice per week, and give yourself at least two days in between for recovery. TRAIN FOR GOLF, DON’T USE GOLF TO TRAIN Under the age of 30, sports provide a training or fitness benefit because of body plasticity and intensity level. After the age of 50, sports don’t give the same fitness benefit. Surprisingly, many studies suggest that even compet it ive c ycl i ng will

not build and maintain leg strength or muscle mass for those over 50. To play effective golf you will have to build your endurance, sprint capacity (you won’t get the physiological yips approaching the putting green or tee box) and strength outside of golf. Start with small doses like 20 minutes of exercise for each session, then coloradoavidgolfer.com

work up to 59 minutes per day, five days per week—the threshold that indicates you’re doing enough formal exercise to affect weight, health and performance. People over 50 tend to be more sedentary, so formal training is even more critical. Overall, those five days should typically be comprised of two resistancetraining days and three days spent in endurance-building exercises, like cycling. OPTIMAL MUSCLE/ BODY COMPOSITION To determine ideal weight, throw out BMI and use body composition, or the ratio between optimal body fat and the good tissue, like muscle and bone. Getting a measurement of segmental body composition (arms vs. legs vs. trunk) is key to determining if you are maintaining muscle in each area and what is a healthy weight. For men, less than 20 percent body fat is healthy; for women, less than 28 percent is ideal. Body-fat percentage tends to rise with age because of the average loss of muscle mass, specifically in the “fasttwitch” or explosive muscle fiber. This leads to decreased metabolism, resulting in fat and weight gain. Thirty years’ worth of data indicates that resistance training at the highest level at which you can perform ten repetitions can restore some degree of muscle mass and strength. For the senior golfer, those strengthbuilding and muscle-maintaining exercises should comprise 80 percent of resistance training. Only 20 percent should focus on “functional” exercises that might help with golf. As pro athletes know, without fundamental strength, functional exercises are of minimal value. While you don’t need to lift heavy weights all the time, most senior golfers tend not to push enough resistance to maintain muscle mass and strength. RECOVERY BOOST After you turn 50, there are days where you need either complete rest or just light exercise. Recovery is now a science. If you have to exercise the day following strenuous exercise or hitting a lot of golf balls, try riding a recumbent bike at a light level for 30 minutes. This will allow recovery activity without further stressing the back from resistance training or golf. Massages do


help, and if pressed for time in your weekly schedule, consider a massage chair at home where you can go head to toe in 15 minutes.

FOOD, ENERGY AND SUPPLEMENTS When you are 25, your metabolism is a blast furnace. Hit 50, and you are a smoker grill. The key is to match consistent caloric intake to your needs. Once you’ve established your golf and exercise schedule, calculate your resting metabolic rate (basically the energy required by your body to perform the most basic functions—breathing, circulating blood, thinking—when at rest) at 10 calories (kcal) for every pound. A 6-foot tall, 170-pound man’s resting metabolic rate would be 1,700 calories per day. To that number, add energy nutrition to maintain a balance. For an average work day, add 200 kcal, 900 for golf in a cart, 1400 for walking/carry golf and 500 kcal for each hour of formal exercise. With fluids and water, an excellent place to start is half your body weight in ounces per day, more due to perspiration. Remember, if you’re over 50, you’re likely taking 4-7 regular medications for such conditions as blood pressure, anxiety and cholesterol. With your physician or trained health provider, work on supplements that might help specific conditions like inflammation without interfering with the medications. Be very careful. Many of these medications don’t play well with herbal supplements, so a professional opinion is the wisest road before implementation. May 2019 | COLORADO AVIDGOLFER

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HAND-EYE-FOOT-BRAIN Other overlooked culprits in the diminution of golf skills after 50 are the losses of coordination and sensory processing. Formal sensory and brain training is the most effective route because you train something specific such as reaction time combined with balance or speed of recognition. A home strategy is to get a rocker/ balance board and practice going from front to back, then side to side each day for 30-45 seconds with your feet in different positions while moving your arms in different ways. Keep the brain going by taking alternate routes to regular destinations, reading something challenging every day and playing games like chess, Sudoku or Word Collect. Neil Wolkodoff, Ph.D., (neil@cochss.com; 303596- 6519) is the medical program director for the Colorado Center for Health & Sport Science, a medical fitness facility in Denver. At CCHSS, he works with patients ranging from senior exercisers to professional athletes who seek to link fitness, improved function and better health. coloradoavidgolfer.com

Oil That and More Can hemp oil and CBD products really help your game?  By JON RIZZI PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS player Scott McCarron, who has twice finished second in the Schwab Cup standings, this year became the first player to endorse a hemp-based product. With a reported 60 players on the Champions Tour and 24 on the main PGA TOUR currently using such substances to relieve pain and anxiety, McCarron’s endorsement of FR EndoSport—a full-spectrum hemp-oil extract from Boulder-based Functional Remedies—could signal a break in the stigma of cannabis-derived products. Functional Remedies’ hemp-oil extract comes in balms, capsules and tinctures. “It helps me sleep, it helps me with inflammation and it helps me with anxiety,” McCarron told Golf Channel’s Damon Hack at this year’s PGA Merchandise Show. He joked that Steve “The Volcano” Pate, who stood alongside him, could benefit from the oil’s calming effects: “You ran a little hot out on the tour.” Hemp itself is hot now that the 2018 Farm Bill made production legal again. The plant contains cannabidiol (CBD)—a dominant compound that works with receptors in the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) to regulate homeostasis. Hemp is a form of cannabis, but it is not marijuana. Members of the same plant family, they share certain similarities, including naturally occurring terpenes, flavonoids, essential oils and cannabinoids like CBD. The crucial difference is the concentration of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the compound that induces the psychoactive high. Whereas marijuana can have as much as a 40 percent THC concentration, hemp has a meager 0.3 percent—the U.S. legal limit for THC content in any hemp product. However, comparable amounts of THC in a person’s blood can trigger the unfortunate consequences of a positive drug test. Even though the World Doping Agency has removed CBD from its list of banned substances, THC remains prohibited. Many CBD supplements that claim not to have any THC actually do, as a result of the FDA’s sketchy regulations on supplement labeling. coloradoavidgolfer.com

KNOW THE SPECTRUM That 0.3 percent THC concentration—the maximum allowed by federal law—distinguishes “full-spectrum” hemp products from the “broad-spectrum” and “isolate” ones. “Full-spectrum” products, such as EndoSport and others produced by Functional Remedies, extract all the compounds found naturally occurring in the plant, including cannabinoids like CBD and THC. Why use a product with THC? It’s the “entourage” effect: Since the dozens of cannabinoids in the hemp plant work synergistically, removing any—even those occurring in minuscule amounts, like THC— can diminish their therapeutic benefits. “We produce the full expression of the plant,” says Steve Patterson, the 2016 Colorado PGA Teacher of the Year, who now directs EndoSport sales for Functional Remedies. Functional Remedies benefits from the work of Chief Science Officer Tim Gordon. For more than 25 years he has cross-bred and improved hemp strains to produce the most nutrient-rich plants. Using a proprietary lipidbased process, FR extracts the phytonutrients to produce the oil. “We’re vertically integrated, seed-to-bottle,” Patterson says. On the other end of the spectrum, “isolates” extract CBD to the exclusion of all other hemp compounds. That “purity” means the CBD lacks the “entourage” that delivers full effectiveness. A blend of the first two, “broadspectrum” products extract all the terpenes, flavonoids and cannabinoids—except THC. This eliminates any risk of psychoactive effects and a positive drug test at work. “It has zero-percent THC and a tentimes better absorption in the stomach than CBD oil,” Uncanny Wellness founder and CEO Alex Corren says of his water-soluble broad-spectrum Barista Blend powder that mixes with coffee and other liquids, even cake batter. Corren, a Boulderite with “a great respect for golf,” understands the physical and mental toll the game takes. “Taking a product derived from organically grown hemp’s


LEADING MAN: McCarron swears by hemp-oil extract.

natural compounds,” he reasons, “has to be safer than popping ibuprofen like candy.” SHOULD YOU USE IT? The FDA has already approved one cannabisderived medicine, and research strongly suggests CBD aids in treating anxiety and insomnia. According to one medical study, topical application can reduce the pain and inflammation due to arthritis. Another study demonstrated the mechanism by which CBD inhibits chronic inflammatory and neuropathic pain. “Anecdotally, golfers tell me all the time that they’re experiencing less pain, soreness and inflammation, recovering faster and feeling calmer,” says Patterson, clarifying that he “can’t make medical claims because Functional Remedies is a supplement.” Since the PGA Champions doesn’t drugtest, McCarron and other senior players don’t risk suspension over the presence of THC in their systems. The PGA TOUR, on the other hand, bans the substance. Players use CBD “at their own risk,” says Andy Levinson, the executive director of the PGA TOUR’s Anti-Doping Program. At this year’s Masters, a two-time champion was filmed furtively eye-dropping something under his tongue before slipping the vial back in his golf bag. Patterson hints he’s “pretty sure” he knows what was in the dropper. He believes it won’t be long before the medicinal value of his and other hemp-based extracts will outweigh the perceived danger, and the prohibitions will fall. Hemp-based products made by Functional Remedies (functionalremedies.com) and Uncanny Wellness (uncannywellness.com) are available online or in retail stores. Marijuana dispensaries do not carry them. May 2019 | COLORADO AVIDGOLFER


A Shot from Above Physical photography isn’t always a snap. FOR A PHOTOGRAPHER, standing on a stepladder is par for the course...though standing on the top cap with your head inside a ceiling is a different game altogether. What you can’t see in this image is the cavernous layer of sprinkler pipes, framing rods, wire conduits and air ducts inches above me. Yes, I was a bit queasy looking through that small diopter down at Robert Polk, hoping to focus and keep everything within frame, but, hey, we do anything for the shot (and, evidently, to give ourselves a big pat on the back for doing so). All kidding aside, because I often find myself shooting on my stomach or on one knee and am frequently climbing somewhere I shouldn’t, photography requires me to keep fit. As part of my weekly training, I do 200 reps of unorthodox lunges—unweighted and moving in many directions—to strengthen hip mobility. Sometimes I’ll include Cossack squats and burpies, as well as a bunch of stretching to keep myself strong and limber. These movements not only engage my legs, but my core and help improve stability. Given Dee Tidwell’s focus on balance and flexibility in this issue, I can’t wait to incorporate his movements into my routine. Maybe I’ll take up golf. After all, you never know what you can accomplish—until you break through your personal glass ceiling. —Ehren Joseph

ABOVE AND BEYOND: Ehren Joseph pops the top as CAG Art Director Chelsea Oglesby steadies the ladder.




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2019 May Colorado AvidGolfer Magazine  

ON THE COVER: Flex Ed - How senior golfer Robert Polk defies his 63 years. FEATURED: 2019 Health, Fitness & Wellness Guide ALSO: Puerto Ri...

2019 May Colorado AvidGolfer Magazine  

ON THE COVER: Flex Ed - How senior golfer Robert Polk defies his 63 years. FEATURED: 2019 Health, Fitness & Wellness Guide ALSO: Puerto Ri...