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CONTENTS | Fall 2019 10

DEPARTMENTS 4 Forethoughts

Staying for the Second Act By Jon Rizzi

6 The CGA

Irish eyes will be smiling on two dozen CGA members next September.

9 The Gallery U.S. Mid-Am, Justin Leonard’s GolfForever, Greeley Country Club’s $7.8M renovation, ClubHub, more

84 Blind Shot

Having a Ball in the Caymans


CU alum and Troon Golf CEO Tim Schantz is the heir apparent to the title of “most powerful person in golf.” By Andy Bigford

21 Head Game

How to banish the “Phantom of Mis-hit Shots” forever. By Lauren Howe

SIDE BETS 23 Fashion

Pack these items for your next golf trip to maximize play and score style points. By Suzanne S. Brown

25 Fareways

Teeing up the best Front Range pizzeria PHOTOGRAPH BY E.J. CARR

styles. By John Lehndorff

28 Nice Drives

Jaguar I-Pace, BMW M850i and X7 50i and Lexus LC500h. By Isaac Bouchard



32 Going Big

80 Sympathy Cards

Hawai‘i Island serves up a ninecourse feast to satiate the hungriest of vacationing golfers. By George Fuller

As could soon be the case with Park Hill Golf Club, a scorecard is all that remains of Fitzsimons, Green Gables and many other Colorado courses. By Jon Rizzi


“It’s Good!” On the football field and the putting green, Broncos’ placekicker and 4-handicap golfer Brandon McManus always wants to hear those words. By Sam Adams COLORADO AVIDGOLFER | Fall 2019


Tee yourself up across Arizona, Nevada, Utah and Kaua‘i.

ON THE COVER Hole 13, Mauna Lani Resort South Course, Waimea, Hawa‘i. Photograph courtesy of Mauna Lani Resort




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We’re Called



Staying for the Second Act

for a Reason



Nor wind... Nor winterkill...



Shall keep us from letting you enjoy your round. Here’s to another great year of keeping Colorado golf green!



Neither hail...

A FUNNY thing happened on the way to this column. Since it’s ostensibly a travel issue, I’d intended to tease Hawai‘i, Arizona and the other enticing golf destinations that start on page 32. Then a comedian hijacked the plan. That comedian is Sam Adams, one of this publication’s longtime contributors and newest member of the Denver Press Club Hall of Fame. Sam, who has written more than two dozen cover stories for Colorado AvidGolfer since 2002, was inducted at an October 4 banquet at the Denver Athletic Club along with John Sunderland, Tina Griego, Mike Landess and, posthumously, Bob Martin. Sam’s enshrinement has resulted more from his 20-plus years of covering sports for The Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News than it has for his 18 years of CAG profiles of John Elway, Kevin Costner, Patrick Roy, Terrell Davis, Paige Spiranac and others. However, we are the only publication for which he still currently writes. He has turned his considerable wit and perspicacity to the world of stand-up comedy—a hobby that became a career after the closure of the Rocky Mountain News in 2009. He’s since won a number of national competitions and brought laughter to audiences all over the country. The premise of one of his routines, “True Color,” is that he, an African-American, is no more “black” than anyone of European descent is “white.” To find the hue that’s truly you, he says, go find a paint swatch and match it to your skin. (My true color, by the way, is a shade called Juicy Passionfruit; his is Chocolate Indulgence.) A video of “True Color,” filmed Dry Bar Comedy in Provo, Utah, generated more than 30 million online views, sending people from as far away as Australia and Vietnam to home-improvement stores to post their findings. It also prompted an invitation for Sam to perform in Harrison, Ark.—the putative “most racist town in America” due to a rise in white supremacist activity over the last few decades. “Concerned” though he was for his safety, last December Sam went to Harrison, where his sold-out, two-hour performance at the Lyric Theater inspired a standing ovation and mutual affection between him and the audience. He returned Labor Day weekend, and again brought down the house. As the show concluded, Harrison’s mayor and the president of its chamber of commerce presented their guest with a customized Harrison license plate declaring it the best small town in America. Over the many repasts and cabernets we’ve shared over recent years, Sam has made it clear he now considers himself an entertainer, not a writer. Fair enough. We graduated years ago from a strictly writer-editor relationship, and I consider him a dear friend. Lucky for me, he’s a friend with benefits: For this issue, he wrote a profile of Broncos’ kicker Brandon McManus, the team’s best golfer, that appears on page 76. While I selfishly hope it’s not the last byline for the Denver Press Club Hall of Famer, it ultimately doesn’t matter. Like Ryder Cup golfer and Emmy nominee David Feherty, Sam has made a successful transition to a gratifying second act, and I couldn’t be happier for him. Alas, not all second acts make everybody happy. Consider Denver’s Park Hill Golf Club (page 80). Developers have purchased the 155-acre property for $24 million, potentially consigning the 88-year-old course to a golf-free, “mixed-use” fate similar to that of other Colorado courses. There’s nothing funny about that, of course. But as we know, plans have a habit of changing. —JON RIZZI

Rocky Mountain Chapter

rmgcsa.org #thankasuperintendent COLORADO AVIDGOLFER | Fall 2019



Fall 2019 | Volume 18, Number 6 president and group publisher

A llen J. Walters editorial director

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SALES, MARKETING & ADVERTISING associate publisher

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Suzanne S. Brown contributors

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Colorado AvidGolfer (ISSN 1548-4335) is published eight times a year by Baker-Colorado Publishing, LLC, and printed by Publication Printers Corp. Volume 18, Number six. 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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KINSALE GRAIL: Old Head’s fourth is a beacon for golfers.


Eire Opportunity Irish eyes will be smiling on two dozen CGA members next September.


AFTER 104 YEARS of operation, the Colorado about the game and, perhaps, enjoy a pint with Golf Association has to look far and wide to find the locals. new ways to serve our 61,000 members—and far Sullivan Golf Travel has a rich history of workand wide appears to be where our new era of pro- ing with other state and regional golf associations, gramming may very well take them. including partnerships with more than 20 different The Colorado Golf Association is proud to associations in the United States. announce its inaugural member trip to play some of the most celebrated courses in the world. In September 2020, in partnership with Sullivan Golf Travel, the CGA will host Colorado golfers in southwest Ireland for five rounds of golf and seven nights’ stay in four-star accommodations. Led by CGA Executive Director Ed Mate, the group will play courses linked to some of the greatest names in golf, from Old Tom Morris and Alister Mackenzie to America’s own Arnold Palmer, who said of his first European deBY THE SEA: Waterville Links sign at Tralee Golf Club abuts the River Inny Estuary. in County Kerry, “I may have designed the first nine, but surely God designed the back nine.” In addition to leading the CGA’s members on Under the guidance of Dublin-based Sullivan this trip, Sullivan is making a donation to ColoraGolf Travel, the group will enjoy welcome and fare- do’s Youth on Course program for every participant well dinners to get acquainted and recount their who signs up for the trip. With room for 24 CGA experiences both on and off the courses. Daily golfers, this amounts to a $1,200 donation, which breakfasts will be provided along with optional will provide 240 Youth-on-Course rounds of golf evening talks for interested guests to learn more for Colorado juniors!

CGA Member Overseas Trip Itinerary SOUTHWEST IRELAND Sept. 26 – Oct. 3, 2020



Founded in 1889, top five in Ireland


renowned links, boasts Tom Watson as past club captain

• OLD HEAD GOLF LINKS: One of the world’s most spectacular courses


first European design and certainly his best

• LAHINCH OLD: Designed by Old

Tom Morris and Alister Mackenzie, among others


• Five-nights, Randles Court Hotel, Killarney

• Two-nights, Vaughan Lodge, Lahinch

Space is limited, so sign up today, with Matthew Walker, Manager of CGA Member Programs at mwalker@coloradogolf.org or 303-974-2112. Learn more at sullivangolftravel.com/Colorado-golf-association COLORADO AVIDGOLFER | Fall 2019



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The Gallery


The Wizard from Oz


ON SEPT. 19, at magnificent Colorado Golf Club, Australian Lukas Michel became the first international player to win the 39th U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship. Not only did the 25-year-old from Melbourne travel almost 9,000 miles to compete here, but his journey to the Robert Trent Jones Jr. trophy was akin to walking a tightrope. First, he would not have even played in the event if not for a new World Golf Amateur Ranking exemption—from anyone in the top 400 to the first 30 age-eligible players in the WAGR. He then went a full 18 holes in the Round of 64 to defeat Californian Mark Engellenner, and after 10 holes in the Round of 32, he was 2 down versus Colorado’s own Nick Nosewicz before clawing back to win, 2 and 1. In the quarterfinals, his 4 up lead on Washington’s Jacob Koppenberg dissolved, as Michel lost four of the last five holes. Yet, with zero momentum going into overtime, the Aussie eked out the second extra hole. In the semis just hours later, he had to face Californian Stewart Hagestad, the fifth-ranked amateur in the world and 2016 Mid-Amateur Champion. After Hagestad went 1 up by winning the par-5 15th, Michel took the final three holes to win 2 up. Then, in the finals, Mississippi’s Joseph Deraney was 3 up after 23 holes when Michel’s putter heated up. Back-to-back birdies on the par-5 15th and 16th put him 1 up with two to

MONSTER OF THE MID-AM: Michel’s plucky play led to a historic victory in Colorado.

play. Facing a “nerve-wracking” three-footer on the par-3 17th to clinch the victory—a putt Deraney confusedly almost conceded—Michel slid it just inside the right edge of the hole for the championship.

It was a fitting end for a player who’d been living on the edge all week. Or, to paraphrase a song made famous by some other Australians: “It’s a long way to the top if you wanna roll the rock.” usga.org


Play Forever with Justin Leonard specific muscles. “In my practice, a big chunk—if not the biggest chunk—of my patients were golfers,” said James, creator of BackForever, a similar online program focused specifically on back health. “I had to learn the mechanics of golf really quickly to be good at rehabilitating people that played golf because it’s a unique set of demands on your body. It’s a one-sided, asymmetrical repetitive motion. If you’re going FIT TO BE TRIED: GolfForever to describe something that founders Dr. Jeremy James and pro golfer Justin Leonard. would be bad for your back, that’s how you’d describe it.” James wasn’t a golfer himself (he’s since IF YOU’RE LOOKING to play pain-free golf well into your twilight years, Justin Leonard’s got your taken up the sport and is hooked), but a number of his patients were friends with Leonard. Seeking back. The 1997 Open champion and 12-time PGA TOUR winner, who currently makes his greater input on the mechanics of the golf swing, home in Aspen, has teamed with Aspen chiro- James consulted with the longtime tour pro about practor Dr. Jeremy James to create GolfForever, a the best ways to minimize golf’s potentially damsubscription-based online program that features aging effects. “We share very similar philosophies on personalized regimens designed to increase health, fitness and lifestyle,” said James, “and mobility, prevent injuries and strengthen golfcoloradoavidgolfer.com


he’s made me much better about understanding the finer points of the game and the swing and how we can build a program specifically for that.” The result is the GolfForever website, which launched July 18, and mobile app, which went live in August. The $9.99 monthly fee gives subscribers access to a program that starts with a self-assessment and then directs them to the strengthening, stretching and pre-round warmup exercises best suited for their needs (a subscription to BackForever is included with the price for those who need more in-depth work). The site adds new content regularly and also has a “Lessons with Justin” section, wherein Leonard, always known for his course-management skills, offers up tips to help golfers play smarter and achieve lower scores. “With a specific golf workout and by following some of my tips, I think we could shave three or four strokes of a 10-handicapper’s game,” said Leonard. He figures high-handicappers could benefit even more. No one can really play golf forever, of course, but with GolfForever, you can expect to play better golf for longer—and with less pain —than you might once have thought possible. golfforever.com —By Todd Hartley Fall 2019 | COLORADO AVIDGOLFER

The Gallery

STICKING IT: ClubHub founder Ben Bouillion (right) and partner Steve Irwin.

IF YOUR NEXT BUSINESS or pleasure trip involves golf, you basically have three choices: schlep your sticks, pay airline fees and risk damage or theft; settle for the rental clubs your destination course has available; or ship your clubs for a hefty tab. Now there’s a fourth: Rent from ClubHub.com. There you can find models of the latest premium offerings from TaylorMade (and, as of 2020, other top-of-the-line manufacturers) in your choice of club type, shaft stiffness, lefty or righty, ladies or men’s. ClubHub will ship your customized selection from one of its nationwide warehouses—custom stand bag and all—to any club, hotel or staffed business location in the continental United States. After your round(s), put the clubs into the sturdy cardboard box in which they arrived, slap on the return address sticker and leave them at the destination where you picked them up or at a UPS location. The cost? $69 all in. Just place your order three days in advance of your first day of golf and send back the set the following business day. This makes it ideal for a Saturday-Sunday getaway. Extra days cost $20 apiece. Longer rentals (up to 31 days) can drop the price to as low as $10 per day. Denver’s Ben Bouillion started the ClubHub concept five years ago after he’d played with a rental set in a corporate event near Houston. “The course gave me a set of Titleist Starships with dents the size of rocks,” he remembers. “I quit after seven or eight holes.” And why was he playing with rentals instead of his own sticks? “An airline had recently, somehow, lost my Mizuno MP33 2, 3 and 9 irons.” Bouillion did some market research, which revealed a business-to-business opportunity that would help golf courses manage their rental fleets. “Big courses, especially big resorts, often have 50 or more sets,” he explains. “We basically would ground-ship clubs to them for their big events, and that would allow them to right-size their inventory.” He soon struck deals with TaylorMade and UPS and set up a distribution network. From a golf operations perspective, “it makes all the sense in the world,” says Steve Irwin, the VP of Hale Irwin Golf Services and an active partner in ClubHub.com. “It’s reliable and courses don’t have to keep the clubs onsite. When golf courses have to buy and maintain rental clubs, they’re often foregoing other revenue opportunities. When courses have events, they just call us.” And so do the event planners and companies who want to differentiate COLORADO AVIDGOLFER | Fall 2019

their corporate outings by giving guests a unique experience. “It’s one thing to ask a guest to come from Tennessee to Pebble Beach to play golf,” Irwin says. “It’s another to ask them to lug their golf clubs to play for one day. If you can provide brand-new clubs that nine or even 10 times out of 10 are better than the course rents, it becomes a no-brainer.” That success also made it easy to see the direct-to-consumer potential. Bouillion and his team did a pilot in Colorado with 30 sets of clubs and a few courses. “We realized very quickly there was a bunch of pent-up demand,” he says, noting the pilot roughly coincided with the start of added airline fees. “As a guy who travels for business, but also has a family, I don’t want to lug my clubs with me,” says Irwin, a two-time Colorado Golf Association Player of the Year who qualified for this year’s U.S. Mid-Amateur. “If I might play one time, I’m not taking my clubs. And I’m not shipping them, either. Which makes ClubHub the best solution.” He’s not alone in his sentiments. Between course and consumer rentals, ClubHub.com is approaching 100,000 shipments to nearly 5,000 different courses across the country. With a commitment to providing the best clubs at the best value, ClubHub perforce keeps its ample inventory current, and resells its gently used sets at 40 percent off retail “generally in the fall.” Still, the company has gone relatively unnoticed. But that could soon change. Bouillion entered into a partnership with Golf Channel and GolfNow. “We have this proven concept we need to tell the golf world about,” he says, “and Golf Channel and GolfNow are the perfect vehicles to help us get there.” The company expects to make a big splash at January’s PGA Merchandise Show and expand the brands it carries. “That’s when it’s going to get really exciting,” Irwin says. “People can hop on there and say, ‘I can do any of these? So, one trip I can play TaylorMade, the next trip Callaway…’ I just love that idea.” clubhub.com

CAG Special Want to try Clubhub.com for your next trip? Colorado AvidGolfer readers get a 20 percent discount on rentals of three days or more. Visit clubhub.com Enter promo code: COLOAVID




Club Rentals Just Got Personal

The Gallery

BEFORE: The current view of the Greeley clubhouse from the 18th hole.

WHEN THE GRAND DAME of Northern Colorado’s private clubs turns 100 next year, people might not recognize her. Greeley Country Club— known for its glorious tree-lined golf course designed by Tom Bendelow and Press Maxwell—is undergoing a $7.85 million renovation to its entire facility that will debut next summer. The club will spend roughly $700,000 on the golf course. Arvada’s Phelps-Atkinson Golf Course Design is supervising the retrofitting of greenside bunkers with Better Billy Bunker linings, the expansion and leveling of teeing areas, and the addition of forward tees for juniors and beginners. The new tees speak directly to the family-friendly philosophy that informs the entire undertaking. “We’re looking to create a family and multigenerational experience in all areas of the club,” General Manager Mike Fleig says. The process started in early 2018 when club leadership, facing the problem of dwindling membership, looked into the best way to recruit new members while retaining existing ones. “We had to look at where the industry was and the changing demographics of the Greeley area,” Fleig says. With “great input” from its management company, KemperSports, and research by Aurora-based THK Associates and other firms, the club got its answer. “The big issue was having year-round amenities,” Fleig says, “and they had to be for all ages, because families now do so many things together. The clubs that have moved to this paradigm have created a sustainable model for members.” In May, 75 percent of the voting members elected to proceed with the Facility Improvement Program. Funding will come from mineral rights owned by the club and the implementation of a monthly $50 per member funding fee. “Instead of an assessment, this allows people to pay as they go, builds a reserve and evens the playing field between new and existing members,” Fleig explains. COLORADO AVIDGOLFER | Fall 2019

Plans call for a reconfigured three-level clubhouse by the Boulder-based Z Design Group that will bring in more light via glass panels; feel bigger as a result of “popping the top” to create higher, Colorado lodge-style beamed ceilings; and flow more freely with fewer walls between rooms. The opening up of the main lounge and dining room invites a casual, family-friendly atmosphere centered around the existing fireplace and enhanced by the installation of 12- to 16-foot high windows. The lounge will lead to an octagon-shaped veranda crowned with a clock tower, highlighted by a central fire pit and featuring

verting its racquetball courts into two golf simulator zones with a gathering space, where members can order food and drinks, play in winter leagues and socialize. The club is also moving its golf shop beneath the veranda to free its existing space for use as a family activity zone featuring billiards, shuffleboard, ping-pong, foosball, video games and supervised childcare for parents enjoying other club activities. The club’s pool will also undergo a facelift, with a remodeled kid’s zone, the introduction of a pool bar and new cabanas to provide shade and functional space with outdoor soft seating.

AND AFTER: A CGI rendering suggests how the rear of the clubhouse will look next year.

270-degree views through glass-paneled walls that open during the summer onto an ample deck with views of the pool and golf course. Sporting a similarly scenic overlook, a new full-service fitness center with an athletic director, personal trainers, classrooms and juice bar will replace the 200-seat ballroom. “We won’t be competing in the banquets and events area anymore,” Fleig says. “And no more once-a-month dinner dances; that’s not how people today socialize.” They gather around fire pits and at places like TopGolf; they dine casually; and they prefer engaging with their families rather escaping from them. All of which explains why the club is con-


These changes won’t come at the expense of the club’s heritage. There’ll still be a small formal dining room with wood paneling, and a hallway near the golf shop will display trophies, photos and other historical items. “The renovations take the best elements of the club’s first 100 years and add year-round amenities,” club president Glen Droegemueller says. “The members and staff of Greeley Country Club have worked with industry professionals to create a family-centered club for all ages. We are very excited about what the future holds for our members.” greeleycc.org coloradoavidgolfer.com


Greeley CC’s 100th Birthday Present


Cordillera GOLF EXPERIENCE A Colorado AvidGolfer Event


( Left

Congra tulatio ns to to righ B t Ed D r yce Fr yd A ll Abou tF en obbs, B r yce F la nd a nd Je un Winner r yden s land, ff Potter Jef f P otter a nd All en

ners to Win Win ba ions to Play Ka ra Congratulat d Dominic an id rm Scott) ia Adam McD High and Bo g with Kei Le (Above playin

Walter s)

THANK YOU to all who joined us for

THE BEST Golf Weekend of the Year! We appreciate our players, sponsors and The Club at Cordillera for making the Cordillera Golf Experience the annual tradition it has become. We want you to join us in September 2020! Details coming soon.

The Gallery

Hot Corfee



FLUSH WITH A NEW SPONSOR and a stacked field, Colorado’s longest-running open golf tournament crowned a first-time champion at Grand Junction’s Tiara Rado Golf Course August 25. Ben Corfee, a 25-year-old Californian and former UC-Davis standout, shot an 18-under-par 195 to win the 81st Rocky Mountain Open presented by Sinclair Oil. Corfee withstood a tournament-record-tying 60 in the final round by 2019 CoBank Colorado Open winner Sam Saunders to capture the $15,000 winner’s check. With Sinclair Oil as title sponsor in the first year of a three-year $75,000 deal, the $59,692 total payout for the three-round event marked the highest in its 81-year history. rmopen.com

Mr. & Mrs. Ace MARK PERSON and Patty Novosel-Person originally planned to play together at The Club at Pradera on September 15. Mark, however, got lured into a four-ball with some fellow members, so the couple teed off in consecutive groups. On the par-3 eighth, Mark, a 5.5 index who claims to have “a swing only a mother could love,” stroked his 8-iron to the right and beyond the front pin placement, about 155 yards out. “It funneled back and dropped in the hole,” he recounts of his fourth-ever ace. The match went on, with Mark and partner Greg Bruce closing it out on the 17th. As Patty drove up to hole, she excitedly informed him that she’d had a hole in one—the second of her life—on No. 8. The description of her shot echoed Mark’s, save for the club selection (6-iron) and distance (120 yards). “He was in an intense match, and I didn’t want to distract him,” the 18-handicap explains when asked why she didn’t tell him sooner. “What are the odds—husband and wife, same hole, same day, in consecutive groups?” The clubhouse was naturally abuzz. “We did run into some bourbon,” Mark says of the double-ace celebration.

COLORADO GOLF HALL of Famer Dan Hogan could easily have written a book on what he knew about golf. Instead, the state’s preeminent golf historian read and collected 1,215 of them in his Bonnie Brae home. With the 88-year-old Hogan convalescing from serious medical issues and unable to return to his house, that collection now resides in systematized and catalogued form at Colorado Golf Association headquarters in Greenwood Village. Hogan had instructed fellow Hall of Famer and longtime board member Gary Potter to donate them to the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame—an organization into which he had been inducted in 1998 “as both a well-trophied player and as a walking encyclopedia of history,” and on whose board he’d served for decades.

TOME HOME: The CGA’s Ed Mate with guests at the Dan Hogan Golf Library


A lack of appropriate space at the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame in Brighton prompted Potter to contact the CGA. “I was so thrilled when I heard from Gary that the collection had been passed on to the Hall of Fame, and that this is the place for them to be housed for now,” CGA Executive Director Ed Mate says, referring to the CGA’s new Dan Hogan Golf Library. “To me this collection is an embodiment of Dan Hogan, and when I look at the books, I don’t see books, I see him.” According to Mate, the formidable task of creating an actual, organized library out of Hogan’s boxes and boxes of books fell to “three rock stars”—retired USGA Regional Affairs Director Mark Passey, CGA Managing Director of Golf Operations Ashley Barnhart and her mother, Jean Barnhart, a Montana schoolteacher with library experience who spent her spring vacation helping out. “Ashley was the computer person. Mark was the Golf Guy organizing the categories. And Jean had expertise in the Dewey decimal system. We couldn’t have had a better group.” Passey counts 100 man-hours went into the process. The books are divided into two-dozen categories—including instruction, golf course architecture, biographies and tournaments. First-edition gems from the early 1900s share shelf space with books about Tiger Woods. “This was an organic collection,” Mate says. “And they are all quality


books. Let’s face it, there are a lot of garbage golf books. Golf for Dummies. These are quality, intellectual golf books, and he read them all.” If so, why did he have two and three copies of some? Were they gifts? “I just don’t think Danny knew he had them,” says his good friend and fellow Colorado Golf Hall of Famer Kaye Kessler. “It grew over a lifetime. They weren’t organized the way they are now. He had no idea he had three copies of Down the Fairway by Bobby Jones. They were on coffee tables and tucked into corners.” Duplicates of some of the 966 unique titles come in handy because this is a lending library for board members and committee members of the CGA and CGHOF who can check out titles as they would at a traditional library. “It’s on an honor system,” Mate says, likening it to golf. And it honors a great man. In that vein, the collection will keep growing. People are welcome to donate appropriate titles. “My personal view is that what we have is the original gift, and we need to build it so it honors him.” coloradogolf.org coloradoavidgolfer.com


One for the Books

Dan Hogan


birdies over two rounds secured former Kent Denver star Gunner Wiebe a victory in August’s National Car Rental Southern California Assistant PGA Professional Championship. The CGA’s 2010 Les Fowler Player of the Year who now teaches the stars at L.A.’s Bel-Air Country Club, Wiebe battled fierce winds at Glendora Country Club to shoot a 3-under 141. The win earned the son of PGA Tour player Mark Wiebe a berth in the 2019 National Car Rental Assistant PGA Professional Championship national final Nov. 14-17 in Port St. Lucie, Fla. pga.com


golfers aged 10-13 from the Centennial area came agonizingly close to winning the PGA Jr. League Regional presented by National Car Rental at Glen Oaks Country Club in West Des Moines, Iowa, Sept. 14-15. The Timm Golf Academy (TGA) All-Stars, winners of the Colorado PGA Jr. League Section Championship for the second straight year, lost in the Regional championship, 6.5 to 5.5, to the TPC Twin Cities All-Stars, just missing a trip to the Jr. League Championship at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale Oct. 11-14. PGA Professional Rick Timm (pictured above, far right) coaches the team. timmgolf.com


years removed from her last USGA tournament, Denver’s Erin Houtsma made some serious noise in September’s U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur at Forest Highlands Golf Club in Flagstaff, Ariz. Houtsma—who won the 2006 CoBank Colorado Women’s Open as a professional and recently had her amateur status reinstated—reached the Round of 16 by defeating 2009 U.S. Women’s Mid-Am champ Martha Leach of Hebron, Ky., 2 up, in the Round of 32. With her father, former CU player Steve Kerr, on the bag, the 21st-seeded former Buff took on Megan Buck, who’d played her college golf at the nearby University of Northern Arizona. The pair needed 19 holes to settle the match in Buck’s favor. “Sweet 16 had my number,” Houtsma said.

© 2017


Golf by Numbers

Owned by the Colorado Golf Association, and designed by world-renowned architect Tom Doak, CommonGround can be found in Aurora at the intersection of Mission and Masterpiece. commongroundgc.com | 303-340-1520 coloradoavidgolfer.com



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birdies and one eagle over three days propelled Britt Pavelonis of Harrisburg, Ill. to victory in the 20th CoBank Colorado Senior Open at Green Valley Ranch Golf Club Aug. 28-30. The 50-year-old former Southern Illinois University Saluki led after each of the three rounds, finishing at 14-under 202. The highest Colorado finisher, Paul Erdman of Erie, tied for fifth and captured low-amateur honors. coloradoopen.com


Britt Pavelonis

years after winning his professional golf debut at the 1980 Wyoming Open, Colorado Golf Hall of Famer Ron Vlosich won his fourth Colorado PGA Championship Sept. 9-11, tying Fred Wampler and Jack Sommers for the all-time record. Not only is the 62-year-old Vlosich the event’s oldest winner, but he now also holds the record for the longest time between victories: 26 years. Finishing his three rounds at Englewood’s Meridian Golf Club with a 4-under 212, the former Green Gables Country Club pro nipped Micah Rudosky of Cortez by one shot. coloradopga.com

Paul Erdman



out of a possible 225 points —an apparent record for the national Drive, Chip and Putt competition—earned Mateo Rascon of Mediapolis, Iowa, a trip to the National Finals at Augusta National Golf Club in April. Competing at Colorado Golf Club the Sunday before the U.S. Mid-Amateur, Rascon bombed all three of his drives more than 350 yards (367 was the longest) and holed a chip and a putt to win the Boys 14-15 Division. The DC&P regional consisted of 112 boys and girls from 12 states in four age groups. None of the 23 Coloradans advanced. Colorado Golf Club will host the event again next year. drivechipandputt.com

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Player’s Corner PROFILE

Overseer of the Empire A CU grad who learned the game at Aurora’s Meadow Hills, Troon Golf CEO Tim Schantz is the heir apparent to the title of “most powerful person in golf.” By Andy Bigford


NEW BOSS, OLD COURSE: Tim Schantz (right), an 8-handicap who took over as Troon Golf CEO in April, tees off at St. Andrews in Scotland.

THE PROFILE PHOTO for Tim Schantz’s LinkedIn account depicts him as a smiling University of Colorado undergrad in apron and ballcap, diligently scrubbing dishes at Le Peep, the Boulder breakfast institution that opened back in 1983. Those brutal early-morning “dishdog” duties remain relevant to Schantz today as his entry-level introduction into the hospitality business, where he ascended to busboy and eventually landed a coveted waiter’s job at the Boulder Cork, Le Peep’s fine-dining sister restaurant. “I really believe in customer-facing work,” Schantz says. “It leaves an indelible mark and forms you.” Now, as the CEO of Troon Golf, which operates some 500 golf courses worldwide, including seven in Colorado, Schantz can touch more people in golf than almost anyone else—and is indeed poised to be among the most powerful people in the game. The son of an Orvis fly-fishing guide and a needlepoint shop owner, Schantz was in the first graduating class of Aurora’s Overland High School in 1982. He learned the game at Meadow Hills as a teenager, then played Flatirons Golf Course and begged an occasional round at Boulder Country Club as he worked his way through CU as a scholarship student. coloradoavidgolfer.com

In April, Schantz stepped into the “Shaqsized” shoes of Troon founder Dana Garmany, who established the company in 1990 with the opening of Scottsdale’s Troon North and its goal of providing a “country-club experience for a day.” Garmany, who remains as Troon’s chairman, began as a PGA club professional and is now something of a legend, regularly being named by Golf Inc. magazine as one of golf’s most powerful people from a financial impact. He was No. 1 in the Golf Inc. rankings for 2018, followed by PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan in second, Tiger Woods in seventh and President Donald Trump in 11th (Trump Golf owns or operates 21 courses). Schantz, who turns 55 in October, has worked for just three companies in his 30-plus year career. After receiving his CU degree in political science, he earned a law degree from the University of Kansas and went to work for the internationally acclaimed law firm of Latham & Walkins LLP in California for five years. His next critical move was to the DoubleTree Corporation, the Phoenix-based lodging and hospitality company that was building a network of third-party operated hotels and forging new ground in that category (it is now part of Hilton Hotels). A casu-


al lunch with Garmany in 1998 led to a meeting of the minds, and triggered Schantz’s decision to take a pay cut and throw in with Troon, which at the time had just 25 employees in their corporate headquarters in north Scottsdale’s Kierland Commons. Schantz quickly moved up to run Troon’s global business development, recruiting courses to join the fold as executive vice president. Troon now has 15,000 employees worldwide, offices in 10 cities throughout the U.S. and the globe, and is the world’s largest operator of resort, daily fee and private clubs. TROONING UP The golf course business is beginning to follow a path set by hotels, where mega-companies like Marriott and Hilton together control more than 2 million room keys, and in other leisure sports such as skiing, where roughly half of the U.S. “skier visits” are recorded at resorts owned by (or partnering with) the big two conglomerates, longtime leader Vail Resorts and the up-and-coming Alterra Mountain Company (both are Colorado-based). Management companies operated just 10 percent of U.S. golf courses in 2006; the number Fall 2019 | COLORADO AVIDGOLFER

Profile GLOBAL GOLF: Troon’s 500 courses include (clockwise from lower left) The Club at Crested Butte in Colorado; Maui’s Kapaula Bay Course and Norway’s stunning Lofoten Links.


Colorado include the Ridge at Castle Pines and Rollingstone Ranch in Steamboat, plus three private clubs under the Troon Privé label: Cordillera in the Vail Valley, the Club at Crested Butte and Bookcliff Country Club in Grand Junction. Troon’s public-access courses are mostly upscale, $200-a-round facilities, but the portfolio also extends to other pricing levels. Just as Schantz was settling into the corner office, Troon announced it was buying OB Golf Management, overseeing 70 courses in Arizona and the West (including Colorado National Golf Club in Erie and Aurora’s Heritage Eagle Bend), and then Midwest-based Green Golf Partners, with some 20 courses in 15 mostly central states. These collections have retained their brand names and identities, as has Honours Golf, which has 20 courses in the Southeast and was acquired by Troon in 2014. Just as Hilton and Marriott offer different pricing in their folds, from Waldorfs and Ritz-Carltons down to DoubleTrees and Fairfields, Troon has complimentary courses under its umbrella, including muni courses at OB and Green Golf. A CHANGING LANDSCAPE Troon has also looked outside its core business with the recent acquisitions of CaddieMaster, which provides complete caddie services to 130 clubs (including some Troon courses); Cliff Drysdale Management, which has 30 tennis facilities in premier destinations; and RealFood Consulting, a Boston-based food and beverage consulting company. RealFood tripled the size of Troon’s F&B department; it works with Troon courses but has its own clients too. Hewing to his Boulder restaurant roots, Schantz wants to make Troon’s 450 F&B operations as highly regarded as its agronomy, while also keeping a keen eye on the 850 lodge rooms, 100 swimming pools, 80


fitness centers and 1,000 tennis courts that fall under Troon’s purview. Golf is not an easy business, and the carnage of the Great Recession, with some 1,200 courses closing in the last decade, is in the nottoo-distant past. Troon itself has shown discipline in avoiding ownership and the topsy-turvy pitfalls of real-estate development; besides its flagship Troon North, it owns only two other facilities. By contrast, Club Corp., founded in 1957 as the leader of the multi-course operations model, primarily owns roughly 200 private clubs, including Firestone Country Club in Ohio and Mission Hills in California. It suffered during the economic downturn, but was bought by Apollo Global Management in 2017 for about $1.1 billion and now promotes a diverse network that includes dining and athletic clubs. Troon is also privately held, and its majority owner is Leonard Green & Partners, a Los Angeles-based private equity firm that bought its stake from Kohlberg & Company in 2017. Despite recent upticks in new golfer participation, courses face mounting challenges to thrive. Troon offers sophisticated systems for everything from yield management to digital marketing. Their powerful purchasing department can negotiate game-changing bulk discounts on everything from burgers to greens mowers. Critically, the HR department, overseeing 15,000 employees, can offer ample opportunity to move up to positions at other facilities. The company has a history of promoting from within, and has a long list of employees who started, for example, as a low-level analyst at corporate and moved up to be a general manager at a premier Troon club. “We have a broad and deep bench,” Schantz says. A GAME OF SCHANTZ Castle Rock-based golf consultant J.J. Keegan calls the Troon model “an inspired strategy” and coloradoavidgolfer.com


had jumped to 16 percent by 2018, according to the National Golf Foundation (NGF), and is projected to grow to 23 percent by next year. “There is no end in sight,” says NGF CEO Joe Beditz in assessing Troon’s upside and the industry-wide trend toward multi-course management firms. With 14,631 courses in the U.S. and 34,000 globally, Troon itself oversees just a fraction, so there is a lot of what founder Garmany calls “white space.” Schantz believes a 1,000-course portfolio is attainable, and his industry colleagues agree. According to NGF figures, there are some 230 multi-course operators in the country, but only 10 operate more than 40 courses. Other key players include Billy Casper Golf, KemperSports, Arcis Golf and American Golf Corp. Troon is the powerhouse in the golf world, operating courses in some 40 states and 25 countries. It got there by building an impeccable brand founded on service and the agronomy standards it established at that first Troon North facility, under the guidance of Jeff Spangler, Troon’s senior vice president for science and agronomy, and Ron Despain, who oversees golf course development. In January, Troon courses hosted five PGA TOUR events in a four-week period, headlined by the Tournament of Champions at its Kapalua Resort in Maui and the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship at Abu Dhabi Golf Club. Troon even has a pro staff, with four of its PGA players reaching the recent FedEx Cup Tour Finals (major-winners Justin Thomas and Gary Woodland, plus Matt Kuchar and Patrick Cantlay). LPGA rising star Cheyenne Woods, Tiger’s niece, is also on the team. Troon’s portfolio is studded with A-List courses, among them the Silverado Resort & Spa and PGA West in California, Florida’s Tiburón Golf Club, Pronghorn in Oregon, The Grove in England, the Ocean Club in the Bahamas and Lofoten Links in Norway. Troon courses in

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Thank you to our ★ CAG Crew! ★

★ 2019


★ ★ ★ ★ ★

This year, we had 29 avid golfer all-stars who played in at least three different Tournament Series events. These golfers, and others like them, are the reason we continue hosting such fun events each year. Colorado AvidGolfer wouldn’t be the magazine and company it is today without our loyal readers and tournament participants. As a special thank you, our CAG Crew members received a customized shoe bag with the Colorado AvidGolfer logo imprinted on it and recognition at our final tournament.

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commends Schantz for his vision and leadership. He learned at the knee of Garmany, an atypical unstuffy golf executive who was loved by all, always good for a colorful quote and even plays in a garage band. Competitors say the sometimes lawyerly Schantz will need to continue to refine a softer touch while wielding the velvet hammer when needed. Colleagues say he is more than up for it. “He can dial it up, and dial it down,” says former PGA of America CEO Joe Steranka, who calls Schantz one of his “favorite people in golf.” Steranka, who now runs the Buffalo Agency (his clients include Billy Casper Golf), says, “He’s always approachable, whether it’s a person in the housekeeping department up to a fellow CEO. I think that’s what made him so successful in business development.” Indeed Schantz can be introspective and reflective; in late August he was lamenting the exit of his second son, who was heading to attend the University of Southern California, leaving he and his wife as empty nesters. Garmany calls him a “caring leader, high IQ, really smart dude,” who fits well in the Troon culture, where the top executives promote a “carrot over stick” style, seek to remain approachable and answer their own email and phone. Schantz, an 8-handicap, plays 20 to 30 rounds a year, about half of them for business. He’s visited all of Troon’s Colorado courses, but not usually to play. He stresses that he is in business first and foremost, though he thoroughly enjoys the perks. He flies 100,000 miles a year, and in December will be heading off to Australia for the Presidents Cup at Royal Melbourne while also making a stop at the Troon property in Abu Dhabi. If Schantz could change one thing, it’s this: “I’ve asked probably 5,000 people if they play golf, and 99 out of 100 say, ‘I’m horrible, but I like to play.’” He wants to alter that perception so the answer is, “I don’t always play as well as I’d like to, but when I play, I really enjoy it.” The experience is not just about the score, but immaculate playing conditions, quality of the layout, friendships, the guest service, the views and the wildlife, the drinks and dinner afterward ... all of the things Troon excels at providing. Contributor Andy Bigford is the editor and collaborator on Chris Diamond’s Ski Inc. 2020, which dissects the ski resort transformation of that past three years. It is available on Amazon and at select bookstores starting Oct. 29, 2019. coloradoavidgolfer.com


★ ★ ★ ★ ★

BUFF BUDS: Schantz still plays with Jeff Smith, a friend since the Troon CEO’s “dishdog” days at CU.

Player’s Corner HEAD GAME

Mind Over Monster How to banish the “Phantom of Mis-hit Shots” forever.  By Lauren Howe BEFORE A ROUND with your friends, how often have you found yourself in a groove on the range? The rhythm … the effortless swing … the crisp contact … the shaped shots—all perfect. As you head to the first tee, you’re already counting the money you’ll win from your buds. Then you confidently step up on the first hole. It’s a tight par-4, where last week you needed a “breakfast ball” to save triple-bogey. That’s not happening today, you think, but as you slide your tee into the ground, you remember last week’s mulligan-prompting shank into the trees. You tell yourself it won’t happen again and address the ball. What ensues is a Zorro-like swipe at the ball that bears no resemblance to the smooth, easy swings you took on the range. Your driver bounces behind the tee, catches the top of the ball and skips it into the underbrush. What just happened? How did you turn from awesome to awful? You didn’t. What changed was your state of mind because of where you chose to direct your focus. I call this the “Phantom of Mis-hit Shots,” and banishing him requires both improving your emotional state of mind and redirecting your mental focus.

State of Mind Your state of mind determines how you perceive any situation.

Results Your results affect how you feel about yourself or your situation, which then affects your state of mind. coloradoavidgolfer.com

world while constantly calibrating how you feel and what you think. And because golf is such a mental game, being in a positive state of mind is crucial to success. Your state of mind translates directly into results (see chart below). Given this chain reaction, how different would your golf experience be if you were consistently able to create a calm and confident state of mind? You could banish the Phantom forever.

FOCUS POCUS The two main components that comprise any state of mind are emotional focus and mental focus. Emotional Focus: How Perception you feel emotionally results How you perceive a from how you inhabit your situation determines your actions. body physically. Think about how your body is positioned when you’re sad: shoulders slumped, eyes down, shalAction low breathing. This actually The actions you creates brain chemistry that take determine your creates sad thoughts. results. To shift to a confident state of mind, you have to


change your body position. Stand confidently, eyes up, and take a nice deep belly breath. As you exhale, let the tension in your body release with it. You have opened a new neuropathway, creating alternative brain chemistry that releases confident thoughts. This will allow you to view yourself and your golf abilities through a more positive lens. Mental Focus: Once you have repositioned your body to open new neuropathways, shift the focus to your mental target. Positive self-talk can enhance how you feel about yourself, which consequently can improve your performance. Instead of berating yourself for a missed shot, redirect your focus to improving your next shot by telling yourself some positive thoughts. The simplest, most effective way to visually direct your focus is to choose a specific target. A tree trunk, the left side of a bunker or a spot where you want the ball to land are all potential options. The clearer you can make that picture, the more focused you are on your target. The better you focus on your target, the more naturally your body moves, which improves your shot. Try this: If you are having trouble getting through the ball, focus on the target (not the ball or a backswing thought) and your body will move much more efficiently and athletically towards your target. Fall 2019 | COLORADO AVIDGOLFER


RECALIBRATING YOUR STATE OF MIND Your emotional state of mind is a reaction to something in your environment or something you are thinking. The way you feel represents your “point of attraction” or where you are focused. When a negative thought or memory activates the paleomammalian cortex—the part of the brain responsible for controlling memory, emotion and behavior—your brain can become its own worst enemy. The memory of a poor shot, which can manifest itself as the Phantom, can induce a negative emotional state, which then affects your behavior and causes you to make mistakes. The good news is that you have the ability to redirect any emotion that does not support your goal to one that does. So how do you do that? Emotions exist to connect your mind to your body. How you feel physically impacts your mental state, and vice versa. Emotions act as an internal GPS system, helping you to navigate through the

Head Game If you want to change your reality, change your focus. The two best questions you can ask yourself on the golf course are: 1. What do I want? 2. Where’s my target? What you see in your “mind’s eye” becomes your reality. Shifting your mental focus will help you to re-center and reclaim the remainder of the round. Leave the phantom behind as you regulate your emotional response and mental at-

tention. Feeling serene and composed will allow you to concentrate on the target and resuscitate your game. Former LPGA Tour professional and Colorado Golf Hall of Fame member Lauren Howe is a golf instructor specializing in NeuroLinguistic Programming and Neuro-Associative Conditioning. Reach her at 303-653-4442 or howetogolf@gmail.com.

PRE-SHOT ROUTINE The pre-shot routine is one of the most significant factors in the improvement and consistency of your golf game. It is also the most overlooked. The pre-shot routine is so important because 100 percent of your shots are affected by your thoughts and feelings, and all of your decisions are made before you swing. You need to take time to synchronize your mind and body. All good players have a consistent pre-shot routine. Here’s how you can improve yours.

The Front Nine of a Pre-Shot Routine

1. Stand behind your ball, facing your target. Stand very confidently, head up, strong in your spine. 2. Keeping your back elongated and steady, take a deep breath. When you exhale, release the tension in your body to create a state of calm and confidence. 3. Pick a specific target in the distance. This is where you will direct your mental focus. 4. Pick an intermediate target (one to three feet in front of the ball). 5. Line up the clubhead to the intermediate target. 6. Set your body up to the clubhead, making sure you step out parallel to the target line (and not towards your intermediate target). 7. Once you are set up properly, take another look at the target. Focus on the target until you have a really good sense of where it is. 8. When you have a strong sense of the target, look back at the ball, keeping your mind’s eye on the target. 9. Maintain that mental image as you swing through (not at) the ball towards the target. Don’t stop visualizing your target until your shot is soaring through the air.

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Travel Companions Pack these items for your next golf trip to maximize play and score style points  By Suzanne S. Brown

HAT TRICK If golf gets you hotheaded—and not just out of frustration—the Aussie Chiller is for you. For 20 years, this Australian company has been manufacturing hats that can be soaked in cold water before you put them on your head, keeping you cool for hours. Made of UPF 50 fabric, the hats also offer great sun protection, are packable and come in colors that don’t fade and can be adjusted for wind resistance. The company offers several styles, including the Bushie Perforated, selling for $59. aussiechiller.com

IN THE SWING Callaway’s “Swing Tech” polos are made of a stretch polyester fabric that allows for unrestricted range of motion and a roomy fit with slightly longer sleeves. The material appears in a variety of solid, patterned and print designs. An update for fall is the marled blue jacquard fabric, which adds the sophisticated look enjoyed by such players as Callawaysponsored PGA pro Talor Gooch, $75. callawayapparel.com

IN THE BAG Weighing only four pounds, the SL2 bag from Stitch is great for traveling as well as for walking the course. It is made of a proprietary fabric with the strength of leather but weight of a feather. Plus, it’s water-resistant and durable. The bag has a stand, a rain hood, four-way top divider and pockets for apparel and golf balls, as well as a felt-lined compartment for valuables and an insulated sleeve to hold beverages. The two-shoulder harness system lets you carry the bag with either a single or double strap, $328. stitchgolf.com


PATTERNS OF EVENT The watercolor print is a signature of EPNY Golf apparel, and for the fall season, the company is using it boldly in a dress design in a multicolored print bordered in leopard. The polyester/spandex moisture-wicking fabric guarantees performance, while such details as the rose gold zipper pull, mock collar and curved onseam pockets add style points, $119. epnygolf.com




CLOSE KNIT Golfers who value comfort in their footwear but don’t want to sacrifice performance features like waterproofing have a new option in Adidas Golf’s Tour360 XT Primeknit. The shoe has a soft knit upper, woven from yarn that repels water while keeping the foot dry. The shoe also incorporates the company’s forging technology that provides stability in the midfoot, a traction outsole and midsole that adds comfort and energy return. Primeknit is available in gray, black and teal, $180. adidas.com

RETRO COOL Pete the Penguin has decorated golf shirts for more than six decades. Popularized by the likes of Bing Crosby, Arnold Palmer and Clint Eastwood, the Original Penguin Golf brand continues to appeal to seasoned golfers while finding a new audience. Young guys like its whimsical print shirts and offbeat plaid pants, as worn by Aussie Cameron Smith, one of the pros the company sponsors. Smith wears the hiking print polo with striped collar in a polyester blend, $89; and glen plaid pants, $99. originalpenguin.com

READY TO TRAVEL With a background in athletic apparel design, Kate Boyer kept the performance elements of clothing in mind when creating her own brand, Anatomie. Elevating the design and focusing on fashion in her sportswear collections, Boyer caters to customers who travel and want fabrics that don’t wrinkle and styles that go from the airport concourse to the resort golf course and beyond. The versatile pieces include Claudia relaxed-fit Bermuda shorts with a mid-rise waistband, made of the company’s signature breathable stretch fabric. Additional features consist of side and back pockets as well as belt loops, $198. Here, the shorts are topped with the Charlotte V-Neck travel tee in wrinkle-free jersey with a mesh neckline and back panel, $168. anatomie.com

COASTING THE COURSE Claude Pope III launched Bald Head Blues to combine his twin interests in the links and the coastal lifestyle his family has long enjoyed at Bald Head Island, N.C., where the locals load their golf cars—the island’s main form of transportation—with everything from surf gear to golf clubs. Among BHB’s fall offerings, the Dogwood Quarter zip vest, $115, is a layering piece in a polyester and spandex blend that wicks away moisture, weighs next to nothing and has four-way stretch. Wear it over the short-sleeved Ace polo with gingham trim, made using the brand’s ComfortFlex Technology, which blends pima cotton and spandex to provide extra stretch, $88. The Boardwalk shorts come in a cotton and spandex twill, $78. baldheadblues.com COLORADO AVIDGOLFER | Fall 2019





TOP IT OFF: Clockwise from above: White Pie’s handmade pizzas include the sunny-sideup White Pie; Ruffrano’s Hell’s Kitchen Pizza rocks the Springs.

Play to Your Slice Teeing up the best Front Range pizzeria styles  By John Lehndorff


OUT-OF-STATERS are prone to argue that nothing in Denver compares to pies dished in New Haven, Chicago and every pizzeria in New York City. I understand their opinionated passion despite the fact that they are wrong. Pizza joints have a hold on our hearts. Pizza often means a party. The same cannot be said for quinoa tuna power bowls. I grew up in the so-called Pizza Belt of central New England and I’ve been a dining critic in Colorado. Let’s just say I have a few authentic slices of various style pizzas under my belt. I will put the pizza at Front Range pizzerias up against any in the country. Is there a “Colorado-style” of pizza? Many places have claimed to serve “mountain-style pies” but most are simply faux Chicago deepdish. (A tip of the toque to Colorado’s Beau Jo’s

for introducing honey on the table that turns excess crust into instant dessert.) Colorado has always been a collection of newcomers who bring their styles with them. There’s Neapolitan, New York, Chicago, Sicilian, Detroit, New England Greek, California, New Haven, St. Louis. … Look, if a great pizza is made with Colorado-produced flour, meats, cheeses and veggies, that’s a Colorado-style pizza. All I want to know: Is it great pizza? Would I take my friends to the pizzeria? Is it pizza that makes me sigh when I find it in the fridge the next day? I listed my nominees for outstanding pizzerias randomly to avoid ranking debates. I can’t say whether these are the “best” among Colorado’s thousands of pizzerias, but I trust these crusts from Boulder to Manitou Springs.

Pizzeria Locale’s Maiale Pizza


WHITE PIE Style: New Haven-style pizza Baked directly on the stone in a wood-burning oven, White Pie’s irregularly shaped individual pizzas arrive smelling like a campfire, charred around the edges with crust dusted in singed flour. After one piping-hot bite I went from skeptic to believer. This is the real deal from my homeland. I appreciated every bite of the Porky Porkorino pie layered with red sauce, serious mozzarella, thinly sliced sopressata, pickled chiles and hot honey. However, the pizza de resistance is White Pie’s signature namesake dish which is one of the best pizzas I’ve ever tasted.


Order this: White Pie topped with creme fraiche, mozzarella, garlic, bacon, crimini mushrooms and a sunny-side-up egg. 1702 Humboldt St., Denver whitepie.com RUFFRANO’S HELL’S KITCHEN PIZZA Style: New York City pizza The owner told me he dreamed he owned a pizzeria, so he studied a pizza joint in New York City’s Hell’s Kitchen and opened a tiny, bright red eatery in Manitou Springs famous for painfully hot combinations including hot Italian sausage, pepperoni, chile-fired sauce and various kinds of peppers. It is worth the 45-minute wait for the bona fide Sicilian square pie. Order this: Deep-dish Sicilian pizza with meatballs, garlic sausage, red sauce, mozzarella, Parmesan and fresh basil. Allow one hour. 1670 E. Cheyenne Mountain Blvd., Colorado Springs; 9 Ruxton Ave., Manitou Springs facebook.com/ruffranoshellskitchenpizza PIZZERIA LOCALE Style: Authentic Napoletana pizza This is Colorado’s Neapolitan pizza temple. The knife-and-fork pizzeria with excellent service and a superior wine list is operated by the next-door Frasca Food and Wine, Boulder’s much honored Italian restaurant. A redhatted pizzaiolo stretches the individual pies made to traditional specifications that spend just two minutes in a wood-fired Italian oven. The toppings are only the best, from prosciutto cotto on the corn pizza to the Grana Padano cheese on the shrimp pizza. There are two fast-casual Pizza Locale locations in Denver that dish a good Fall 2019 | COLORADO AVIDGOLFER


pie, but the original location is something special. Order this: Funghi pizza topped with oyster mushrooms, green onions and garlic oil plus mozzarella, Taleggio and Pecorino Romano cheeses. 1730 Pearl St., Boulder localeboulder.com


FAMOUS ORIGINAL J’S PIZZA Style: Saturday Night Fever-style pizza The folks behind nearby Rosenberg’s, Colorado’s top bagel bakery, use the same secret ingredients—New York city-style water and flour—to create credible New York-style thin crust pizza. Famous Original J’s serves slices and pies from a take-out window on Welton Street within arm’s-reach of the RTD Light Rail line. (The name and service style pay tribute to New York’s Famous Original Ray’s pizza.) Sit at picnic tables or carry it into the 715 Club. Better yet, order a slice and walk down Welton eating it slightly folded from a paper plate. The short list of toppings includes Taylor ham, wide pepperoni and fresh garlic. Order this: Two slices of cheese pizza with pepperoni and add a shake of Parmesan. Don’t forget the napkins. 715 E. 26th Ave., Denver famousoriginaljs.com BLUE PAN PIZZA Style: Detroit-style pan pizza The two Blue Pan Pizza locations serve reputable Chicago thin-crust and classic New Yorkstyle pies, but the award-winning Detroit-style pizzas are the reason to wait for a table. Baked in a square pan, the deep bready crust is encased in mozzarella and brick cheeses resulting in a grilled cheese-like, crispy caramelized edge that is simply unbeatable. Order this: The Brooklyn Bridge generously layered with mozzarella, brick, Pecorino Romano and

fresh ricotta cheeses, tomato sauce, pepperoni, Italian sausage, garlic and oregano. It’s well worth the wait. 3930 W. 32nd Ave. and 3509 E. 12th Ave., Denver bluepandenver.com CARL’S PIZZA Style: Old-school Italian-American pizza From its throwback neon sign to the red vinyl booths, the North Denver eatery looks like a casual restaurant chain’s attempt to recreate a Rat Pack-era pizza joint. That’s because it actually is one. Carl DiGiacamo opened it in 1953 and the art depicting Frank Sinatra, Rocky Marciano, the wines of Italy and the Broncos has hung on the walls for generations. This is what American pizza was like before everybody started styling it. Crusts come in regular, thick, thin and pan-fried, the pizza sauce is thick and heavily herbed and the mozzarella is whole milk. The toppings cover the crust from edge to non-puffy edge. The sim-

ple pizzas have no cutesy names and there are only 15 toppings. Put some Dean Martin on the jukebox and save room for frita: fried pizza dough bites drenched in butter, cinnamon and sugar. Order this: A pan-fried 14-inch crust with red sauce and sausage, meatballs, fresh garlic and onions on top of melted mozzarella. 3800 W. 38th Ave., Denver carlspizza.yolasite.com

Cures for the Common Slice • Butter-basted pizza crust: Denver Pizza Company (309 W. 11th Ave. and 908 Jersey St., Denver; denverpizzaco.com)

• Best garlic knots ever: Virgilio’s Pizzeria (10025 W. San Juan Way, Littleton; ilovepizzapie.com) • Pizza with a great by-the-glass Italian wine list: Pizzeria Republica (890 14th St., Denver, and 5375 Landmark Pl., Greenwood Village; pizzarepublica.com)

Pizza Republica’s Neapolitan Margherita

• Wood-fired lamb, artichoke and arugula pizza: Basta (3601 Arapahoe Ave., Boulder; bastaboulder.com) • Connecticut Greek-style pan-baked pizza with tzatziki sauce, gyro meat and feta: Papou’s Pizzeria (5075 Leetsdale Dr., Denver; papouspizza.com) COLORADO AVIDGOLFER | Fall 2019



• Wisconsin-style macaroni and cheese pizza: Ian’s Pizza (2210 Blake St., Denver; ianspizza.com)

THAT’S AMORE: A North Denver institution for more than 65 years, Carl’s dishes up classic pies.


PIZZAS WITH PIZZAZZ: From left: Famous Original J’s gives window service; Blue Pan does a “Detroit-style” Brooklyn Bridge Pizza; Pizzeria Lui’s charry Eggplant “Parm.”


GLUTEN-FREE PIZZA? Gluten-free crusts are often crumbly, rubbery or tasteless. One exception comes from Denver’s Victoria’s Gluten-Free Kitchen. Made with white rice flour, tapioca flour, egg whites, sunflower oil and yeast, these hand-stretched pizza crusts closely approximate the taste and texture of the gluten-rich originals. Available at select markets, the company’s GF crusts are used by many Colorado restaurants including Oskar Blues, White Pie, Postino, Etai’s Bakery Cafe, Oblio’s Pizzeria, Bar Dough and Denver Deep Dish Pizza. victoriasglutenfreekitchen.com



PIZZERIA LUI Style: Traditional Neapolitan (with a twist) The space isn’t fancy and there’s just a few communal tables, but pies constantly fly out of that 900-degree oven. Pizzeria Lui makes a fine classic organic flour crust with great chew, great taste, nice char on the edges and a light coating of simple tomato sauce. What elevates it all are the first-class, out-of-the-ordinary toppings. The BBQ pork pizza arrives crowned with house-smoked pork, roasted Walla Walla onion, jalapeño, cream cheese, smoked mozzarella, barbecue sauce and cilantro. Other toppings on specials have included roasted pineapple puree and pistachios. Spicy honey is available on the side along with housemade hot sauces. Order this: The Eggplant “Parm” topped with thin roasted eggplant slices, fresh mozzarella, pesto sauce, chopped garlic, Parmesan and breadcrumbs. 5380 W. Mississippi Ave., Lakewood pizzerialui.com Contributor John Lehndorff burned the roof of his mouth while researching this feature. He persisted. He writes Nibbles for the Boulder Weekly and hosts Radio Nibbles on KGNU. Editor’s note: Visit these pizzerias first and then let us know which pizzerias should be added to the list of nominees at: jon@coloradoavidgolfer.com.



You Say You Want a Revolution? Innovatory offerings from Jaguar, BMW and Lexus blow up the cookie-cutter approach to automotive luxury.  By Isaac Bouchard

Jaguar I-Pace


EPA ratings: 80/ 72 / 76 MPGe (1 gal=33.7 kWh) 0-60mph: 4.3sec (independent test) Price as tested: $89,050 The floodgates are about to open on electric vehicles (EVs), whether Americans are ready or not. This is a result of not only Tesla’s success but of regulations in the other largest car markets—Europe and China—that dictate their adaptation. Jaguar is the first to reach consumers with a compelling alternative in the luxury sector, and the I-Pace shows just how serious the venerable British brand is about going electric. One of the most intriguing aspects of the I-Pace is its design, which truly defines the term “crossover.” Long, sleek and even a bit sexy, it rides higher than a conventional sedan, boasts massive interior space for its footprint and sports surprisingly pleasantfeeling materials in its cockpit. While the I-Pace’s roominess says SUV, its driving dynamics hew closely to the contemporary Jaguar ethos of incisive, accurate steering, incredibly fluid body motions, neutral handling and satisfying driver interaction. Ride quality doesn’t suffer either; the I-Pace is smooth over most surfaces and very refined. Both of these traits result from the low center of gravity; in fact, the cg is more than 5 inches lower than the Jaguar F-Type sports car. It has real off-road chops too, thanks to its height-adjustable air suspension and the AWD traction provided by its two electric motors (one for each axle) and the instant torque they make. In June, Jaguar Land Rover and BMW announced they were joining forces to develop EVs going forward; this reflects the massive capital investments necessary to play profitably in the post internal-combustion engine world. As of now, there is no national Supercharger fast-charge network in place, meaning filling the battery backup can be a fraught affair—at least for now. The Jaguar excels as a perfect do-it-all BEV for Colorado as long as one doesn’t plan many trips beyond its estimated 234-mile range. COLORADO AVIDGOLFER | Fall 2019


BMW X7 50i

2019 BMW M850i & X7 50i

EPA ratings: 17/26/20mpg M850i; 15/21/17mpg X7 50i 0-60mph: 3.5sec M850i; 4.6sec X7 50i (independent test) Price as tested: $131,395 M850i; $112,245 X7 50i As BMW moved over the past decade from creating beguiling drivers’ cars to better-selling crossovers and SUVs, it lost some of its “Ultimate Driving Machine” focus. But with the M850i convertible and X7 50i—two seemingly disparate vehicles that share many fundamental qualities as well as the same platform—the company has rediscovered much of its mojo. Both are beautifully constructed of uniformly high-grade materials and have industry-leading infotainment and driver coloradoavidgolfer.com

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BMW M850i

aid systems. The X7 is sized between an Audi Q7 and Mercedes GLS and can be had with seating for six or seven. The M850i proportions are spoton for a flagship coupe or convertible, meaning a long hood and tight cockpit. Both BMWs satisfy over a much greater bandwidth of conditions than the cars the Bavarian company made its reputation on. Heavy traffic? Engage the latest suite of driver aids, labeled Extended Traffic Jam Assist, and either will competently navigate the minefield of distracted, dangerous numbskulls with nary any intervention required by their pilot. A few button pushes to resume or tweak trajectory on their lovely steering wheels and you’re at journey’s end. Both 8-series and X7 excel at incredibly supple rides matched by staggering refinement. Whisper quiet over most surfaces, they define modern luxury motoring. And when that rare chance comes to get after it, the M850i and X7 50i both thunder forward with aplomb, their characterful twin turbo V8s channeling up to 523hp through eight slick gears and transparent, intuitive AWD hardware. Of the two, the M850i is the slightly better-defined offering, with the ability to transform from consummate coddler to rip snortin’ GT in no time. The X7 is a little too floaty, which BMW has obviously recognized, and almost all future eight-cylinder X7s will be M50i versions, with the same power as the convertible and more athleticism baked into their chassis.

2019 LEXUS LC500h

EPA ratings: 27/35/30mpg 0-60mph: 4.8sec (independent test) Price as tested: $108,895 Rarely has a show car reached the streets in as unmolested a state as this radically conceived coupe, and Lexus had to unleash some serious engineering to make the production LC500h happen. Its fender tops are supercar-low yet provide room for the gorgeous 20-inch or forged 21-inch wheels to move properly. Its center of gravity COLORADO AVIDGOLFER | Fall 2019

Lexus LC500h

seemingly hovers just above the ground, creating a supple ride with precise body control and neutral handling. This GT has the reflexes and steering precision of a sports car. Like the BMWs featured here, it has four-wheel steering, which operates in a more noticeable manner. Make an aggressive lane change or dive bomb a corner and it feels almost as if the LC500h has teleported itself onto the new trajectory. It takes a bit to get used to this, but they afford the Lexus pilot access to a whole other level of fun. The LC is available with a raucous-sounding 471hp V8 or as a hybrid; the latter comprising a 3.5-liter, 354hp V6, two electric motors and a really funky transmission. To increase driver involvement, Lexus combined a CVT (normal for a hybrid) with a four-speed planetary transmission. Together they create up to 10 speeds and a really unique sound signature, part superbike, part hypersonic jet. While its 4.8sec 0-60mph run isn’t as fast as the LC500h’s shape suggests, this Lexus is really all about style. It generates more positive


reaction than most anything on the road, and the impact only intensifies when you swing open the long doors and let gazes take in the acres of supple leather and Alcantara. The design itself is simple yet futuristic and the detailing—inside and out—exquisite. With strong overtures of coach-built classics from Italy and England, the LC’s cockpit is among the most pleasing places to spend time of any car currently on sale. With regulations and the need to reach as broad an audience as possible, it is hard to make any vehicle stand out visually these days, but the LC500h has managed to create a wasp-waisted homage to flamboyance that also has all the company’s revered engineering excellence—a combination of virtues that allows the LC500h to stand proudly amongst some of the great automotive designs of all time. Automotive Editor Isaac Bouchard owns Denverbased Bespoke Autos (isaac@bespokeautos.com; 303-475-1462). Read more of his automotive writing on coloradoavidgolfer.com and bespokeautos.com. coloradoavidgolfer.com

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ROYAL HAWAIIAN: The Weiskopf-Morrish-designed Kings' Course at Waikoloa Beach Resort in Waimea






and Beautiful

With eye candy to spare, HAWAI‘I ISLAND serves up a nine-course feast to satiate the hungriest of vacationing golfers. By GEORGE FULLER




MAUNA LANI (North and South courses) Mauna Lani offers guests one of the most enjoyable playgrounds in the state. The two championship golf courses—North and South—are immaculately manicured, with signature holes that will rank among the most scenic you’ll ever play. In addition, two luxury hotels—Mauna Lani, Auberge Resorts Collection (set to reopen in January 2020 after a multimillion-dollar renovation) and the Fairmont Orchid—and a shopping center anchor the resort. The South Course plays along wide fairways bordered by smooth black and brown lava with broad views of the island’s interior mountains. It emerges at the ocean at No. 7, a medium-length par 3 that plays slightly downhill with ocean waves crashing against


THE MAGNIFICENTLY GROOMED courses on Hawai‘i Island have come to define Aloha State golf for the millions of visitors who come to these sunny shores each year, as well as for the millions more who watch the professional tournaments that are broadcast each winter, including the Champions Tour’s Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai. The pictureperfect weather, gentle trade winds, whales frolicking offshore during the winter months, the unique landscape formed by ancient lava flows from the surrounding volcanoes … it all adds up to one of the best golf experiences anywhere. Combine those elements with Instagramable off-course activities (snorkeling in warm turquoise waters, horseback riding in green mountains, gushing waterfalls and myriad cultural attractions) and resort accommodations that suit every budget and taste—many grouped along the Kohala Coast—and it’s easy to see why visitors quickly become Hawai‘i Island devotees.

Mauna Kea

the rocks just to the left of the hole. But the course is perhaps best known for its memorable 15th. Another par 3, No. 15 provides a thrilling tee shot over an ocean inlet to a large green. Get your cameras ready here. The North Course winds through stands of towering kiawe trees, with several oceanfront holes on the front nine. No. 17 is the postcard hole. A par 3, it plays 75 to 131 yards from an elevated tee box to a green situated in a lava bowl with giant lava boulders and sand surrounding it. maunalani.com


(Mauna Kea and Hapuna courses) Two stellar courses, two of the best beaches in the state, and two luxurious hotels add up to one of the most popular golf resorts in Hawai‘i. Mauna Kea Golf Course may be best known for its picture-postcard third hole, a par 3 that plays over an ocean cove, but—counting those on the adjacent Hapuna Golf Course—there are 35 other pretty remarkable ocean-view holes. Ranging from the Pacific shoreline up into the scenic foothills behind the resort, roaming the fairways of these two courses is a special treat for players who enjoy a solid

Muana Lani


test of the game, as both of these gems will provide that in abundance. Still, broad coastal views and natural beauty ensure that everyone will enjoy their round, regardless of score. Mauna Kea is the grande dame of island golf, opening in 1964 with an exhibition match between golf ’s reigning monarchs—Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player—and it remains on many players’ bucket lists. In 1992, Hapuna Golf Course opened, providing a perfect complement to its elder sibling. Designed by Arnold Palmer and Ed Seay, the King lives on with this stellar layout. maunakeabeachhotel.com


(Beach and Kings’ courses) There are two 18-hole courses at this active, popular resort—Beach and Kings’—and both deliver thoroughly enjoyable rounds. The Beach Course artfully routes through jagged black lava rock formations as it makes its way to the Pacific. No. 7, the signature hole, is a par 5 with the Pacific Ocean straight before you off the tee. The hole doglegs hard to the left to a putting surface ringed by swaying coconut palms and crashing waves. The second layout at Waikoloa, the

Waikoloa Beach Resort



Waikoloa Village Golf Club

Kings’ Course, opened in 1990, and was voted one of the “Best New Resort Courses” in America by Golf Digest. The Kings’ delivers a memorable round from the first tee to the 18th green. Low-handicappers can play it at 7,000-plus yards and have all the length and strategy they can handle, while resortlevel players can select a tee that will provide the same excitement and challenge, but at a length that suits their game. Two hotels—the Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa and the Hilton Waikoloa Village—two shopping centers, a wide selection of dining options and a protected bay make Waikoloa Beach Resort “the gathering place of the Kohala Coast.” waikoloabeachresort.com

WAIKOLOA VILLAGE GOLF CLUB Located in the foothills of Mauna Kea overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Waikoloa Village Golf Club is truly a little piece of heaven—an oasis of emerald green overlooking the Kohala Coast. Designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr., the course fits harmoniously into the landscape. It’s challenging enough for serious golfers but fun for beginners as well. A relaxed pace makes this course a favorite of local players, who consider it one of Hawai‘i’s best-kept secrets. Located at approximately 1,000 feet of elevation, it treats golfers to views of five volcanoes (Kohala, Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa, Hualalai, and Haleakala on Maui) and the Kohala Coastline. With approximately 12 inches of rain annually, Waikoloa Village Golf Club’s arid location virtually assures warm, dry playing conditions 365 days per year. Its complete practice facilities and amply stocked golf shop make Waikoloa Village a great place to play, outfit yourself and work on your game. The club offers golf discounts for military members and seniors, as well as multi-round packages. waikoloavillagegolf.com coloradoavidgolfer.com

Kona Country Club

KONA COUNTRY CLUB There’s nothing quite as exciting in golf as a hole situated next to the ocean. The broad vistas, the crashing waves, the ocean spray. Kona Country Club features four such holes: two gorgeous par 3s—Nos. 3 and 12— set hard against the shore and two more with either the tee box or putting surface adjacent to the ocean. Located just six miles south of Kona, the course underwent an extensive renovation in 2016. All tee boxes were leveled, new sand was installed in the bunkers, new golf carts brought in and an irrigation upgrade completed—all of which has led to superior conditions and a highly rated experience. Keep an eye out for the blowhole to the left of No. 13 tee box, where the ocean waves push up through a puka (hole) in the lava rock shoreline, creating a “whooshing” sound and a grand plume of water. Coincidentally, the waters in this area are also frequented by humpback whales between November and March. konacountryclub.com

MAKANI GOLF CLUB Makani Golf Club (formerly Big Island Country Club) is one cool place. It has a

casual vibe, for sure, but at an elevation of 2,000 feet, it’s literally 10-15 degrees cooler than it is at sea level, which makes it comfortable all the time. The Perry Dye design feels “organic,” an extension of the rolling, upcountry ranchland into which it’s built. “We like to say it’s a golf course that Mother Nature built,” says Peter Rice, senior director. “Many courses in Hawai‘i have had to go to great lengths to crush the lava or build around and through the lava flows with their designs. But up here at the 2,500-foot level, the landscape is naturally green and rolling, with outstanding ocean views from many holes, stands of mature and colorful trees, and abundant wildlife, creating one of the state’s most picturesque golf courses.” Recent upgrades to the course include new sand in the bunkers, an aggressive program to make the fairways and greens among the best conditioned on the island, new golf cars, and an expanded practice area. makanigolfclub.com George Fuller has lived in Hawai‘i on and off for more than 30 years. He currently calls Waimea on Hawai‘i Island home.

Mankani Golf Club




GETAWAYS 2 0 1 9 G U I D E | A R I ZO N A | N E VA D A | U TA H | H AWA I ‘ I

A Desert

Classic After nine decades, Arizona’s iconic WIGWAM RESORT is even better than you remember.

THE TRAVELING GOLFER’S COLLECTION of stellar courses, resorts, spas, restaurants, real estate and more coloradoavidgolfer.com



Getaways | Arizona | Nevada | Utah | Hawai‘i


An Experience...

that Truly Represents Golf in the Arizona Desert





Contents 38 ARIZONA

From Troon up north to Tubac down south, from Wigwam in the west to We-Ko-Pa in the east, the orbits of Scottsdale and Tucson teem with great golf, exquisite resorts, fine dining and abundant activities.

480-488-0398 5734 E. Rancho Manana Blvd Cave Creek, AZ 85331 www.RanchoManana.com COLORADO AVIDGOLFER | Fall 2019



Golf, like gambling, involves risk and reward—and the Silver State majors in both. Whether you prefer the high-rolling casinos and courses of Las Vegas, the quiet of Mesquite, or the happy medium of Summerlin, you can bet you’ll find it here.



The same colorful country defined by Zion and Bryce Canyon boasts the equally glorious Sand Hollow Resort, where 27 holes of surreal golf only hint at the spectrum of outdoor action that awaits.


Surrounded by clear, azure waters and draped in emerald valleys, sharp mountain spires and jagged cliffs, the “Garden Isle” of Kaua‘i invites experiences of every conceivable kind—including those of the 18-hole variety. coloradoavidgolfer.com




Terms & Conditions: Some restrictions & black-out dates apply. Based on availability.


Improve your swing at our state-of-the-art tennis complex, featuring eight concrete courts, a rubber flexi stadium court and two courts lined for pickle ball.


Dine at one of our three acclaimed restaurants, including Litchfield’s, our renowned farm-to-table destination, and everyone’s favorite place to relax, Red’s Bar & Grill.

SPA Treat yourself to a rejuvenating massage, or one of our many treatments, at LeMonds Aveda Salon – Spa.


| 866.990.9316

Getaways | Arizona


Tally of the Sun The expanding Phoenix/Scottsdale orbit spawns more ways to play. SPORTS MECCA The West Valley abounds with pro sports venues. Home to the Westgate Entertainment District, Glendale hosts the NFL’s Cardinals at State Farm Stadium and NHL’s Coyotes at Gila River Arena. Eight MLB teams train in the area, and NASCAR races at Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale. visitglendale.com


Iconic Arizona cozies up to modern luxury at the venerable Wigwam Resort. Set on 440 acres 30 miles west of Scottsdale, the 4-diamond AAA-rated resort turns 90 this year with elegant enhancements, fresh programming and a third-night $19.29 anniversary room rate. The Wigwam boasts 331 luxury rooms and casitas and a full-on spa, pool complex, tennis facility and three 18-hole regulation golf courses. wigwamarizona.com

VERRADO’S DOUBLE PLAY Part of a planned community in the foothills of the White Tank Mountains a half-hour west of Sky Harbor, Verrado Golf Club delivers two 7,000-yard must-play golf experiences: the Founders Course (designed by John Fought and Tom Lehman in 2004) and the newer Victory Course (Lehman, 2016). Both boast massive elevation changes, giant rock outcroppings and superb conditioning. verradogolfclub.com



WILD TIMES Opened 35 years ago and featuring more than 600 separate species, the largest collection of exotic animals in Arizona waits at Wildlife World—a zoo, aquarium, safari park and “dragonworld” set on 215 acres just six miles from the Wigwam. Stay for lunch at Dillon’s KC BBQ, where a 60,000gallon shark tank dominates the view. wildlifeworld.com


do you hear that?

THE SOUND OF SILENCE… Verrado Golf Club offers 36 holes of championship golf between two alluring courses. Tucked in the foothills of the White Tank Mountains, with massive rock outcroppings, elevaVon changes, and views across the valley, the Founders Course and the newer Victory Course are the West Valley’s premiere desert golf desVnaVon. Golf here defines golf everywhere.



Getaways | Arizona



he go-to course for those who want a test, Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club in Maricopa is more than worth the 40-minute drive south from Scottsdale. The 7,546-yard design by Brian Curley, Lee Schmidt and Fred Couples permanently resides on Golf’s Top 100 U.S. Courses You Can Play. No homes intrude on this purist’s paean to fescue-framed fairways, sprawling bunkers and inspired greens. It annually hosts U.S. Open Regional Qualifying and a World Long Drive event. The Ak-Chin Indian Community owns the Troonmanaged course and the 300-room Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino Resort six miles south. akchinsoutherndunes.com

Ak-Chin Southern Dunes

Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino Resort Pool

A PINT IN THE WILDERNESS Northeast of Maricopa lies Gilbert, home base of the Arizona Wilderness Brewing Company, which also runs the Wilderness Beer Garden in downtown Phoenix. The original brewpub highlights local agricultural products in its deliciously eclectic selection of craft brews and truly inspired renditions of traditional pub fare. azwbeer.com



PUT IT IN PARK An outdoor lover’s dream awaits on the south end of Metro Phoenix, where 51 miles of trails crisscross the 16,000-acre South Mountain Park and Preserve. Guided horseback tours from Ponderosa Stables reveal ancient petroglyphs, while hikers (and drivers) can summit the highest point in the park, Dobbin’s Lookout, which affords a north-facing panorama of numerous landmarks, including Camelback and Superstition mountains. visitphoenix.com coloradoavidgolfer.com

PMS 726

PMS 471

PMS Black


Getaways | Arizona


Get to Tonto, Pronto Situated in a gated active-adult community next to Tonto National Forest, Tonto Verde Golf Club boasts a pair of Gary Panks-David Graham courses—the 7,004-yard Ranch and 6,733-yard Peaks—with some of the finest greens in the area. Both layouts welcome the public, as does Tonto Verde’s award-winning Mesquite Grill. Members enjoy myriad amenities, as you can also experience with Tonto Verde’s $995 four-day/three night Discovery Package. tontoverde.com


The flagship of the Troon Golf empire with two 18-hole courses, Troon North Golf Club stretches through the natural ravines and foothills beneath Pinnacle Peak and weaves around the giant boulders and saguaros of the Sonoran Desert. Designed in 1990 by Tom Weiskopf and Jay Morrish—with some deft recent remodeling by Weiskopf—the Pinnacle and Monument courses remain the hallmarks of daily-fee desert golf, regularly earning high rankings from every national golf publication. The high standards continue minutes away at the Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North, which shuttles guests to and from the course. troonnorthgolf.com


Beautiful scenery, amazing connections . . . in Arizona

Our $995 Discovery Package Includes 4 Days and 3 nights in Luxury Town Home Golf for 2 on both our Peaks and Ranch Championship Courses $100 Gift Card to our Award-Winning Mesquite Grill Restaurant Private access to 21,000 acre McDowell Mountain Park Wide range of membership options available at our member owned Tonto Verde Golf Club

Experience the Tonto Verde AZ lifestyle Call: (480) 471-3566 or Visit TontoVerde.org COLORADO AVIDGOLFER | Fall 2019

Biking 44

Hiking coloradoavidgolfer.com

Come experience both of Troon North’s Monument and Pinnacle courses for the best desert golf in Arizona. Please visit www.TroonNorthGolf.com for best available rates and 36-hole packages. After your round, stop in at the Dynamite Grill where you can enjoy great food with a view. Mention “Colorado Avid Golfer” by phone and get 10% off the already best available rate through 2019.


Getaways | Arizona


And while you’re there... If hiking’s your thing, head to one of the five trailheads at the 30,200-acre McDowell Sonoran Preserve, where paths of varying difficulty lead to majestic views. experiencescottsdale.com Like to bike? For a rigorous fat-tire adventure, hit the steep Gateway Loop at South Mountain. Gentler rides await at McDowell Mountain Park’s 15-mile Pemberton Loop, Desert Park and Coachwhip Trail. Outfitters like 360 Adventures provide exhilarating tours for all levels. 360-adventures.com Recognized by Opentable.com for three years running as one of the “Top 100 Al Fresco Dining Restaurants in America,” Tonto Bar & Grill at Rancho Mañana pairs its delectable fare (try the Coffee & Port Braised Boneless Short Rib) with views of the Tonto National Forest. tontobarandgrill.com

TRIBAL REVELRY In the language of the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation, “We-Ko-Pa” translates to the nearby “Four Peaks Mountain,” and in the language of golf, We-Ko-Pa Golf Club means “two must-play courses.” Both the Scott Miller-designed Cholla layout and Coore-Crenshaw’s Saguaro descend into valleys, scale ridges and boast mountain views, and both have received high ratings and benefit from the absence of houses and roads. The difference? The older (by five years) and more scenic Cholla is target-style desert golf, whereas the Saguaro delivers a more natural, easily walkable round. Which is better? Play both and decide. wekopa.com



A course that plays 6,100 yards from the tips isn’t going to scare anyone, but the par-70 layout at Rancho Mañana Golf Club & Resort plays longer, thanks to the presence of six tough par 3s, numerous elevated greens and a front nine that steadily climbs to higher elevations before descending on the back nine. The incredibly scenic Cave Creek course offers views of surrounding mountains. Hundreds of saguaros spike the hills, and javelinas and jackrabbits regularly dart across the fairways. ranchomanana.com COLORADO AVIDGOLFER | Fall 2019

A mile from the stunning We-Ko-Pa courses and only 20 minutes from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport stands the We-Ko-Pa Resort & Conference Center, 246 rooms of AAA-rated four-star luxury with dining at the Ahnala Mesquite Room and four other restaurants. Look for a 166,000-squarefoot casino to open next spring. wekoparesort.com





36 HOLES | PL AY SAGUARO & CHOLL A The Coore/Crenshaw-designed Saguaro course (No. 1) and the Scott Miller-designed Cholla course (No. 8) have made Golfweek’s Top-10 Best You Can Play for a decade. And you can experience both within a 3-day period with the 36-hole package. Located minutes from Scottsdale, Arizona in the pristine Sonoran Desert of the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation.



Getaways | Arizona


Chef-Driven Scottsdale Breaks the Chains For 26 years, Chef Chrysa Robertson has kept Rancho Pinot hot by resisting definition. Neither “Southwestern,” nor “Italian” nor “Arizonan,” her cuisine blends all those elements and dozens more into unforgettable deliciousness. ranchopinot.com A favorite among epicureans since opening in 2009, FnB hews to seasonality and local growers, meaning nothing stays on chef Charleen Badman’s menu for long. fnbrestaurant.com Chef Gio Osso’s “wandering Mediterranean” menu makes Virtú Honest Craft—located in the wee Bespoke Inn—one of Old Town’s best bets. www.virtuscottsdale.com The inspired prix-fixe fare at Sel, chef Branden Levine’s Arts District eatery, is as lovely as the works in the neighboring galleries. selrestaurant.com Virtú Honest Craft


Rio Verde Country Club emphasizes the active in active-adult community. Seizing upon its location in the McDowell foohills next to Tonto National Forest, the Troon Privé-managed facility features clubs for hikers, bikers and horse-lovers. Members can play 36 holes of Tom Lehman-designed golf, tennis on six courts and pickleball on four. There’s also a bocce pitch, heated resort-style pool, fitness center and art studio. Rio Verde just completed a $3.75 million clubhouse renovation, renaming its restaurant the Box Bar Grille after the ranch on which the club sits today. Prospective members can stay at the club by appointment. rioverdearizona.com





The resurgent Mountain Shadows Resort in Paradise Valley has earned universal praise for The Short Course, an upscale 18-hole par-3 layout by Forrest Richardson, who worked with Jack Snyder on the hotel’s original course in the 1960s. Holes span 75 to 193 yards, with challenging greens, bunkers and water. The retro clubhouse is a blast. mountainshadows.com/golf



Since 1994, MacDonald’s Ranch in North Scottsdale has specialized in individual and group and stage coach rides, cookouts and more. Guided rides take place on easy-to-traverse desert terrain with the occasional hill, numerous desert plants and gorgeous scenery. On days before the night of the full moon, the stables offer unique moonlight horseback rides as the sun sets and the moon’s luminescence romantically glimmers on the skin and needles of the cacti. macdonaldsranch.com

Rio Verde is our perfect fit.

Speak to those who live and play in Rio Verde just northeast of Phoenix and you’ll probably hear, “This is the perfect fit for our lifestyle!” Originally a slice of what was known as Box Bar Ranch, the bucolic property nestled along the Verde River on the edge of the Tonto National Forest is as stunning today as it was when the developers first envisioned it as an ideal retreat for golf and nature lovers alike. Wrapped in blue skies and Arizona sunshine, Rio Verde feels far away, yet is still a short drive away from spectacular restaurants, theaters, shopping, museums and more. Truly a total club lifestyle with spectacular weather for being outdoors and staying active, Rio Verde is tailored perfectly to fill the days with endless opportunities to connect and build friendships that deepen over time. Although Full Membership is not limited to those who live in Rio Verde, every homeowner is a Social Member of the club. When combined with the 36 holes of parkland-style golf, fantastic food (dine in, take out, or they’ll deliver!), social calendar, and signature events, members stay as busy as they please. The majestic natural surroundings are perfect for a hike, bike, or run, while tennis, pickle ball, swimming, fitness, bocce, book clubs, mahjong, bridge and more can be found right at home! And as the evening skies explode with stars, block parties and improvised gatherings are just an invitation away.

Golf is elemental to this full life. Members play for both the thrill of the sport and pure joy of the game. And whether they’re out to play for three hours or three holes, Rio Verde’s professional staff, extensive practice facility, and open fairways provide plenty of opportunity to get into golf. Unlike many private clubs, Rio Verde’s members don’t have food and beverage minimums or pay trail fees (non-residents don’t pay to use the club’s carts). Full Membership provides unlimited access to dining and events, plus 36-holes of parkland-style golf, driving range, three putting greens, and bunker/ chipping complex. Because Rio Verde Country Club is managed by Troon, members can request tee times at 75 other private clubs and receive discounts of up to 50% off greens fees at resort and daily fee facilities around the world. Those seeking a little piece of paradise are invited to see firsthand what makes Rio Verde the perfect place to live and play. Get connected to one of the Preferred Realtors, rent a home with built-in golf or social privileges, or try The Experience Membership for up to one year with no obligation. From its magical setting and exceptional club and community amenities, to the warm and friendly people who make Rio Verde an incredible place to live and play, this is a place to stay busy and happy. To learn more about RioVerdeArizona.com David Benham (480) 471.3410 dbenham@rioverdecc.com

“We love the walkable courses and there’s never a cart fee, even for non-residents. But it’s the people who make Rio Verde so special.” Gary & Diana Mercer

“We play golf, get together with friends, and we’re in a dinner club… there are so many activities, we just don’t run out of things to do.” Marlin & Karen Knutson

“The people are so welcoming, you just feel like you’re at home within a short time of being here.” Chris & Diane McMullen

“We’re always meeting up for a round of golf, game of pickleball, drinks and dinner, or a fabulous event at the club. We stay busy and happy. This is our paradise!” Ron & Nancy Miller


Getaways | Arizona


High-Water Mark See the 330-foot high plume of water that gives the town of Fountain Hills its name. Rising from a concrete water lily sculpture in the man-made lake at Fountain Park, the fountain spent 10 years as the tallest in the world after it opened in 1970. It spews daily on the hour for 15 minutes, and on certain holidays, it shoots 560 feet in the air, higher than the Washington Monument. Avoid going on windy days when it turns off. Even if it’s not Old Faithful, it’s still pretty cool. fh.az.gov

CARDING AN EAGLE Nestled in the ravines of the McDowell Mountains and colorized by dramatic sunrises and sunsets, Eagle Mountain Golf Club beckons with 6,800 yards of contoured fairways and immaculately maintained emerald greens. The par-71 Scott Miller-designed layout, which opened in 1996, winds spectacularly through natural box canyons, rolling hills and lush desert valleys southwest of downtown Fountain Hills. A departure from desert-style “target golf,” the course culminates with a brilliant par-4 that doglegs around a pond fronted by 10 fairway bunkers. Bonus: You can surf the turf atop a Golfboard. eaglemtn.com

Your Perfect Arizona Golf Experience Awaits!


Book a Tee Time When You Visit Scottsdale! (480) 816-1234 • eaglemtn.com coloradoavidgolfer.com



Getaways | Arizona


Under the Tucson Sun A feast of golf and gastronomy awaits in “The Old Pueblo.” BE AN OMNI-VORE With or without 36 great golf holes, the Omni Tucson National Resort’s 128 plush guest rooms, four lighted tennis courts, Sweetwater pool and Forbes 4-Star spa make it an ideal couples getaway. The surprising elegance and intimacy of Bob’s Steak and Chop House adds sizzle. omnihotels.com/tucson

TOUR-TESTED The host of February’s PGA TOUR Champions Cologuard Classic and longtime site of the PGA TOUR’s Chrysler Classic, the Omni Tucson National Resort’s Catalina course remains one of the world’s top resort layouts. The stout, tree-lined design pairs well with the Omni’s newer, more undulant Sonoran course. tucsonnational.com


SOME LIKE IT SABROSO You’ll find the best 23 miles of Mexican food north of the border in Tucson, the First UNESCO City of Gastronomy. With hundreds of Mexican restaurants, Tucson overflows with authentic carne asada, ceviche, the popular Sonoran hot dog and mucho más. Where to start? Some say South Tucson’s 12th Avenue, but you can get a mouthwatering menu of suggestions at visittucson.org



Two of Tucson’s cooler attractions are tours of the futuristic, 3.14-acre self-contained ecosystem of Biosphere 2, (biosphere2.org) and Old Tucson (oldtucson.com), the region’s premier film location, with more than 400 films to its credit. The Wild West lives on here, with rides, games, shows and tours for cowpokes of all ages. Biosphere 2






With two championship courses, spa and pool, no other golf experience brings you closer to the true spirit of the place you’re in.


Getaways | Arizona


In and Around Tucson... More than 40 golf courses dot the Tucson region. Starr Pass Golf Club and the municipal Randolph Park have hosted the Tucson Open, while the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship took place at The Gallery and The Golf Club at Dove Mountain in Marana. visittucson.com The 3.9-mile Sun Link Tucson Streetcar route rolls through the heart of Tucson. Check out the hip restaurants bars and shops along 4th Avenue, Downtown Tucson and the Mercado San Augustín. visittucson.org Lift your spirits with visits to the DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun, a 10-acre National Historic District devoted to the genius of artist Ted DeGrazia (degrazia.org), and the glorious 17th-century Mission San Xavier del Bac on the Tohno O’odham Nation Reservation (sanxaviermission.org).

MAKE TRACKS FOR TUBAC Golf nut Bing Crosby was an original investor, and Kevin Costner strode its fairways in Tin Cup. Tubac Golf Resort and Spa may have a celebrity pedigree, but it remains a tranquil, off-the-beaten-path, AAA Four-Diamond oasis of 27 tree-lined golf holes, 68 uniquely appointed suites, 30 magnificenly upgraded guest rooms, a worldclass Aveda spa and the unforgettable Stables Ranch Grill & Patio. Located on the historic Otero Ranch acreage between Tucson and Mexico, the resort features a Mission-style chapel and stylishly salutes its vaquero heritage while providing every modern amenity and convenience. tubacgolfresort.com

LOOK TO THE SKY If you’re a stargazer, Tucson is one of the best spots in the U.S. for astronomy. In 1972, Pima County enacted a “dark sky” code to regulate the brightness and number of outdoor bulbs. Now Tucson suffers from far less light pollution than most cities do, allowing stars and planets to shine through the darkness. Some hots spots are Catalina State Park, SkyBar on 4th Ave. (skybartucson.com), Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter (skycenter.arizona.edu) and the Flandrau Planetarium (flandrau.org). Or simply lift your eyes skyward. visittucson.com COLORADO AVIDGOLFER | Fall 2019

ART ATTACK Just a mile from the resort, the quaint, eclectic town of Tubac is a mecca of creativity. Hundreds of shops and world-class galleries line its winding streets and hidden courtyards. The Tubac Center of the Arts displays acclaimed works, and all around town this winter look for the colorful Javelinas de Tubac sculptures painted by local artists. tubacaz.com



Colorado Avid Golfer

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Ventana Canyon Mountain Course #3

Why Tucson is Your Perfect Golf Getaway… No umbrella needed. With warm weather and over 300 days of sunshine, you can tee it up all year-round. Styles for miles. Test your accuracy on tight desert-style courses or go big on more traditional layouts. Naturally gifted. No matter the course, you’ll find the Sonoran Desert to be one of the most beautiful and unique golf destinations in the world. Rest and relaxation. Swing by one of our world class spas or treat your significant other while you’re on the course all day. The main course. After your round, dive into Tucson’s food scene with everything from top flight steakhouses to world famous Mexican food. Plan your getaway today at VisitTucson.org/Golf

Getaways | Nevada


Place Your Bets Golf, like gambling, involves risks and rewards—and Nevada’s got both. WEST OF BEAR’S BEST Highlighting the view from Jack’s Grille at Bear’s Best Las Vegas and encompassing 200,000 acres within the Mojave Desert, Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area features the 13-mile Scenic Drive, 26 hiking trails, myriad petroglyphs and mighty vistas from High Point Overlook. redrockcanyonlv.org

JACK ATTACK Skillfully stringing together 18 holes from the more than 5,000 designed by Jack Nicklaus, Bear’s Best Las Vegas offers a 7,194-yard peek into the Golden Bear’s private portfolio. Holes from Castle Pines, Desert Highlands, Desert Mountain, PGA WEST, Las Campanas, Cabo del Sol and El Dorado converge 10 miles west of The Strip, united by flawless conditioning, stellar views and a country-club-for-aday atmosphere. bearsbestlasvegas.com


FOR THE WYNN A good run of luck could prompt a $550 round at Wynn Golf Club, just off The Strip. The highend Tom Fazio layout—which opened in 2005 and closed in 2017 to make way for a $3 billion development—dodged the dozers to reopen this October as a redesigned (again by Fazio) par 70 that’s 300 yards shorter than it was. The waterfall by the 18th green remains huge, though the par-4 finisher now plays as a par-3. wynnlasvegas.com



Three miles north of Bear’s Best lies the four-diamond AAArated Red Rock Resort and its 800 rooms and suites, 25,000-square-foot spa, 11 restaurants, huge pool area, movie theatres, bowling and gaming. Its sister casino has a familiar name but a Nevada address: Green Valley Ranch in Henderson. redrock.sclv.com


Play for your chance at $100,000!* Bear’s Best Las Vegas golf course features 18 holes hand-selected by Jack Nicklaus from the thousands he has designed. This unique, upscale, daily-fee golf course offers the public a high-end private club experience, including a golf cart fleet equipped with GPS and built-in Bluetooth speakers.

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Getaways | Nevada


Good walks spoiled and unspoiled Hikes in Las Vegas are as out of place as ice cubes in beer. But Summerlin, one of Nevada’s most affluent areas, also features the most comprehensive and efficient trail systems in the southwest—nearly 200 miles of dedicated pedestrian and bicycle ways that connect the urban core to the foothills of the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation area. summerlin.com The popular par-60 executive layout at Eagle Crest Golf Course tucks into the side of a mountain, showcasing exciting city vistas and championship-caliber holes in a time-sensitive layout. golfsummerlin.com Stroll the active urban hub of Downtown Summerlin (DTS), a diverse, worldly and local mix of shops, restaurants and indoor and outdoor venues, including the NHL’s Golden Knights practice facility. summerlin.com

Golf Summerlin

SUMMERLIN CAME BLOWIN’ IN... Notable for the TPC Summerlin, which annually hosts the PGA TOUR’s Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, Las Vegas’s Summerlin neighborhood lies less than 10 miles west of the Strip at the base of the Charleston Mountain range. The community features three wellconditioned Billy Casper/Greg Nash-designed courses managed by Golf Summerlin—Highland Falls, Eagle Crest and Palm Valley—that partner with the nearby Suncoast Hotel & Casino to provide the most affordable stay-and-play packages in the Las Vegas region. Enjoy the same valley views and playing conditions as the TPC for half the price. golfsummerlin.com

HIGHLAND FLING Spectacular conditions, dramatic elevation changes and views of the Las Vegas Strip make the 6512-yard, par-72 Highland Falls Golf Club a favorite among outof-towners, and for the last three years, readers of the Las Vegas Review-Journal have awarded it three Gold Medals as “Best Golf Course in Las Vegas.” The rolling hills of the front nine become steeper on the back side, addiing the challenge of uneven lies to those of strategically placed bunkers and testy but fair greens. golfsummerlin.com COLORADO AVIDGOLFER | Fall 2019


PALM PILOT Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, Summerlin’s oldest, longest and most challenging course, Palm Valley, features wide, mature, gently undulating fairways bordered by pines and palms. The undulant bentgrass greens make every two-putt a test. A total of 68 bunkers keep things interesting. golfsummerlincom


Getaways | Nevada


Nu-Wav-Kaiv, Tav-AiKaiv and Kwetoo-Unuv If you think remembering the above Paiute names for the Snow Mountain, Sun Mountain and Wolf courses is challenging fun, try playing them. Paiute’s shortest course at 7,164 yards, Snow Mountain features a collection of striking par 3s and water on seven holes—including the gauntlet of three left-doglegs to finish. lvpaiutegolf.com At Sun Mountain, Pete Dye arranged his signature bunker railroad ties to suggest rays shining from the sand. The 7,112-yard course unfurls against a mountain backdrop with sweeping slope changes. lvpaiutegolf.com The longest course in Nevada at 7,604 yards, The Wolf is also Paiute’s fiercest (76.3/149). Its brawn, severe undulations, alternate landing areas and Sawgrass-like island green help sharpen its fangs. lvpaiutegolf.com

The Wolf Course at Las Vegas Paiute

Sun Mountain

A THREE-WAY DYE “One-of-a-kind can now come in threes,” the World Golf Hall of Fame architect Pete Dye joked while designing the trio of 18-hole courses— Snow Mountain, Sun Mountain and The Wolf—at Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort. Opened in 1995, the first multi-course facility built on Native American land lies 26 miles northwest of the Strip. An absence of housing, lodging or gaming distinguishes it from the area’s countless resort casinos. With impeccable service and playing conditions, a wellstocked golf shop, 50,000-square-foot clubhouse with a dynamite grill and 5,000-square-foot event space, Paiute truly wants for nothing. vpaiutegolf.com

FUEL UP After 36 holes of golf, the road between Paiute and dinner can look endless. It’s not. Five miles south on US 95 towards Las Vegas proper, you can savor the zesty Zapoteca flavors of Ben’Zaa Cantina de Oaxaca (benzaacantina.com), the joys of Greek-style pomegranate Market Grille chicken at the Market Grill Cafe (marketgrillecafe.com). Even if you don’t relish the idea of an all-you-can-eat buffet, you can’t beat the nigiri sushi, teriyaki, tempura and other Japanese specialties at the surprisingly authentic Umami (no website; yelp.com).

G-Men and made men share the spotlight at Las Vegas’ Mob Museum. Located in the same downtown courthouse that held one of the 1950 U.S. Senate hearings exposing organized crime, the museum uses rare artifacts, exhibits and interactive displays to explore the mob’s historical impact on society—and law enforcement’s efforts to stop it. themobmuseum.org





las vegas paiute golf resort

Getaways | Nevada


A hot dog and muddy river to go Unlike other 19th holes, the satisfying Mitch’s Bar & Grill at Coyote Springs isn’t named for a pro golfer, benefactor or even a Caddyshack punch line (“night putter” Mitch Cumstein). Mitch is a yellow Heeler who was rescued by the course as a puppy in 2008 and displayed his loyalty and bravery until he passed around the time the eatery opened in 2016. His photo hangs in the grill, where you can still order the Egg Mitch Muffin, Mitch Big Dog Nachos and “The Mitch”—an all-beef hot dog loaded with chili, cheese, onions and mustard. coyotesprings.com A shortcut from Coyote Springs to the golf meccas of Mesquite and St. George runs through the wee town of Moapa, where T-Bones, chops, and chicken-fried steak dot the menu at the Muddy River Bar and Grill, which features a separate gaming room and stocked bar. muddyrivermoapa.com


Mitch’s Bar & Grill

Cradled by mountains in every direction, Coyote Springs Golf Club has drawn universal raves ever since debuting 11 years ago in the high desert 50 miles north of Las Vegas. The Jack Nicklaus Signature course stretches from 5,349 to 7,471 yards, bringing 11 lakes into play as it rolls and climbs through specatularly scenic terrain. Arrive early to dial in your game on the facility’s 22-acre practice area with more than 100,000 square-feet of tee area, 13 target greens for numerous club selections, a bunkered short-game chipping and pitching green and 10,000- square-foot practice green. coyotesprings.com

GET FIRED UP Equidistant from Coyote Springs and Las Vegas sprawl the 40,000 acres of bright red Aztec sandstone outcrops of Valley of Fire State Park. Hit the Visitor Center for some info on the geology, ecology and history of the park—and to figure out which of the many trails to take. Trailheads are accessible by car and the trails average less than three miles in length with moderate difficulty. Favorites include Rainbow Vista, Natural Arches, Balancing Rock, Prospect, Mouse’s Tank and Elephant Rock. parks.nv.gov/parks/valley-of-fire COLORADO AVIDGOLFER | Fall 2019


A BRILLIANT IDEA Neon has played as much of a role in defining Las Vegas as gambling has. With a visitor center in the old motel lobby, the Neon Museum treats the glowing signs in its vast collection as national treasures. Tour the signs in the Neon Boneyard Main Collection and North Gallery and then catch “Brilliant!,” a nocturnal extravaganza of sight and sound. neonmuseum.org


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Getaways | Nevada


Oh, the Places You’ll Play Golf Mesquite Nevada partners with such courses as Coyote Springs (page 66), Sand Hollow (72) and ... Oasis Golf Club’s two Arnold Palmer designs—the Canyons and the tougher Palmer—traverse rugged landforms with fairways and greens tucked between escarpments. The King rated holes 5, 6 and 8 on the Palmer among his best ever. theoasisgolfclub.com Troon Golf-managed Conestoga Golf Club, a 7232-yard Gary Panks design, mirrors the rugged topography near Sun City Mesquite. conestogagolf.com Winding through the hills and canyons of northwest Mesquite, the 6,569-yard Falcon Ridge Golf Course designed by Kelby Hughes and Cresent Hardy boasts wild elevation changes, numerous water features and high mesa views. golffalcon.com

Conestoga Golf Club


Falcon Ridge Golf Course

Located in Nevada’s Virgin River Valley, Mesquite is geographically and culturally closer to St. George than it is to Las Vegas. But its resorts, casinos and golf courses suggest Lite Vegas, which makes the border town popular among anyone who doesn’t want to reenact The Hangover. For more than 20 years, Golf Mesquite Nevada has provided golfers visiting Mesquite and St. George with customized stay-and-play packages at the best possible prices. GMN’s 10 current lodging partners and 14 top-tier courses in Mesquite and St. George conveniently help you build your own golf vacation. golfmesquitenevada.com

STRIKE GOLD A preferred partner of Golf Mesquite Nevada, the Eureka Casino Resort sits on 60 acres with views of red mesas and mountains, offering rooms and suites of all sizes. Gregory’s, its award-winning fine dining restaurant, complements the upscale buffet dining at Town Square. 24/7 poker and other table games compete with 1,000 slot machines in the casino. A luxurious spa, heated outdoor pool and relationship with Wolf Creek Golf Club completes a very attractive picture. golfmesquitenevada.com/eureka-casino-resort

The Rising Star Sports Ranch Resort features 210 guest rooms and suites— some of which feature innovative bunk bed designs to accommodate families, traveling sports teams and very good golf buddies. When not playing golf, shoot hoops, swim, throw horseshoes, play pickleball or practice putting in the resort’s “Backyard.” risingstarsportsranch.com





Getaways | Nevada



CasaBlanca Golf Club


The day following the final round of the $150,000 Nevada Open (Nov. 5-7) at CasaBlanca Golf Club, the third-annual CasaBlanca II-Man (casablancaresort.com/II-M) begins with an expanded field of 150 twoamateur teams playing in six flights (gross and net), in rotating formats (scramble, best-ball, alternate-shot) at three courses (CasaBlanca, Conestoga Golf Club and Palms Golf Club) over three days (Nov. 8–10). Cost per team is $850, and each flight has a $6,000 first prize, courtesy of Mesquite Gaming, which owns the CasaBlanca Resort and Casino and Golf Club, the Palms and Virgin River Casino. mesquitegaming.com

We get the shots you want...and the ones you didn’t think possible.

PremierAerials.com COLORADO AVIDGOLFER | Fall 2019

TURN IT TO 11 The Mesquite region’s abundance of golf riches becomes much more manageable with the help of Mesquite Gaming, a one-stop shop for booking rounds at 11 different courses and hotel nights at Mesquite’s CasaBlanca Resort and Virgin River Hotel & Oasis Palmer Course Casino. Nevada courses include CasaBlanca, Palms, Coyote Springs, Falcon Ridge, Conestoga, and Oasis (Palmer and Canyons), and Utah’s Sand Hollow, Sun Mountain, Coral Canyon and the Ledges. Build your own getaway at mesquitegaming.com






lf o G & Room

CasaBlancaResort.com 877-438-2929 One Night Stay and Play 18 Championship Holes at CasaBlanca or Palms Golf Club!

Getaways | Utah


Color Country Sand Hollow Resort highlights Southern Utah’s vibrant golf scene. ROCKING IT With views stretching from Pine Mountain to Zion National Park, Sand Hollow Resort takes full advantage of its red-rock setting with luxe rooms, suites, condos and homes sleeping from one to 10. The Grille occupies what Architectural Digest calls Utah’s “most beautiful clubhouse.” sandhollowresorts.com

ABUZZ IN THE BEEHIVE STATE Located 30 miles east of glorious Zion National Park, Sand Hollow Resort’s John Fought-designed Championship Course has lived atop Golfweek’s best-in-state rankings since opening 11 years ago. The 7,300-yard course weaves through red-rock outcroppings, tightropes along ledges and perches along ridgelines. Two nine-holers—the par Links Course and Wee Course—add to the enjoyment. sandhollowresorts.com


TRAIL MIX An ideal base from which to explore Greater Zion’s great golf, Sand Hollow Resort joins eight other courses—such as Coral Canyon, The Ledges and Sky Mountain—to form the Red Rock Golf Trail, a one-stop website for stayand-play trips to the region. A bonus lodging option is the plush Inn at Entrada, whose guests get to play the stellar private course at Entrada at Snow Mountain Country Club. redrockgolftrail.com



Southern Utah’s outdoor appeal extends beyond visits to the national parks at Zion and Bryce Canyon. There’s boating and water-skiing in nearby Sand Hollow State Park, off-roading in the dunes of Sand Mountain, mountain biking along the Anasazi Trail and Gooseberry Mesa and concerts at Tuacahn Amphitheatre. visitstgeorge.com


WHERE THE DESERT MEETS THE GREEN. “A majority of golfers replace clubs with a camera for their first shot on the back nine.” - Golfweek

ESCAPE. PLAY. DISCOVER. RELAX. Stay and play at Sand Hollow Resort! Play the Championship Course, consistently ranked as a “Top 100 Resort Course” by Golfweek since 2011. Stay for adventure, relaxation, or both in our pristine nightly rentals. Sand Hollow Resort offers adrenaline pumping activities and gorgeous space for corporate events.

To book your stay or event call 804-404-3260

sandhollowresort.com 5662 W. Clubhouse Dr. Hurricane, Utah 435-656-GOLF

Getaways | Kaua‘i


The Ultimate Island Greens Golf and much more flowers in the beautiful wildness of Kaua‘i. CANYON DIG IT?



The chief amenity of Princeville Resort, Robert Trent Jones Jr.’s design ranks among the state’s top courses.


he fourth-largest island in the Hawaiian chain, Kaua‘i is also its oldest, with a lush, rugged prehistoric beauty that fittingly served as the set for Jurassic Park. Defined by emerald valleys, sharp mountain spires and jagged cliffs, “the Garden Isle” overflows with tropical rainforests, forking rivers and cascading waterfalls—a feral landscape that highlights some of the most surreal golf milieux on the planet. At the stunning courses at Princeville Makai, Poʻipū Bay, Puakea, Wailua and Hōkūala, holes cling to oceanside cliffs above frothing


waves, traverse canyons filled with towering mango trees and crouch near mountains that even impress Coloradans. The resorts associated with these courses— the Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas on the north shore and Sheraton Kaua‘i Resort and Grand Hyatt Kaua‘i Resort on the south—immerse you in cosseting luxury without sparing the island’s natural splendor. Located northeast of Poʻipū Bay, near the Nicklaus-designed Ocean Course at Hōkūala, Timbers Kaua‘i Ocean Club and Residences affords the opportunity to buy a piece of paradise. gogolfkauai.com


For a taste of heaven, tuck into some seared Hawaiian hapu, tempura lobster tail ramen or any of Chef Jean-Marie Josselin’s creations at Jo2 Natural Cuisine (jotwo.com) in Kapaʻa. Sweet tooth? Indulge in a scoop of one of the 25 only-in-Kauaʻi handmade flavors at Lappert’s Ice Cream’s three Kauaʻi locations lappertshawaii.com



Called by Mark Twain “the Grand Canyon of the Pacific,” the namesake attraction in Waimea Canyon State Park is 14 miles long, a mile wide and more than 3,600 feet deep. Drive to the top and take in the rugged crags and deep valley gorges, or hike the Waipo‘o Falls Trail through the canyon. hawaiistateparks.org

The Garden Isle of Golf With dramatic landscapes and diverse layouts, Kaua‘i shines bright as a golfer’s paradise

Napali Coast

Ocean Course at Hokuala

Po‘ipu Bay Golf Course

Princeville Makai Golf Club

This Jack Nicklaus Signature Design features more

Situated on the sunny south shore of Kaua‘i, this championship design formerly hosted the PGA Grand Slam of Golf.

immaculate conditions, and simply unforgettable views.

Puakea Golf Course

Wailua Golf Course

Scenic views of Mt. Ha‘upu and lush ravines throughout the course, which served as the backdrop to the original “Jurassic Park” movie.

has been recognized as one of the top golf courses in the state of Hawai‘i.

For more info visit GoGolfKauai.com, our Facebook and Instagram pages and gohawaii.com/kauai



On the football field and the putting green, Broncos’ placekicker and 4-handicap golfer Brandon McManus always wants to hear those words. By SAM ADAMS   Photographs by E.J. CARR

WORD AROUND THE Denver Broncos’ training facility is that Brandon McManus is the best golfer on the team. But the team’s veteran field goal kicker is quick to punt that designation. “I’m probably No. 2,” McManus says, seated in the Broncos’ empty auditorium— and away from the card game near his locker. “John Elway would be No. 1. Of the (current) players, just because I have the most time to play, it’s probably me.” On the football field, McManus, 28, has been one of the most accurate kickers in Broncos’ history. Now playing in his sixth NFL season, McManus’ scorecard is filled with threes. He ranks fifth on the team’s alltime scoring list, and his 30 field goals made in 2015 are second on the all-time singleseason record list to the 31 Broncos’ Ring of Famer Jason Elam made in 1995 and 2001.

“A HUMBLING SPORT” McManus spends some of his playing time on the golf course with quarterbacks. Pretty good ones, too—a couple with Super Bowl Most Valuable Player awards in their trophy cases. “I took (new Broncos quarterback) Joe Flacco out to my course—I’m a member at Colorado Golf Club,” McManus says. “And he hits the ball incredibly far, especially his 3-wood. It’s incredible. He just destroys it. “I’ve played a bunch with Peyton (Manning), he’s a great player. Last year, I played a match with Peyton and Case Keenum at Cherry Hills. I still haven’t played with (Elway). I think he’s scared or something and doesn’t want to invite me— you can write that—but I’d love to. “I just like taking a lot of the guys out because it’s a humbling sport for how good these guys are athletically. Once you get them to try to hit a small ball straight, it’s near impossible. I really enjoy playing it as

THAT SINKING FEELING: McManus admits putting is “still a wonder for me.”




often as I can get out there.” This year has provided McManus with memorable moments long before the Broncos’ season began. In January, his wife Nadia gave birth to sons Cada and Luca. Three months later McManus caddied for two-time major champion Zach Johnson at the Masters Par 3 tournament. The kicker also got some time to talk football with Joe LaCava, caddie for the tournament’s eventual winner, Tiger Woods. It wasn’t McManus’ first time inside the ropes. Four years earlier, he spent three weeks as a USGA intern at the 70th U.S. Women’s Open at Lancaster Country Club in Pennsylvania. The NFL Career Development Program arranged the job not because he loved golf, but also because he’d voiced an interest in becoming the director of operations for the Super Bowl once his playing days were over. By all accounts, he worked incredibly hard educating himself on the challenges of running a major sporting event. “That’s why I’m doing this, even though I’m in the younger part of my career,” McManus said during the championship. “I always want to have my options open. You never know what could happen, some kind of freak accident, so I want to create my path after football.” coloradoavidgolfer.com

THE GOLF BUG BITES McManus’ first experience with golf came at age 7, while growing up in Lansdale, Penn.— 30 miles north of Philadelphia. “I probably lived about a mile from a nine-hole municipal course,” he says. “My parents would drop me off there for about an hour, it was like a summer camp-type thing. So I played a little bit as a kid. The camp was more of just hitting the ball around, not really playing golf.” Once McManus finished his playing days at Temple University (where he still holds records for field goal kicking and punting), he re-introduced himself to golf. His swing and scores have improved over time. Putting still is McManus’ bugaboo, as is the occasional urge to crush the golf ball a mile—both of which keep McManus working to take strokes off his score. “I’m still a little more rambunctious,” he admits. “I do hit the ball long off the tee, but sometimes it’s not always straight. So a lot of my game is scrambling … I went from a 12 handicap to a five two years ago, and now I’m down to a four. But I’ve never gone super-low. I’m a very interesting 4 handicap. No matter what course I play, I pretty much shoot the same score—which is anywhere from 78 to 81. “I really had to let go of my ego, trying to



FOR KICKS: McManus owns the second-highest overall field goal percentage in team history.

go for greens in two all the time and losing a ball here and there. That’s what dropped my handicap down a bunch.” McManus plays TaylorMade clubs, and carries five wedges in his bag because “unfortunately I hit the ball too far, I feel like.”

“ALL ABOUT FEEL” Whether it’s confronting swirling winds for a potential game-winning kick at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, or hitting a tee shot to begin a round played on the Old MacDonald course at Oregon’s Bandon Dunes Resort, McManus takes the same approach to his swings. “It’s all about feel to me and the visual. The one thing that I love about kicking is, I don’t even need to know the yardage of the kick. It’s all a feel to me. A lot of guys, when they’re playing golf, they need to know the number and they’re shooting their range finders at the pin. “As long as I’m under 200 yards I can pretty much get within five yards just by looking at it because I’m so visual from kicking. And obviously with wind you feel the elements in golf, as well. That’s the one thing I love, the way I guess I play my game; it’s a lot more fun just visually trying to figure it out and then go through the shot itself.” “Golf and kicking—the actual golf Fall 2019 | COLORADO AVIDGOLFER

Swing Sequence By STAN SAYERS Brandon, as you can imagine, is extremely athletic and a very good player. What impresses me most about him is his mental toughness. He is possibly the most mentally tough person I have ever worked with. Which I believe is the secret to why he is such a good kicker.


At address he sets up well athletically. Great balance without strange angles. Knees wide and over his feet promoting good body structure and just enough natural spine tilt because the right hand is lower than the left.


In the backswing Brandon maintains width with a good shoulder turn and a right arm that folds gradually.





This is a favorite position of mine. Weight has moved onto the left foot. His right knee remains wide and the left shoulder is still low. (This is where the average player loses most of his or her structure, as their left shoulder goes up too early, weight stays on the right foot and the club gets cast toward the ball.) As for Brandon, though, this is a textbook position.


Brandon has a great impact position. I would love to see a little more rightarm bend, but his arm speed is so high the right arm gets a little too straight. However, most are not strong enough to have the left wrist in such a strong position with the amount of speed he applies. Again, another mark of a good player.


At the top is where Brandon shines. A complete shoulder turn, width of swing and very centered. He hasn’t shifted to the right but turned and his knees have changed flex—all marks of a great swing.

Brandon completes his swing with great balance. Here is a swing that will almost never result in back issues.

Stan Sayers is the award-winning PGA Director of Instruction at Colorado Golf Club and the owner of Stan Sayers Golf. Reach him at 720-201-1975; stansayersgolf@gmail.com. coloradoavidgolfer.com

SEE AND SWING: McManus visualizes iron shots as though they were field goal attempts.

swing of driver and irons—is very similar,” he explains. “It’s all about, at the point of contact, having square hips to square shoulders in golf, all about having that perfect rotation. Kicking and golf swings are very similar in that respect.”

SEEING THE LINE That similarity explains why so many kickers excel on the course. According to Golf Digest’s latest ranking of professional athletes, Mason Crosby, Steven Hauschka, Robbie Gould and Ryan Succop all play to a 5 or better. Former Jacksonville Jaguars kicker Josh Scobee, a +2.5 index, once challenged Tiger Woods to a match, spotting him two strokes per side. Woods declined. And retired Titans kicker Al Del Greco, who now coaches the men’s golf team at Samford University, twice won the American Century Championship. McManus has yet to receive the invitation to participate in that star-studded tournament in Tahoe, but he says he would welcome the opportunity. Asked if there is a line to be drawn

between how he lines up a 50-yard field goal and a 50-inch putt, McManus takes the question a step further. “Something I do every pregame is, when I’m warming up, I’ll find spots in the stadium to aim at through the uprights, so they’re high and way beyond the uprights. That’s my target line, where I’m kicking it through. In golf, I know you’re supposed to see the line, the read and maybe you’re supposed to find the spot, six inches I believe, in front of the ball. I need to work on that because I don’t do that. “One of the worst parts of my game is putting and seeing the reads on the green. I know it’s not easy to do, but it’s one of the toughest things for me to figure out. In kicking, when I find that spot … I’ve been doing it my whole life and I feel supercomfortable. I feel I can do it blindfolded. Golf and putting … I don’t feel like that. Putting is still a wonder for me. “So, with the game on the line, if I had to pick between kicking a 50-yard field goal or making a 50-inch putt, I’d take the kick, no question.”

Longtime CAG Contributor Sam Adams, a former sports columnist for the Rocky Mountain News, was recently inducted into the Denver Press Club Hall of Fame. He is also an awardwinning stand-up comedian. samadamsdoescomedy.com coloradoavidgolfer.com



Sympathy Cards

As could soon be the case with Park Hill Golf Club, a scorecard is all that remains of many Colorado courses.  By JON RIZZI


PARK HILL GOLF CLUB, a Denver course with an illustrious past, may have hosted its final round. Currently closed for a storm water detention project, the 88-year-old, 6,675-yard layout at Colorado Boulevard and 35th Street will likely never reopen. Despite a conservation easement that prohibits the property’s use for anything other than a golf course, the real estate developer Westside Investment Partners purchased the 155-acre property in July for $24 million. The unlikely seller—Clayton Early Learning, a venerable nonprofit established more than a century ago to educate underprivileged children— had owned the land and course by way of a trust, leasing it to a golfmanagement company to fund its programs. That arrangement, however, resulted in a $300,000 annual shortfall for the Clayton, which costs $1 million per year to operate. So, with the lease expiring and demand for Denver real estate outpacing supply, Clayton Early Learning made a deal. The sale has naturally ignited contretemps between the progreenspace and pro-development factions. Westside will submit its proposal. Public comments will ensue. Legal legerdemain will follow. Whether the city will lift the easement remains uncertain. But it doesn’t look as though Park Hill Golf Club—which opened in 1931, annually staged the Park Hill Invitational and welcomed the likes of Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Smiley Quick, Babe Lind, Babe Zaharias, Rocky Marciano and millions to its fairways—will see any more golfers. If that’s the case, Park Hill will follow the fates of Green Gables, Fitzsimons and dozens of other Colorado courses that time has paved over. Every one of those casualties had a scorecard, and with the help of two longtime friends of the magazine, Dick Dean and Dave Fanning, we present a collection of them.











HOME TO HISTORY: The first Colorado-born amateur to compete in the Masters, Babe Lind (above) won the prestigious 1942 Park Hill Invitational; Park Hill’s clubhouse (right) stood until the mid-1970s.





Green Gables Country Club (Denver) Established at Wadsworth and Jewell in the late 1920s, the private club hosted six LPGA championships, numerous U.S. presidents and had World Golf Hall of Famer Paul Runyan as its teaching pro. A $10 million 2003 Arthur Hills redesign of the original William Tucker layout, coupled with member attrition, the economic downturn and other financial issues led to members voting to dissolve the club in 2011 and sell the 152-acre property to developers.

Fitzsimons Golf Course (Aurora) Originally a sand-green course at the Fitzsimons Army Hospital Post, the quaint 18-hole layout opened shortly before World War II. In 1955, President Dwight Eisenhower played it while recovering from a heart attack. The City of Aurora took it over in 1998, as the government shut the post, and closed it in 2017 in compliance with the Fitzsimons Redevelopment Authority.




Shadow Hills Golf Club (CaĂąon City) The delightful and challenging private course debuted in 1959 with nine member-designed holes. Keith Foster added the back nine in 1998. After the recession, the well-meaning Holt family bought it out of receivership, converting it to a public facility in 2010. That model ultimately proved economically unsustainable and the course shut down in 2015.



Centre Hills Golf Course (Aurora) The City of Aurora owned this nine-hole, par-3 Dick Phelps layout due east of Aurora Hills Golf Course. It opened in 1990, closed in 2013 and now functions as a disc golf course.


Cougar Canyon Golf Links (Trinidad) A stellar Jack Nicklaus Signature layout featuring views of the Sangre de Cristos, Spanish Peaks and Fisher’s Peak, the 7,669-yard resort course with black-sand bunkers and photogenic holes earned wide acclaim when it opened in 2007. By 2010, it had filed for bankruptcy. It closed for good in 2012.


Antelope Hills Golf Course (Bennett) Opened in 2002 as part of an upscale housing development 30 miles east of Denver, the 7,315-yard Dick Phelps design was literally too hard; a long-drive contest that year produced a 510-yard winner. By 2007, deer and antelope were the only players there.






Box Elder Creek Golf Course (Brighton) Located near Barr Lake State Park, the fun, funky 6,909-yard layout wrapped around its namesake creek. It opened with nine holes in 1998 and closed with 18 in 2012, gaining notice for an emu pen on its 15th hole and power lines crossing above at least three fairways.

Cripple Creek Country Club (Cripple Creek) The scenic, nine-hole, par-34 public layout spanned 2,854 yards. Hazards included Barnard Creek, Niblick Lake and gopher holes, which by 2005 made maintaining the course untenable for the volunteer staff. The Broadmoor Mountain Course (Colorado Springs) After closing the 1976 Arnold Palmer/ Ed Seay-designed South Course in 2001 when it started sliding down Cheyenne Mountain, the resort fortified the site and hired Jack Nicklaus to design the glorious Mountain Course. It opened in 2006, but seven years later torrential rains precipitated landslides that resulted in irreparable damage.




Grandote Peaks Golf Course (La Veta) Opened in 1984, the splendid Tom Weiskopf/Jay Morrish “hidden gem” in the shadow of the Spanish Peaks lured golfers from all over. Economic issues compounded by a contentious relationship between the town, county and course owner led to the course’s closure in 2016.


Appletree Golf Course (Colorado Springs) Nary a tree appeared on this 6,407-yard Lee Trevinodesigned course that opened in 1973 and closed in 2009, three years after a Colorado Springs developer purchased it. A recession-related foreclosure would follow, and efforts by the City of Fountain to purchase it failed.






NOT IN THE CARDS... Brightwater Club (Gypsum) Cottonwood Golf Course (Delta) Elks Nine (Greeley)

Hunter’s Run Golf Course (Oxford) Los Verdes Country Club (Denver) Northglenn Golf Club (Northglenn)


Tall Timber (Durango) Tomahawk Golf Course (Ft. Collins) Twilight Golf Course (Denver)


St Andrews at Westcliffe (Westcliffe) Debuting in 1989, the par-35 nine-holer with minuscule greens at the base of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains officially closed in 2017, when the financially strapped owner sold the 135-acre property.




Westerly View Golf Course (Aurora) Since 2009, the Colorado Golf Association-owned CommonGround Golf Course has occupied the land formerly inhabited by Westerly View Golf Course at Lowry AFB, which became Mira Vista after the 1994 base closure. Beginning in ’96, the CGA leased and managed it under an agreement with the Lowry Redevelopment Authority and USAF, purchasing it in 2005 and hiring Tom Doak’s Renaissance Golf to create a layout that has served as companion course for the 2012 U.S. Amateur and 2019 U.S. Mid-Amateur.

Great Sand Dunes Golf Course at Zapata Ranch (Mosca) Japanese owner Hisayoshi Ota hired Dick Phelps to add this 18-hole amenity for guests staying in the log cabins at his Great Sand Dunes Country Inn 30 miles northeast of Alamosa. Also open to the public, the challenging 7,006-yard layout debuted in 1989 and closed in 2004, five years after Ota sold Zapata Ranch to The Nature Conservancy, which has returned the land to its native state.

Gleneagle Golf Club (Colorado Springs) Forty years after opening in 1973, the 7,276-yard Frank Hummel layout in the Gleneagle community closed, as its out-of-state owners cited yearover-year loss of money. A developer bought the 130-acre property, building on 35 acres and giving the rest to the civic association.

Link-N-Greens Golf Course (Fort Collins) The executive course opened in 1986 with nine holes, later expanded to 18, and in 2012 contracted into a nine-hole regulation course. A budding industrial park now sits on the site.






Mountain View Golf Course (Denver) The 30-acre, nine-hole layout with the popular driving range at Belleview and Quebec opened in the 1960s as the private Paradise Valley Country Club. As the public Mountain View, it operated from 1983 to 2007, when it was sold to build the mixed-use development around the Belleview light-rail station.



Vineyard Golf Club (Colorado Springs) Players had to buy a $5 “membership” and sign a liability waiver in order to purchase liquor at this creative nineholer owned and operated by Pikes Peak Winery. Measuring 3,410 yards from the Burgundy tees, the Mark Rathert layout along Fountain Creek opened in 1999 and closed 10 years later.

Did we miss any lost layouts? Email CAG editor Jon Rizzi at jon@coloradoavidgolfer.com. coloradoavidgolfer.com




WATER LEFT, BUNKERS RIGHT: The well-guarded par-4 third at the RitzCarlton course is a dogleg with teeth.

Having a Ball in the Caymans Direct flights from Denver mean nonstop Caribbean golf. the distance. It was also buoyant. Which is more than you can say for the now-faded MacGregor brand and shuttered Britannia course. What you can say is that golf with real balls is alive and well in the Caymans—a set of jewels paradisaically nestled south of Cuba and atop the list of the world’s best tax havens—and there’s nothing restricted about the flight to get there from Denver. Nonstop service on Cayman Airways runs twice weekly, Wednesdays and Saturdays. At about 4.5 hours, depending on wind speeds and time of year, the comfortable flight features signature rum punch, playful Caribbean music and friendly “Cayman Kind” service. The Caymans’ two courses lie minutes from the airport and from each other on a peninsula on the west side of Grand Cayman. The newer nine-hole Greg Norman-designed Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and the 18-hole North Sound Golf Club laid out by Britain’s Roy Case both deliver quintessential Caribbean golf: shifting ocean breezes, spectacular views and water and palm trees aplenty. The Ritz-Carlton course welcomes guests and nonguests of the hotel. With the wind constantly shifting, play it twice, alternating between black and white tees for completely different experiences. Holes 4 and 6 share a putting surface, and the par-3 finisher with a huge island green caps off the experience. After golf, head to the adjacent mangroves, where the Ambassadors of Environment program operates glass-bottomed kayaks. The hotel’s private helipad is a launching point for scenic tours and the Red Sail Sports headquarters can be seen from the property, an opportunity for scuba, snorkeling and sailing cruises. North Sound Golf Club is a faster and firmer play. Challenges abound on the 6,605-yard par-71 layout with water coming into play on 15 of the 18 holes. “No matter the skill of the player, every golfer that plays a round at North Sound will remember the famous par3 11th, our most picturesque and challenging hole,” grins General Manager Erick Fowler. “It ranges from 125 to 225 yards depending on the tee box and plays STICK IT: Wind and pin placement dead into a stiff breeze to a narrow green.” on the Ritz-Carlton’s ninth green can Probably not the kind of shot you’d risk with a 24result in four- or five-club difference. gram, limited-flight Cayman ball. caymanairways.com





TO GOLFERS WHO remember the 1980s or know the history of the game’s implements, the terms “Cayman” and “flight” immediately suggest the “Cayman ball”—a reduced-distance ball that Jack Nicklaus had MacGregor Golf develop in 1985 for what he called “the most versatile golf course I’ve ever designed.” Built on 37 acres on Grand Cayman—the largest of the British Territory’s three islands—Nicklaus’ Britannia Golf Club functioned as both a ninehole par-35 regulation and 18-hole par-57 executive layout, but at 2,915 yards, Jack knew both would be cakewalks for anyone using the new threepiece, Surlyn-covered projectiles that had already begun to shrink courses. MacGregor did develop the Cayman ball, which sported brambles instead of dimples, weighed roughly half of an average golf ball and flew half

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Profile for Colorado AvidGolfer

2019 Fall Colorado AvidGolfer Magazine  

ON THE COVER: Golf on the big island of Hawai'i is erupting. SPECIAL SECTION: 2019 fall getaways featuring Scottsdale, Tucson, Las Vegas, M...

2019 Fall Colorado AvidGolfer Magazine  

ON THE COVER: Golf on the big island of Hawai'i is erupting. SPECIAL SECTION: 2019 fall getaways featuring Scottsdale, Tucson, Las Vegas, M...