Page 1

M I LE H IGH GOLF AT $ 52 . 8 0: 12 DY NA M ITE DE A LS (See page 9)


Elevating the Game.

STANDING TALL After 10 years and more than 3,000 rounds of golf,

GARY BARNETT rejoins the CU team


Your Handicap?

45 Pages of




09 >

THE RANCH Remodels 0


CONTENTS | Fall 2016



86 Buffaloed but Unbowed


DEPARTMENTS 6 Forethoughts

Betting the Spread. By Jon Rizzi

9 Mile High Golf at $52.80 Exclusive autumn offers from 12 Colorado courses

14 Golf 101

Colorado’s Ryder Cup connection.

16 ‘net Score

Decision 2016: Vote for your favorite course in this year’s CAGGY Awards.

17 The Gallery

Sammie Chergo joins the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame; Ed Nosewicz, Tom Kensler pass; Steve Irwin’s legacy win, more.

96 The Games of Golf Ryder Cup Quiz


A decade removed from a brilliant coaching career gone bust, the resilient Gary Barnett channels his passion into golf—and returning to Folsom Field this fall. By Andy Bigford

32 Fashion



How “Hot” Is Your Handicap?


Climate change is already affecting golf courses and scores. By Curtis Pesmen

Stylish ideas for fall rounds and resort fun.

34 Fareways

Cafe Brazil Turns 25. By Gary James

37 Tapping In

Hogshead Brewery. By Cody Gabbard

39 Nice Drives

Mercedes-Benz GLC300 & Toyota Land Cruiser. By Isaac Bouchard


WINTER TRAVEL SPECIAL A selective guide to the best of Arizona, Nevada and Utah.

24 Local Knowledge

The Ranch Country Club renovates.

28 Instruction

How AimPoint Express works. By Stan Sayers

30 Lesson

ON THE COVER Gary Barnett Photograph by Derek Johnson/Clarkson Creative at Boulder Country Club

Cup it and clip it from the sand.


By Alex Fisher COLORADO AVIDGOLFER | Fall 2016





Fall 2016 | Volume 15, Number 6 publisher

A llen J. Walters editor

Jon Rizzi SALES, MARKETING & ADVERTISING associate publisher

Chris Phillips account manager

Vivian Keesling digital and social media manager

Michael Petrelli

office and operations manager

Cindy Palmer

projects and special events manager

Ryan McLean

ART & EDITORIAL art director

Jani Duncan Smith editor - at- large

Tom Ferrell

automotive editor

Isaac Bouchard contributors

Sam Adams, E.J. Carr, Tony Dear, Denny Dressman, Sue Drinker, Dick Durrance II, Chris Duthie, Gar y James, Ted Johnson, Kaye W. Kessler, Todd Langley, Kim D. McHugh, Jerr y Walters principals

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Colorado AvidGolfer (ISSN 1548-4335) is published eight times a year by Baker-Colorado Publishing, LLC, and printed by American Web, Inc. Volume 15, 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 © 2016 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.

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THIS ISSUE spans the last weeks of summer and the first days of December. A spread that big would make even a bookie nervous. Our “lead time” adds to the challenge. We go to press two weeks before the CoBank Colorado Women’s Open and hit the stands shortly after it concludes, which comes days after the finalization of the first eight players on this year’s U.S. Ryder Cup team and weeks before the usually controversial captain’s picks. Forget overnight delivery of FedEx Cup results. The good news is that our website and e-newsletter covers the spread. This issue does hit the seasonal sweet spot. Autumn in Colorado rates as one of the best times of the year for golf. Cooler temperatures mean courses will play firmer. The fall colors make for a vibrant gallery. As the foliage turns, so, too, does the state’s collective sporting attention towards the mountains, resulting in more available tee times. Yes, shorter days shrink the number of those tee times and fallen leaves do make for longer ball searches. But avid golfers remove those impediments without hesitation or penalty. Moreover, they can take advantage of our annual Mile High Golf at $52.80, which delivers BOGOs, deep discounts and other screaming deals at 12 top-tier Colorado courses. Turn the page to see how you can save. Autumn also brings football. Defense of the Broncos’ Super Bowl title will, appropriately enough, rest on the team’s defense. No longer defensive, however, is Gary Barnett, the 70-year-young former University of Colorado coach who has moved past the controversy that precipitated his departure from the sidelines a decade ago to join the Buffaloes’ broadcast team this fall. As Andy Bigford reports on page 86, playing roughly 300 rounds of golf a year certainly helped Barnett in that process. The process by which our climate is changing—manmade or natural—remains a matter of debate. The fact that it’s happening isn’t. How this impacts golf—and your handicap—concerns Curt Pesmen, whose thoughts begin on page 92. Those wishing to change climates by traveling will hit the mother lode by turning to page 41, the beginning of 45 pages of information on courses, communities, resorts and more in Arizona, Utah and Nevada. We’ll visit some of those places—and many others—in more depth in our winter issue. Before beginning work on that, my wife and I will head to Malta and Sicily for two weeks. We’ll be there when this issue comes out. Neither island screams “golf.” However, the Royal Malta Golf Club, built 128 years ago during British colonial rule, is there for the playing, as is Picciolo, one of Sicily’s four golf courses. Situated near Mount Etna at a palatial golf resort, Picciolo lies 65 miles north of my grandmother’s hometown of Mineo. Six years from now, in September 2022, Italy will host the Ryder Cup during the spread in Colorado AvidGolfer’s magazine production schedule, so I’ll bet we’ll find ourselves in Rome. Between now and then, of course, there’s un’abbondonza of fall golf to play in Colorado. — JON RIZZI





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09/19/16 – 10/02/16

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Golf at its finest SEPTEMBER 19 – OCTOBER 2

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Deer Creek Golf Club


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Applewood Golf Course 14001 West 32nd Avenue, Golden, CO 80401 303-279-3003 | Applewoodgc.com Opened in 1961, Applewood Golf Course has been regarded as one of the best Denver golf locations for the whole family. Set against the foothills of the Rocky Mountains and 15 minutes from Denver, the course is a tribute to its breathtaking surroundings as well as the beauty of the game of golf itself. Whether you’re looking for tournaments, leagues, a wedding location or even 18 holes of golf, Applewood is a location that won’t disappoint.

OFFER INCLUDES: 18 holes of golf, cart, range balls, hot dog, chips and soft drink for two (2) players for $52.80. Offer valid any day after 1 p.m. MILE HIGH GOLF AT $52.80 DATES are Monday, September 19th through Sunday, October 2nd.

Coal Creek Golf Course 585 West Dillon Road, Louisville, CO 80027 303-666-7888 | CoalCreekGolf.com Experience Colorado’s newest 25-year-old golf course! Originally designed by Richard Phelps and fully renovated by Kevin Norby after the 2013 flood, Coal Creek is a challenging, scenic 18-hole course featuring a links-style front nine with plenty of water and a back nine with dramatic elevation changes. Enjoy our updated clubhouse, environmentally friendly electric carts, undulating greens, golf bikes and a 22,000-square-foot Punch Bowl Green. Tees ranging from 4,771 to 7,017 yards make Coal Creek enjoyable for every level of golfer.

OFFER INCLUDES: 18 holes of golf, cart, small bucket of range balls, tees, green repair tool and a $10 Sweet Spot Café gift card. Valid anytime Monday through Friday; Saturday and Sunday after 2:00 p.m. Enter to win a 1-hour clinic for your foursome on your next round. MILE HIGH GOLF AT $52.80 DATES are Monday, September 19th through Sunday, October 2nd.

CommonGround Golf Course 10300 East Golfers Way, Aurora, CO 80010 303-340-1520 | CommonGroundGC.com Designed by world-renowned architect Tom Doak and owned by the Colorado Golf Association, the state’s newest public course is also one of its most affordable golf experiences. It measures 7,200 yards and features mounded fairways, huge green complexes and plenty of subtle elevation changes. While challenging enough to co-host the 2012 U.S. Amateur, CommonGround has multiple tees to create an enjoyable experience for all abilities.

OFFER INCLUDES: 18 holes of golf, cart and a small bucket of range balls for $52.80. Valid anytime Monday through Thursday and after 1 p.m. Friday through Sunday. MILE HIGH GOLF AT $52.80 DATES are Monday, September 19th through Sunday, October 2nd.




09/19/16 – 10/02/16

Mile High Golf at $52.80


Deer Creek Golf Club 8135 Shaffer Parkway, Littleton, CO 80127 303-978-1800 | PlayDeerCreek.com Deer Creek Golf Club has a links-style layout that wanders through rolling hills covered with more than 40 acres of natural wetlands. The beautifully maintained landscape provides numerous natural challenges. The golf course features elevated greens guarded by numerous bunkers as well as the occasional island green. Risk-reward opportunities abound, but this course demands accuracy and strategic play to score.

OFFER INCLUDES: Green fee, cart fee, range balls and one sleeve of golf balls for $52.80, Monday through Thursday any time and Friday through Sunday after 2 p.m. MILE HIGH GOLF AT $52.80 DATES are Monday, September 19th through Sunday, October 2nd.

The Golf Club at Fox Acres 3350 Fox Acres Drive East, Red Feather Lakes, CO 80545 970-881-2574 | GolfClubatFoxAcres.com Golf is played in all manner of environments, but it thrives best where there is a level of solitude and serenity. That means it thrives like crazy at Fox Acres. Designed by John Cochran, Fox Acres is one of Colorado’s golf courses that will leave you with a truly breathtaking experience. At 8,300 feet above sea level and just shy of 6,500 yards from the tips, it’s a thinking person’s course from start to finish, which is just fine since there is enough peace and quiet around to allow for a good think.

OFFER INCLUDES: Golf cart, range balls and one non-alcoholic beverage per person. Offer valid any day, anytime. MILE HIGH GOLF AT $52.80 DATES are Monday, September 19th through Sunday, October 2nd.

Keystone Resort 970-496-4250 | GolfKeystone.com Two great courses, one fantastic price! Play the Keystone Ranch course after Noon, or the River Course at Keystone after 3:00 p.m. for just $52.80, Monday, September 19 – Thursday, October 6.

OFFER INCLUDES: Greens fee, golf car and practice balls. Valid Sunday-Thursday only. Tee times must be reserved 48 hours in advance and must be booked online at golfkeystone.com. Use promo code 16KAVI for discount. Play more, while enjoying everything Keystone has to offer with a Rocky Mountain escape including discounted lodging. Call 855-666-7465 and use promo code 16KAVI to receive your discounted lodging*. *Lodging rates subject to availability and blackout dates may apply. Promo code must be utilized at the time of booking.

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09/19/16 – 10/02/16

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Pelican Lakes Golf and Country Club 1625 Pelican Lakes Point, Windsor, CO 80550 970-674-0930 | watervalley.com Pelican Lakes Golf and Country Club is an 18-hole, semi-private Championship golf course with a 4-star rating by Golf Digest (2005). Designed by golf course architect Ted Robinson, Sr., Pelican Lakes uses the Poudre River as its centerpiece.

OFFER INCLUDES: 18 holes of golf, cart and lunch for one player for $52.80. Offer valid only after 12:00 p.m. Monday through Sunday. MILE HIGH GOLF AT $52.80 DATES are Monday, September 19th through Sunday, October 2nd.

Plum Creek Golf Club 331 Players Club Drive, Castle Rock, CO 80104 303-660-2200, ext. 1 | GolfPlumCreek.com Plum Creek Golf Club is located in beautiful Castle Rock, Colorado. It’s a former TPC Golf Course and was host to a Champions Tour event for several years. Past champions include Miller Barber, Lee Elder, Bruce Crampton and Gary Player. This Pete Dye golf course features many of the state’s best holes. The par-3 12th consists of 10,000 railroad ties surrounding the green. “The Best Finish in Colorado” is highlighted by the par-3 17th—all over water.

OFFER INCLUDES: Two players’ green fees, walking (cart not included). Cart fee is an additional $13 per player. Offer valid Monday through Friday, anytime. MILE HIGH GOLF AT $52.80 DATES are Monday, September 19th through Sunday, October 2nd.

Raccoon Creek Golf Course 7301 West Bowles Avenue, Littleton, CO 80123 303-973-4653 | RaccoonCreek.com This Denver-area golf course is a par-72 that plays between 5,130 and 7,045 yards depending on tee location. The established landscape provides some challenging elevations and water hazards for the experienced golfer, while our fairway designs can be used to make Raccoon Creek the perfect course for the first-time golfer to learn how to play.

OFFER INCLUDES: 18 holes of golf and cart for $52.80. Offer valid Monday-Thursday anytime, Friday-Sunday after 12:00 p.m. MILE HIGH GOLF AT $52.80 DATES are Monday, September 19th through Sunday, October 2nd.




09/19/16 – 10/02/16

Mile High Golf at $52.80


Red Hawk Ridge Golf Course 2156 Red Hawk Ridge Drive, Castle Rock, CO 80109 720-733-3500 | RedHawkRidge.com Outstanding playing conditions are enjoyed on bentgrass tees, while generous, lush bluegrass fairways lie in contrast with the scrub oak and native grasses. The beautifully manicured greens challenge golfers with subtle undulation. Five sets of tees welcome golfers of all experience and skill levels to enjoy a course with risk/reward opportunities through extensive mounding, strategically placed bunkers and greenside lakes.

OFFER INCLUDES: Golf and cart for one player. Offer valid only after 12:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday. MILE HIGH GOLF AT $52.80 DATES are Monday, September 19th through Sunday, October 2nd.

The Ridge at Castle Pines North 1414 Castle Pines Parkway, Castle Rock, CO 303-688-0100 | PlayTheRidge.com Consistently ranked as one of the best daily-fee courses in Colorado, The Ridge at Castle Pines North challenges golfers with massive elevation changes, myriad lakes and streams, and expanses of pine and Gambel oak. Stick around after your round for a brew and some seriously good grub on the clubhouse patio, which provides stunning views of Pikes Peak and Devil’s Head.

OFFER INCLUDES: Golf, cart, practice balls, yardage book, scorecard and divot tool. Tee times valid after 12:00 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday and anytime Monday – Thursday. Tee times may be booked 3 days in advance at playtheridge.com, use promo code 5280. All players will need to sign up for the Troon Rewards to receive the $52.80 rate. SPECIAL DATES: Mile High Golf at $52.80 at The Ridge is October 16th through October 29th.

ALL ACCESS Multiplatform access allows you to seamlessly enjoy access to Colorado AvidGolfer on any device. With our new and improved course finder, it is easier than ever to browse the 250+ Colorado courses by region, price, membership, Golf Passport access and more. Our new events calendar gives you a quick look at Colorado golf events—from our own Tournament Series and Private Club Days to charity tournaments throughout the state submitted by golfers like you. View Mile High Golf at $52.80 offers and more deals at:

ColoradoAvidGolfer.com coloradoavidgolfer.com




Just His Cup of Tee After six years at the Colorado Golf Association, Eric Wilkinson will help direct 4,000 volunteers at this year’s Ryder Cup. By Ryan Smith AS PLAYERS FROM THE American and European teams prepare for the 41st Ryder Cup Matches Sept. 27-Oct. 2, so too are crews from the PGA of America, which will stage the event at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minn. At the center of the action is Volunteer Operations Coordinator Eric Wilkinson, who until taking the job in early 2015 spent six years at the Colorado Golf Association. “You couldn’t find a better group of people to work with,” he says. Wilkinson took time from his busy schedule to discuss his role in this year’s biennial competition, in which the European team has triumphed three consecutive times.

built with the purpose of conducting national championships. This mission is woven into the fabric of the club and its membership. In preparation for the event, the clubhouse underwent a complete renovation several years ago. More than 500 of our 4,000 volunteers are Hazeltine members—and 74 of those sit on our Ryder Cup planning committee. It really is staggering the amount of preparation needed to conduct this six-day event. Some members of our PGA staff have been on the ground for more than three years. It is astonishing to watch a golf course transform into a city in the span of a few months.

Q: What were you doing at the CGA before joining the Ryder Cup staff? A: Most of my time was spent as junior tournament director. Each day brought a different golf course and a new challenge. I was lucky enough to watch the transformation of many of Colorado junior players—going from “Age 11-13” events to signing their letter of intent to play collegiately. That alone was very rewarding.

Q: Many Colorado AvidGolfer readers have served as volunteers at major events. What’s the most challenging part of organizing volunteers? A: With 4,000 volunteers come 4,000 different personalities. It is an amazing experience to work with people from all over the world. Naturally, you need to find a consistency in communicating to such a large group and making sure everyone is working towards a common goal of outstanding customer service.

Q: What does your current job entail? A: As my title would suggest, I spend much of my time directing volunteers on what to expect when they arrive on-site and their responsibilities during the event. We’ll have approximately 4,000 volunteers from more than 41 states and 13 different countries—including several from Colorado. Q: What can you tell us about Hazeltine National Golf Club and what goes into putting together an event of this magnitude? A: Hazeltine National, originally designed by Robert Trent Jones in 1964 and modified numerous times since then, was founded and COLORADO AVIDGOLFER | Fall 2016

Q: What have been your favorite experiences leading up to the event? A: The “Year to Go” celebration was fantastic. This is a traditional event held exactly one year prior to every Ryder Cup. Both team captains, Davis Love III and Darren Clarke, were in town conducting interviews that culminated with the Feherty show in downtown Minneapolis. Q: Any insider stories you can share in being associated with this hallowed event? A: As many people know, the Ryder Cup is one of the most coveted trophies in sports. Its value is actually priceless. I was thinking


about that one day while chauffeuring it to a local appearance here in the Twin Cities. Although the trophy is safe and sound in an incredible case, it was nonetheless quite nervewracking knowing this priceless prize was locked in the trunk of my 2008 Ford Fusion! Even professional athletes get excited to see it. When we showcased it in the Minnesota Twins clubhouse prior to a game last year, players were gathering around it to take pictures and selfies less than an hour before game time. This year’s Ryder Cup will mark the tenth national championship contested at Hazeltine (pronounced Hazel-TEEN). At press time, corporate hospitality and premium ticket packages were still available at rydercup.com. More than 250,000 spectators will attend this year’s event, many to see whether the Americans can snap a three-Cup losing streak. The last victory for the U.S. came in 2008, when Paul Azinger captained the team to a 16½ to 11½ victory over Nick Faldo’s squad at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky. The 2018 Ryder Cup will take place at Le Golf National in SaintQuentin-en-Yvelines, France, and will return stateside in 2020 to Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wisconsin. Ryan Smith is the managing director of development and communications for the Colorado Golf Association. coloradoavidgolfer.com


SWING STATE: When Minnesota’s Hazeltine National hosts this fall’s Ryder Cup, Wilkinson will ensure every volunteer knows his or her role.

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Swing State GET OUT AND VOTE. We’re not talking Trump vs. Clinton. We’re talking CAGGY Awards—our annual celebration and coronation of the best courses, instructors, destinations and more in Colorado, the Rocky Mountain region and beyond. The process is purely democratic—and you don’t actually even have to get out in order to participate. Every year, thousands of avid golfers take to their computers and smartphones to cast votes on our website. You, dear reader, determine The Best in Colorado Golf, so don’t miss your chance! As for that other election? Vote in that one too, as is your right. But while there will be plenty of debates leading up to our country’s big day on November 8th, the debates surrounding the CAGGY winners will only start after the polls are closed…and will surely continue until this time next year. Vote online today through December at coloradoavidgolfer.com.




The Gallery

Pebble’s Ripple Effect



IN 2009, after coaching the University of Denver’s women’s golf team to consecutive top-10 finishes in the 2008 and 2009 NCAA finals, Sammie Chergo received the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame’s Golf Person of the Year Award. Seven years later, the Hall has again rewarded Chergo’s leadership by naming her its executive director. Chergo, who left DU in 2013 after 15 years and nine consecutive Sun Belt Conference titles, comes to the Hall of Fame from Oregon State University, where she led the women’s golf team for the past two years. During her tenure, the Beavers set 17 team and individual records, including overall season scoring average, and had their highest finish (seventh) in program history in the Pac 12 Championships. She also developed the program’s first successful fundraising group. But, she says, she missed Colorado. “My family is here.” So is a rich legacy of achievement. A star in softball, basketball and soccer at Arvada West, Chergo earned USA Today’s Colorado Female High School Athlete of the Year in 1988. Switching to golf in college, she earned three letters as a member of the CSU golf team. As the first coach of the Pioneers, she built the program into a national powerhouse, winning six Conference Coach of the Year awards and helping to raise more than $20 coloradoavidgolfer.com

million in direct endowments, capital campaigns and annual program giving. “Sammie’s past accomplishments demonstrate that she is a consistent high achiever,” Colorado Golf Hall of Fame President Scott Radcliffe says. “We’re delighted that she will be applying her talents to help us achieve our goals.” Those goals are ambitious. In addition to honoring the more than 130 men and women who have made outstanding contributions to golf in the Centennial State, the 43-year-old nonprofit organization raises funds to preserve the history of Colorado golf at its museum in the clubhouse at the Riverdale Golf Courses in Brighton. The board of directors also looks to Chergo to elevate the Hall’s profile through imaginative initiatives aimed at fortifying the future of the game. This spring, the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame Classic 100 Campaign grossed approximately $90,000 towards programs devoted to junior golf. The former coach couldn’t be more excited. “There is such a rich history of excellence within this organization,” she says. “I look forward to being a part of the excellence and building a difference-making future on the rich tradition of celebrating the best of the past, present and future of Colorado golf. It’s wonderful to be back home working with the Colorado golf community that means so very much to me.”


KAILER MADE: Rundiks is heading to The First Tee Open.



Play It Again, Sammie

EXECUTIVE ORDER: Chergo (right) will direct the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame.

EVER SINCE GETTING a three-piece set of La Jolla Snoopy clubs as a four-year-old, Denver East High School junior Kailer Rundiks has dreamed of playing on the PGA Tour. This Sept. 16-18, he’ll live that dream as one of 81 participants paired with a PGA Champions Tour player in the Nature Valley First Tee Open at Pebble Beach. A 10-year member of The First Tee of Denver, where he now mentors kids at City Park and Wellshire, Rundiks got the news from his mother right before competing in the Junior Golf Alliance of Colorado’s Aurora Junior Championship at Murphy Creek Golf Course. “I was pretty hyped for that tournament, and then I found out about this,” he says. “It was amazing.” Rundiks, a one-handicap, will follow his friend and East teammate Brock Dowdy, who was paired with Craig Stadler in last year’s Nature Valley First Tee event. “It’d be pretty sweet to play with him,” he says of the 1982 Masters champion. “Of course, I’d be fine with anyone.” Rundiks won’t have much time to savor his first trip to Pebble, however; less than 24 hours after Sunday’s round, he’ll be teeing off Monday morning in the CHSAA 5A Regionals. A Sunday flight and a Monday qualifier? Sounds like he’s getting an early taste of a touring pro’s life. thefirstteeopen.com

The Gallery

CHECK, PLEASE: From left, Eric Kenealy and Pat Hamill of The First Tee of GVR, Neil Johnson and CoBank CEO Robert Engel.

THE PHRASE “any given Sunday” doesn’t just apply to football. Just ask Neil Johnson. Last year, in seven events on the Mackenzie Tour-PGA Tour Canada, the 34-year-old River Falls, Wis. native made one cut and earned roughly $450. That’s only $200 more than what it cost him to register for the fourth and final CoBank Colorado Open Championship qualifier on July 18 at Legacy Ridge Golf Course in Westminster. Finishing 15th in the qualifier, Johnson squeezed into the championship field as an alternate. But less than a week later, on Sunday, July 24, he was squeezing the CoBank Colorado Open championship trophy—and a check for $100,000—after a record-setting 23-under-par 265 performance in the four-day event. Johnson capped off his victory with a birdie on the par-5 18th to give him a 64 for the day and a three-shot cushion over former Colorado Open champions Jonathan Kaye (1996) and Wil Collins (2005). In all, nine previous winners competed, as did PGA Tour champions Kaye, Kevin Stadler, Parker McLaughlin and Keith Clearwater. The field was so deep that the 3-under-par cut line represented the lowest in the event’s 52year history. Additionally, Collins, along with DJ Brigman, James Knous and Alex Kim each tied an



Johnson’s Magic R.I.P., TK

event record by carding 10-under-par 62s during the tournament. Attracting a high level of competition is exactly what CoBank and the Colorado Open Golf Foundation hoped for when they doubled the purse to $250,000 and quadrupled the winner’s share to $100,000. Little did they know that a mini-tour journeyman from tiny Division III Gustavus Adolphus College in Minnesota would have only three bogeys in four days—and none on a Sunday that saw him eagle the par-4 sixth and make five of his six birdies on the last nine holes. The $100,000 represents the single biggest payday in Johnson’s 12-year professional career. “The fact that I won on this course, with this field…that felt good,” he said minutes after his last putt dropped. “This is by far my signature win.” Also winning, on the amateur side, was Jimmy Makloski of Pueblo, who posted a 1-under 71 to finish at 8-under 280 (T-34 overall). His victory was two strokes better than his fellow Colorado State University teammates Jake Staiano of Cherry Hills Village and Dominic Kieffer of Byron, Minn., both of whom finished tied with Connor Klein of Lone Tree at 6-under 282. coloradoopen.com


THE COLORADO SPORTS SCENE lost one of its most enthusiastic chroniclers when Tom Kensler retired in 2015 after more than 25 years at The Denver Post. But members of the golf community suffered an even greater loss when the 64-yearold sportswriter died July 22 after complications from a brain aneurysm suffered July 6. In a career that spanned parts of five decades, Kensler won National Sportswriter and Sportscasters Association best-in-state awards for his work in Texas, Oklahoma and Colorado. Not bad for a guy with a Masters from Ohio State University in business administration and regional planning. A Buckeye by birth and the son of an Air Force pilot, he lived in nine different states and two foreign countries— including Belgium, where he graduated from high school—before returning to Ohio. After working behind an Albuquerque city planner’s desk he decided he loved sports more than city planning, and of all the sports he covered, Kensler favored golf, he said, “because of its competitive drama and the great study of human conditions relative to nerves and pressure.” It was also a game he enjoyed with his father and with friends on many of golf’s most historic courses. He played off a 14 handicap and once shot an 89 at Augusta the day after the Masters. Kensler covered every significant golf event played in Colorado, and in 2013, the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame rewarded him with its Distinguished Service Award. Kensler distinguished himself in other areas. He was a talented photographer and loved music as much as he loved golf and all things Ohio State. He annually attended the New Orleans Jazz Festival, where he proposed to his wife, Pam. His easygoing enthusiasm made him friends wherever he went—and the enthusiastic, scrupulous and fair-minded way he plied his craft made him a favorite among his colleagues, his readers and even the people he covered. coloradoavidgolfer.com

The Gallery TROPHY LIVES: Hale Irwin (second from left) won the 1967 Broadmoor Invitation; Steve Irwin (near right) and Richard Bradsby received the 2016 trophy from Broadmoor legend Dow Finsterwald.

Wins of the Father Are Visited Upon the Son holes. “We were only one up on the 16th tee,” Irwin says. “We thought we were going to be part of a train wreck.” After the teams halved the par3 16th, Bradsby made a clutch up-and-down birdie on the par-5 17th to seal the match. “It was very cool that Dow Finsterwald followed us for the last nine holes and was an ambassador for the event,” Irwin says of the 1958 PGA Champion who served as the Broadmoor’s director of golf when Hale Irwin won the Invitation in 1967. At the time, the event ranked as one of the premier amateur events in the country. It began in 1921 and continued until 1995, with the format changing in 1992 to a two-man four-ball. In 2014, the five-star Colorado Springs resort revived the Invitation as a two-man bestball contest. Its reputation among elite amateurs

has grown in each of the past three years, and so has the quality of the competitors. Count the 41-year-old Irwin among them. Like his World Golf Hall of Fame father, Steve played golf at the University of Colorado and turned professional shortly afterward. Although his PGA Tour career didn’t work out, he regained his amateur status and in 2004 won the Colorado Golf Association Match Play, which Hale had done in 1966, and in 2011 Steve qualified for the U.S. Open—an event Hale won three times. “To have my name on the same trophy as dad is pretty special,” Steve says. “The Invitation was always considered one of the best amateur events in the west, and I’m proud to be part of getting it back to that position.” broadmoor.com

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NEARLY A HALF-CENTURY after Hale Irwin won the Broadmoor Invitation, the president of Hale Irwin Golf Services—his son Steve—triumphed in the same event. Steve Irwin teamed with his playing partner, Richard Bradsby, to notch a 2-up victory over Missourians Jordan Wilson and Andrew Emerson in the championship flight’s final match on the East Course. Playing in their first Invitation, Irwin and Bradsby, both plus-handicaps at Lakewood Country Club, carded a 66 in the qualifying round—the lowest in the field— and advanced to the finals after a 2-up semi-final victory over defending champions Brad Grogg and Mike Allred. In the finals, Irwin and Bradsby had built a five-hole lead going into the 11th hole, then watched Wilson birdie four out of the next five

Ed Solid Perfect


WHEN NICK NOSEWICZ won the Colorado Golf Association’s 2015 Match Play, he dedicated his victory in the state’s oldest championship to his grandfather, Ed Nosewicz, Sr. “I brought him the trophy and four Big Macs,” Nick remembers. “I left the trophy at his house and when I picked it up a month and a half later, it had been polished and looked brand new.” Appropriately enough, Ed Nosewicz, Sr.— who passed away on July 27, six days after his 91st birthday—shined in the Colorado Senior Match Play, winning four times between 1977 and 1982 over such Colorado Hall of Fame players as Les Fowler, Jim English and Dan Hogan. Nosewicz joined them in the state’s pantheon of golf immortals in 2005. He also left a legacy in the form of five sons (Tom, Jim, Eddie, Lenny and Jerry), a daughter (Marianne) and 11 grandchildren, including Nick. “Golf is what you did if you wanted to be around the family,” Nick says. “If it weren’t for Grandpa, I don’t think any of us would have anything to do with golf.” Nick’s father, Lenny, started Lenny’s Ski and Golf, now also known as Supreme Ski and Lenny’s Golf, at Havana and Parker in Aurora, where Nick works as the general manager. Two of Ed’s sons, Tom and Eddie, have become PGA professionals; and two others, Jerry and Jimmy, are both accomplished amateurs.


Their dad moved to Colorado after serving in the Navy during World War II. He attended the University of Denver, starring on the golf team and receiving an MBA before becoming an executive at Kraft Foods. His love for golf never waned, and after retiring in 1986, he could often be found practicing at the City of Aurora’s Springhill Golf Course, where he also helped all levels of players. The story goes that any time someone was struggling with their game, they’d stand under a MATCH PLAYERS: Ed and Nick Nosewicz



The Gallery certain tree and toss a bunch of balls. “It was like throwing bait into the water,” Nick remembers one beneficiary telling him. “He was one of countless people who came to the store with a story about Grandpa,” says Nick, who has his own story from this year’s Pacific Coast Amateur at Seattle Golf Club. After shooting a one-over 73 the first day, Nosewicz posted two 77s in the wake of hearing about his grandfather’s death. “I was playing crummy,” he remembers. “The last day, I started on 10 and was one-under heading into the thirdto-last hole—a par 5. On my second shot I went for it with a 5-wood but it hit the green and rolled into the water. I wound up with an 8 and was ready to go home. Then my girlfriend pointed out a bald eagle watching me from a tree. Was it Grandpa? I knew I’d better finish. I went par-birdie and closed with a 73. The next night, we went to see my grandmother. The first thing I saw was a wood carving I’d never noticed before—of a bald eagle.” The third Colorado Golf Hall of Fame member to pass this year (Will Nicholson and English preceded him), Nosewicz’s funeral took place August 4, the same day as the first round of the CGA Stroke Play Championship. Although Nick says his grandfather would have urged him to play—and the CGA was willing to accommodate him with an early tee time—the 32-year-old Nosewicz knew he had to pay his respects. “Looking at a photo of Grandpa is like looking at myself with a 1950s haircut,” he says. “I don’t know where I’d be without him.”

The Kupcho Show IN KEEPING WITH tradition, the Colorado Women’s Golf Association celebrated its 100th anniversary as it did its 50th and 75th—with its Stroke Play Championship at Denver Country Club. The event itself made some additional history, courtesy of Jennifer Kupcho, who crushed the competition the same way she crushed it last year. Carding a 13-under 203, the 19-year-old Wake Forest University sophomore won by 19 strokes—two fewer than the 21 by which she won last year—and shot a 7-under-par 65 in the second round to break the 70-year-old woman’s course record of 68 held by World Golf Hall of Fame member Babe Zaharias. Kupcho’s 67 in the third and final round also clipped the legendary Babe. Amazingly, both record-setting rounds included a bogey. Kupcho has now won three straight CWGA

majors—including a dominating 12 and 10 win over Jaylee Tait in June’s 36-hole Match Play Championship at Aurora Hills—and seven CWGA championships overall. She qualified but missed the cut at this year’s U.S. Women’s Open, and finished sixth overall as a freshman in the NCAA National Championships. Despite not qualifying for this year’s U.S. Women’s Amateur (where last year she advanced to the Round of 16 before losing to eventual champion Hannah O’Sullivan), the Westminster native appears to be a lock to win her third consecutive CWGA Player of the Year award. coloradowomensgolf.org

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The Gallery

Somin Lee

Golf By Numbers 18

or more months from now, Thorncreek Golf Course will look and play much differently. After flipping its nines in 2015, the Finger/Dye/Spann design will close this fall for a complete renovation project. The City of Thornton, which took over the management of the facility in 2012 from Texas-based Eagle Golf, has committed to a multimillion-dollar upgrade of the irrigation system and numerous other improvements to enhance playability. Look for details in the next issue—and for the course to reopen in the summer of 2018. thorncreekgc.com


years after opening, The Country Club at Castle Pines is resurfacing and restoring its greens, which over time have shrunk and become overrun with poa annua. The course shut when work began August 1, and when the Jack Nicklaus design reopens next May, members will find putting surfaces that are carpeted with a hardier strain of bentgrass and are between 11 and 27 percent larger than they were. Only one green, the ninth, will not increase in size. In addition to agronomic improvements in irrigation, drainage and turf resilience, the changes will add firmness, reclaim pin positions from the original design and provide more variability in daily setup. The approaches and tee boxes will also feature stronger strains of grass. ccatcastlepines.com


PGA Professionals will be honored on Friday, November 4, 2016 at Colorado Golf Club in Parker. They are Leslie Core-Drevecky, Murphy Creek Golf Course (Golf Professional of the Year); Steve Patterson, Hiwan Golf Club (Teacher of the Year); Brad Gannaway,

Trent Wearner

Colorado Springs Country Club (Assistant Golf Professional of the Year); Dale Smigelsky, Collindale Golf Course (Bill Strausbaugh Award for mentoring fellow PGA professionals); Mark Bacheldor, University of Colorado-Colorado Springs PGA-PGM program (Horton Smith Award to promote and improve PGA educational programs); Craig Parzybok, Fox Hollow Golf Course (Warren Smith Award for special contributions); Trent Wearner, Trent Wearner Golf Academy (Player Development Award); Katie Milstead, The First Tee at Green Valley Ranch (Youth Player Development Award); Greg Bryan, Roaring Fork Club (Private Merchandiser of the Year); Rich Parker, Kissing Camels Club (Resort Merchandiser of the Year); Mark Pfingston, The Golf Club at Bear Dance (Public Merchandiser of the Year). Additionally, the Section will announce its Vic Kline Award and Dow Finsterwald Player of the Year Award on the night of the event. Colorado Golf Association Executive Director Ed Mate will receive the President’s Award. coloradopga.com

4 Steve Patterson


aspiring PGA professionals—Pat Grady, Brian Zeigler, Derek Rush and Somin Lee— qualified for the 40th National Car Rental Assistant Professional Championship at PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie, Fla., October 27-31, 2016. Grady, an assistant coach at the University of Colorado, fired a pair of 67s in the qualifying event at Legacy Ridge Golf Course in Westminster. A PGA apprentice at Valley Country Club, Lee won the 2011 and 2012 CWGA Player of the Year before becoming a three-time all-conference player at Pepperdine University. pga.com




Riding High at The Ranch

MEMBER BOUNCE: The Ranch’s new west-facing patio (opposite) and dining area (right) overlook the greatly expanded practice center (above). New landscaping, course routing and an event lawn (below) improve the flow of players and provides activity spaces for families and children.

A $5.5 million renovation transforms Westminster’s only private club. By Jon Rizzi THE VIEW FROM THE FIRST TEE at The Ranch Country Club takes in the panoramic beauty of Colorado’s Front Range, the serrations of the peaks in the near distance suggesting a geological EKG pattern. Yet this pulse-quickening start to a round at the 42-year-old private Westminster club has only existed since the club switched its nines in January. The view used to come on the 10th tee. “The course begins more memorably now, and the new finishing holes are better than the old ones,” says PGA Master Professional Ed Oldham, whose career at The Ranch began in 1991. “And now players can drive or walk right up to the beverage station when they make the turn.” Flipping nines is far from the only recent reversal of course at The Ranch. On August 3, the member-owned club cut the ribbon on its overhauled and expanded clubhouse as part of a $5.5 million renovation project designed to enhance the experience for existing members and to attract new ones—primarily those with young families. Considering it’s the only private golf, tennis and swim club within a 16-mile radius comprising such burgeoning towns as Westminster, Broomfield, Thornton, Louisville and Lafayette, you’d think The Ranch might have been able to draw COLORADO AVIDGOLFER | Fall 2016

new members without having to invest so heavily. Not so, says past president Scott Wilkinson. “After consulting with numerous experts, everyone here realized we weren’t properly aligned with the amenities today’s discriminating buyers expect—family-friendly casual dining, fitness facilities, kids’ facilities. A club has to work for the entire family, and it has to be a place members are proud to bring guests.” So last summer the members overwhelmingly approved a plan that would gut the clubhouse and expand it by 4,000 square feet; improve the golf practice facility with an 8,000-squarefoot putting green and chipping area; add an event lawn; and a kid-friendly zero-entry pool to the swimming facility. A $50-per-month capital assessment has resulted in virtually no attrition, and, even better, The Ranch this year has signed up 40 new members—many who had only taken “hard hat tours” during the renovation. It’s easy to see why. The entire club feels energized. The closed floor plan of the old clubhouse has become bright, open and flowing. The airy impression starts upon entering, where soffited ceilings raise the height of the long, sleek lobby two feet higher than it was before. An impressive variety of gym equipment appoints the adjoining new fitness center. Clerestory


windows brighten the spacious new 150-person meeting room. The kitchen doubled its size, taking over the space of the old banquet room and imaginatively expanding its à la carte and event menus in the process. General Manager Mark Condon reports a waiting list already exists for the 45 wine lockers outside the dining area. Nearby, a kids’ activity room with arcade games and other amusements opens onto an enclosed outdoor playground area visible to adults through a glass wall from the restaurant. That’s reassuring, but the most impressive view from the restaurant and bar comes through the west-facing glass doors that afford an even more majestic panorama of the mountains than the first tee does. “The way the club was before, the member rooms did not have the best views,” Wilkinson says. The west terrace routinely hosted nonmember tournaments and other events. ”One of our main design directives to the architect, Stucoloradoavidgolfer.com

The Ranch encourages family play with active junior and women programs, as well as “combo” and “five horse” tees that can shrink the course to as short as 4,369 yards. There’s also a three-hole pitch-and-putt course between 12 green and 16 tee in addition to a 90-yard short-game area near the 16th green where adult members can work on scoring shots. Kevin Atkinson of Phelps-Atkinson Golf Course Design, who also did the landscaping around the clubhouse, continues to oversee the execution of the golf course master plan. A full schedule of social, tennis and swimming programs fills the calendar. And more are

being added as the membership roster grows. The club is recruiting from nearby corporations such as Ball and DigitalGlobe, as well as from the many public courses in the area. Even with the assessment, initiation and dues remain at or below those at most clubs. As with panorama from the clubhouse and first tee, The Ranch took the long view towards membership growth, and it already appears to be paying off. For more information, theranchcc.com; 303-460-9700

dio DH, was to highlight the view—a great asset. Another was to prioritize the member experience.” Studio DH saw to both—so, too, did Waner Construction—as evidenced by the throng of members accompanying their views with the restaurant’s envelope-pushing club cuisine. They now gather around ten-seat community tables instead of pushing smaller four-seaters together. They spill out onto the ample patio—complete with a fire pit—that wraps around the building’s southwest corner and overlooks the flawless landscaping, sprawling practice area and 6,656-yard golf course.

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Player’s Corner LESSON

AimPoint Express takes the guesswork out of reading greens. By Stan Sayers

HAVE YOU EVER had a putt break in the opposite direction you thought it would—even defying gravity as it went “uphill”? Have you ever read a putt completely differently from behind the hole than from behind the ball? Do you think putts always move away from the mountains or towards a creek or valley? Our confusion in reading greens comes from using our eyes, and, knowing this, golf course architects rely heavily on optical illusions to challenge players in all parts of the game—especially around the putting surface. Think Donald Ross at The Broadmoor. Press Maxwell at Hiwan. Dick Phelps at South Suburban. And Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw at Colorado Golf Club, one of the two places I teach. As players in the 2013 Solheim Cup discovered, the greens are diabolically difficult to read. That is, if you’re reading them with your eyes. You need to read them with your feet. In 2008, I started working with Mark Sweeney, the founder of AimPoint Golf—a green-reading system that took the guesswork out of figuring out slope and break. Based on geometry and physics, Mark’s AimPoint system spawned preYour feet are the best gauge of slope on a green. Standing on the slope without standing in my line (so I don’t breach Rule 16-1a), I can determine the putt will break from right to left.





A Sure-Footed Approach

dictive televised graphics that accurately showed the precise line a putt needed to take to the hole. They won an Emmy Award. As technical as it may have appeared, the most critical component to AimPoint is feel. Instead of gauging slope with your eyes—which can deceive—you use your feet. From the time we’re babies, our bodies sense slope and adjust to it. Three years ago, Mark came up with AimPoint Express, which simplified the method. Whereas the average player could take as many as 20 years to become a proficient green reader, if correctly taught by a certified AimPoint instructor, he or she now can master the art of green reading in days and can read a putt in less than 15 seconds. Today more than 200 professional golfers, including numerous major championship winners, use AimPoint Express. They’re easy to spot because they’re the ones holding up fingers when lining up a putt—and, often, a big shiny trophy when the tournament is over. PHOTOGRAPHS BY EJ CARR

Kambeitz Chiropractic Health & Wellness Center, P.C. has a variety of services to help you achieve your best golf game.

I commit to the line completely without any thought of changing it. Execution hinges on correct aim and distance control.

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After determining the slope, I raise two fingers to figure out my desired line relative to the hole.


No doubt about my alignment leads to no doubt about the outcome.


With lessons from Colorado’s only Level 3 AimPoint instructor, Aimpoint Express can be as easy as...

Importance of Taking Care of Your Body Throughout the Off Season

Dr. Jim Kambeitz

Are you content with where your golf game ended this season? Did you reach your perfect score? Did you have aches and pains that kept you from reaching your full golf potential? Would you like to improve your golf game next year? Do you have specific goals that you’d like to reach next season?

At Kambeitz Chiropractic we understand the importance of maintaining a high standard of health and wellness not only throughout the peak of your golf season, but also during the off season. Now is the time to take care of those nagging aches and pains that lingered throughout the season, so that next spring you are able to jump right back into the swing of things. Through chiropractic care, massage therapy, AISS (active isolated stretching and strengthening), laser therapy and corrective and restorative rehab training in our gym, our team of Doctors, Therapists and Trainers are excited for the opportunity to help you achieve your optimum goals for the 2017 season. Call our clinic today to schedule your initial visit where we will use our state of the art technology to assess your current state of health and wellness as well as discuss your goals moving forward. We look forward to helping you achieve greatness!!

A 25-year member of the PGA of America and one of Golf Digest’s “Top Teachers in State,” Stan Sayers earned the 2009 Colorado Section PGA Teacher of the Year. He is the director of Instruction at The Academy at Colorado Golf Club in Parker. stansayersgolf.com; 720-201-1975 coloradoavidgolfer.com

7100 S Clinton St, Suite 110, Centennial, CO 80112 (303) 790-6000 | kambeitzchiropractic.com



Player’s Corner LESSON

Cup It & Clip It Trenchant advice on how not to dig your way out of a greenside bunker. By Alex Fisher

1. OPEN FACE: Before you take your regular full swing grip, make sure that the clubface is set open. Too often, golfers grip the golf club while the face is square and then rotate their hands so that the clubface appears to open. Problem with that is you’ll tend to rotate the face closed through impact. A good rule to follow is to set the face open so that the grooves are pointing towards your left big toe (opposite if you are a lefty) and then take your grip. This will ensure the clubface stays open throughout the swing and doesn’t rotate closed through impact.


2. CUP YOUR WRIST: To ensure that the clubface stays open on the backswing you have to cup your left wrist. What I mean by that is feel like the knuckles on the outside of your left hand point towards your left forearm. On a conventional shot you would want to keep your left wrist flat so that the clubface would stay square but by cupping your wrist keeps the face open.

bunker techniques out there, I can understand why. But if you keep things simple, it doesn’t have to be that way. When it comes to bunker technique, the number of options makes even my head spin. Most instructors will tell you to open your stance, pound the sand, imagine that there’s a dollar bill underneath the golf ball, make a steep outsidein swing and open the clubface. That’s a lot of changes from your full-swing setup! With the exception of opening the clubface, I tell my students to ignore the above advice for the following reasons: • Instead of an open stance, I prefer my students to keep a square stance in the bunker. Opening your stance changes your ball position without realizing. It will put the ball too far back in your stance and will make it difficult to clear a steep lip. • The idea of imagining there’s a dollar bill underneath the ball makes no sense whatsoever. It might help you visualize how the clubhead is going to travel through the sand at impact but it’s just another thing you don’t need to consider. • Pounding or thumping the sand with a steep, outside-in swing is ridiculous. You have to imagine the sand in the bunker is just funny looking grass. If you were faced with a regular pitch shot off grass you wouldn’t dream of smashing the ground and digging up the sod. Instead you would typically make a shallow divot. The same approach should be taken in a bunker. The goal is to take a shallow sand divot, not to dig a trench. Hitting a bunker shot doesn’t have to be a challenge as long as you take a simple approach. Keep your stance square but still open the club face. Cup your left wrist on the back swing to ensure that the clubface remains open.



WHILE PLAYERS ON the PGA Tour average over 50 percent in the sand save category, the majority of amateurs consider it an accomplishment just to save bogey. That may be because they think of bunkers as “traps” to escape. When I work with new students on greenside bunker shots, I can tell by their body language—tight shoulders, slouched posture—that they sense something bad is going happen. And with all the confusing

3. CHECK YOURSELF AT THE TOP: A key checkpoint in your practice swing is to make sure the clubface is turned towards your target and not away from it at the top of the backswing. Again, this clubface position is unique to any other golf swing you would make. Having your left wrist still cupped and the clubface positioned like so ensures the clubface remains open.


4. MAKE AN IMPACT: We all know the club needs to hit the sand first, not the ball. Which means the impact position—or “moment of truth”—is also unique to any other shot. On your downswing, do not allow your hands to rotate over and close the clubface; that forces the leading edge to make the initial contact with the sand and dig too deeply into it. You want the bounce of the club—the backside of the sole—to make primary contact with the sand. A key thought at impact is to try and clip the ball off the sand and take a small divot. Feel like the palm of the right hand is underneath the handle of the club and you’re trying to toss the ball out of the bunker. If that palm gets on top of the handle, you have released the club incorrectly.

5. RELEASE: Avoid letting your weight fall backwards and make sure you finish your swing in a nice balanced position with the clubface remaining open. Check to see if the clubface has remained to the right side of the shaft. If you find it on the left side you have released the club incorrectly.

The PGA Director of Instruction at The Glacier Club in Durango, Alex Fisher also teaches from November to April at the JW Marriott Wildfire Golf Club in Phoenix. alexfisherpga.com; 602-363-9800.

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Player’s Corner FASHION

Transition Game

TECH TOGS Chase 54's elite fabrics include the reflective GLOFUZE found in the stretchy-comfy Berlin Polo (below, $76) and DRYFUZE, which wicks away moisture in the flat-front Trekker shorts ($84). chase54.com

SHORTER DAYS lead to cooler ones, bringing a variety of layers and looks to the course and beyond. Whether you're teeing off, kicking back or taking off for warmer climes, the items on these pages will help men and women shoulder this shoulder season in style. Go online to buy or to find retailers.


No British clothier is as closely identified with golf as Alfred Dunhill, which annually stages a European Tour event at St. Andrews. The high-performance Dunhill Links knitted zip-through jacket ($340) combines merino wool and nylon for durability and luxury. Dunhill's classic tapered cotton-blend trouser ($215) comes with waistband gripper tape and specially placed belt loops to hold both shirt and trousers in place during play. dunhill.com

J Crew assembles homegrown talent with its Gitman Vintage Garment-Dyed Oxford Shirt ($185), slim-straight 1040 Jean in Cheshire Wash ($125) and distinctive, fine-grain leather Stitched-Edge Belt. Although the denim comes from Japan and leather from Italy, the jeans and belts are handmade in the good ol' U.S.A. The Gitman shirt, made by Americans of American cotton in a time-honored process newly branded as "seed to sew," bears the textured look and feel of a vintage shirt. jcrew.com

CLASSIC KICKS A pair of "Morgan" Desert Boots from Paul Smith nattily completes any casual ensemble. Crafted from smooth suede with vamp stitch detailing and stacked leather soles, these puppies define informal elegance. paulsmith.co.uk; $455

BEST FOOT FORWARD The adidas pure trx's wider forefoot enhances comfort, fit and feel while promoting greater surface-area contact. The shoe is light, durable, breathable and dries quickly. adidasgolf.com; $100 COLORADO AVIDGOLFER | Fall 2016



GOLFTINI, STRAIGHT UP Lightweight, versatile and insulated, Golftini's tapered, zip-up GT Tech Jacket ($116) also sports sleeves with thumbholes and hand-covering flaps. Available in black, white and hot pink, this navy edition plays well with Golftini's Ambitious pull-on golf skort ($100), which can sit high on your waist or lower on your hips, depending on your preference for short or long and which most flatters your figure. golftiniwear.com

CLASSICS ROCK Pair Nivo's cotton argyle pullover ($90) with its stylish, comfy ankle pant ($96) to beat nippy mornings and cool evenings on the course. Tie the outfit together with Nivo's Essential Reversible Belt ($46), which does double duty in red and white (and other combos). pgatoursuperstore.com; nivosports.com

APRÈS-GOLF GARB As comfortable as it is colorful, the Tallulah Wide-Leg Jumpsuit by HD in Paris lets you ace the 19th hole without ever having to buy the drinks. Available at Anthropologie. anthropologie.com; $168.



Made of supple calfskin leather and styled with a flattering low-cut silhouette, Walter Genuin's chic Coco Ballerina features a versatile Rotorsole that functions off the tee and on the town. Bonus: lower tan line! scarparossa.com, ladygolf.com, lineasportusa.com; $249


Chloé fashion collections never fail to impress— especially the footwear. Crafted from carameltoned calfskin leather, the clog-like "Anita" Mule Sandal features gilded metal "tag" at the vamp for sculptural flair. nordstrom.com; $180




BRAZIL NUTS: Artistically appointed and colorful walls create the ideal ambience for inspired creations such as the Moqueca de Peixe (above), Bolinhos de Batata Doce (right) and the white rumbased Hemingway’s Folly.

How Many is a Brazilian? I SUPPOSE COULD ASCRIBE my hankering for some contemporary South American cuisine to watching the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics. But I can’t be coy—I could eat at Café Brazil every four hours, much less every four years. In an era when the attention of popular restaurants is focused on a celebrity chef or a particular brand, Tony Zarlenga, his wife Marla and nephew Mauricio have been a model of consistency for 25 years, elevating incredible, beautiful food to a fine dining experience in a friendly, sparkling setting. “Most restaurants don’t have the lifespan that we have,” Zarlenga allows. “But the secret to longevity is love and passion. Even though we come to work every day and we leave exhausted after 12 or 13 hours, we enjoy what we do. We’re only open Tuesday through Saturday, and we don’t do lunches. So daytime is spent in preparation for the evening. The intense pace is at night when everything has to be executed.” Zarlenga cut his teeth at the old Château Pyrenees, Denver’s longtime French restaurant, COLORADO AVIDGOLFER | Fall 2016

and was part of the opening team at Strings, earning a whole new level of experience with restaurateur Noel Cunningham. When he acquired Café Brazil, he identified a vacant niche—contemporary South American. “Or nouveau Latino cuisine,” he says. “We took our lead from chefs and restaurants in Florida—old world technique with new world flavors. It reflects how unique the breadbasket of South America really is. Europe had no tomatoes until Portuguese sailors brought back the seed. They had no potatoes until Spanish explorers brought back plantings from what’s now Peru. Chiles are native to South America. Food travels with people…” And so Café Brazil patrons enter into the Zarlenga family’s marriage of Portuguese, Spanish, Asian, African and Middle Eastern influences, as evidenced by a special appetizer, the Bolinhos de Batata Doce, the perfect example of taking some liberties with a traditional recipe—sweet fried dumplings made from a mixture


of shrimp, sweet potato, goat cheese, smoked cheddar and smoked Jamon Serrano (a dry-cured Spanish ham), drizzled with a cayenne béchamel sauce. Exquisitely seasoned, nuanced flavors… just crazy good. The Grilled Manchego appetizer is a Mediterranean delight—the gooey Spanish cheese browned on the flattop until lightly crispy on the outside. These starters deserve complementation with beverages of equal eminence, and Café Brazil has nurtured a wonderful selection of rums and cocktails—something that wasn’t possible in the restaurant’s early days without a liquor license. “All we had was imported tropical juices,” Zarlenga notes. “Prior to us, nobody in the Denver market knew of an establishment that served passion fruit or Andean blackberry. Then, once we got our first license, it was strictly beer and wine for 12 years.” But since moving to its current location in the Berkeley neighborhood, Café Brazil has seized the opportunity to get a full bar and focus coloradoavidgolfer.com


In the case of Café Brazil, Denver’s foremost temple of South American cuisine, it’s 25 lip-smacking years...and counting. By Gary James


on spirits and rum selections (the attached Rum Room features over 50 varieties from around the world). There are traditional Latin cocktails—Mojito, Cuba Libre, Dark ‘n’ Stormy—all typical of the vision, blended with tropical fruits to bring a range of color, flavor and energy. The Caipirinha, Brazil’s national drink, is tremendous, made with cachaça (a spirit distilled from sugarcane juice), sugar and key lime over crushed ice; the ladies in our party raved over the Hemingway’s Folly—premium white rum, fresh lime and grapefruit juices, cherry liqueur and ginger syrup. “The craft cocktail is an art, but within the realm of execution and service, sometimes it becomes a little too much—it’s not always practical to be working with tweezers,” Zarlenga explains. “Our fare has always been rustic, casual and tropical. What’s most important is what people taste, not what they see.” The same philosophy applies to the array of vibrant entrées on the dinner menu. Over the years, Zarlenga and his family have toned down the spices and chiles somewhat and focused more

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on fresh seafood and shellfish, developing signature dishes that can’t be found anywhere else. There are so many magical options, you want to gorge and dance the samba at the same time. I marvel at the consistency from kitchen to dining room. Scallops and prawns are like fish candy, sweet and juicy with tender, plump meat; the vegetables are perfectly cooked. It’s a high standard that starts with purchasing. “Our purveyors don’t like us,” Zarlenga says with a chuckle. “We don’t have our produce and seafood delivered; we hand-pick and check everything at the source. It’s like the old days. You look at it before you buy it. If you don’t like it, you find it somewhere else.” The Moqueca de Peixe offers perfectly seasoned shrimp, scallops and bacalhau (Portuguese for cod) in a coconut milk-based broth served over herbed rice. I find it hard to stray from the Seafood Copacabana—shrimp and sea scallops sautéed with garlic, shallots, coconut milk and lime juice, finished with a slightly heavier sauce (white wine and cream, parmesan cheese and Italian parsley). The La Calena is Marla’s doing—large prawns and scallops simmered in a sweet-hot sauce of diced tomatoes, mango, passion fruit, green onion and coloradoavidgolfer.com

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Side Bets | FAREWAYS

WESTWORD’S 2013 & 2015 “Best Neighborhood restaurant”

Alaska King Salmon

“.. imaginative takes on contemporary Italian fare that are masterfully prepared, artfully plated.” - The Denver Post

MIXED THRILL: Pulled pork shoulder, prawns, plantains and more meld into the flavorful La Juliana.


2500 East Orchard Road #C Greenwood Village, CO 303 730 2152

Just as vibrant is the festive dining room painted with a tropical palette and festooned with striking paintings and evocative traditional masks. The service is always attentive and knowledgeable; our waiter hooked us up with a bottle of Apaltagua Reserva from Chile, a crisp medium-bodied Carmenere that paired perfectly with the seafood. “If it wasn’t mostly family, this would be a much more difficult task,” Zarlenga admits. “Even front of house, some of the people have been with us for 15 or 20 years. Everybody has the same sense of pride and services. The saturation of restaurants in Denver is a good thing, in a way. It ensures that everyone keeps on their toes. It’s easy to get pushed to the back of the line. You have to come out every day like a baseball game and hit a home run.” You keep clearing the bases, Tony; I’ll keep clearing my plate. 4408 Lowell Blvd., Denver cafebrazildenver.com; 303-480-1877

thewoodentablerestaurant.com Read more of Contributor Gary James’ Fareways columns on coloradoavidgolfer.com. COLORADO AVIDGOLFER | Fall 2016




Italian parsley, finished with Brazilian chiles. La Juliana is a dish Zarlenga created for his niece’s 15th birthday, or Quinceanera— slow-roasted pulled pork shoulder, with a Valencia orange sauce, sautéed collard greens, baked plantains and large prawns. The traditional items include classic Feijoadas (stews) and Xim Xim, a chicken and shrimp dish that relies on dende oil (palm oil) and cashew nuts. An African flourish creeps into the Peixe de Angola, an exotic cod and shrimp dish enhanced by the subtle sweetness of a coconut cream sauce and the heat of malagueta peppers. Nightly specials are typically superb; over the years, I’ve experienced Caribbean grouper done with a red beet ginger and lime salsa, pan seared with prawns over rice with garden vegetables, or fresh toro tuna, sliced thin like a sashimi, dressed with a mango and chili salsa and sesame seed oil. All entrees are served with an assortment of breads and a black bean soup with incredibly nuanced flavors.

FESTIVE FARE: Café Brazil’s equally brilliant Rum Room and Peixe de Angola.

Side Bets | TAPPING IN

FIRKIN GOOD: Hogshead regulars bask in traditional unpasturized cask ales produced by owner Steve Kirby (right) and brewmaster Jacob Gardner (bottom).

The Cask at Hand BACK IN THE EARLY fermentation stage of America’s craft-brewing craze, crane-necked faucets regularly adorned pubs, with chalkboards listing “Today’s Cask Ale.” No longer. Cask ale has all but disappeared at new breweries, its nuanced, low-alcohol appeal overtaken by “session” beers that promise the same bombastic, one-note hop power of the current craft king, IPA. Recalling a flat, warm cask ale you once had at a dusty British-themed bar, you might say good riddance. Unless properly ministered, cask ale can result in very unwelcome drinking experience. But when handled with deftness and care, it can transcend a normal pint at the pub. Cask ale—or what the English call “real ale”—is a natural unfiltered and unpasteurized product brewed using traditional ingredients and left to mature through a process called secondary fermentation in the cask from which it is served without additional nitrogen or carbon dioxide pressure. This secondary fermentation occurs when a brewer adds sugars (in the form of either additional brewer’s wort or simple table sugars) to a beer that still contains yeast. This differs from most commercial beer, which is pasteurized, killing off the yeast, and force-carbonated with carbon dioxide. Proponents of real ale say the pasteurization process also harms delicate flavors and aromas, coloradoavidgolfer.com


and by using the beer’s natural yeast to carbonate a beer it preserves those flavors and also develops them further during the life of a beer. Rather than a draft or keg system, a hand pump known as a beer engine dispenses the cask ale using oxygen to propel the beer. This exposure to oxygen can hasten spoilage, but it also enhances the flavor of real ale from the very moment it is tapped. Although cask beers are served at higher temperatures than draft brews, they should still be kept at a rather cool 55 degrees. A handful of breweries in Colorado produce cask ales, with Hogshead Brewery of Denver at the forefront. Located in the Highlands neighborhood, Hogshead not only enjoys a steady stream of real ale seekers and neighborhood regulars, but a healthy crowd of industry insiders. On a recent midweek visit, representatives from three different breweries were enjoying pints with owner Steve Kirby, a former brewer in England, and brewmaster Jacob Gardner. Gardner admits it would be easier to brew force-carbonated beer, but that it wouldn’t be as good. “I think the reason so many people move away from cask beer is keg beer. You have three to four weeks for a keg to kick before you even start Fall 2016 | COLORADO AVIDGOLFER


Hogshead Brewery plays down drafts in favor of English-style “real ale.” By Cody Gabbard

Side Bets | TAPPING IN

Dine Al Fresco Stroll along the shops at the Streets of Southglenn, catch a movie and enjoy a fabulous brunch, lunch or dinner with us!

HIGH ON THE HOG: Hogshead ales come in different shades and sizes for patrons to enjoy on the patio.

(303) 730-7200 ivyattheglenn.info COLORADO AVIDGOLFER | Fall 2016


mouthfeel. Hints of roast, dried dark fruits and molasses build as the beer warms, with a mild, bitter finish. This beer would go with any type of grilled or charred food, especially roasted chicken with sage and other earthy spices. (Hogshead does not have a kitchen.) Making beers that conjure up culinary experiences is one of Hogshead’s goals. “You want beers people identify with,” Gardner explains. “They make me think of being home with my mom, or make me think of my grandmother cooking food.” Hoghead’s milds and bitters offer this sense of nostalgia. The Barge’s Mild is dark brown with ruby highlights, and a fruity, mild grain aroma reminiscent of baking raisin bread. It’s light on the palate, but still retains a creamy mouthfeel. There are some herbal hop notes, but without the bitterness. As it warms the flavors become more pronounced, especially a sharp fruit sweetness. The beers at Hogshead may evoke memories of food and drink past, but the popularity of this community pub also confirms that cask brewing has a decidedly bright future. Hogshead Brewing 4460 W 29th Ave, Denver 303-495-3105; hogsheadbrewery.com Contributor and homebrewer Cody Gabbard regularly writes CAG’s Tapping In column. coloradoavidgolfer.com


6955 South York Street Centennial, Colorado

to approach it going bad, but you only have three to four days with cask beers,” Gardner explains. “Natural carbonation adds finishing touches that take a beer to the next level. The majority of brewers may tell you the difference is so minor it isn’t worth the trouble, but no one will tell you that cask-conditioned or bottle-conditioned is worse.” Hogshead—which takes the name of the conventional cask or barrel (also called a firkin) containing 54 imperial gallons of ale—started with two hand-pump beer engines but now boasts seven. In the winter the casks get scaled back. “We can’t dump beer and we can’t serve bad beer,” explains Gardner. Enter Alex the cellarman—a weatherman, party planner and artisan wrapped into one. “Alex knows what holidays are coming up, which beer events are in town,” says Gardner. “He’s in tune with those things, so when we have 125 people on the patio, I have the cask room jack full.” This ebb and flow of the cellar is directly linked to the community, literally living and breathing the same air, and adjusting based on its needs. Much like the public houses of England, Hogshead also aims to cultivate the community atmosphere. Being low in carbonation and also low in alcohol, the beers lend themselves to being both drinkable and great for food pairing. “People think it’s going to be some esoteric or weird sour crap,” Gardner says. “We just make some 5% alcohol bitters, a bunch of pale ales, a porter and a stout. They’re all very approachable. The people who come here don’t want to sniff their glass a hundred times or drink six ounces of sour beer. Our customers want to drink 20, 40 or 60 ounces of beer and talk for two hours. That’s what we’re good at, drinking a ton of beer, and that’s what England’s good at producing.” Just because the beer is lower in alcohol and more drinkable does not mean it’s any less flavorful. Take the Gilpin Black Gold, an English Porter. It hovers around 5% ABV, but is nuanced unlike most other “session” beers. It pours a fairly clear garnet brown, giving off an initial aroma of mild cocoa. On the first sip you can taste the same flavors evident in fresh wort (the sugary liquid of beer before the introduction of yeast) before being fermented, similar to biscuity grain and caramelized sugar. The body is far from thin with a silky


Toyota Land Cruiser

Mercedes-Benz GLC300

Key Utility Players The Mercedes-Benz GLC300 and stalwart Toyota Land Cruiser display different ends of the SUV spectrum. By Isaac Bouchard MERCEDES-BENZ GLC300

EPA ratings: 22 mpg city/28 highway/ 24 combined 0-60mph: 5.9 seconds Price: From $38,950 Smack into the maelstrom of superhot compact luxury crossovers Mercedes-Benz has airdropped its all-new GLC300. Offering a compelling group of desirable attributes, the GLC immediately moves to the front rank of vehicles in this segment. Styling is in the modern Mercedes idiom incorporating a fluidic—if slightly ill- defined— profile, bookended by carefully detailed front and rear fasciae. The front is dominated by a large three-pointed star, the rear by lots of chrome coloradoavidgolfer.com

and polished trim, smartly integrated exhaust shrouding and other subtle reminders of the GLC’s status in the automotive firmament. The interior—as it is with all recent Benz products—is superb: unique in style, full of boldly organic forms, punctuated by brushed nickel vents and slabs of timber. Most all materials are excellent, though the creaking “give” in the wood trim of the center console somewhat undermines perceived quality. Graphics of the large central screen and smaller secondary display between the nicely styled speedo and tach are first rate, response speed excellent and operation generally intuitive. The new controller for the latest COMAND software allows for either touch-style control or more classically German wheel-based inputs. Spaciousness and comfort in both rows is very good and


the cargo area well shaped and generous for the GLC300’s footprint. The cabin isolation is excellent; very little wind noise and almost no road roar penetrate the insulation, imbuing this crossover with the level of refinement one would expect of a Mercedes. In the same vein, strait-line tracking is incredibly stable during highway runs, with the GLC300 seemingly locked onto some distant horizon end point. Yet it still steers quite sweetly, and body control over demanding, twisty roads is surprisingly athletic. While not a match for the current class leading BMW X3 in this regard, it certainly feels more solid structurally and better built of higher-end materials. While its 2.1-liter, turbocharged (241hp/ 273lb-ft) four cylinder runs quieter than that competitor’s N20 engine, it doesn’t have quite Fall 2016 | COLORADO AVIDGOLFER


Mercedes-Benz GLC300

Toyota Land Cruiser

the urge or character. But it is certainly more responsive than the choices in many competitors, including the Lexus NX200t, and potent enough for most urban missions, with 0-60mph taking about six seconds. Transmission refinement and programming is polished, and the multiple drive modes are customizable to the owner’s wishes. The GLC300 is also surprisingly good value—either that or other companies’ pretenders to the luxury crown have too high an opinion of themselves—for even well-optioned examples come in below the $60,000 threshold. Mercedes has done an excellent job of aligning their offerings to the market, and has been rewarding with expanding sales and greater customer loyalty. To those wishing for a taste of the Stuttgart firm’s true engineering acumen, the GLC300 is a superb starter course. 2016 TOYOTA LAND CRUISER

EPA ratings: 13 mpg city/18 mpg highway/ 15 mpg combined 0-60mph: 6.7 sec Price: From $84,820 Properly regarded as one of the toughest vehicles ever created by mankind, the Land Cruiser enters its golden years with a modest facelift and electronics makeover that address many of this generation’s weaknesses and better demonstrate its many commendable strengths. Exterior changes to the Toyota include a COLORADO AVIDGOLFER | Fall 2016

more prominent, tougher-looking grill and a bit more chrome trim; proportions remain chiseled and restrained, though the small wheels look a bit forlorn in the large fender apertures. The large sidewall tires that wrap them do enhance the secondary ride however, helping to filter out rougher roads in a way that many more stylish competitors can struggle with. Many of the changes are focused on the Land Cruiser’s interior, and by and large are quite successful; interior plastics are upgraded substantially, and if the faux wood trim still grates, the large HD touchscreen infotainment system and its intuitive systems control help regain affection. Controls are chunky and most all feel substantial; seating for the first two rows is of the classic SUV command style, and if the third row’s bolted-in jump seats compromise comfort and luggage capacity, the split tailgate you can sit on to remove muddy footwear after outdoor activities is delightfully practical. Dynamically the Land Cruiser is from another epoch; dramatic fore/aft weight shifts take some getting used to, so too the listing body motions around corners. But once the Toyota takes a set it is predictable and the steering has an actual semblance of road feel, meaning it isn’t hard to place. The ride is, as mentioned, good over many types of smaller chop, and even bigger motions are dispatched without undue drama. Bolstering this is a ride that is very quiet, both in terms


of road and wind noise rejection, meaning time spent behind the upright windshield is rewardingly pleasant, albeit in a vintage sense, almost like a really polished Jeep Wrangler. Off road there are few that could ever hang with the Land Cruiser; electronic control of differentials, crawl speed and torque application mean even neophyte mud-pluggers need not fear. And, the Toyota will almost certainly perform better in terms of reliability than most anything else that can match it in the rough stuff; if post-apocalyptic luxury is the desire, there is no better choice. This select group, including such vehicles as the Land Rover LR4 and Mercedes G550, are very obvious about their upper-crust roots; the Land Cruiser—despite having owner demographics that most all competitors would kill for—takes a different tack, being about the only luxury SUV left that is even somewhat understated. For those wishing not to shout about their wealth, the Land Cruiser really is almost the last bastion of restraint, and it should be lauded for this quality. Of course, the Land Cruiser boasts many more attributes, and based on the absurd level of resale value it has historically retained, is the perhaps the smartest choice in this fiercely contested segment.

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




DIVE IN! Unwind. Relax. Enjoy. Great golf is only one of the desert’s many indulgences.

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60 Tucson

From Dove Mountain up north to Tubac down south, the Old Pueblo bubbles with surprising spots to check out, tee off, kick back and chow down.


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70 Las Vegas

480-488-0398 5734 E. Rancho Manana Blvd Cave Creek, AZ 85331 www.RanchoManana.com

Otherworldly golf is par for the course in the global mecca of extraordinary entertainment.

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Unparalleled natural beauty defines golf and life in red-rock canyon country. coloradoavidgolfer.com


ESCAPE TO THE WE-KO-PA GOLF CLUB & RESORT Whether you’re looking for excitement and adventure or rest and relaxation, the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation has something for you. Play 36 holes of golf on We-Ko-Pa Golf Club’s award-winning courses, hit the jackpot at Fort McDowell Casino, explore the beautiful Sonoran Desert with Fort McDowell Adventures or simply relax poolside at the We-Ko-Pa Resort and Conference Center. Located just minutes from Scottsdale, We-Ko-Pa is the perfect place to stay and play.





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Rancho Mañana Golf Club

We-Ko-Pa Golf Club

“WE-KO-PA” TRANSLATES TO THE “FOUR MOUNTAINS” that play an important spiritual role within the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation. For golfers, the tribal-owned We-Ko-Pa Golf Club has translated into a five-star, spirit-stirring experience ever since the Scott Miller-designed Cholla 18 opened in 2001. Coore-Crenshaw added the Saguaro course five years later. Countless awards have followed. Save for the stunning clubhouse, no homes or condos line the fairways. The buildings you pass upon entering the club are the Fort McDowell Casino and We-KoPa Resort & Conference Center—both of which provide myriad après-golf options—including sleep. wekopa.com

In the Know Short and Sweet NOT SHORT ON FUN: Men and women can play the same tees at par-70 Rancho Mañana Golf Club. But though the Cave Creek course barely brushes 6,000 yards, it features long, beautiful views. Camelback, Mummy, Black and South mountains, as well as Squaw Peak and Elephant Butte, reveal themselves on the front-nine ascent. Water and wildlife define the back nine. The resort includes luxurious casitas, a spa and a huge outdoor pool. ranchomanana.com FORESHADOWING: Paradise Valley is abuzz about the 183-room luxury resort opening in 2017 on land long occupied by the razed Mountain Shadows Resort. Keeping the name, the resurgent Mountain Shadows will also retain an 18-hole par-3 course designed by Forrest Richardson, who worked with Arthur Jack Snyder, the resort’s original course designer, in the 1960s. mountainshadows.com COLORADO AVIDGOLFER | Fall 2016

A MILE FROM THE WE-KO-PA courses, We-Ko-

Pa Resort & Conference Center in Fountain Hills (20 minutes from Sky Harbor) offers AAA four-star luxury in its 246 rooms, seven restaurants (including the fine-dining Ahnala Mesquite Room), Amethyst Spa and outdoor pool. It also provides access to the nearby upscale Fort McDowell Casino and pink-jeep tours of the adjacent Sonoran Desert. Stay-and-play access to superb golf clinches the deal. wekoparesort.com

ARGUABLY THE BEST GREENS in the Valley of the Sun belong to the two courses—Peaks and Ranch—at Tonto Verde Golf Club. See if you agree. Situated in a 717-home gated community abutting the Tonto National Forest, the 7,004-yard Ranch and tighter 6,733-yard Peaks both welcome the public—as does Tonto Verde’s Mesquite Grill. The debt-free community currently offers a $795 four day/three night couples Discovery Package that includes two rounds of golf, dinner, use of a luxury townhome, bikes and copius amenities. tontoverde.com THE COURSE THAT BEGAN as Vista Verde and became Tegavah now has another name. Upgraded by Tom Lehman, Verde River Golf Club will reopen in the Trilogy at Verde River community this winter. verderivergolf.com


Tonto Verde Golf Club


Art. Brought To Life.

It has often been said that life imitates art. At Desert Highlands, there is no imitation. Desert Highlands has always been a beautiful place to live. And a world class country club. The centerpiece of this private residential community is its Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course. The 18-hole putting course, designed by Gary Panks and inspired by the putting courses in Scotland, was the first of its kind in America. But recreation at Desert Highlands isn’t just about golf. There are 13 tennis courts with grass, Har-Tru or hard surfaces, a 7,000 square foot state-of-the-art fitness center, a beautifully landscaped lake for fishing and miles of walking paths that wind through the community. Desert Highlands isn’t just about where you live, it’s about how you live. Welcome to Desert Highlands. Let the celebration begin. 10040 East Happy Valley Road, Scottsdale, Arizona 85255 • 480-419-3745 • www.deserthighlandsscottsdale.com

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Desert Highlands

Desert Digs

Verrado Golf Club

SET AMID THE White Tank Mountains, some 25 miles west of Phoenix in Buckeye, the 12-year-old community

of Verrado covers 8,800 acres (and, potentially 14,080 homes) while retaining a small-town vibe. An award-winning collaboration between John Fought and Tom Lehman, Verrado Golf Club spans 5,142 to 7,258 yards of ample landing areas, well-protected greens and magnificent desert landscape. Equally magnificent is the Verrado clubhouse, which treats guests to the casual elegance of the Verrado Grille. verradogolfclub.com

SNOWBIRD NEST: Ever since it opened at the base of Pinnacle Peak in 1983, Desert Highlands has set the gold standard for private golf-course living. With a golf club membership forged exclusively from property owners, the 850-acre member-owned development embraces fully the concept of community. Members gather to play the highly decorated 7,072-yard Jack Nicklaus design, dine at the clubhouse, play tennis or head to the spa, fitness center, outdoor pool or three-mile trail network. Nearly 560 homes and lots, ranging from the $800s to more than $2 million, comprise the gorgeous gated enclave. deserthighlandsscottsdale.com

Fun and Food ANOTHER TOM LEHMAN DESIGN should open

by year end. The 18-hole Victory Course at Verrado rolls through dramatic terrain in the development’s high-energy 55-plus Victory District—which boasts its own restaurant and vineyard, fitness/wellness center and spa. The 1996 British Open winner says Victory is about “fun.” It features five- and six-hole loops for the time-pressed, no rough and a “golf playground” with targets for games like H-O-R-S-E. verrado.com/victory

DINING OPTIONS abound at resorts in the Valley of

La Hacienda


the Sun. Among the best are Talavera at Four Seasons Scottsdale at Troon North (talaverarestaurant.com), where spiced-up steakhouse fare comes with views of Pinnacle Peak; the Westin Kierland delivers the exotic Nuevo Latino Deseo (kierlandresort.com); Bourbon Steak, Ironwood and Richard Sandoval’s La Hacienda enhance the soigné experience at Fairmont Scottsdale Princess (scottsdaleprincess.com); JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge houses Roy Yamaguchi’s Pacific Rim perfection at Roy’s Desert Ridge (roysrestaurant.com).


Desert Mountain Club

BUY ONE, GET SIX: Desert Mountain Club’s 8,000 acres encompasses 35 “villages” containing homesites ($75,000-$1.8 million) and homes ($600,000$8 million). Property purchase grants access to six distinct Nicklaus-designed courses (Outlaw is the toughest, Chiricahua the most scenic), each with its own architecturally singular clubhouse and restaurant. There are also 15 miles of trails and 3,000 acres of open space where families can “glamp,” ride horses and more. The Fitness, Tennis and Spa just completed a $12 million upgrade to bring it to 42,000-plus square feet. desertmountain.com coloradoavidgolfer.com


2015 & 2016

VOTED ARIZONA’S #1 Active Adult & Private Golf Community

R I O V E RD E OFFE RS TH E U LT IM AT E AC T IVE L IF ES T YL E • Two championship golf courses and an innovative par-3 course • Surrounded by fabulous mountain and Sonoran desert views • Tennis, Pickleball and Bocce courts, exercise facilities, art and dance studios, and hiking and biking trails • Custom homes on large lots priced from $300,000 to $1 million

To Learn More About Rio Verde’s Welcoming Lifestyle 480.471.7010 | 1.877.746.8373 rioverdearizona.com/avid | membership@rioverdecc.com


scot tsdale / phoenix


Troon North

What To Do GOLD STANDARD: Stretching through the

natural ravines and boulder-strewn foothills of Pinnacle Peak, Troon North Golf Club’s Pinnacle and Monument courses remain the hallmarks of daily-fee desert golf. Designed by Tom Weiskopf and Jay Morrish—with some sweet remodeling by Weiskopf—the 26-year-old flagship of the Troon empire represents the best of the brand. troonnorthgolf.com

Rio Verde Country Club

ONE OF THE MOST ACTIVE OF ARIZONA’S ACTIVE-ADULT communities added even more vigor last

April when Rio Verde Country Club selected Troon Privé to manage operations. The 41-year-old club, tucked into the McDowell foothills at the edge of the Tonto National Forest, has seen an uptick in fitness programming at its community center, rounds on its impeccable White Wing and Quail Run golf courses, and diners in its vibrant clubhouse restaurant. Construction on two pickleball and two bocce courts just finished. The club remains as unpretentious as ever, which participants in Rio Verde Discovery packages quickly discover. rioverdearizona.com

Smart Plays COUPLES’ RETREAT: Fred Couples, that is. The

popular Tour player teamed up with Lee Schmidt and Brian Curley to create Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club in Maricopa, 40 miles south of Scottsdale. Ranked among Arizona’s top daily-fee golf courses by Golfweek and Golf magazines, the 7,546-yard Australian sandhills-inspired layout is a pure golf experience with no shot-distracting homes or traffic. Troon Golf manages the upscale facility. golfsoutherndunes.com

BOLDER BOULDERS: If you haven’t stayed at The

Boulders Resort & Spa in the past year, check out how the Carefree resort upgraded all 160 of its casitas, added a lodge and redid the restaurant. The two courses remain unchanged. theboulders.com

Ak-Chin Southern Dunes


BREWS CRUISE: Arizona Brewery Tours conducts enlightening and fun public and private craft-beer tours—including a Sip and Savor edition pairing food and brews at different breweries—in the greater Phoenix /Scottsdale area. They drive, you drink. azbrew.com


JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge

J-DUB STEP: With 869 luxe rooms and 81 suites, the sprawling J.W. Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa provides a sumptuous family-friendly lodging experience. The award-winning property offers abundant guest services and amenities, including outstanding restaurants (Roy’s Pacific Rim, Stonegrill), Revive Spa, fitness center, water park and 36 holes of Tour-worthy golf designed by Arnold Palmer and Nick Faldo—complete with a steakhouse in the clubhouse. jwdesertridgeresort.com coloradoavidgolfer.com

FEEL THE SUN Contact our courses below to make your experience special with advantages like best rates, great stay & play specials and MORE!



EAGLE MOUNTAIN Par 4, 14th Hole

ASU KARSTEN Tempe, Arizona asukarsten.com 480.921.8070

ARIZONA NATIONAL Tucson, Arizona aznational.com 520.749.4089

EAGLE MOUNTAIN Fountain Hills, Arizona eaglemtn.com 480.816.1234

MCDOWELL MOUNTAIN Scottsdale, Arizona mcdowellmountaingc.com 480.502.8200

PALM VALLEY Goodyear, Arizona palmvalleygolf.com 623.935.2500

VISTOSO Oro Valley, Arizona vistosogc.com 520.797.9900

SEDONA GOLF RESORT Sedona, Arizona sedonagolfresort.com 928.284.9355



scot tsdale / phoenix


Eagle Mountain Golf Club

Longbow Golf Club

POPULAR WITH CHICAGO CUBS FANS during Spring Training, the 7,050-yard Longbow Golf Club in Mesa

boasts a walkable layout, superbly sculpted bunkers and camera-worthy vistas of Red Mountain. The Ken Kavanaugh design annually hosts the AJGA’s famed Winn Grips Heather Farr Classic, so you’ll walk in some famous footsteps—when those feet were smaller, of course. OB Sports manages the facility, highlighted by a one-of-a-kind clubhouse that offers an intimate restaurant and outdoor patio with fans, heaters, misters, kitchen, bar and fireplace. longbowgolf.com

Après-Golf Golf-Themed Fun STAIRMASTER: Architect Scott Miller sculpted the holes at Eagle Mountain Golf Club into massive bowls, redirecting wayward drives and giving your calves a workout as you walk to the cart paths from fairways and greens. The 6,800-yard OB Sports-managed facility in Fountain Hills also features one of the desert’s best finishing holes and killer mountain views. eaglemtn.com GET YOUR PHIL: Trace Phil Mickelson’s Arizona roots. Lefty spent his college days at ASU Karsten Golf Course (asukarsten.com) in Tempe and then served as PGA Tour Ambassador to Grayhawk Golf Club (grayhawkgolf.com), where Phil’s Grill displays all kinds of memorabilia. He belongs to the oh-so-private Whisper Rock and owns the public McDowell Mountain Golf Club (mcdowellmountaingc.com). COLORADO AVIDGOLFER | Fall 2016

EVERY THURSDAY NIGHT from 7 to 9 p.m., Down-

town Scottsdale puts the art in party. For 41 years the Scottsdale ArtWalk has showcased the eclectic artistic styles of the city’s vibrant gallery scene along Main Street and Marshall Way. Wander into galleries and stroll around a delightful area punctuated by dramatic statues, bubbling fountains, live music, lighted palm trees, courtyards, restaurants, bars and intriguing individuals. scottsdalegalleries.com

THE LARGEST PATIO in Old Town Scottsdale—

4,500 square feet— belongs to The Mint, an ornate, hip “ultra lounge” housed in a former bank (the original vault door provides the centerpiece). Hang outside on the patio or in one of the cabanas. Inside the pulse of house music fills the 7,000-square-foot space, comprised of a large dance area and private VIP rooms. themintaz.com

MORE THAN 2,000 WINES populate the list at

Scottsdale’s Kazimierz World Wine Bar, which serves vino by the glass, flight and bottle in an eccentric, unpretentious environment that’s part European wine cave and part living room. Live entertainment begins at 9 pm daily, and the slate of “global small foods” is impressive and satisfying. kazbar.com


Kazimierz World Wine Bar




“#1 ranked course you can play in Arizona”–Golf Magazine 2016 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-holes packages. After your round, stop in at the Dynamite Grille where you can enjoy great food with a view. Use Promo Code “Dynamite10” online or by phone and get 10% off the already best available rate through 2017.



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scot tsdale / phoenix


Fairmont Scottsdale Princess

Local Knowledge PRINCESS DIARY: The AAA Five-Diamond

Fairmont Scottsdale Princess surrounds you with luxury. Spanish-syle architecture, lagoons, fountains, fire pits, colorful desert plants and expansive green spaces set the tone for the Lavish Well & Being Spa; six heated pools featuring waterslides and a 9,000square-foot white sand beach; five award-winning restaurants and lounges; and the two TPC Scottsdale courses next door. scottsdaleprincess.com Talking Stick Resort

WITH 36 HOLES OF GOLF, 497 guest rooms, six restaurants, 240,000 square feet of casino space, a 13,000-

square-foot open air spa and 20 cabanas around the pool, Scottsdale’s Talking Stick Resort wants for nothing. Owned by the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, the resort’s links-style North and tree-lined South courses, designed by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, provide memorable experiences. So does Talking Stick’s fine-dining Orange Sky Restaurant and O Lounge, which perch on the resort’s top floor and feature more than 300 wines with which to pair its award-winning cuisine and stunning sunsets. talkingstick.com

Inns and Out SMOKIN’ CAMEL: The Ambiente and Padre golf

courses are just two of many ways to play at Scottsdale’s JW Marriott Camelback Inn. Others include its cosseting spa, two fitness centers, heated outdoor pool, tennis courts and nearby biking trails. This fall Lincoln Restaurant and Bar 1936 opens as the 453room resort’s main dining spot. camelbackinn.com

FISHER IN PHOENIX: Adjacent to the JW Marriott

Phoenix Desert Ridge, the Palmer and Faldo courses at Wildfire Golf Club annually host the LPGA Tour’s JTBC Founders Cup (Mar 17-20, 2017). From November until April, the resort courses also welcome PGA instructor and CAG contributor Alex Fisher, who teaches at Durango’s Glacier Club in summer. wildfiregolf.com

TRAIL FIX: You don’t need harnesses and ropes to

JW Marriott Camelback Inn


climb into the rocks around Scottsdale. Popular trails lead up Pinnacle Peak and Camelback Mountain. The Piestewa Peak, Tom Thumb and Lost Dog Wash trails offer challenging, less crowded alternatives.


Sun City West

FUN FOR ALL AGES: For years only the 30,000

member-owners in the Sun City West community could play its four regulation and three executive layouts. But for the first time ever, the public can book tee times in the age-restricted community. Nonmembers still won’t, however, have access to the four rec centers, 30-lane bowling center. voluminous library and the myriad amenities provided by the private resort association. suncitywest.com coloradoavidgolfer.com

Take Tonto Verde AZ for a Test Drive Two 18-hole championship golf courses surrounded by breathtaking mountain views Custom homes or townhomes available in a gated community Join 70 of your fellow Coloradans that own and golf here!

Discover Package $795 • 4 days/3 nights in luxury townhome • Dinner for 2 in our award winning clubhouse • Electric Golf cart and Mountain Bikes included

• Golf for 2 on both the Peaks and the Ranch courses • Tour and use of the clubhouse, fitness center, pool and spa

This package is for couples considering a purchase in the next 1-2 years.

For Details Call (855) 405-4340 or Visit TontoVerde.org


scot tsdale / tucson

SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION J.W. Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort & Spa

Going 110 on I-10 HIGHWAY RUN: 110 miles on Interstate 10 links the greater Phoenix and Tucson areas—the latter of which also boasts an abundance of golf riches, including 36-hole resorts and a number of current and former stops on the PGA, LPGA, Champions, web.com and Symetra tours. visittucson.org

TPC Scottsdale

Tour-Tested Golf YOUR TURN TO PLAY THE STADIUM COURSE at TPC Scottsdale won’t draw the half-million fans who annually attend the Waste Management Phoenix Open. The Weiskopf-Morrish-designed course does leave up all year the 20,000-capacity seating at the par-3 16th hole to provide guests the sensation of arena golf—without the rowdy gallery. Per person rates at the Stadium ($225-$260 in Nov.-Dec.) and Champions ($157) courses include a forecaddie per foursome. Prices traditionally go up $80-$100 January-March. tpc.com/scottsdale AFTER LOSING ITS PGA TOUR EVENT IN 2006, the Tucson area held eight consecutive WGC Accenture Match Play Championships (2007-2014), with the last six at the semi-private 27-hole Golf Club at Dove Mountain north of Tucson. While the Saguaro and Tortolita nines hosted pros like 2014 winner Jason Day (who outdueled escape artist Victor Dubuisson), designer Jack Nicklaus favors the Wild Burro nine, where vistas of the Tortolita Mountains and The Ritz-Carlton resort qualify it as the most scenic of the three. thegolfclubatdovemountain.com

STARR AND STRIPES: Between 1987 and 1996, the 27-hole Starr Pass Golf Club hosted the PGA Tour’s Tucson Open. The 30-year-old course—originally a TPC co-designed by Arnold Palmer, Bob Cupp and ’82 Tucson Open winner Craig Stadler—showcases the majestic Catalina Mountains and serves as a prime amenity of the AAA Four Diamond J.W. Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort and Spa. The sumptuous 575-room resort features six lighted tennis courts, fitness center, three signature restaurants (even one called Signature Grill), the Hashani Spa and a “water collection” including multilevel pools, waterslide and lazy river. marriottstarrpass.com

for up to three rou nds of golf d uring the months of Decemb er 2016April 201 7





Luxurious Hacienda Accommodations Unlimited use of Practice Facilities One-Day of Unlimited Golf for 2 A Sleeve of Tubac Golf Resort Golf Balls Unlimited Fitness Center Access Beautiful new swimming pool and lap pool New Patio at Stables on the Island Green 10% off Spa Treatments Club Storage • $269 per night (Plus tax and resort fee, based on availability)

Historic Tubac, Arizona

For reservations call 800.848.7893 Ask for the COLORADO AVID GOLFER PACKAGE (Code AVID) (Valid from Sept 1, 2016 – May 1, 2017) 65 Avenida De Otero • Tubac, AZ www.tubacgolfresort.com




Tubac Resort & Spa

Loews Ventana Canyon Resort

MORE THAN 40 GOLF COURSES dot the picturesque Tucson region. Highlights include the 36 holes at Omni

Tucson National Golf Club, home of a Champions Tour event; Sewailo Golf Club, the Ty Butler/ Notah Begay opus at Casino Del Sol Resort; the breathtaking Tom Fazio courses at Loews Ventana Canyon Resort; Tom Weiskopf’s magnificent Golf Club at Vistoso; the 27 Jack Nicklaus Signature holes at La Paloma Country Club; and the two former Tucson Open courses, Randoph North and El Rio, managed by OB Sports for the City of Tucson. visittucson.org

Golf and More Outside the Old Pueblo TUBAC FOR SURE: A 45-minute drive south of Tucson brings you to the 500-acre Otero Ranch, home of historic Tubac Resort & Spa. The vintage feel of Tubac’s 27 tree- and water-lined golf holes mesh perfectly with the Hacienda-style architecture and rustic appointments of its 98 luxurious casita suites and guest rooms. Stables Ranch Grille serves up hearty fare and views of the Santa Rita Mountains and the island green on the Anza nine’s ninth hole. A fitness center, heated pool and spa are just some of the many amenities. tubacgolfresort.com RITZY COMPOUND: 25 miles north of Tucson in Marana spreads the 800-acre Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain Community, which includes The RitzCarlton Residences, The Golf Club at Dove Mountain and the 253-room 5-Star hotel, voted Arizona’s top resort by Travel + Leisure. ritzcarlton.com COLORADO AVIDGOLFER | Fall 2016

CELEBRATING ITS 20TH anniversary, the 6,785-

yard Robert Trent Jones Jr-designed Arizona National Golf Club nestles in the Santa Catalina foothills and abuts Coronado National Forest. The OB Sports-managed course routes around mesquite-lined arroyos and craggy outcroppings. Play and stay at the nearby Casitas at Sabino Springs. arizonanationalgolfclub.com

THE 3.9-MILE Sun Link Tucson Streetcar route

rolls through the heart of Tucson, starting at Main Gate Square at the University of Arizona. Check out the hip restaurants and shops of Fourth Avenue. Venture into Downtown Tucson and the Mercado San Agustin, Tucson’s newest public marketplace. visittucson.org

EXPLORE EARTH’S largest living research center

beneath the 6,500 panels of glass at the ultra-cool Biosphere 2, which features interactive displays, multimedia presentations and a unique indoor trail system that takes visitors to the tropical rainforest, savanna, coastal fog desert and million-gallon ocean. biosphere2.org

A LATTICEWORK of hiking trails crisscrosses the

the many mountains that surround Tucson. Find the right one for your endurance level at visittucson.org/hiking


Downtown Tucson


Stop searching for your oasis. It’s right here. You’ll be amazed at the stories you can tell with Tucson as your escape. Learn more at VisitTucson.org/GOLF




Falcon Ridge Golf Course


high on the cliffs of Mesquite, Falcon Ridge Golf Course flows through picturesque hills and canyons with spectacular views, precipitous elevation changes and memorable water features. Kelby Hughes and Cresent Hardy crafted this 6,550-yard challenge, which accompanies eye-candy holes with hearty fare in Scotty’s Bar and Grill. golffalcon.com Wolf Creek Golf Club

ALCHEMIST ARCHITECTS Dennis and John Rider created golf gold when they reshaped the site’s ubiquitous

moonscape topography of plunging ravines and sandstone canyons into a one-of-a-kind, 6,939-yard masterpiece known as Wolf Creek Golf Club. The 16-year-old course ranks as Golf Digest’s 41st best public layout in America (“a fantasy calendar come to life, with holes clinging to stark canyon hillsides and plunging down narrow ravines”). The 19th hole is no less exceptional. Situated in the sleek 17,500-sqare-foot clubhouse, the popular Terrace Restaurant and outdoor pavilion major in stellar views and superb food and drink. golfwolfcreek.com

What’s Around HEY GORGES: Although only 36 miles separate

Mesquite from St. George, Utah, the Nevada town sits on the Arizona border. The scenic “Arizona Strip” of Interstate 15 connecting Mesquite and St. George cuts through Arizona’s northwest corner and the beautiful Virgin River Gorge, where limestone cliffs hover 500 feet above the highway.

TRAILBLAZER: In 1990, The Palms Golf Club

sparked the Mesquite golf boom—despite being across the Arizona border in Littlefield. The palm-lined, 6,804yard, par-71 William Hull design boasts multiple water features and dramatic back nine elevation changes— such as the 114-foot plunge from tee to fairway on the par-4 15th. palmsgolfclub.com

NO CASINO, NO PROBLEM: Located on a hill

Interstate 15


across from Falcon Ridge Golf Course, the Holiday Inn Express Hotel Suites Mesquite provides a quiet, smoke-free, pet-friendly place to recharge before returning to the action. ihg.com/holidayinnexpress


CasaBlanca Resort & Casino

BIG PINK: The iconic rose-colored CasaBlanca

Resort & Casino recently remodeled its 500 rooms, adding European-style bedding and other upgrades. Resort amenities include a spacious, clean-air, 24hour casino with every type of game and sports and racing book; world-class co-ed spa; three restaurants, including Katherine’s fine dining; a lagoon pool with water slide; live entertainment and a Cal Olson-designed golf course. casablancaresort.com





Sand Hollow Golf Course

Conestoga Golf Club

NAMED FOR THE WAGONS that once carried settlers westward, Conestoga Golf Club invites cart-riding, club-

wielding pioneers to traverse the myriad washes, arroyos, ravines, bluffs and bunkers that marble its lush fairways. Troon Golf manages the 7,232-yard Gary Panks layout that both Golf and Golfweek rank among Nevada’s top 10 public courses. Five sets of tees let you bite off as much Conestoga as you like, but make sure to sink your teeth into succulent burger in the club’s 1880 Grille and sample its signature cocktail, the Branding Iron. conestogagolf.com

Seize the Day Placing Your Bets TURNKEY OPERATION: Few golf vacation packagers custom-fit vacations with the efficiency of Golf Mesquite Nevada. The one-stop shop helps you build a golf vacation that always hits the sweet spot between your budget and golf appetite. Relationships with area courses—including Sand Hollow and Coral Canyon, Golf magazine’s #1 and #6 public courses in Utah—and hotels ensure you score the best possible deals. golfmesquitenevada.com STRIKE IT RICH: The Eureka Casino Resort occupies a 60-acre property with newly remodeled rooms, suites and a resort swimming pool separate from the casino—complete with cabanas and lush gardens—and spa. Fine dining at Gregory’s Steakhouse complements acres of slots and highlimit craps, roulette, poker and Mesquite’s only single-deck blackjack game. eurekamesquite.com COLORADO AVIDGOLFER | Fall 2016

TWO FABULOUS golf experiences await at the

semi-private Oasis Golf Club, which turned 20 last year and hosted all but one episode of The Big Break Mesquite in 2007. Mesquite’s only 36-hole facility, Oasis features two Arnold Palmer designs—Palmer and Canyons—and three of the top 18 holes the King says he’s ever designed (nos. 5, 6 and 8 on the Palmer course). Both par-71 courses traverse rugged landforms with fairways and greens tucked between escarpments. At 6,403 yards from the tips, the Canyons is the shorter of the two by a pitch shot but rated more difficult in slope. theoasisgolfclub.com

GOLF COURSES aren’t the only works of art in Mes-

quite. The Mesquite Arts Center highlights and displays the works of more than 180 painters, potters, sculptors, photographers and other members of the Virgin Valley Artists Association. Admission is free, and the gift shop supports the artists. mesquitefineartscenter.com

120 MPH is awesome for a swinging a golf club and

flying through the air. Mesquite Skydive, located at the airport north of Wolf Creek Golf Club, is Nevada’s largest full-service drop zone. Its certified instructors cater to divers of every experience level. skydivemesquite.com


Oasis Golf Club





What To Do DRIVE THE SCENE: Although Mesquite no longer hosts the RE / MAX Long Drive Championships, the surrounding area still inspires impressive drives. Twenty minutes in the car brings you to the Virgin River Gorge Recreation Area. Or experience the radiance of Valley of Fire State Park (50 min.), Dixie National Forest (75 min.) Lake Mead (75 min.) and the Grand Canyon’s North Rim. (2.5 hrs).. Coyote Springs Golf Club

EQUIDISTANT FROM MESQUITE and Las Vegas, Coyote Springs Golf Club ranks among Golf Digest’s 100

Greatest Public Courses and among the Top Places You can Play by Golf and Golfweek. Playing from 5,349 to 7,471 yards and surrounded by mountains in every direction, this exhilarating eight-year-old Jack Nicklaus Signature course bobs and weaves around 11 lakes and ponds, crushed-stone waste areas and native vegetation. With an average of slightly less than seven bunkers apiece and lickety-split greens, each hole provides a memorable challenge, making it well worth arriving early to get in some work on the impressive 19-acre practice facility. coyotesprings.com

So Many Choices ROLLING ON THE RIVER: In addition to tossing

dice, guests at Virgin River Resort & Casino can roll strikes. The 700-room resort features 24 bowling lanes and a game arcade with prizes and a snack bar. The Virgin’s better known for other games—blackjack, craps, Texas Hold’em, three-card poker, roulette—as well as Sierra’s Buffet, the River Cafe and access to the Palms and CasaBlanca golf courses. virginriver.com

WHAT’D YA SHOOT?: Owned by a Grand Junction

family that moved to Mesquite in 2014, The Smokin’ Gun Club features traps, sporting clays, skeet range, five pistol ranges and a 10-station 3-D archery course. The 113-acre property also boasts a motocross track and areas for RVs and tents. thesmokingunclub.com

HIKE A VIRGIN: The Virgin Mountains rise west of

Virgin River Resort & Casino


Mesquite. Make the 23-mile drive to the trailheads for Little Virgin Peak, the top of which rewards you with views of Davidson, Moapa and Mormon peaks, Valley of Fire, Lake Mead and Virgin Peak. summitpost.org


CasaBlanca Golf Course

CASA COURSE: Nestled along the wetlands of

a wildlife sanctuary, CasaBlanca Golf Course was crafted by Cal Olson with great sensitivity to the surrounding environment. A key stay-and-play amenity of CasaBlanca Hotel & Casino and the Virgin River Resort & Casino, the walkable 7,011-yard layout takes in sweeping desert vistas and views of the Virgin Mountains. Water comes into play on at least six holes, though not necessarily forcing carries. casablancaresort.com coloradoavidgolfer.com




866.252.4653 • GOLFWOLFCREEK.COM


mesquite / l as vegas


Little Finland

Angel Park Golf Club

“LAS VEGAS’S MOST COMPLETE GOLF EXPERIENCE,” Angel Park Golf Club sports the Palm and

Mountain courses designed by Arnold Palmer and Ed Seay, as well as the Cloud Nine Short Course, which features 12 holes inspired by such classics as the Island Green at Sawgrass and Riviera’s sixth (with a bunker in the green). Better yet, you can play nine of these 12 under the lights and also compete on Angel Park’s illuminated nine-hole putting course. The female caddies known as the Angel Park Angels add a heavenly touch. angelpark.com

On the Tee More in Mesquite

SHORT ON TIME? Take a spin on Durango Hills Golf Club. The executive-length course boasts four par-4 holes, 14 par-3s and stunning views of Red Rock, Snow and Sheep mountains. durangohillsgolf.com

HEARTS, DIAMONDS, clubs and spades form the FINLAND IN THE DESERT: Also known as Hobgoblin’s Playground and Devil’s Fire, Little Finland glows with orange Navajo sandstone formations in wild, Daliesque shapes. Located about an hour’s drive south of Mesquite via the rugged Gold Butte Backcountry Byway and best accessed by 4-wheel drive or ATV, the remote scenic area rewards the adventurous with countless photo opps of the erosional “fins” that give the area its name. blm.gov POCKET CHANGE: In the same Gold Butte region of Little Finland, you’ll find Whitney Pocket, home of wind-sculpted red, yellow and white sandstone, easy hikes, Native American petroglyphs and incredible vistas. Nearby, check out the 125-foot-deep, 75-foot-wide sinkhole known as Devils Throat. Look for the fragile Gold Butte environment soon to be designated a National Conservation Area. blm.gov COLORADO AVIDGOLFER | Fall 2016

shapes of the teeing areas on the 10th hole—aptly named “Suits”—at The Legacy Golf Club in Henderson, just outside Las Vegas. The 7,233-yard Arthur Hills design features fabulous views of the Sin City skyline and a trio of tough par-4s known as the “Devil’s Triangle” on holes 11-13. thelegacygc.com

OB IS IN PLAY at Angel Park, Durango Hills and The

Legacy. OB Sports, which manages all three, as well as 10 courses in Arizona and many in other states, offers a loyalty card that guarantees “best price” access (and other benefits) to its courses as well as those at The Chase at Coyote Springs; Falcon Ridge and Oasis in Mesquite; and Coral Canyon in St. George, Utah. obsports.com

FEW ARGUE that Tom Fazio’s opus at pricey Shadow Creek is over-the-top Nevada’s top course. Treat yourself at least once and experience it. shadowcreek.com


The Legacy Golf Club




“TOP 5 BEST COURSES YOU CAN PLAY” AT THE BEST AVAILABLE RATES Conestoga Golf Club is ranked as one of the “Best Courses You Can Play in Nevada” by Golfweek, and Mesquite’s only Troon Golf® experience is the ideal destination for your perfect foursome, group outing or buddy trip. Use Promo Code “COAVID16” online or by phone and get 10% off the already Best Available Rate throughout 2016.



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l as vegas


Caesars Palace

On the Money REES’S PIECES: As the iconic Caesars Palace

Bali Hai Golf Club

VEGAS IS SURREAL and so are its golf courses. Walters Golf’s Royal Links Golf Club and Bali Hai Golf Club

respectively transport you to Scotland and the South Pacific. Royal Links faithfully replicates 18 of the best holes from 11 different Open Championship layouts (including St. Andrews, Carnoustie and Royal Troon). Set right on the Las Vegas Strip, paradisiacal Bali Hai is a 7,002-yard palm tree-lined oasis that features white Augusta sand bunkers, black volcanic rock outcroppings, blue lagoons and 100,000 tropical plants and flowers. waltersgolf.com

Choice Spots ORDER A COSMO: Über-chic and sophisticated, the 3,000-room Cosmopolitan has become the place to see and be seen on The Strip. The opulent, three-level Chandelier Bar alone is worth experiencing, as is the casino (with cabanas), “pool district,” unreal “restaurant collection” and rooftop Marquee nightclub and dayclub. cosmopolitanlasvegas.com

turns 50, celebrate on its two spectacular Rees Jones-designed courses: Rio Secco Golf Club and Cascata. The former lays at the foothills of the Black Mountain Range, with six holes threading through steep canyons, another six perching atop a plateau overlooking the city and six more sprawling across a broad desert wash. Rio Secco is also home to the Butch Harmon Golf School and the female forecaddie program, T-Mates. Located in Boulder City, Cascata takes its name from the 418-foot natural waterfall towering above the driving range that leads to the river roaring through the 37,000-square-foot Tuscan-style clubhouse. The course, ranked #2 in Nevada by Golf Digest, winds, climbs and falls impossibly through canyons and around lakes, streams and arroyos—all negotiable thanks to Tour-level caddies. A lavish restaurant and bar punctuates the experience. Although Caesars owns and operates both highly decorated courses, both are open to guests of all area hotels. caesarsgolf.com Cascata Golf Club

INITIAL THOUGHTS: The ultra-hip SLS Las Vegas,

located at the old Sahara Inn, now includes a W Hotel in the 289-room tower that operated under the SLS LUX brand. The W features a dedicated reception area, an Away Spa, and WET, an exclusive outdoor pool and bar. slshotels.com; starwoodhotels.com

HR HIGHNESS: Party like a rock—or even a PGA



Tour—star at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. Located off The Strip, the 1,500-room shrine to music teems with memorabilia and live tunes, as well as the swinging Rehab Beach Club pool complex, The Joint concert arena, swank restaurants and more. hardrockhotel.com



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st. george


Bryce Canyon National Park

The Inn at Entrada

NESTLED NEAR THE MOUTH of Snow Canyon State Park, The Inn at Entrada is a boutique luxury resort

featuring 40 plush casitas with panoramic views of striking vermilion precipices. Guests have access to the Troon Privé-managed Entrada at Snow Canyon Country Club, a private Johnny Miller Signature Design that winds through large arroyos, lava beds, rolling dunes and jagged cliffs. The inn features the Kokopelli Restaurant, state of the art fitness center with spa services, tennis, pickleball, sand volleyball, basketball and swimming. innatentrada.com

Fun and Games Nature Outside and Inside FOUR-SEASON PLAYGROUND: The natural wonders of Southern Utah’s acclaimed Red Rock Country present eye-popping beauty at every turn, whether you venture to 229-square-mile Zion National Park and its world-famous 15-mile canyon; the giant amphitheaters of Bryce Canyon National Park; the geological diversity of Snow Canyon and Sand Hollow state parks; or the spectacular northeastern reaches of the 54,000-square-mile Mojave Desert. visitstgeorge.com ANIMAL ATTRACTION: The colossal Rosenbruch Wildlife Museum displays lifelike replicas of more than 300 wild animals in narrated, walk-through dioramas representing natural habitats. Featuring bugs from all over, the museum’s Hoy Insect Exhibit lets you step into a world you’ve only stepped on. rosenbruch.org COLORADO AVIDGOLFER | Fall 2016

PETER PAN, Tarzan, The Hunchback of Notre Dame

and concerts by David Archuleta highlight this fall’s calendar at the spectacular 1,920-seat outdoor amphitheater at Tuacahn Center for the Arts in nearby Ivins. The stunning 42,000-square-foot facility also features a 328-seat indoor theater. tuacahn.org

ADVENTURES GALORE—including canyoneering,

mountain biking, aerial tours and more—await through the St. George Tourism Office. A one-stop shop for all things Southern Utah, visitstgeorge.com hooks you up with outfitters, insiders, hotels, campsites, restaurants and all the info you need to maximize your stay.

ROCK OUT at the Anasazi Steakhouse, which

employs the ancient practice of heated volcanic stones to cook sizzling steaks and seafood at your table. Served amid highly stylized metal and wood décor, Anasazi’s fondue, soups and— yes—grilled fare take St. George’s dining scene to new heights. anasazisteakhouse.com


St. George Marathon (Oct. 1), the Huntsman World Senior Games (Oct. 3-15); and Ironman 70.3 American Pro Championship (May 6, 2017). visitstgeorge.com


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Red R



No, that’s not golf on Mars, but pretty close


eing inspired by your surroundings while golfing is one of the most relaxing feelings... especially when you’re playing well. St. George, Utah is quickly becoming the new tradition for destination golf trips, and it’s easy to see why. Impressive courses, intriguing terrain and inviting rates are sure to impress your golf group. By now you’ve probably heard of the Red Rock Golf Trail with it’s 10 amazing courses, like Sand Hollow, Coral Canyon and The Ledges, just to name a few. That’s 189 holes to get your game on. Oh, and not to mention they’re open for play 365 days a year. Off-season? No such thing in St. George. With direct daily flights into St. George on United from Denver or just 90 minutes north of Las Vegas on I-15, getting there couldn’t be easier. Going home... well, that may take some convincing. You’ve played the same old courses and been to the typical desert golf destinations countless times. It’s time to revitalize your game on the Red Rock Golf Trail in St. George, Utah.

Rock redrockgolftrail.com


- 10 Courses in a 10 Mile Radius 3. The Ledges Golf Club comes with unique views of it’s own. The red rock panoramas from the rim of Snow Canyon State Park make you feel like you’re playing golf in a postcard. Designed by renowned golf course architect Matt Dye this course has a friendly atmosphere with an upscale pro shop and delightful restaurant. bernduff Age: 45-54 Gender: Male Handicap: 10-14 “Everything about this course was a treat. The staff was friendly and the food was good. We were running late and they still took care of us graciously. The tee boxes, fairways and greens were impeccable . The surroundings and views were an added bonus. Fish rock is really cool. Don’t miss out playing this fabulous course.”

Top Left: Sand Hollow #15 Middle: Sky Mountain #5 Bottom: Sunbrook/Woodbridge #4

Area Courses 1. Sand Hollow Golf Club has it’s own standard for unique course design that includes an 18 hole championship track as well as a walkable 9 hole links style course. Have you ever played golf on a cliff? Well, get ready because on this John Fought course, you might find yourself teeing one up to hit over the edge, just to see how far you can make it fly. sc13golfer - Age: 55-64 Gender: Male - Handicap: 5-9 “Sand Hollow is a must play! The course is in great shape and was a pleasure to play. I can’t really describe the views on the back nine except to say ....breathtaking. Play it you will be thrilled.”


2. Coral Canyon Golf Club is all about the colors. You will be amazed at how green the fairways are in this rustic desert. The fairways here are wide and nicely forgiving – so go ahead, flex your muscles and go for your longest drive. The most common thing golfers say about Coral Canyon is just how fun it is. Golf? Fun? Hmmm, now there’s an idea. a49raider - Age: 55-64 Gender: Male - Handicap: 15-19 “I enjoyed playing this course. It was challenging and at the same time very forgiving at times due to the wide and excellent fairways. The course was in excellent shape, especially given the hot summer and the day I played it was in the mid-90’s. If you have played and like the desert courses north of Scottsdale, AZ, you will like this course.”

4. Falcon Ridge Golf Club is another desert gem on the Red Rock Golf Trail. Just 40 minutes south of St. George, in Mesquite, Nevada, it’s totally worth the drive. This course has so many water features you’ll forget you’re golfing in the desert. With its elevated tee boxes you’ll see a side of golf you’ve never seen before. Steelersthebus36 - Age: 45-54 Gender: Male “Fun, fair, good test. Great service and food and bev. Must play!” redrockgolftrail.com

5. Sky Mountain is as scenic as it wildstone - Age: 55-64 is challenging. The course is apGender: Male - Handicap: 15-19 propriately named for the amazing “Green Spring is a must play views from the elevated tee boxes. if you are in St. George area. Lots Don’t be surprised if you find your- of elevation changes, carries over self gazing off at the cliffs of Zion washes and very interesting holes. ” National Park and the azure rim of the Pine Valley Mountains in the distance. Anywhere you look and anytime you play, it’s simply gorgeous! Hoot55 - Age: 55-64 Gender: Male - Handicap: 5-9 “This might be the best golf value I’ve ever experienced. Our 4-some paid less than a single would @ Kiawah, Bandon or other high end resort courses, and this course, with its scenery, is in that class.” 6. Sunbrook Golf Club is right in town and has a great variety of what the Red Rock Golf Trail has to offer. With 27 holes you’ll play from the top of the bluffs to the desert floor. Shoot through black lava rock and try to avoid the red sand traps. There is even a par 3 island hole that will leave you dreaming about a hole in one. quarterskins - Age: 45-54 Gender: Male - Handicap: 10-14 “The most outstanding feature of Sunbrook to me was the greens. Fast, soft, and in great shape. The fairways were in great shape also. The sand is crushed lava rock. Highly recommended!”

8. Southgate can be a walkable course for those looking to mix a little exercise in with their golf game. This is a “doable” course that weaves alongside the Santa Clara river – just close enough to make it beautiful and keep the game interesting. Eight of the first nine holes have water features, so you’ve got to be accurate. But the fairways are wide, so there’s usually a safe place to play. uLCVZ4921LC - Age: 65+ Gender: Female - Handicap: 20-24 “Southgate is in beautiful 7. Green Spring Golf Club is a shape. This is a course for all to favorite among locals and guests. play. Many walk the front 9 and Holes 5 and 6 have you shooting ride the back because of the hills. across red rock ravines that will get We highly recomend this one !” your heart racing. There is plenty of water here to have fun with, es- 9. St. George Golf Club is anothpecially on number 15. You might er course you won’t want to miss. find yourself wanting to tee up a Open since 1976, this course is a couple of extra balls just to see if local tradition with large greens you can drive the green. that make for long and rewarding putts. It’s another great course redrockgolftrail.com

to walk to mix a little exercise in with your game. There are three par 3’s over water that you’ll have fun with, along with a couple holes where the greens are on a small peninsula.

Views of Pine Valley Mountain from Green Spring #5

u000005688382 - Age: 55-64 Gender: Male - Handicap: 5-9 “Good value and very walkable. Has enough challenging holes to keep you thinking.” 10. Dixie Red Hills is the pioneer of St. George golf, opening for play in the mid 1960’s. If you want to play in the red rocks, you can’t get any closer than this. You’ll be calling shots off the boulders, around the cliffs and through the trees as you find your way to the green. The fairways are lined with large cottonwood trees, which are great for shade and keeping your game on track. It’s a perfect place for a quick nine holes right in the heart of St. George. soapistheman - Skill: Beginner Gender: Male “This course offers great views, challenging obstacles, and an overall good feeling. Great course for all skill levels” Fall 2016 | RED ROCK GOLF TRAIL

Hotel vs. VRBO


inding the right accommodations for your golf group can make or break the trip. Trying to find the right balance between location, amenities, and services can be tough. You don’t want to be out in the boondocks but close enough to great places to eat and relax after your day on the greens. Privacy is important and memories are best made with a place that the group can get together in the evenings, watch a game, play some cards and have a few drinks together.


Many groups like the idea of a condo style setting, but often find that condos are too far away from the sports bars and dining they want. VRBO is always tempting, but it can be a disconcerning roll of the dice. You never know what you get until it’s too late. The good news is the hotels in St. George have heard the desires of golf groups and have come up with the right solutions. Every hotel room on the Red Rock Golf Trail is a suite style room that has a microwave and mini fridge perfect for drinks and take out. Many of the properties also have 2 bedroom suites with a

2 Bedroom suite at the TownePlace Marriott St. George, Utah common living area perfect for getting the group together for evening socializing. The best part is housekeeping is there to clean up that night’s mess when you head out to your round of golf in the morning. The hardest part of condos and VRBO rentals is breakfast. Playing on an empty stomach is always miserable and no one wants to wake up early to prepare a proper breakfast.


All the properties on the Red Rock Golf Trail have a piping hot morning meal ready to save you time, money, and from getting the munchies. Several of the hotels even have patio barbeques available free of charge. You can relax poolside with your buddies and grill up some steaks as well as grill eachother over the 3 putts of the day. Amazingly, all of this hotel hospitality is often more affordable than the condo do-

it-yourself approach. The average room rate in St. George is right around $95 a night, plus you don’t have to worry about additional cleaning fees or security deposits. All things considered, for hassle free accommodations where your group can get together and socialize, take a look at any of the nine conveniently located hotel partners on the Red Rock Golf Trail. Your group will thank you later. Poolside patio and barbeque Best Western Abbey Inn St. George, Utah

Red Rock Golf Trail Hotel Partners Best Western Abbey Inn Best Western Coral Hills Courtyard by Marriott Clarion Suites Hampton Inn Holiday Inn Express La Quinta Inn & Suites St. George Inn & Suites TownePlace Marriott redrockgolftrail.com

Trip Advisor

Price $$ $$ $$$ $ $$ $$ $$ $ $$$

Now That’s Outdoor Dining!

Over 200 dining options from your favorite Recognizable Restaurants to our exciting Eclectic Experiences

R ed R oc k G ol f . co m 888.345.2550 Fall 2016 | RED ROCK GOLF TRAIL

DEN to SGU Direct Jet Air Service If you haven’t treated yourself to the direct jet air service from Denver to St. George yet, prepare to be spoiled. No more do you have to wait in ridiculously long TSA lines or plan 2 extra hours into your travel schedule just to get through the airport. St. George Regional Airport is a breath of fresh air for golf travelers. Being so conveniently located just 10 minutes outside of town, you can plan to play 18 holes

Falcon Ridge Golf Course # 3


on your arrival or departure days. You’ll still have time to catch the short 1 hour and 40 minute flight to Denver. You’ll be pleasantly surprised with how affordable the flights are too. Six major car rental companies on site make your travel plans even easier. Rent a 12 passenger Ford Transit for your big golf group, or splurge on a convertible to take in a few of the 350 days of sunshine we get in St. George each year.

Isn’t Utah a Dry State? Um, let me think about that...No...No it isn’t! In fact it hasn’t been since 1933 when the Utah convention passed a vote to repeal the national alcohol prohibition. It’s true there were some funny liquor laws in Utah’s past and some have even jokingly called it the “Zion Curtain,” but a dry state? Not even close. The truth is you can get a drink just about anywhere. Feel free to wet your whistle on the golf course or visit the new microbreweries in the area. There are plenty of sports bars and grills to refuel and recharge at, and most restaurants have at least a beer and wine license. There are also three state liquor stores in town where you can stock up for nightly card games or watching the game in the evenings. Utah has had some interesting liquor laws, but as Todd Hartly recently wrote for the Huffington Post after he visited St. George, “As for your other stereotypes about Utah, you should know that they’re pretty much all wrong. I’ve had beer, wine and liquor to go along with some excellent food, and I didn’t need to join a club or anything to get it.” redrockgolftrail.com

Take A Hike

Home of Zion National Park


side from impressive golf courses, St. George offers a wide variety of additional activities. Only 40 minutes away, the world-re40 nowned Zion National Park attracts nowned over 3 million visitors each year. Here you can hike the famous Narrows and Subway slot canyons, or take in the grandeur of the Great White Throne and Angels Landing. It’s an experience that will change your life.


That’s why people come to St. George over and over again, because there are so many amazing courses in such a close proximity, with endless activities to combine with your golf trip. Every trip is like a brand new experience. The Red Rock Golf Trail is simply a free service provided by the local county tourism office. That means no booking fees or markups on the already affordably priced destination. We’re happy to answer questions, provide recommendations and hopefully take the leg-work out of planning your next golf trip. Whether you’re planning paddleboard, jet ski and wake- for a group of 20 golfers or are just board boat rentals. Try out one looking for a long weekend golf of our ATV outfitters and hit get-away, we’re happy to help. the 15,000 acres of red sand dunes just above the lakes. Miles and miles of exciting mountain biking trails surround the city and with plenty R ed R oc k G ol f . co m of bike shops around, it isn’t 888.345.2550 too hard to get a set of wheels.

If you’re looking for some wet and wild action to cool off in the afternoons, Quail Creek and Sand Hollow Reservoirs have everything you could ask for from fabulous bass fishing to kayaking, stand up






Unbowed A decade removed from a brilliant coaching career gone bust, the resilient Gary Barnett channels his passion into golf— and returning to Folsom Field this fall. BY ANDY BIGFORD


OR THREE-PLUS DECADES, Gary Barnett lived and breathed football, the last two in the pressure-cooker of elite Power Five conference competition. The track record speaks for itself: Barnett was named coach of the year twice in both the Big 10 and Big 12 conferences, espousing a philosophy that stressed belief in his players with a Southern-style charisma that was both tough and likeable. At perennial doormat Northwestern in 1995, Barnett’s resurgent Wildcats beat Notre Dame and Michigan on the road and Penn State at home, capturing the the Big 10 title for the first time since 1936 in a season that still ranks among the top program turnarounds in NCAA history.



When he returned to the University of Colorado in 1999, having served previously as an assistant and offensive coordinator for the team’s 1990 co-national championship team, he led the Buffs to four Big 12 North titles and, in 2001, to a 62-36 beat down of Nebraska that remains a signature win for the program. The Buffs next travelled to Dallas and etched a 39-37 victory over thenNo. 3 Texas, collecting CU’s first and only Big 12 conference crown. And then, on Dec. 9, 2005, in the incendiary fallout from an ugly recruiting scandal that eventually brought down the university’s president, chancellor and athletic director, it was all over. Barnett’s world went from 100 mph to a slow walk in the park.


WILDCAT STRIKE: Barnett took Northwestern to the best season in team history.

While fulfilling his pledge to “take the Purple to Pasadena,” Barnett whittled his index down to 3.7 while sampling the Chicago area’s bounty of championship courses—Medinah, Butler National and Olympia Fields. Currently an 8.4, he recently recorded his first hole in one at Boulder Country Club and shot his age, a one-under 70, at The Golf Club at Fox Acres.

So where did the coach channel all that intensity and focus? On golf. “It’s a game I absolutely love,” says Barnett on the practice range at Boulder Country Club, where he and his wife Mary own a townhome. “I go after it just like I did football when I was a coach. I’m obsessed with getting better. I fiddle with my game every day. My eyes are like a camera. I’ll be chasing this game until my last day on earth.” How hard does he chase it? Barnett figures he plays 300 rounds a year, often 36 holes sandwiched by practice before and after. Within a few days of being fired as CU’s head coach with a $3 million buyout, Barnett was teeing it up in Scottsdale, Ariz., where he has a home and is a member at Desert Mountain, which offers six Jack Nicklaus-designed courses, and enjoys playing privileges at Whisper Rock, the goto club for PGA Tour players. Barnett’s own self-confidence and steely disposition allowed him to put the controversy aside, while his renewed focus on golf provided the avenue to channel all that energy. Meanwhile, his own view of fairways and greens has been much brighter than the one inside Folsom Field, where the Buffs have won just 28 percent of their

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BOULDER DAYS: In seven years, Barnett led CU to five bowl games and a Big 12 title.

games (a collective 35-88) since the coach’s departure in 2005.

SAND GREENS Barnett fell in love with golf at age 8, when his mom would drop him off in the morning with a couple of cheese and pimento sandwiches and he’d play the sand greens at Arthur Hills Golf Course in his childhood hometown of Mexico, Missouri. As a three-sport athlete at Parkway Central High School near St. Louis, he never had the chance to play much golf. While playing wide receiver for Dan Devine at the University of Missouri, Barnett worked summers on the grounds crew at Bellerive Country Club under the legendary Hord Hardin, former Chairman of the Masters Tournament and Augusta National. He parked cars and then watched the action when Bellerive hosted its first major, a U.S. Open won by Gary Player, in 1965. (Bellerive will host its third major, the 100th PGA Championship, in 2018). Through stints as a head coach at Air Academy High School in Colorado Springs and at Fort Lewis in Durango, Barnett hit the links as much as his busy schedule would allow. When he was recruited by Bill McCartney to come to Boulder in 1984 as

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an assistant, he eventually found his way to then-public Lake Valley Golf Club and a few matches with the Goons immortalized by Rick Reilly in his book Missing Links. Assuming a huge risk to become Northwestern’s head coach in 1992 (“I had no idea what I was getting into”), he fulfilled his pledge to “take the Purple to Pasadena,” and whittled his index down to 3.7 while sampling the Chicago area’s championshipcourse bounty, including Medinah, Butler National and Olympia Fields. LIFELONG GOLFER: Playing since age 8, Barnett worked the grounds at Bellerive (left) in college and sharpens his game daily at Boulder CC.

Barnett, currently an 8.4, is open to any swing technique or mental approach that might help him improve, and admits to being a Golf Channel junkie. During our nine holes at BCC, he was working on stack-andtilt variations and AimPoint putting while field-testing a new putter. The week before, he’d recorded his first hole-in-one with a 9-iron on BCC’s 137-yard 15th hole, and two weeks later he would shoot his age, a oneunder-par 70, at Fox Acres in Red Feather Lakes, where he has a vacation home. Barnett remains in prime physical condition, sporting the same wiry 6-foot, 1-inch, 190 lb. frame that he brought to Mizzou as a freshman. He gets his cardio on the course, still walking the majority of his rounds; stretches and lifts light weights; and watches what he eats (he was a vegetarian for 22 years, during the 1980s and ’90s).

“GRACE AND HUMOR” Boulder attorney Don B. Miller attended kindergarten and first grade in Missouri with Barnett, and was a fellow pledge brother at Mizzou. He still chokes up when he recalls the conditions that Barnett toiled under during the CU recruiting contretemps. If you could choose from all the coaches in the world, says Miller, “Gary is who you COLORADO AVIDGOLFER | Fall 2016

would want your kids to be playing for. He handled it all with remarkable grace and humor. He wanted to keep doing what he loved [coaching], but there was never any bitterness. He rolled with the punches—and he played more golf.” There is one thing Barnett would take back: The way he handled the 28th question in a pressure-packed press conference on allegations that Buffs kicker Katie Hnida had been raped by a teammate and harassed by other players. When asked specifically why others resented Hnida, Barnett candidly replied it was because she was a “girl” and an “awful” kicker. Asked if that justified the mistreatment, he replied, “Absolutely not.” Barnett later apologized for his remarks, but the damage was done. “I would have said that differently,” says Barnett now. “I wanted to make it work for her. We did everything imaginable to make it work for her. Other than that, there isn’t one thing I would have changed.”


COLLEGE COURSES With his winning pedigree, Barnett had opportunities to move on as a DI head coach, but admits to pursuing them half-heartedly. After working in Boulder, he realized the programs that were interested in him would represent a step down. He enjoyed the free time with his daughter Courtney, son Clay and six grandchildren. Eventually Barnett settled into his role as a college football color analyst for Sports USA Radio Network, the nation’s largest syndicator of college and NFL games with 430 affiliates. He immediately called friend and legendary Buffs radio broadcaster Larry Zimmer to pick his brain and learn the trade. And a funny thing happened whenever Barnett got his work schedule for the upcoming season and translated it into his own travel and golf itinerary: Cincinnati vs. Virginia Tech @ Redskins Park: 36 holes at Congressional, 18 holes at Merion, 36 holes at Pine Valley coloradoavidgolfer.com


LIFE’S REWARDS: Mementos of a coaching career, including a LeRoy Neiman canvas of the Big Ten rival Morrison brothers, fill Barnett’s home office.

Mississippi @ Georgia: 36 at East Lake Country Club Notre Dame @ Stanford: 45 holes, from dusk to dawn, at Olympic Club Ohio State @ University of Michigan: Oakland Hills Country Club “It’s worked out pretty well for me,” smiles Barnett.

BACK WITH THE BUFFS For the past decade, Coach Barnett remained a loyal Buff, making personal appearances for CU and helping out wherever he could, including hosting Ann Kelly’s CU women’s golf team in Arizona for spring breaks. His name rose to the top of the list when CU and 850 KOA were looking to replace the legendary Zimmer, who spent 50 years as a college broadcaster. Barnett let it be known that he’d be happy to try to fill Zimmer’s role, but only if all parties were entirely coloradoavidgolfer.com

comfortable and supportive of his return. “I didn’t want to regurgitate the past,” he says. “I’m over the pain. Life is too short.” The former coach is excited to join KOA play-by-play partner Mark Johnson, and expresses a heartfelt thanks to loyal Buffs fans who have hung on during the turbulent past decade. “The arrow is pointing up,” he promises. The loss of prized transfer quarterback Davis Webb, who took his skills to Berkeley (and the University of California) instead of Boulder, is a blessing in disguise, says Barnett, allowing the Buffs to avoid any negative locker room vibes that would have ensued in a QB competition, where threeyear incumbent Sefo Liufau is the team’s go-to guy. Barnett believes CU’s success will hinge on play in the trenches, with the offensive and defensive lines. He asks for more patience for head coach Mike McIntyre, whose recently jumpstarted recruiting efforts, bolstered by the completion of the $165 million Champions Center, are not going to pay off on the field for a few more seasons. “The hole was deeper for Mike than anybody knew,” Barnett says. “You don’t jump out of a hole like that, you climb out.” In fact, the mantra Barnett applies daily to his own golf game translates perfectly for the CU football program. “You need to be willing to go to bed frustrated,” he says, “and wake up wanting to get better.” Colorado AvidGolfer Contributor Andy Bigford is the editor and collaborator of filmmaker Warren Miller’s autobiography, Freedom Found, which went on sale Sept. 1.







How “Hot” Is Your Handicap? Climate change already affects golf courses—and scores. BY CURTIS PESMEN | ILLUSTRATION BY DANA BARAK




THE FIRST SIGN of climate change upon your favorite Colorado course this summer may not have been the brown tinge on its green fairways, but a pleasing, parabolic bounce of your best long drives. Turns out it may not be all due to that new driver and low-compression two-piece ball. Drier and hotter means harder off the tee. And according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), 2016 has already turned out to be the hottest year on record, eclipsing last year’s mark. Moreover, 15 of the 16 warmest years since records began to be kept in 1870 have occurred since 2000. Climate change doesn’t just mean the weather, on average, gets hotter. It means the weather gets weirder—hotter hot days, wetter wet ones, longer droughts, fiercer storms, heavier snows, and floods like the one Colorado experienced in 2013. But for golfers, a key question remains: Could climate change actually help your handicap? Especially as golf course architects and superintendents continue to

usher in water-wise designs and irrigation programs for the long-term health of the sport? The possibility is intriguing, even among the serious course-management challenges that endure. As the epic California four-year drought in 2015 ushered in mandatory 25 percent water cuts statewide—impacting more than 600 golf courses—Colorado golf course superintendents did more than pay attention to water-wise changes made by their Golden State colleagues. They increasingly have implemented or prototyped similar strategies, including turf reduction (replaced by “native areas” or less landscaped rough), but to a lesser, not always noticeable effect. “There has been almost a cultural change,” offers Kevin Norby, a golf course architect who redesigned Coal Creek Golf Course in Louisville, Colo., after the 1,000-year flood event in 2013. “Part of the struggle is that the general public, golfers especially, like to see bright green grass when they play. We see the Masters on TV, we go to Scotland, Ireland or Bandon Dunes [Oregon]; we come back and tell people how great they are, how green.” Norby, based in Minnesota, is not only

Even Donald Trump, who has called climate change a hoax, has applied to build a seawall to protect Trump International Golf Links Ireland from “global warming and its effects,” according to the application.



exceedingly aware of the “Brown is the New Green” mantra espoused by some leaders within the U.S.G.A. He favors it as well, to a degree. “We all need to be educated about it,” he explains. “Drier climate and less water doesn’t necessarily mean that all fairways are firmer, though they certainly can be. The fact is, there might be two courses next door to each other: While one superintendent may use 40 million gallons a year, another one next to him may use only 20 million gallons. “I don’t think this makes the golf experience any more difficult or challenging,” Norby says. “But as the ball rolls further, it may roll into a hazard, or it may give you an advantage.” Architect Rick Phelps of PhelpsAtkinson Course Design, who designed Devil’s Thumb Golf Course in Delta, has a related view. He points out that even as more native areas are introduced off the tee, and more prairie grasses and fescues now thrive versus bluegrass in boundary and non-corridor areas, handicaps have more or less stayed the same over the past 30 years. While this is more or less accurate, the USGA reports that since 2009, the Average Handicap Index has jumped from 23.3 to 27.0, and the Median Handicap Index from 12.8 to 13.5. “Pick any course that’s opened in the last 10 or 15 years and they tend to play a little more challenging—in terms of lost balls more than anything,” Phelps admits. It could be that instead of balancing the challenges presented by changes in climate and water use, ball and club improvements are adding to them. One thing’s for sure. Over the last three decades, the USGA has spent about $35 million on scientific research for improved and more resilient turfgrass, working with


dozens of state universities, including Colorado State University in Fort Collins. “When people talk about climate change, or droughts, or are worried about wildlife habitat, these are all things we’ve been working on the last 20 or 30 years,” says Michael Kenna, Director of the USGA’s Green Section. “What’s changed more than anything else is that the golf courses, individual golfers and club leadership are becoming aware that these are real issues. Our industry, if it is going to survive, has to respond.” Even Donald Trump, who has called climate change a hoax, has applied to build a seawall to protect Trump International Golf Links Ireland from “global warming and its effects,” according to the application. “Personally, I applaud the USGA and hope to see this trend toward firm-andfast continue in the future,” Scott Ellis, Superintendent of Evergreen Golf Club, says. “For years, superintendents have complained about the [perfectly green, manicured] ‘Augusta Syndrome.’” In terms of putting, new green designs and re-designs have brought increased geometry into play on Colorado courses, at least partly due to climate or water concerns. Look to find more punchbowland Biarritz-style greens, Norby says, built to both enhance play and funnel or catch water. In prior years, greens that retained water were considered a nuisance. Faster and firmer greens, along with more slopes and breaks on 28-footers, may mean far more tricky reads ahead. How’s that going to affect your scores? The longterm forecast for Colorado golf handicaps may be partly cloudy after all.

Presented by

September 10th & 11th The Club at Cordillera, Vail, CO

Colorado’s Ultimate Mountain-Golf Weekend • •



Luxury Accommodations at THE PINES LODGE and OSPREY AT BEAVER CREEK •


Memorable APRÈS GOLF COCKTAIL PARTY and DINNER We are proud to support Junior Achievement Rocky Mountain – a 501 (c)(3) non profit organization. For more information about Junior Achievement Rocky Mountain go to: jacolorado.org For details visit: coloradoavidgolfer.com/ cag-events/cordillera-experience-vail/

The principal of Boulder-based BoCo Media (bocomedia.com), Curtis Pesmen has authored seven books, including My Cancer Year: A Survivorship Memoir.




The Games of Golf TRIVIA | PUZZLERS

Dontcha Know? The Ryder Cup arrives Minnesota with a number of questions. THE “LAND OF 10,000 LAKES” will welcome at least four times that number of fans each day to Hazeltine National Golf Club, where this year’s Ryder Cup takes place September 30-October 2. Located 26 miles southwest of Minneapolis, the 54-year-old Robert Trent Jones-designed course has hosted two U.S. Opens, two U.S. Women’s Opens, two PGA Championships and a U.S. Senior Open, U.S. Amateur, U.S. Mid-Am and an NCAA Division I Men’s Championship. This marks its first Ryder Cup. Can the U.S. snap the Europeans’ three-match winning streak? Can captain Davis Love III, who oversaw the 2012 “Meltdown at Medinah,” redeem himself? If he doesn’t, will Phil Mickelson call him out? How will first-time European captain Darren Clarke fare? At press time, the 12-member teams had not been set, so we’ve provided a dozen tests of your Ryder Cup knowledge.


Davis Love III follows seven other men as a multiple-time Ryder Cup captain. Which of the following legends is not among them? a) Walter Hagen b) Ben Hogan c) Arnold Palmer d) Byron Nelson


Which former Ryder Cup player said Hazeltine, then the site of 1970 U.S. Open, was missing “only 80 acres of corn and a few cows to be a good farm”? a) Dale Douglass b) Dave Hill c) Sam Snead d) Tommy Bolt


Which course was the site of Jack Nicklaus’ famous “concession” in the 1969 Ryder Cup? a) Royal Lytham & St. Anne’s b) Muirfield c) Old Warson d) Royal Birkdale

How many Ryder Cups have ended in ties? a) 1 b) 2 c) 3 d) 4



Which American on this year’s team* has the highest winning percentage in Ryder Cup competition? a) J.B. Holmes b) Phil Mickelson c) Patrick Reed d) Dustin Johnson

Which European on this year’s team* has the highest winning percentage in Ryder Cup competition? a) Justin Rose b) Rory McIlroy c) Henrik Stenson d) Sergio García


Which European has the all time highest winning percentage (minimum of three Ryder Cup appearances)? a) Colin Montgomerie b) Ian Poulter c) José María Olazábal d) Luke Donald



In what year did the U.S. team lose for the first time in the United States?

a) 1987 b) 1931 c) 1983 d) 1995



a) Whistling Straits b) The Country Club (Brookline) c) The Ocean Course (Kiawah) d) Oak Hill


Which American never lost a match (minimum of three Ryder Cup appearances)? a) Jack Burke b) Jimmy Demaret c) Horton Smith d) Ben Hogan

Which U.S. course will host the 2020 Ryder Cup?

Who holds the all-time Ryder Cup record for most points?

a) Walter Hagen b) Nick Faldo c) Colin Montgomerie d) Jack Nicklaus


Which of these European countries has never had a Ryder Cup participant?

a) Belgium b) Denmark c) Italy d) The Netherlands *As of August 15, 2016

ANSWERS: 1-d, 2-b, 3-a, 4-d, 5-b, 6-c, 7-a, 8-b, 9-b, 10-a, 11-b, 12-d




Profile for Colorado AvidGolfer

Fall 2016 Colorado AvidGolfer  

Gary Barnett, Mile High Golf at $52.80 presented by Park Meadows, Foolproof Sand Shots, Fall and Winter Travel, The Ranch Remodels

Fall 2016 Colorado AvidGolfer  

Gary Barnett, Mile High Golf at $52.80 presented by Park Meadows, Foolproof Sand Shots, Fall and Winter Travel, The Ranch Remodels