Page 1

SPR ING TR A IN ING GOLF GUIDE • ME X ICO’S HOT N E W M UST-PL AY

Elevating the Game.

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GREAT OUT! Ryder Cup hero

JUSTIN LEONARD escapes the grind of the Tour for the slopes of Aspen and a career in broadcasting.

16 CAGGY AWARDS th

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CONTENTS | Spring 2018

DEPARTMENTS 14 Forethoughts

36 Fashion Colorado, golf’s sartorial swing state. By Suzanne S. Brown

But Seriously, Folks By Jon Rizzi

SIDE BETS

16 ’net Score

41 Fareways

contest winners, a xericourse update.

Don’t have a dog of a year, Golf Passport

18 The CGA

Youth on Course, a national initiative to spur junior play, comes to Colorado

23 The Gallery

West Woods’ new clubhouse, Woodmoor Pines’ renaissance, Evans Scholars, more

96 Blind Spot

Justin Time at Harvard Gulch, 1995

65 2018 CAGGY AWARDS Our 16th annual salute to the Best in Colorado Golf, based on 100,000 reader votes in categories ranging from courses and clubs to instructors and dstinations. Plus, staff picks in 50 categories.

leads Denver’s oyster parade. By Gary James

74

46 Getting Home

Après-Golf in Aspen

Golf-course realty check for buyers and sellers. By Martin Yaeger

49 Nice Drives

Major champion and Ryder Cup hero Justin Leonard moves up to the mountains and into the broadcast booth. By Jon Rizzi

The new Infiniti QX80, Chevrolet Traverse and Volvo XC60 T6 AWD Inscription. By Isaac Bouchard

Special Sections

27 Travel

51 SPRING TRAINING

must-play course? By Jon Rizzi

A guide to the Arizona Cactus League’s best courses, resorts and restaurants.

30 Lesson

79 TOURNAMENT GUIDE

swings. By Jason Witczak

Fixes for too-steep and too-shallow

FEATURES

Blue Island Oyster Bar & Seafood

PLAYER’S CORNER What makes Danzante Bay Mexico’s next

PHOTOGRAPH BY JOANN DOST

27

18

Advice for players and planners in charity golf events.

32 Fitness Get mobile and get strong. By Dee Tidwell

34 Fitness How to fortify your foundation. By Dillon Johnson

COLORADO AVIDGOLFER | Spring 2018

ON THE COVER Justin Leonard in Aspen Photograph by Justin Tafoya /Clarkson Creative

8

65 coloradoavidgolfer.com


HOOD ALL

A NEIGHBORHOOD ABOVE IT ALL

A NEIGHBORHOOD

ABOVE IT ALL


Fred Couples


Get Your Ticket To History The U.S. Senior Open Championship is returning to Colorado Springs during The Broadmoor Centennial Celebration in 2018. Don’t miss your chance to see the greatest champions in golf such as Fred Couples, Tom Watson and John Daly along with Honorary Chair John Elway.

Get tickets online now at 2018ussenioropen.com

39TH U.S. SENIOR OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP | THE BROADMOOR | JUNE 25 - JULY 1, 2018


LAND ROVER

LAND ROVER DENVER DENVER

Spring 2018 | Volume 16, Number 8 publisher

A llen J. Walters editor

Jon Rizzi SALES, MARKETING & ADVERTISING associate publisher

Chris Phillips

digital and social media manager

A lex J. Rajaniemi

office and operations manager

Cindy Palmer

projects and special events manager

Melissa Holmberg ART & EDITORIAL art director

Jani Duncan Smith editor - at- large

Tom Ferrell

automotive editor

Isaac Bouchard real estatee editor

Mar tin Yeager editorial interns

A lec Barr y, Drew Kor t contributors

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

720-493-1729

mailing address : 7200 S. Alton Way #A-180, Centennial, CO 80112 fax : 720-482-0784 newsstand information : 720-493-1729

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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 16, Number eight. 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 © 2018 by Baker-Colorado Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is prohibited. Postmaster: Send address changes to Colorado AvidGolfer, 7200 S. Alton Way #A-180 Centennial, CO 80112.The magazine welcomes editorial submissions but assumes no responsibility for the safekeeping or return of unsolicited manuscripts, photographs, artwork or other material. magazine partner of choice :

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COLORADO AVIDGOLFER | Spring 2018

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*New membership offerings subject to benefit terms and conditions. Membership is contingent on successful completion of the Club's enrollment process. See Club for details. © ClubCorp USA, Inc. All rights reserved. 33683 0117 NP


Forethoughts

But Seriously, Folks

Please join us in celebrating the spirit of trailblazing in honor of our anniversary at Alpine Bank–45 years of building Colorado communities with you. For inspiring tales of trailblazing by Alpine Bank, community leaders and entrepreneurs, visit alpinebank.com. #TrailblazingWithYou

PHOTOGRAPH BY MIC CLIK

W I TH YOU FOR 45 Y E ARS

WHAT’S UP with the photo? Well, after a year of using an image of me peering mirthfully through a rock window at Mesa Verde, I decided to show my serious side. It’s the side people usually see when I interview them, when I’m attending press conferences (such as the one where this shot was taken) and when I’m grinding out an issue. It’s not usually the side I show when I’m traveling, or when I’m playing golf, or doing the latter while engaged in the former. “When are you going to get serious about your game,” I often get asked on trips like the one I took to Danzante Bay Golf Club (page 27). “When I get paid to play it, not write about it,” is my usual response. “Does anyone ever ask a music writer when he plans to get serious about playing guitar?” As a golfer, I aspire only to respectability. “Playing” a game shouldn’t be taken too seriously—that is, unless you’re a professional athlete and your livelihood depends on it. Justin Leonard, the subject of this issue’s cover story (page 74), is one of those athletes. Or at least he was until he decided a couple of years ago to cut back his tournament schedule, move with his wife and four children from Dallas to Aspen and sprout a bushy mountain-man beard. He only played one PGA Tournament last year. He seldom picks up a golf club, preferring to hike West Side Trail, hop on his MOOTS road bike, skin up and ski down Tiehack and being a devoted husband and a father. Leonard, who turns 46 this year and earned $33 million in career winnings, hasn’t reached the point where he needs to decide whether he’ll play on the PGA Tour Champions circuit, and dabbling in course architecture no longer holds the kind of appeal it did when he co-designed two courses with Tripp Davis (Old American Golf Club, which will host the Volunteers of America LPGA North Dallas Classic in April, and Shorefox Golf Club in Granby, a casualty of the Recession that never got built). He decided to join the ranks of television golf analysts, not because he couldn’t stand to be away from golf, but because he thought he’d be good at it. He’s approaching the job with the same tenacity that propelled him to victories in the U.S. Amateur, the NCAA, 12 PGA Tour events, three Presidents Cups, two Ryder Cups, a Walker Cup and, of course, the 1997 British Open. Put it this way: Nobody at a tournament is going to ask him when he’s going to get serious about his golf game, and it’s doubtful they’ll ask when he’s going to get serious about broadcasting. He already is—ironically, without having to appear overly serious. During the two years he’s been on, he’s learned to be comfortable expressing himself with insight, intellect and appropriate irreverence. The staff of Colorado AvidGolfer aspires to imbue the magazine with that same cocktail of qualities. Which might explain why during January’s PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, the International Network of Golf awarded first place to last April’s issue—a celebration of our 15th Anniversary—in the highly competitive Publications category at its annual Media Awards. We take great pride in that recognition, as should the courses, clubs, instructors and destinations rated the best in our 16th annual CAGGY Awards (page 65). Being serious has its rewards. —JON RIZZI

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COLORADO AVIDGOLFER | Spring 2018

14

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’net Score INFO | BLOGS | DIALOG

The Ridge at Castle Pines

Don’t Dog It This Year ACCORDING TO the Chinese Zodiac, 2018 is the Year of the Dog—also known as man’s best friend. While we all love our canine companions, man’s best friend may as well be a perfectly cut fairway and new clubs… Make 2018 your best golf year yet—the year of the dog, the year of the birdie, or the year of the anything-but-double-bogey will suit—and the best way to do that is with your 2018 #GolfPassport presented by Kaiser Permanente. Play 64 of the best courses in the state and enjoy dining perks, discounts at PGA TOUR Superstore, $20 Chrome Soft golf balls and more! Check out page 19 for more details… 64 Courses, One Passport: coloradoavidgolfer.com/golf-passport

Douglas County Xericourse Update OUR DECEMBER 13 online article about the possible closure of a homespun golf “xericourse” in Douglas County generated plenty of reaction. The hearing to decide the property’s fate has been postponed until February 20. Check coloradoavidgolfer.com and our Facebook page for updates on the decision. Stay in the Know: coloradoavidgolfer.com COLORADO AVIDGOLFER | Spring 2018

16

Spring Awakening WANT ALL OF YOUR golf updates, deals, travel tips, instruction, gear and more in one spot? The Colorado AvidGolfer Newsletter is your weekly one-stop shop for all your Colorado golf needs. Recently updated and optimized for your ease-ofuse, our newsletter is the premier outlet for the best golf deals in the state. Don’t miss out! Subscribe Today and Don’t Miss a Beat: bit.ly/2GffsTk

A CAGGY Congratulations AFTER ALMOST 5,000 voters cast close to 100,000 total votes in this year’s CAGGY’s, the winners are officially here! Flip to page 65 to peruse our eight-page insert on Colorado golf’s most coveted reader-chosen awards. As promised, we gave away three 2018 #GolfPassport memberships at random to those who voted. Congratulations to Dave Swenson, Ally Sigdestad, and Nick Schoenberger! Check out the winners online: coloradoavidgolfer.com/ 2018-caggy-winners-best-colorado-golf

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The CGA

ACCESS PASS: Three of the many card-carrying Youth on Course beneficiaries.

SERVING ALL COLORADO GOLFERS

Youth Must Be Served WITH THE JUNIOR GOLF Alliance of Colorado leading the way, Colorado will become the latest state to launch the Youth on Course initiative. Youth on Course makes golf more accessible to juniors by capping their cost for a round at $5 at participating facilities, possibly with some date/time restrictions. The program then subsidizes a similar amount per round to the participating course. The Junior Golf Alliance of Colorado, which was founded by the Colorado Golf Association and the Colorado PGA, gave its blessing to the addition of Youth on Course to the Colorado Junior Golf landscape. Colorado will become the 20th state to formally sanction the non-profit program, which started in 2006 as a Northern California Golf Association initiative. “If we’re half as successful as some of the other markets, it’s going to be a real game-changer for player development,” CGA Executive Director Ed Mate said recently. “I’m really excited about it.” Adam Heieck, executive director of Youth on Course, said the program had more than 30,000 members nationwide and had subsidized 115,000 rounds as of the end of 2017. “We’re pushing hard for this to be in all 50 states by 2021 and actively pursuing other state and regional golf association partners,” Heieck said via email. “We’re also getting a lot of interest from PGA pros nationwide. Adding Colorado is huge given the strength of the Junior Golf Alliance and Denver as a key major market. We’re very excited to work with the JGAC team. “We see Youth on Course as building a foundation for future golfers. Members are able COLORADO AVIDGOLFER | Spring 2018

to play more frequently with rates at $5 or less and they are therefore getting better. Removing cost as a barrier to enter the game can only help grow the base long-term.” Part of the idea behind adding Youth on Course in Colorado is to make things uniform at participating facilities. “This is really a great opportunity to simplify and make it consistent so that it’s a lot easier to navigate for the end user,” Mate said. Plus, “it’s taking advantage of the brand, the best practices and experiences of other states that have used (Youth on Course), and some initial funding. It’s also a chance to be a part of a national initiative.” Eddie Ainsworth, executive director of the Colorado Section of the PGA, and the JGAC team will be working with local PGA Professionals and their facilities to reach agreements with at least a couple of dozen Colorado public courses. The goal is to have numerous facilities spread across the state that will serve as pilot sites for the program. Those courses will commit to offering JGAC members rounds at a negotiated price, with the user paying $5 and the other money coming from Youth on Course headquarters for the first 18 months—and thereafter from Colorado-based donors and sponsors. “We are excited to expand our collaboration with Section professionals to bring Youth on Course to Colorado,” Ainsworth shared. “All members of the JGAC will have access to subsidized rounds, which we hope will create more access and affordability to continue to grow participation across the state.” The addition of Colorado gives Youth on Course a solid block of participating states in the

18

western U.S. (California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico), plus many in the Midwest and a few in the Southeast. Youth on Course members in Colorado will be able to play for $5 or less at participating courses outside the state as well. To participate in Youth on Course in Colorado, a youngster will have to be a Junior Golf Alliance of Colorado member. Membership costs vary from $25 for Introductory Membership, $100 for Series (intermediate-level) membership, and $150 for Tour (advancedlevel) membership. The three-tier membership is new this year for the Alliance. To sign up, visit juniorgolfcolorado.org. WEE FEES: For $5 or less, a participating junior can enjoy a round with friends.

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PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY OF COLORADO GOLF ASSOCIATION

Youth on Course, an initiative to help make golf more affordable for participating junior players, comes to Colorado.


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64 COLORADO COURSES ALL PRICES INCLUDE CART

GOLF COURSE

1/1- 5/31 6/1-8/31 9/1-12/31

AVAILABLE TEE TIMES WEEKENDS ROUNDS

Antler Creek, Falcon EXCLUSIVE

$28

$35

$35

M-Th any time, F-S-S after 12

Yes

3

Applewood, Golden

$30

$30

$30

M-Th any time, F-S-S after 1

Yes

3

$36/$43

$36/$43

$36/$43

M-F after 1, S-S after 1

Yes

1 P/S = 3

Breckenridge, Breckenridge*

$75

$99

$75

SS: M-Sun any time, PS: S-Th after 12

Yes

3

The Bridges, Montrose*

$35

$49

$35

Any day after 11

Yes

3

Broadlands, Broomfield

$40

$45

$40

SS: any time, PS: M-Th after 12

Yes (SS)

3

Broken Tee, Englewood

$34

$34

$34

M-Th after 12

No

3 P/S = 9

Buffalo Run, Commerce City

$41

$41

$41

M-F any time, S-S after 2

Yes

3

Cedaredge, Cedaredge

$35

$40

$35

Any day, any time

Yes

Unlimited

Cheyenne Mountain Resort, Colorado Springs EXCLUSIVE

$75

$98

$75

M-Th any time, F-S-S after 1

Yes

3

Coal Creek, Louisville, EXCLUSIVE

$40

$50

$40

M-F after 11

No

3

Colorado National, Erie

$45

$49

$45

M-Th any time, F-S-S after 1

Yes

3

CommonGround, Aurora EXCLUSIVE

$50

$50

$50

M-Th any time, F-S-S after 12

Yes

3

Country Club at Woodmoor, Monument EXCLUSIVE

$36

$45

$36

Any day after 11

Yes

2

$31/$36

$36/$41

$31/$36

Any day after 10

Yes

2

Eagle Ranch, Eagle EXCLUSIVE

$35

$55

$35

Any day after 11

Yes

2

Eagle Trace, Broomfield

$30

$30

$30

M-Th after 11, F-S-S after 12

Yes

3

EagleVail, Avon*

$59

$59

$59

SS: any time, PS: any day after 1

Yes

3

Family Sports, Centennial

$19

$21

$19

M-Th any time, F-S-S after 11

Yes

Unlimited

$36/$51

$36/$51

$36/$51

M-Th before 8 or after 1, F-S-S after 1

Yes

4

Four Mile Ranch, Cañon City

$35

$38

$35

M-F any time, S-S after 1

Yes

3

Fox Acres, Red Feather Lakes

$50

$60

$50

M-Th any time, F-S-S after 11

Yes

Unlimited

Fox Hollow, Lakewood

$48

$48

$48

M-Th after 1, F-S-S after 2

Yes

Unlimited

Golf Granby Ranch, Granby

$35

$55

$55

M-Th any time, F-S-S after 11

Yes

Unlimited

$32/$39

$45/$54

$39/$45

M-Th after 11, F-S-S after 12

Yes

1

$35

$55

$40

Any day after 12

Yes

3

$39/$49

$49/$59

$39/$49

Any day after 12

Yes

1 P/S = 3

$67

$87

$67

Any day, any time

Yes

Unlimited

Heritage Eagle Bend, Aurora

$34/$40

$50/$56

$34/$40

M-Th any time, F-S-S after 11

Yes

3

Highlands Ranch, Highlands Ranch

$49/$60

$59/$70

$49/$60

M-Th any time, F-S-S after 12

Yes

SS:2, PS:1 = 5

Homestead, Lakewood

$38

$38

$38

M-Th after 1, F-S-S after 2

Yes

Unlimited

The Greg Mastriona at Hyland Hills Gold Course, Westminster EXCLUSIVE

$45

$45

$45

M-Th any time, F-S-S after 12

Yes

3

The Greg Mastriona at Hyland Hills Blue Course, Westminster EXCLUSIVE

$24

$24

$24

Any day, any time

Yes

Unlimited

NEW Aurora Hills, Aurora EXCLUSIVE

Devil’s Thumb, Delta

Foothills, Denver

Grand Elk, Granby Grand Lake, Grand Lake Green Valley Ranch, Denver EXCLUSIVE Haymaker, Steamboat Springs


20 EXCLUSIVE OFFERS Visit coloradoavidgolfer.com for complete details.

GOLF COURSE

1/1-5/31 6/1-8/31 9/1-12/31

AVAILABLE TEE TIMES WEEKENDS ROUNDS

The Greg Mastriona at Hyland Hills Par 3 Course, Westminster EXCLUSIVE

$12

$12

$12

Any day, any time

Yes

Unlimited

Indian Tree, Arvada EXCLUSIVE

$38

$38

$38

Any day after 12

Yes

3

Inverness, Englewood EXCLUSIVE

$60

$80

$60

M-Th any time, F-S-S after 12

Yes

3

NEW Ironbridge, Glenwood Springs

$69

$79

$79

M-Th any time, F-S-S after 11

Yes

4

Keystone Ranch, Keystone*

$80

$110

$80

Any day after 11

Yes

Unlimited

King’s Deer, Monument EXCLUSIVE

$25

$40

$25

M-Th any time, F-S-S after 12

Yes

2

Legacy Ridge, Westminster

$45

$45

$45

M-Th any time, F-S-S after 1

Yes

Unlimited

The Links, Highlands Ranch

$36/$41

$40/$45

$36/$41

M-Th any time, F-S-S after 12

Yes

1 P/S = 3

Littleton Golf & Tennis Club, Littleton

$29/$31

$34/$36

$29/$31

M-Th after 11, F-S-S after 1

Yes

3

$58

$68

$55

M-Th after 11, F-S-S after 12

Yes

Unlimited

$40/$54

$40/$54

$40/$54

M-Th before 8 or after 1, F-S-S after 1

Yes

4

M-F after 12, S-S after 1

Yes

1 P/S = 3

Lone Tree Golf Club & Hotel, Lone Tree The Meadows, Littleton Murphy Creek, Aurora EXCLUSIVE

$38.50/$46 $38.50/$46 $38.50/$46

Omni Interlocken, Broomfiled*

$60

$72

$60

M-Th any time, F before 12, S-S after 12

Yes

3

Pelican Lake Golf Club, Windsor*

$45

$60

$50

M-Th any time, F-S-S after 12

Yes

3

Perry Park Country Club, Larkspur EXCLUSIVE

$79

$79

$79

T-Th after 11:30

No

2

Pole Creek, Tabernash

$58

$58

$58

M-Th after 11, Su after 11

Sunday

Unlimited

Quail Dunes, Fort Morgan

$20

$25

$20

Any day, any time

Yes

4

Raccoon Creek, Littleton

$39/$45

$39/$45

$39/$45

M-Th any time, F-S-S after 12

Yes

4

Raven at Three Peaks, Silverthorne*

$55

$99/$50

$55

SS: any day after 12 PS: M-Th after 12, F-S-S after 4

Yes

Unlimited

Redlands Mesa, Grand Junction

$55

$55

$55

Any day after 11

Yes

3

The Ridge at Castle Pines, Castle Rock* EXCLUSIVE

$54

$65/$79

$54

M-Th any time, F-S-S after 1

Yes

1 P/S = 3

The River Course at Keystone, Keystone*

$80

$110

$80

Any day after 11

Yes

Unlimited

M-F after 12, S-S after 1

Yes

1 P/S = 3

Saddle Rock, Aurora EXCLUSIVE

$40.50/$48 $40.50/$48 $40.50/$48

South Suburban Par 3, Centennial

$9

$9

$9

M-Th any time, F-S-S after 12

Yes

Unlimited

Sumo Golf Village, Florence

$25

$30

$25

Any day after 12

Yes

2

Tiara Rado, Grand Junction

$40

$45

$45

M-Th any time, F-S-S after 11

Yes

3

Todd Creek, Thornton EXCLUSIVE

$40

$45

$40

M-Th after 10, F-S-S after 12

Yes

Unlimited

Vail Golf Club, Vail

$59

$99

$69

M-Th any time, F-S-S after 1

Yes

2

Walking Stick, Pueblo

$36

$36

$36

M-Th any time, F-S-S after 12:30

Yes

Unlimited

Walnut Creek Golf Preserve, Westminster

$45

$45

$45

M-Th after 11, F-S-S after 1

Yes

Unlimited

Yampa Valley, Craig* EXCLUSIVE

$30

$30

$30

M-Th after 11, F-S-S after 12

Yes

2

CommonGround offer: Must be CGA, CWGA or Golf Passport Plus member to get rate. Family Sports: 9 Hole Executive Course South Suburban:Par 3- Cart not included

M-Th = Monday-Thursday; F-S-S = Friday-Sunday; Sun-Th= Sunday-Thursday; S-S= Saturday-Sunday P/S= Per Season; SS= Shoulder Season; PS= Peak Season SS= Shoulder Season; PS= Peak Season * Some seasons may vary


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The Gallery

Kid Coordinator

NEWS | NOTES | NAMES

Getting More at Woodmoor THE COUNTRY CLUB AT WOODMOOR’S past is as complex as the strategy required to navigate the slender and undulating fairways the membership prides itself on. Since the early 2000s the Monument-based club has endured a bankruptcy, multiple shifts in ownership and three name changes. Formerly referred to as Woodmoor Pines Golf and Country Club and Monument Hill Country Club, The Country Club at Woodmoor, like many of its doglegged, climbing par 4s, is reaching a turning point and is headed in a new, upward direction. Now in the hands of Monument Investors, LLC, a Greenwood Village-based investment entity, improvements are abounding. The grounds crew repaired or replaced more than 100 sprinkler heads. New carts now cruise along fully restored paths. The clubhouse dining, grill and patio areas underwent a thorough refurbishment, and new equipment has enhanced the operation of the tennis facility and indoor pool. The club’s membership is relishing these changes, escpecially because they did not involve a penny in assessments.

The semi-private club offers a variety of memberships that range from a full membership to a simple social membership. The membership base sits at around 900, and ownership is looking to grow this number to 1,000, which may allow the club to go fully private. The most expensive package, the full membership, is $3,000 at initiation. Monthly dues run $245 for a single person and only slightly higher for families. Currently, there are around 250 golf-only members, and the club’s general manager and ownership partner Ken Limes hopes to reach 400 in the coming years. Preview memberships are available until May 2018. A golf membership costs $2,000 upfront and $165 per month for a single coloradoavidgolfer.com

member and $210 for a family. Many of those families could come from the surrounding community. Established in 1969, Woodmoor initially accommodated mostly retired military personnel from Colorado Springs. More recently non-military families have begun to move into the neighborhood, a trend ownership sees as the perfect match for its offerings. The explosive growth occurring north of Colorado Springs also positions the club for success. “What kind of club on the front range has this kind of amenity package?” asks Armen Suny, a longtime member of the club and a partner in Monument Investors, LLC. The clubhouse perches on one of the many rolling, ponderosa-pined hills that populate the area, delivering an unimpeded view of Pikes Peak. Alongside it sit the indoor and outdoor pools, indoor tennis courts, fitness facility and family-friendly 18hole golf course. Carved out of the densely wooded Black Forest, the Press Maxwell-designed layout remains a key attraction. “We’ve got some holes out here that are about as good as anything on the planet,” explains Suny, who knows a thing or two about golf course architecture, having co-designed Sagebrush Golf and Sporting Club in British Columbia and held several high-level positions at clubs such as Cherry Hills and Castle Pines. In addition to the changes made elsewhere, the new ownership group made many alterations to the golf course. They widened the fairways and tightly mowed the green surrounds to highlight the course’s distinctive shaping and to encourage friendly bounces and lies. The greens are continuously rolled to minimize thatch and retain trueness. Credit goes to Superintendent Kollin Vandersluis for continuously improving the all-around course conditions. “But, we haven’t been without struggles,” reminds David Flinn, a partner in the ownership group. Last year, the club’s popular Olympic-sized outdoor swimming pool never opened because a lightning strike rendered its equipment structure inoperable. Having purchased all new equipment, ownership will reopen the pool this Memorial Day. The Country Club at Woodmoor has certainly made a splash over the past two years, but “there’s always something for us to do,” Suny says. Limes agrees: “We’ve got a couple ideas up our sleeve.” — Drew Kort

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Colorado’s explosion in youth golf programming has prompted the Colorado PGA Section to create the position of junior golf coordinator. The first person with that title will be Scott Minta, a Chicago native who most recently worked for the Sun Country Amateur Golf Association in Albuquerque. Working under Junior Golf Director Holly Champion, he takes responsibility for the organization of strategies, initiatives and programs related to Golf in Schools, PGA Junior League, Drive Chip & Putt and the Junior Golf Alliance of Colorado. coloradopga.com

Golf by Numbers

100

holes in a day? No problem if you’re playing on one of the longest days of the year. On June 25, Denver’s Kennedy Golf Course will host the 16th annual Summer Solstice Golf Marathon, where participants tee off at dawn and attempt to finish 100 holes of golf by the end of the day to benefit Denver Kids Inc. Since 1946, the organization has provided long-term, one-onone counseling and mentoring to Denver Public Schools students who risk not graduating high school. Golfers don’t need to finish 100 holes, but Denver Kids requests a minimum donation from each participant. Since its inception in 2003, the tournament has raised more than $316,000 for Denver Kids Inc. To help fill the 36-golfer field or to request more information on getting involved, visit denverkidsinc.org/golf or call 720-423-3571.

Spring 2018 | COLORADO AVIDGOLFER


The Gallery

3 SINCE OPENING IN 1994, the City of Arvada’s West Woods Golf Club has hosted more than a million rounds on its three nines—Cottonwood, Silo and Sleeping Indian—and the clubhouse bar and restaurant annually serve in excess of 110,000 people. Three years ago, the city recognized that the original clubhouse couldn’t adequately handle the volume and approved a major overhaul of the facility. Originally slated for completion in 2019, the new clubhouse will open this spring, thanks to $5.6 million largely generated by the course and restaurant, which operates as a self-sustaining enterprise fund. Architected by Boulder-based Z Design, the new facility nearly doubles the size of the previous clubhouse, from 10,172 to 18,213 square feet, and features a “refined, Colorado Mountain” style highlighted by high ceilings, tall windows and walls and floors consisting of tongue-and-groove cedar, stucco, stone and brushed steel. The bar and restaurant areas have both been expanded, with space adaptable enough to accommodate events of varying sizes. Flexible partitioning separates golfers on their 19th hole from diners looking for a quiet meal. The upgrade also optimizes the space for golf tournaments, banquets and events of varying types and

Book your tournament, group event or corporate outing today! • Tournament coordination from a PGA Golf Professional • Customized scorecards, scoring, cart signs, and other print collateral • Wide selection of tee gifts, tournament prizes and prize credit • Friendly staff to greet, assist and direct your guests throughout the event • World-class practice facility, food and beverage, and drink tickets for participants • Hole contests, yardage books, group instruction and photography

© 2018

PHOTOGRAPH BY CHRIS DUTHIE

Alexander Fisher

West Woods, Ho!

www.commongroundgc.com | 303-340-1520 COLORADO AVIDGOLFER | Spring 2018

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RENDERING COURTESY Z DESIGN GROUP LLC

Colorado teachers received U.S. Kids Golf’s Top 50 Kids Teachers Award. They are Alexandra Braga of Denver Country Club, Alexander Fisher of Glacier Club, and Scott Wells of CommonGround Golf Course. In addition, Bryan Heim of Columbine Country Club was named a 2017 Master Kids Teacher, a designation reserved for teachers who have previously received the Top 50 Teachers recognition three times. uskidsgolf.com


sizes, according to City Golf Manager Steve Lynes, who has worked at West Woods since it opened. An additional 2,400 square feet of covered outdoor space takes the form of a Golfers Porch, which will seat 120 for events and dining, and an adjacent Overlook Patio sports a fire pit and the ambience of a rooftop terrace. The porch also connects to a handy outbuilding with restrooms and a snack bar for players making the turn. The lower level of the structure can finally accommodate West Woods’ entire fleet of golf carts, and the facility will boast a top-of-the-line kitchen that’s four times the size of the previous one. A greatly enlarged golf shop can now stock more merchandise. Perhaps the most intriguing addition is an HD Golf Simulator located in its own room adjacent to the entry foyer. “This will allow us to give lessons and do clubfitting,” says the club’s PGA Head Professional Bobby Quaratino. He and Lynes believe the amenity will attract players for winter and evening golf leagues (they’ve even put a bar in the room). “A simulator is definitely something you don’t see at many public courses,” Lynes accurately observes. The course itself won’t change, though the double-sided practice range will feature more tees, and there’s a new short-game practice green, complete with bunkering, as well as a putting green where players formerly chipped. For additional information about events and more, visit westwoodsgolf.com

SELECT CLUB: Helina Seyoum, CommonGround caddie and Evans Scholar.

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finalists for the Evans Caddie Scholarship were interviewed January 18 at Denver Country Club. Each successfully fielded questions from the 100-person selection committee, earning full, four-year tuition and housing college scholarships at the University of Colorado in Boulder, where they will live among fellow students in the Evans Scholars House. Administered by the Chicago-based Western Golf Association, the Evans Scholars Foundation currently serves students at the Eisenhower Chapter in Boulder and more than 450 CU alumni. Locally, the Colorado Golf Association and the Colorado Golf Foundation work to support caddie programs in order to put more young men and women on the path to an Evans Scholarship. This year’s scholars (and their sponsoring clubs) are: Kyndall Hadley, Luke Hotaling and Vincent Scarato (Cherry Hills); Kaia Dameron and Anderson Gillmore (Lakewood); Oswaldo Morales and Samuel Seibert (Roaring Fork); Payton Brown (Denver); Helina Seyoum (CommonGround); George Conway (Meridian); Isabell Deak (Broadmoor); Cole Prins (Colorado Golf Club); and Quincy Slaughter (Sankaty Head in Nantucket, Mass.). Slaughter was one of four recipients (along with Hadley, Seyoum and Conway) to have graduated from the Solich Caddie & Leadership Academy at either CommonGround Golf Course or Meridian Golf Club. coloradogolf.org

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Spring 2018 | COLORADO AVIDGOLFER


Player’s Corner TRAVEL

Mexico’s New Must-Play Rees Jones’ Danzante Bay Golf Club turns Loreto into the next great golf destination.

PHOTOGRAPH BY JOANN DOST

By Jon Rizzi

Getting There To fly to Loreto, Coloradans need to connect through Los Angeles on Alaska Airways, which offers two two-hour flights daily to Loreto International Airport. villadelpalmarloreto.com; 800-838-2662 coloradoavidgolfer.com

INSTANT CLASSIC: Danzante Bay’s par-3 17th clings to a cliff 250 feet above the sea.

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Spring 2018 | COLORADO AVIDGOLFER


Player’s Corner TRAVEL

SEASIDE PARADISE: Villa del Palmar at the Islands of Loreto; the risk-reward 16th hole.

COLORADO AVIDGOLFER | Spring 2018

PHOTOGRAPH BY JOANN DOST

TUCKED BETWEEN THE TRANQUIL Sea of Cortez and the spellbinding Sierra de la Giganta mountains on the Baja Peninsula, the city of Loreto in 1697 became the first capital of New Spain’s Las Californias. Alas, it didn’t remain so. Over the next 320 years, La Paz, some 200 miles down the coast from Loreto, became the state’s official government seat, and another 100 miles south—where the peninsular fingertip dips into both the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific Ocean—Los Cabos (the cities of Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo) became the golf capital of all Mexico. Meanwhile, Loreto remained a somnolent town known chiefly for its historic mission church and arborvitae arches. Built in 1991, The Loreto Bay Golf Resort, with a seaside course redesigned in 2006 by then-Denverite David Duval, represented the only proper lodging. All that has now changed, as a result of the Villa Del Palmar Beach Resort & Spa and its jaw-dropping Rees Jones-designed Danzante Bay Golf Club. Developed by San Diego’s Owen Perry, whose Villa Group portfolio comprises 12 Mexican resorts, Villa Del Palmar sits 20 miles south of Loreto International Airport. It occupies 3,000 acres on a picturesque horseshoe bay with views out to the Islands of Loreto—Del Carmen, Monserrate, Danzante, Coronados and Santa Catalina. Beneath the gentle waves lies a 1,300-mile UNESCO World Heritage Site brimming with rock walls, coral reefs and at least 900 aquatic species. In addition to swimming, snorkeling and diving, guests can sail, kayak, paddleboard (even at night with LED equipped boards), sportfish, watch whale migrations and much more. Water also plays a major role in the worldclass 39,000-square-foot Sabila Spa, where, among myriad massage and wellness treatments, men and women can separately avail themselves of a seven-station hydrotherapy treatment that consists of hot and cold plunges and showers, a tub soak with slices of soothing sabila (Spanish for aloe vera) and other cosseting indulgences. The majority of the resort’s 200 plush villas

and suites face the turtle-shaped pool area and the sea beyond. The cuisine served buffet-style in The Market ranges from such regional specialties as caldo tlalpeño (a spicy chicken soup) and chiles en nogada (meat-stuffed poblanos with a walnut cream sauce) to dozens of equally delectable offerings. You can also order wood-fired pizzas, panini and salads at the Mediterranean-inspired Casa Mia, or splurge on the inspired fresh seafood and tender steaks in the Danzante Restaurant & Bar, where Mexican appellations earn top billing on the menú de vinos. The headliner here is undeniably the golf course. Known for his renovation work on championship venues (the “Open Doctor” has actually operated on more PGA Championship sites than U.S. Open sites), Jones got the job because Perry, an 18-handicap, “wanted a real architect—someone who could create a course that’s both challenging but friendly.” Those qualities, Perry felt, had defined his experiences at Jones’s design at San Diego’s Santaluz Club and renovation at Torrey Pines South. “I just liked both courses a lot,” Perry explains. “Plus, I had a birdie on 13 at Torrey, the same hole that Phil (Mickelson) made nine in the 2008 U.S. Open.” Perry had never built a golf course at any of his resorts, and Jones had never built a course in Mexico. It took almost nine years between the first time Jones visited the property (“I was just

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blown away,” he said) and the course’s debut last December (“I was just blown away,” I said), so it’s safe to say both men made the most of the opportunity. Already, the par-3 17th, with its green clinging to the edge of an outcropping hundreds of feet above the sea, is approaching the kind of iconic status accorded the 7th at Pebble and the 16th at Cypress. But the other 17 holes offer plenty of eye candy as well. The flavor comes from their diversity. Although built near the sea, the course traverses an unusual combination of mountains, valleys, arroyos, dunes, canyons and foothills, with 250 feet of elevation change along the way. To account for the wind and saltwater, SeaDwarf Paspalum carpets wide, forgiving fairways and large, mildly contoured greens with receptive entrances. After a fairly straightforward opening hole, the course immediately climbs into the canyons of the Sierra de la Giganta piedmont. The arroyocarry par-3 third nuzzles a bluff that dares you to try a bank shot. The subsequent par 4 and par 5 both skirt arroyos as they careen downhill, presenting gutsy players with scoring opportunities. Your journey through the rugged terrain ends with the plummeting 475-yard 8th, where an arroyo borders the entire left side of the fairway and bunkers ring the green. Desert and dunes await on the back nine— the holes of which Jones’s team completed well before trekking into the mountains on the front. The tenth and eleventh border a lake, and the monstrous, sloping par-5 12th plays directly to the beach. Following a sweet par-3 snuggled into sand dunes, you’ll find a cliffhanging tee box on the par-4 14th and a wavy green on the 15th, a dogleg-right that runs uphill, away from the water. Throughout the round, Jones and his longtime design associate Steve Weisser do a brilliant job of building anticipation for the aforementioned penultimate hole, which Jones has “no doubt … will be one of the best in the world.” Leaving the 16th green, you crest a ridge and the 17th reveals itself in all its surreal magnificence, its bunker-yoked green seemingly floating on the cerulean horizon like another Island of Loreto. While its tough to follow an act like that, the par-4 18th serves not as a grace note but a final flourish. The tee box delivers a stunning panorama of the property, while the hole tumbles 520 yards over a rock outcrop towards a ramp-like green approach that funnels towards the putting surface. In 2015, four years after its debut and two years before opening the golf course, Villa Palmar at Danzante Bay earned a World Travel Award as Mexico’s top Beach Resort. More and greater accolades have and will follow, especially as word spreads about the course and the master plan— which includes at least five more hotel condos, a marina, marketplace and 253 deluxe private residences—takes shape. Thanks to Perry and Jones, it finally appears that Loreto, the first capital of New Spain, is finally getting the attention it deserves. To paraphrase what one of the Jesuits might have preached at the Mission de Loreto: “Many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.” Jon Rizzi is the editor of Colorado AvidGolfer. coloradoavidgolfer.com


Couples’ Retreat in Cabo WITH THE RAVAGES of 2014’s hurricane a distant memory, development in Los Cabos has returned full force—and golf sits at the center. Joining the recently opened residential courses at Diamante, Quivira and Puerto Los Cabos is Twin Dolphin Golf Club, a Fred Couples Signature Course that will open this year as part of a 1,400-acre master-planned community located along Santa Maria Bay on the former site of the Hotel Twin Dolphin. Couples collaborated with Todd Eckenrode of Origins Golf Design on an environmentally respectful layout that features ocean views from every hole. Residents of the Ohana Real Estatedeveloped enclave can access the private course, with a pair of communities— Maravilla Los Cabos and Montage Residences Los Cabos—among the most desirable, with prices starting around $3 million. Stretching across 260 acres along the water, Maravilla Los Cabos comprises villas, townhomes, custom homes and spectacular building sites. Amenities exclusive to Maravilla residents include a 60,000-square-foot clubhouse with multiple dining options and pools; a fitness center; spa; and a two-story climbing wall. Hike or bike on groomed desert trails, or hone your stroke on an 18-hole putting course. Indoor and outdoor theaters and options for kids complement the picture. maravillaloscabos.com Montage Residences Los Cabos boasts two- and three- bedroom residences with open floor plans that encourage indoor-outdoor living with ground floor plunge pools and expansive terraces with breathtaking views of Santa Maria Bay. Each features a gourmet kitchen, private garages and an optional lock-off bedroom that adds living flexibility and rental opportunities. A twin-level, 20,000-squarefoot pool, tennis courts, multiple dining options and award-winning Spa Montage round out the top-tier amenities. montageresidencesloscabos.com

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• LICENSED AND BONDED Spring 2018 | COLORADO AVIDGOLFER


Player’s Corner LESSON

A Hands-On Experience Too steep? Too shallow? The secret to keeping your club on plane lies in understanding your hand path. By Jason Witczak IN THE ONGOING EFFORT to correct swings that are “too steep” or “too shallow,” one of the elements few people talk about is the critical role your hands play. The path of your hands sets the plane on the backswing, and the initial part of your forward swing determines whether the club returns steep or shallow in relation to the plane. Jason Witczak is the PGA Director of Instruction at The Club at Pradera and The Pinery, both located in Parker. Follow him on instagram (@jwitpga), visit his website (coachjwit.com) or contact him at jwitczak@theclubatpradera.com or 303-607-5677.P

WHAT IS THE SWING PLANE?: In the simplest terms, the angle of your club at address determines your swing plane. You want to bring back and return the club along the same plane as it begins. swing occurs when your hands get too far behind you—“too deep”—on your backswing, traveling over your bicep rather than your shoulder (left) and forcing your hands into a motion that returns the clubhead above the initial inclination of the shaft (right), forcing you to hit at the ball, not through it.

is just that—a swinging motion. Using your hands to swing the club in a circular motion as the wrist action is an involuntary reaction of your hands and wrists consciously swinging the golf club on a circular motion over your right shoulder (for a righty, opposite for lefty). The body's job is to simply respond to the movement produced by the club. If the body allows for the movement to be responsive to the motion of the entire club swinging, both club and body will be correct as the body will then have to respond to the motion. With a smooth takeaway, the path of your hands on the backswing should establish a similar path they will take upon the forward swing.

TOO SHALLOW: A too-

shallow swing occurs when players bring the club over their neck instead of their trail shoulder. The hand path falls behind the swing path on backswing, resulting in a teardrop return (left in red) as the hands bring the club well below the initial plane, often resulting in hitting “up” on the ball and losing power.

COLORADO AVIDGOLFER | Spring 2018

NO MATTER THE CLUB, in order to return the club

back on plane, you need to use your hands properly, allowing your body to respond with uninterrupted motion towards the target. The path of your hands— your “hand path” (circled above)—determines the consistency of the angle at which you swing the club. Your hand path on the backswing (left) will set your forward motion so your hands can return on the same path (right) from which they came.

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PHOTOGRAPHS BY EJ CARR

TOO STEEP: A too-steep

IT STARTS WITH THE BACKSWING: The backswing


DRILLS IF YOU’RE TOO STEEP... THE PROBLEM: If you're like most amateurs, you swing too steeply (right), only

turning your “big muscles”—particularly your upper arms and chest—and using your high hand (the left for a right-handed player) on the backswing. This results in your hands getting too far behind you—“too deep”—on your backswing, forcing your hands into a motion that goes at the ball, rather than the target. You’re essentially creating a “second plane” as you return your hands—and the club—too high in relation to the initial shaft angle, backswing and hand path. › THE FIX: To shallow a too-steep swing, you need to train your upper arms and

chest to respond to your hands. Since overuse of the high hand (the left for a righty) on the backswing engages those big muscles, we want to minimize its involvement.

Address the ball, holding the club in your bottom hand and putting your top hand behind your back.

Activate your bottom hand in a backwards-forwards motion, not an up and-down motion.

Removing your top hand allows you to use your bottom hand correctly, swinging the club in a circular motion over your trail shoulder.

As your bottom hand returns on a similar path to your backswing, your body corresponds, naturally clearing so you can swing towards the target.

IF YOU’RE TOO SHALLOW...

Ease the Tension

THE PROBLEM: Golfers who approach

the ball too shallow tend to shift their hips during the backswing and swing the club over their neck instead of their trail shoulder. ›

Tension can kill...your golf swing. At address, don’t grip the club; hold it. And don’t keep your lead arm straight; keep it extended. Gripping too tightly at address and keeping your arm stiff or straight causes tension, which will result in you either lifting your club and get too steep immediately, or swaying laterally away from the target and starting too shallow.

THE FIX: In order to eliminate the body

shift and elevate your hands slightly so they don't get behind the path, practice swinging on one foot. It promotes balance rather than swaying and forces you to swing the club with your hands back over your shoulder.

Balancing on your back foot, begin your backswing.

coloradoavidgolfer.com

Maintaining your balance, bring the club over your right shoulder.

Make sure to keep your center while striding softly with your front foot. As soon as the foot plants, the club unwinds towards the target.

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Allow your hands to return along a similar path to the one on which they came, as your arms swing full and uninterrupted to your finish, allowing your body to harmonize with the motion.

Spring 2018 | COLORADO AVIDGOLFER


Player’s Corner 15 TH CLUB FITNESS

Get Mobile, Get Strong Workouts to help you prepare for the season ahead. By Dee Tidwell WITH PRIME GOLF SEASON still a few months away, the two major fitness themes you can work on now are mobility and strength. Mobility in golf allows for the generation of elastic energy (backswing) and therefore establishes a base for efficient power production (transition/forward swing). Mobility also permits you to maintain stable posture during your entire swing and plays a major role in club path and clubface at impact. A lack of mobility—which often results from sitting all day at a desk—leads to pain and power leaks in your swing. A platform of mobility and stability helps develop strength. That’s why stretching throughout the winter and prioritizing gym workouts will improve your game. Strength also helps prevent injury and promotes a consistent, repeatable swing move, which translates to longer, straighter drives. These three exercises require an exercise band or cable machine, which will help you gain mobility and strength in your legs, hips, core, thorax and shoulders. FOR EACH EXERCISE 1. Start with light weight 2. Perform 1-3 sets of 8-15 reps on each side 3. Do all three exercises back to back without rest, then rest for 90-120 seconds 4. If you have pain, STOP immediately

Warning!

CURTSEY SQUATS

• From a standing position with good posture simply step behind one leg into a side lunge. • Try keeping your front knee over your ankle and your chest and head facing forward. • Stand back up and do the other side.

2.

CABLE PULL INTO SIDE LUNGE

• Facing the machine or wall where the band is attached, put one foot in front of the other and grab a cable or band handle about chest high with the hand opposite of the forward foot. • With good posture, assume a long lunge position with your back heel up. • Start to “sit back” into a side lunge where the front leg becomes straight and you sit into the back knee and hip (almost like you are going to sit in a chair behind you). • Simultaneously use your elbow to pull the handle to the side of your chest and reach forward with the other arm. • Reverse the process to complete one rep. Do both sides.

3.

CHOP IN STATIC LUNGE POSITION

• Grab a cable or band handle about chest high and face perpendicular to its attachment. Make sure your outside hand grabs the handle first; then place your inside hand on top of your outside. • Get into a lunge position where the outside leg is forward. Hold this position and don’t let your lower body move at all during the exercise.

Dee Tidwell owns the Colorado Golf Fitness Club in Greenwood Village. He is a Level Three Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) Certified Golf Fitness Pro, Golf Fitness Instructor, Junior Coach and Medical Coach. A three-time CAGGY Award winner, he recently ranked as one of Golf Digest’s 50 Best Golf Fitness Professionals. Reach him at dee@coloradogolffitnessclub.com or 303-883-0435. COLORADO AVIDGOLFER | Spring 2018

• Hold the handle close to your chest, then extend your arms and bring them back, completing one rep.

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PHOTOGRAPHS BY EJ CARR

Please be careful in executing these moves. If you have prior injuries to the ankles, knees, hips, lower back or shoulders, be aware that these exercises will challenge each of those joints. Don’t be a knucklehead and ignore my warning!

1.


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Player’s Corner 15 TH CLUB FITNESS

Fortify Your Foundation A strong and stable lower body will support a powerful swing. By Dillon Johnson

I LIKE TO USE the analogy of building a tree house when discussing the importance of lower body stability and strength in the golf swing. Would you consider building a deluxe tree house, with all the bells and whistles, on top of a small, weak tree? Of course not. You’d choose a tree with a big, stable base to serve as the foundation. The golf swing is no different. We all envision having a powerful and consistent golf swing, however we often overlook training our body to ensure it is actually capable of this. The only way to produce consistent power—and support the additional load and movement coming from above— is to build a strong and stable lower body. Here are a few introductory exercises to help get this process going.

3.

If you have any health concerns/issues please contact your physician before attempting these exercises.

• Hold the top for a two-second count, then slowly roll your spine down one section at a time until your butt/hips rest back on the ground.

1.

SINGLE LEG GETUPS

STABILITY BALL BENT KNEE BRIDGE

• While lying on your back, bend your knees to 90 degrees and plant both of your feet into the front of a stability ball. • Keeping your knees at 90 degrees, slowly lift your butt/hips as high off the ground as possible.

• Repeat 12-15 times.

• Locate a bench, chair, or box of appropriate height.

* (If you need an advancement here, perform the same exercise with a single leg)

• While on a single leg, sit down, pause for a 2-second count and then stand.

4.

LUNGE TO BACK SWING

• Repeat 8-10 times per side.

• While holding your golf club, put your left foot in front of your right foot with your right heel off the ground.

2.

• With this narrow stance, slowly bend your knees traveling towards the ground

FRONT LOADED SQUAT

• Choose an appropriate dumbbell or kettlebell for you to hold between your legs with straight relaxed arms.

• Then slowly rise back up to where your legs are both fairly straight and slowly go into a full backswing • Repeat 10 times per side.

• Keeping your shoulders back, slowly bend your knees and drop into your hips taking your butt towards the ground. • At around 90 degrees of bend in your knees, or whatever your body is comfortable with, slowly stand back upright. Repeat 12-15 times.

Co-owner of RallySport in Boulder, Dillon Johnson is Level 3 & Juniors Certified by the Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) and Certified by the Personal Training Academy Global. He is a multiple CAGGY winner. Reach him at 303928-9007 or djohnson@rallysportboulder.com. COLORADO AVIDGOLFER | Spring 2018

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PHOTOGRAPHS BY EJ CARR

• Set your feet up about driver's width apart with most of your weight in your heels.


LET

N AT U R E P L AY THROUGH

P L AY A L L DAY O N 27 B R E AT H TA K I N G H O L E S Set against a spectacular backdrop of towering spires, balancing rocks and lush mountain valleys, discover the true challenge of Kissing Camels Golf Club. Part of the Garden of the Gods Collection, this 27-hole course is just one of every luxury you can experience here – from the spa, health and wellness to world-class cuisine. Come play and stay for a weekend or enjoy a lifetime of privileges as a member of The Club at Garden of the Gods.

Colorado Springs, CO | 719.632.5541 | gardenofthegodsclub.com


Player’s Corner GEAR

Swing State Colorado companies score with golf clothes and accessories.. By Suzanne S. Brown < WEARING THE PANTS A golfer’s tools are many—from gloves and tees to balls, repair tools and ball markers. And let's not overlook that range-finding smartphone, pencil and scorecard. Frequent golfer and Roaring Fork Realtor Greg Didier likes to walk the course and got tired of fumbling for these things in his pockets. Two years ago, he set out to build a better pair of golf pants. After making some sketches and enlisting the help of friends in the apparel world, fabrics were tested, samples created and Caddy Slacks were born. Available in four colors as shorts, $89, and pants, $110, the design has loops for tees, a ball marker magnet, a sticky patch for a glove, a ball pocket and side pockets for his phone and scorecard. caddyslacks.com

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WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WEAR AND WOW Sport Haley (above) and Bette & Court (below) are among Colorado’s legacy women’s golf fashion brands, having survived decades of business and fashion cycles. Cathy Blair, president and creative director of the Lakewood-based companies, continues to ensure their collections—which now include figureflattering SlimSation pants and tops— are full of prints, performance fabrics and what she calls the “wow factor.” This spring, look for dresses, as well as athleisure looks that fit in at the gym as easily as they do on the course or around town, and such novel fabrics as foil prints. Most items are $54-$99. sporthaley.com

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THE EYES HAVE IT When Rebecca and Bret Milner named the first sunglass style in their company Link after their son Lincoln in 2014, they were also giving a nod to golf and the fact that the specs were perfect for the sport. Monument-based Epoch Eyewear is now sold in more than 6,500 locations and the line includes dozens of glasses that come in a variety of frames and lens styles, most of which sell for $20 to $30. ANSI-safety ratings, polarized lenses and such features as inlaid rubber enhance performance and fit. While such styles as the Link and Bravo half frames appeal to men, Epoch has started adding women’s designs like an aviator called the Emerson, named for—who else?—the Milners’ daughter. epocheyewear.com < TIPS O' THE HAT Guys who wear a brimmed hat are bringing a little bit of Bing Crosby, a touch of Justin Timberlake and a lot of life to the links. The folks at Boulder-based Wallaroo Hats have been channeling both this fashion vibe and the importance of sun protection in such styles as the fedora and trilby. Among the top picks for male golfers is the aptnamed Justin, $44, which has a 2-inch brim and is packable. The Avery, $52, has eyelets to increase airflow to the head and a UPF 50+ fabric that blocks ultraviolet rays. Women as well as men like the styling, and a ladies’ version of the trilby, Trilogy, comes with a striped ribbon accent, $44. wallaroohats.com COLORADO AVIDGOLFER | Spring 2018

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Player’s Corner GEAR

PHOTOGRAPH BY ROBIN’S PHOTOGRAPHY

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IN THE PINK Women who want looks that are easy, breezy and anything but stodgy to wear on the golf course find them from Ellabelle. Designer Heidi Ehrlich, whose family owns The Mad Russian Golf and Country Club in Milliken, runs the merchandise side of the business, so she was in a good position to bring something new to the course when starting Ellabelle four years ago. The unabashedly feminine collection employs plenty of pink, prints and flirtatious design. Looks for spring include python and pop prints for her Chacha dress, $115, and undershorts, $20; racerback top, $65; and Sway skirt, $70, among other items. ellabelle.com

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FROM COURT TO COURSE Denver native Anne Fanganello worked in the New York fashion scene at such companies as Nanette Lepore before returning to her home state to start the AnnaFesta women’s collection. A tennis lover, she added FestaSports activewear a couple of years ago for women who need a wider size range (items go from extra small to a size 3X) and sportswear with more coverage. Golfers soon took notice, and FestaSports is now offering golf skorts in patterned, moisture-wicking fabrics, $56; V-neck tops and tank tops, $59; polo tops, $79; and skirts with attached capris, $68. festasports.com. (Colorado AvidGolfer readers get a 10 percent discount and free shipping by using the voucher code CAG at checkout, through June 30.) The line is also at Unlisted in Centennial, theunlistedmarket.com

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CHILD’S PLAY Joe Silva started Garb Inc. two decades ago when he couldn’t find golf clothes for his children. Now his son Tyler Silva is director of operations for the Denver-based company and they’re still going strong. Garb’s collections of well-designed golfwear for youths age 5-14 (they make styles for infants and toddlers, too) offer a winning combination of fashion and function to appeal to both kids and their parents. Boys’ shorts, for example, are offered in quick-dry materials so they can go from the driving range to the diving board, and longsleeved, quarter-zip tops for girls are available in UPF 50+ fabric. Most looks in the 2018 collection, in stores starting in May, are $33-$53. garbinc.com

COLORADO AVIDGOLFER | Spring 2018

Suzanne S. Brown is the former fashion and features editor for The Denver Post. She also contributes to Mountain Living and Colorado Expression.

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experienceThe Ridge

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

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Side Bets | FAREWAYS FOOD | REAL ESTATE | CARS

This Town Is Your Oyster

BEYOND BIVALVES: Blue Island Oyster Bar and Seafood‘s raw oysters, clam linguine and oyster stew.

Thanks to shellfish and seafood joints like Cherry Creek’s Blue Island, Denver shucks now more than ever. By Gary James OYSTERS ARE ALL THE RAGE in Denver. We’ve come a long way from the days when people would try to order the Rocky Mountain variety on the half shell. Now modern shipping technology allows ultra-fresh proprietary seafood to arrive overnight, and the most affecting “dock-to-dish” mission can be found at Blue Island Oyster Bar & Seafood. “They don’t think about it with sushi, but people have this stigma attached to fresh fish in a landlocked state,” owner Sean Huggard says. “Being in the center of the country, we actually have some of the freshest. You’ll be sitting on the beach in Boston having California halibut, and they had to fly it over Colorado. It’s a new world of logistics and FedEx.” For Blue Island, Huggard (a former executive chef at Black Pearl and Encore and an operations manager at Humboldt and other Concept restaurants) partnered with the renowned Long Island-based Blue Island Shellfish Farm owned by Chris Quartuccio. “I’m a seafood nut—I grew up around it, cooking it, understanding it, and I was a seafood chef on Nantucket Island,” Huggard says. “I’ve always been a sucker for oysters. I started chatting with Chris at the Boston Seafood Show (a.k.a. Seafood Expo North America). He wanted to open an oyster bar as the next step for his busi-

ness—he’s the rock star in the oyster wholesaler trade, doing it for twenty-plus years. Most fishmongers do it all—salmon, cod, mussels. Not a lot of them specialize in oysters and clams like he does, both diver harvested and off his farm. And he helps a lot of locals—there’s not a lot of glory or money in it, like farming in general. “I wanted to partner with him and tell his inspiring story and that of the culture I grew up in. The majority of our oysters come through his connections. Unless they are well-handled and molded to have a taste profile, we never bring in anything south of the Mason-Dixon line. Gulf oysters grow fast, so they don’t have flavor.” So Blue Island has the feel of a clam shack in a small New England coastal town as opposed to, say, a New Orleans fish house. The sleek, modern maritime-leaning setting is subtle and relaxing, including a cool full-wall rendering of Long Island’s Great South Bay. “But I shot myself in the foot,” Huggard admits. “It never occurred to me that people wouldn’t know an oyster bar is also a seafood-driven restaurant. After two years of being Blue Island Oyster Bar, we’re now Blue Island Oyster Bar & Seafood, because we get a lot of people saying, ‘I’ve never been, I don’t like oysters.’” Indeed, there’s so much classic “coastal comfort food” to sample under the aegis of Executive Chef Tom

The Raw and the Cooked JAX FISH HOUSE & OYSTER BAR This fish house and oyster bar model, with locations in Boulder, downtown Denver, Fort Collins and Glendale, features outstanding seafood certified as sustainable by the Monterey Bay Seafood Watch, an admirable commitment to global oceanic fish stocks. The counter bar at the Denver location has been packing people in since 1996, a rollicking oasis for Happy Hour bolstered by a staff whose enthusiasm is contagious. Put yourself in Adam’s capable hands (if they’re not sheathed in shucking gloves)! jaxfishhouse.com

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Diving In OCEAN PRIME The Larimer Square supper club takes up the slack of what McCormick & Schmick’s used to be, serving prime steaks as well as signature fresh seafood. It’s steakhousepricey and sports a steakhouseworthy wine list, making it a great special-occasion destination. The oysters are hearty on the half-shell, but the showstopper is the Smoking Shellfish Tower (above): four stories of crab legs, raw oysters, shrimp, crabmeat and lobster presented with a mist created by dry ice pellets and water. A second Ocean Prime will open this summer in the DTC’s Belleview Promenade. oceanprime.com; 303-825-3663

Spring 2018 | COLORADO AVIDGOLFER


Side Bets | FAREWAYS

Stanford. The City’s Best Clam Chowder is just that—creamy, chunky and served with a golden-brown frittery clam cake (basically a clam beignet). If you’re a sucker for lobster rolls, there’s the classic Northeastern seaboard style prep, but also some variations—a Tokyo Roll (with ginger-yuzu mayonnaise, sesame, Japanese red chili pepper and cucumber), a Mile High Roll (spicy chipotle aioli, avocado, bacon and tomato), and the exquisite Hot & Buttered (the Maine lobster sopping in garlic-herb butter with Bibb lettuce, nothing more). The New England Fried Surf Clam Plate is manna for those who believe anything is better fried—the mollusks are dusted in corn flour and served with house-made tartar sauce. The Clam Pasta—fresh linguine tossed with lots of chopped Little Necks and Quahogs, crushed red pepper

garlic, white wine and Parmesan—is sublime. The Knuckle Sandwich—Maine lobster (the meat culled from a leg joint) on a buttered bun for $8— is the best Happy Hour treat imaginable. But what about the oysters? Objectively, the pelecypods are high in zinc, low in cholesterol, and thus good for your immune system and your heart. Subjectively, there’s no better time spent than sitting at the raw bar—festooned with bivalves on ice (now there’s a Disney touring show!) displayed in traditional baskets—and interacting with the knowledgeable shuckers while slurping down the fresh, delicate tissue with mignonette or cocktail sauce and pondering deep philosophical questions (i.e., if an oyster loses its shell, is it naked or homeless?). Quartuccio meticulously sources from both

Oyster Cloister

Shell High BLACKBIRD PUBLIC HOUSE A neighborhood joint in West Washington Park with a homey ambience, “The Bird” has emerged as one of Denver’s best options for brunch. It offers a robust menu of artisanal pizzas, wings, burgers and fried chicken—but don’t overlook the fresh oysters, shucked right at the end of the bar. blackbirdpublichouse.com; 303733-3923

CART-DRIVER RiNo’s contribution to the oyster craze squeezes into a doublewide shipping container and delivers exquisite antipasti, wood-fired pizzas, Prosecco and craft beer on tap and an eclectic selection of freshly shucked ostriche. cart-driver.com; 303-292-3553

Start Your Happily Ever After With Us From rehearsal dinners to bridal showers, Fleming’s will help you plan an unforgettable event. Book your event and earn a $50 dining card for every $500 spent. Contact our Private Dining Director Kimi Brown for more information.

Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar 191 Inverness Drive West | Englewood, CO 303-768-0827 Visit us at FlemingsSteakhouse.com/Private-Dining

COLORADO AVIDGOLFER | Spring 2018

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Rated in Golfweek's Top 100 Home to one of Americaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most prestigious golf courses, Sand Hollow Resort is also positioned perfectly for respite and adventure in the heart of the southwest near Zion National Park, Sand Hollow Reservoir, and the Sand Mountain Dunes. Sand Hollow Resort is conveniently located 15 minutes from the St. George Regional Airport and 2 hours away from Las Vegasâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; McCarran Airport. Flights from Denver, Los Angeles, and Phoenix now fly into St. George Regional airport, just minutes away from our front door. Shuttles are available.

sandhollowresort.com | 5662 W. Clubhouse Dr. Hurricane, UT 84737 | 435-656-4653 sandhollowresort.com | 5662 W. Clubhouse Dr. Hurricane, UT | 435-656-4653


Side Bets | FAREWAYS

Oyster Parade STOIC & GENUINE This Union Station seafood staple makes freshness its top priority, especially during happy hour (2-6), when Malpeques, Genuines and Church Points run a cool $2 each. The raw bar boasts as many as seven types of oyster from Washington, Prince Edward Island, Cape Cod and Long Island.stoicandgenuine.com; 303-640-FISH

coasts; the oysters are flown in daily and change with the season. “Oysters are like dogs—you have a black lab, I have a boxer, but they’re both dogs, just different species,” Haggard muses. “There are five species of oysters,” he explains. “The Virginica oyster on the East Coast are native to America; you find them as far north as Canada and down to the Gulf of Mexico. On the West Coast, there are two species not native to America—the Gigas species, the typical West Coast oyster, has a cool fluted shell. The Sicamea or Kumamoto oyster came from Japan, but that bay is so polluted, they’re grown on our West Coast. The species native to the West Coast, the Olympia, is very difficult to find—it’s not wild anymore, and it’s very small, growing to the size of a quarter or half dollar; we bring them in when we do our ‘Five Species Tasting.’ Fifth is the Belon oyster, the species native to Europe.” Huggard advises the virgin oyster eater to “go with Kumamoto—it’s the most palatable and, ironically, the most expensive. It’s very sweet, like putting a bit of sugar on a cucumber. We are the only bar that serves a

true Kumamoto; the others are hybrids. I love the Naked Cowboy, naturally grown in 20 feet of super-cold high-salinity water, not farmed, so they’re withstanding the elements of nature—bite into them and they’re almost crisp.” If you’re one of the poor misguided souls who believe eating cooked food is what makes us human, you’ll do fine with the Roasted Oysters in garlic butter, herbs, Parmesan and Ritz cracker crumbs. “Seafood culture in Denver is expensive—it’s those plane tickets—and we get nailed for being in Cherry Creek, an upscale neighborhood,” Huggard says. “But seafood doesn’t have to be stuffy—we try to be a fun, casual place. We’re not inexpensive, but we’re of value.” As I said to my last oyster, thanks for opening up to me. 2625 East 2nd Avenue, Denver blueislandoysterbar.com; 303-333-2462 Gary James is a Boulder-based food and music writer. Read more at coloradoavidgolfer.com/fareways.

Oysters Every Way ANGELO’S TAVERNA Between its locations in Denver and Littleton, this Italian pizzeria and restaurant serves more than 7,000 oysters a week, the majority during its legendary happy hour and after 9 p.m. At lunch and dinner, the bivalves come on the half shell, fried in sliders and chargrilled with toppings such as chipotle bourbon butter and bacon and gorgonzola with an arugula pesto. angelostaverna.com

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noW in inventory

2018 infiniti QX80 Starting at $67,850

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Serving the local community since 1993, infiniti of denver is a colorado-owned, luxury automobile dealership. our owners, sales consultants, service technicians and staff bring this caring, personal approach to life through high-quality customer service, convenient hours and location, and a steadfast commitment to giving back through hometown philanthropy. We invite you to come in and discover the infiniti of denver difference. Join us at infinitiofdenver.com or

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Side Bets | GETTING HOME

PHOTOGRAPHS BY MARTIN YEAGER

MUNI MANSES: Homes flank the sixth hole at West Woods Golf Club in Arvada.

Realty Check What will 2018 bring for buyers and sellers in golf-course communities? Text and Photographs by Martin Yeager GOLF-COURSE LIVING offers a distinctive opportunity to live where you love to play. And in Colorado, these opportunities abound. A round of golf at the majority of the Front Range’s 90-plus courses gives you a firsthand perspective on the residences that complement the fairways. At gated, private clubs as well as public facilities, options exist in every price range—from townhomes in the low $200s to multimillion-dollar estates. Once considered more of a lifestyle for older adults, many club and course communities now offer multigenerational amenities and options that promise balance to our busy lives. Take the case of Red Rocks Country Club. In 2006, when Sheri and Dick Rotolo moved into their home on the 14th fairway, “the pool was empty for the most part,” Sheri says. “Now, it’s packed with families and grandkids. It’s changed, and it’s certainly fun to see all the gatherings and happy hours taking place.” Other communities and private clubs are adopting a similar approach, reaching a wider demographic of homeowners as Colorado continues to thrive. As we go into 2018, I’d like to share a market summary for those of you thinking about buying or selling in the next few months. COLORADO AVIDGOLFER | Spring 2018

THINKING OF BUYING? • In Colorado, golf community homes historically sell for 30 percent higher than other homes in the market. In 2017, that figure grew to 35 percent, with the median price of a golf community home reaching $490,500. Part of the increase is due to the number of available golf-course homes remaining constant while demand increases. Over the past three years, slightly more than 2,600 homes have sold annually in golf communities with 2017 just over that mark. • More than half of golf community homes and townhomes (54%) sold for less than the $500,000 price benchmark. Single-family homes were rarely available for less than $320,000. Twenty-eight percent of the golf community homes sold in 2017 were priced between $500,000$750,000, while those in the $750,000-$1 million range comprised 11%. The remaining 7% of sales were above the $1 million level. • Depending on your budget, you will find more homes available in the southeast corridor (Parker, Elizabeth and parts of Castle Rock) as well as along the northwest corridor continuing through Longmont, Erie, Lafayette, Broomfield and Boulder. New construction options are still available, though prime lots are becoming more difficult to find.

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The Chirico home at Ravenna

Test Drive Bill and Lisa Chirico sold their home in Littleton in 2015, knowing they wanted to live in a golf community. Taking their time to decide, they rented a townhome for a year before deciding to move to The Golf Club at Ravenna. While golf was their primary interest, the greater sense of community was a welcome plus. After living on the course, the Chiricos opted for a more private setting, though they are only a minute away from the new clubhouse that will be finished in 2018. The home, designed and constructed by Sterling Custom Homes, opens to the natural landscape that defines Ravenna. “We felt Ravenna was both affordable to join and offered an amazing golf experience— next to none in our opinion. We love it here.”

coloradoavidgolfer.com


Side Bets | GETTING HOME

PRIVATE HIGH: Large homes grace The Club at Pradera in Parker.

• Be prepared to move quickly when you are ready to buy, as the average home stays on the market for just three weeks. Buyers for golfcourse homes are often in a strong financial position, creating even greater competition for select locations.

LOOKING AHEAD I anticipate the number of available homes will continue to remain stable as it has for the past 36 months, so don’t anticipate a market correction anytime soon. Prices most likely will continue to rise as the attraction to Colorado remains strong. Competition for homes will continue to create the impression of a seller’s market, though taking time to research communities in advance will add a competitive advantage for buyers.

The Top 5? The Centennial State is home to five of GolfWeek’s Top 100 residential courses in the U.S.: Colorado Golf Club in Parker (#4); Castle Pines Golf Club in Castle Pines (#9); Glacier Club in Durango (#23); The Golf Club at Redlands Mesa in Grand Junction (#54); and The Club at Ravenna in Littleton (#63). Red Sky Golf Club in Wolcott, like Pebble Beach Golf Links in California, was rated as a top resort course, precluding its inclusion in the top residential category.

THINKING OF SELLING?

COLORADO AVIDGOLFER | Spring 2018

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LOOKING AHEAD While you may love the original finishes that came with your home, most likely buyers will not. We live in a “plug and play” world and the buyers of your home would rather spend time on the golf course than repainting the kitchen. Making sure your home is updated is a key factor in gaining a higher price point in a shorter time frame. Remember, your potential buyer is more affluent and less interested in building equity through home improvements. Most realtors will have you consult with a staging professional; consider this time (and money) well spent to ensure your home creates a greater appeal. This year promises to be a robust one for real estate. The active Colorado lifestyle continues to attract buyers from across the country. Regardless if you are buying or selling, living in a golf community limits the number of homes available and buyers will be investing more for the access and amenities of club living.

Martin Yeager is Colorado AvidGolfer’s Getting Home writer. His website, FairwaysColorado.com allows you to search both existing homes for sale and past sales by your favorite golf community. For an in-depth golf community market report compliments of Colorado AvidGolfer, please visit AvidGolfRealestate.com or contact Martin Yeager with the Colorado Premier Living Team with Keller Williams DTC at 303-668-9373 coloradoavidgolfer.com

PHOTOGRAPHS BY MARTIN YEAGER

2018 will continue to be a moderately strong seller’s market. Your golf-community home is part of a distinct niche market and ultimately appeals to a smaller group of buyers. The good news is that this group of buyers is often more affluent and able to move forward with greater confidence and is less affected by fluctuating interest rates. Combined with the appealing lifestyle and amenities, your home most likely is 30-35% higher in price than surrounding communities. This is probably not news to you as you paid a premium when you first moved in. That initial decision was a sound one, and your higher investment is most likely fueling a larger amount of equity. Since you are part of a specialized market of homes, it is important that whoever you entrust to represent your home understands buyers are often frustrated with typical real estate search sites when it comes to filtering to a specific course. Golf communities often get lost within a broader market unless key attributes are included in the online marketing. Colorado is undergoing a strong migration from all parts of the country, especially those hit hardest from recent natural disasters that did not discriminate from affecting affluent neighborhoods. Most likely, your buyers are thousands of miles away and are not familiar with the names of neighborhoods. They are more interested in searching by specific courses or areas. That often generates a larger number of homes than are aligned with the golf community.


Side Bets | NICE DRIVES

What the Truck?

Infiniti QX80

Infiniti, Chevy and Volvo take the crossover concept to new heights. By Isaac Bouchard CROSSOVERS ARE LIKE a viral meme that has spread across the globe. Carried by visitors to the USA, where once we called these practical machines station wagons, hatchbacks or utility vehicles, they’ve mutated into every possible variant, gobbling up market share until two-thirds of all vehicles sold here are categorized as trucks. Herein three of the best new representatives. 2018 INFINITI QX80

0-60mph: 6.2sec. Price as tested: $82,695 EPA ratings: 13/19mpg; 15mpg combined One of the best large SUVs since its inception—as well as an excellent value compared to the archrival Cadillac Escalade and Lexus LX570—the QX80 now has styling to match the hardware. No longer suffering a face that only a mother could love, Infiniti has raised the hood and re-engineered the headlamp placement, giving its lines real cohesion. The reprofiled grill expresses a refined aggression and the reprofiled bumper skin, tailgate and rear-lighting changes work to surprisingly good effect keep the QX80 looking fresh. Inside, enhancements to the already lovely cockpit include more Frenched stitching, new wood trims and—at last—the deletion of off-white carpets. Special coatings on the upholstery go hand-in-hand to ensure the Infiniti will still look fresh a few years into life, never mind the depredations of kids, or unwashed denim clothing, coloradoavidgolfer.com

which tends to transfer its dye to seat bolsters. Minor demerits go to an eminently functional InTouch interface that’s placed a little far away for easy use, and a lane assist system that reprimands the pilot with shrill beeps instead of vibrating the steering wheel. The QX80 wants for nothing in the powertrain department. Its luscious-sounding 5.6-liter, 400hp V8 still shoves with real muscle, and its 413lb-ft of torque enables the Infiniti to run with most anything and tow up to 8,500 pounds. Along these lines, it is important to note that normally aspirated engines like this usually proffer much better fuel economy while hauling heavy loads than turbocharged motors like the one in the new Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator. QX80 chassis changes are minor: tire sidewall composition and adjustments to damping rates and the optional Hydraulic Body Motion Control improve ride quality and make the handling a little less nautical. The Infiniti still suffers from a bit more wind noise than expected, but this could simply be a side effect of the reduction in road noise, made possible by the extra insulation placed strategically throughout the structure. The Infiniti is built on the same solid platorm that undergirds the Third World-rated Nissan Patrol. Its incredible toughness and reliability stand testament to the strengths of this engineering heritage. The QX80 is an exemplar of the benefits of classic body-on-frame construction in a world of car-based crossovers.

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2018 CHEVROLET TRAVERSE

0-60mph: 6.7 sec. Price as tested: From $48,040 EPA ratings: 17/25mpg; 20nmpg combined Chevy has a home run on its hands here; the Traverse is the first really large crossover of the modern era that is nicely built, pleasing to drive and really roomy. Beefy and trucklike enough to overcome “soccer mom” objections, its interior is crafted of higher quality materials than those in the Honda Pilot or new VW Atlas, and the two back rows fit humans sized most anywhere on the bell curve. Traverse tech is easy to fathom and the ride Chevrolet has been able to coax out of such a large box borders on the extraordinary. It rides smoothly like the Honda and VW, but without the float that afflicts them. It steers and handles almost as well as Mazda’s CX-9, the 7-passenger crossover with the best ride/handling balance. Despite its massive dimensions, the Traverse is two humans lighter than the vehicle it replaces. Combine its modest curbweight with the 310hp/266lb-ft outputs of an updated 3.6-liter V6, and it can hustle. The Chevy has excellent surge from low down and zings to redline. Credit the 9-speed automatic, which doesn’t suffer from GM’s prior policy of putting EPA ratings ahead of actual on-road performance. It shifts intuitively and always in the ratio that best suits the engine. Spring 2018 | COLORADO AVIDGOLFER


Side Bets | NICE DRIVES

Where Mesa Verde Meets the Greens Cortez, CO

Chevrolet Traverse

The Traverse shares a platform with the roughly 10-inch shorter GMC Acadia—which is also superb to drive—but gives growing families the kind of capacity they need for comfort. Unless one needs the extra grunt of a V8 for towing, it is hard to see what any fullsize, bodyon-frame SUV offers that the Traverse doesn’t.

2018 VOLVO T6 AWD INSCRIPTION

0-60mph: 6.6 sec. Price as tested: $63,290 EPA ratings: 21/27mpg; 23mpg combined Volvo was once among the best-selling “foreign” car companies in the U.S., but multiple product fumbles, along with shifting market trends, left the Swedes a bit player. This serves to make their resurgence all the more exciting. Intact in their latest XC90, S90, V90 and this XC60 are brand hallmarks such as top-tier active and passive safety and pragmatic packaging. The seats are the most supportive in the business. What has been added is incredibly tasteful design and really intriguing technology. Outside, Volvo’s new form language is more athletic than almost any competitor, with chiseled features and terrific stance. Inside, Volvo reigns as the purveyor of the finest interiors for the price. Material quality is superb and the use of timber, metal and hide unrivaled in the segment. Another area where the Swedes have really

defined themselves is in technology, whether it’s the swipe-tastic, iPad-like Sensus interface, the best (optional) audio in the class, cutting-edge autonomous systems and even hybridized drive in the 400hp, plugin T8 models. The XC60 test vehicle was the middle child, called T6, whose 2-liter engine huffs and puffs through both belt-drive supercharger (at low RPMs) and exhaust-driven turbo. Outputs of 316hp and 295lb-ft of torque make for decent performance but also exposes Volvo’s need to refine its powertrain. In the default, Comfort mode, there’s a lack of linearity to the way a driver’s throttle input mates up to ultimate output. Switching to Dynamic masks these to large extent, but unduly stiffens the ride. The trick is to deepdive the submenus to the customizable Individual setting, and program it to default to the softer ride and more responsive engine/transmission settings. The result is a midsize, premium crossover with unrivaled design inside and out, competitive performance and decent ride and handling. That the XC60 is more desirable than the offerings from its German archrivals is a remarkable turnaround and a boon to those who have had their fill of German, Japanese and American offerings. 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. Volvo XC60

www.fourcornersgolf.com www.mesaverdecountry.com

COLORADO AVIDGOLFER | Spring 2018

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A GOLFER’S GUIDE TO SPRING TRAINING SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

Going...Gone! Baseball and golf go together like hot dogs and beer. Both sports revere the long ball and rely heavily on accurate pitches. With a combination of 15 teams, 10 stadiums and more than 200 golf courses, nothing brings together golf-loving baseball fans and baseball-loving golfers better than Spring Training in Arizona.

HOME TO BOTH OF LAST YEAR’S NATIONAL LEAGUE wild-card teams, Scottsdale’s Salt River

Fields at Talking Stick will be hopping during Spring Training. The Rockies, of course, lost, 118, to the Diamondbacks in that one-game playoff, and both teams look poised to unseat the Dodgers from atop the National League West. Hope springs eternal in Arizona, but the Rockies do have a legit shot this year. Arenado, Blackmon, LeMahieu, Parra and Story can flat-out play, and the Rockies ranked among the top three Major League teams in batting and fielding percentage. As far as the pitching goes, it’s not a question of giving up the HR, but staying off the IR. Still, the team won 11 more games than it lost at Coors Field, where its pitchers had the highest home ERA in the National League. A strong bullpen got even moreso with the addition of of free-agent closer Wade Davis. No matter which of the 15 teams you root for, the best part about the Cactus League experience is proximity. The Valley of the Sun’s intimate, family-friendly ballparks allow fans get far closer to the players than they could ever get in big-league stadiums; and none of the ten ballparks is more than a 45-minute drive from the others. In between those ballparks and throughout the area’s East, West and Central valleys lie some of the finest golf courses in the west. The ones at Talking Stick Resort provide the perfect entry point. Don’t be surprised if you run into a player or coach in the clubhouse. Pitcher Kyle Freeland purports to be the team’s best golfer, but fellow hurlers Jeff Hoffman and Tyler Anderson might have something to say about that. So might Arenado; the guy is a stick.

Hit the Stick TALKING STICK RESORT For convenience to

Salt River Fields at Talking Stick and the O’odham and Piipaash Courses at Talking Stick Golf Club, you can’t top the exciting 15-story Talking Stick Resort. Comprised of nearly 500 guest rooms, eight restaurants, a 98,000-square-foot casino, expansive pool area with 20-plus cabanas and a 13,000-square-foot spa, the resort also features the spectacular food and romantic sunsets of Orange Sky Restaurant on its top floor and,14 floors below, the art-filled Cultural Center reflecting the heritage of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community (SRPMIC). In case you’re wondering, Talking Stick Resort Arena, where the NBA’s Phoenix Suns play, is 20 miles away in Phoenix. The resort bought the naming rights in 2014. The building was previously the U.S. Airways Arena. talkingstickresort.com

Eat, Imbibe & Explore HEARTH ’61 Unanimously ranked among Phoenix’s top new restaurants, this swank, indgredient-driven eatery at the recently reopened Mountain Shadows Resort boasts inspired American fare, floor-to-ceiling windows and a sunken living room. hearth61.com

SCOTTSDALE WINE TRAIL Did you Arizona has three major wine-growing regions and 83 wineries? Four of the best have tasting rooms (and food) within a 1-mile radius in downtown Scottsdale. scottsdalewinetrail.coms

CAFÉ MONARCH European refinement, exquisite food and romantic ambience make it the perfect spot for a special occasion. cafemonarch.com

ODYSEA AQUARIUM Marvel at otters, penguins, sea lions and 500 other sea creatures at the Southwest’s largest aquarium odyseaacquarium.com

FRANCO’S ITALIAN CAFFE Savor Arizona’s best, most authentic Fiorentine cuisine in a delightfully welcoming atmopshere. francosscottsdale.com

MUSICAL INSTRUMENT MUSEUM Hear, see and even play some of the museum’s collection of 6,500 instruments from around the world. MIM.org

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SPRING TRAINING

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SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

Desert Highlands

Talking Stick Resort

Gated Glory

Tee It Up

DESERT HIGHLANDS Snowbirds have flocked to Desert Highlands ever since the gated enclave opened at the base of Pinnacle Peak in 1983, the year it hosted the first of two televised Skins Games featuring Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus, who designed the 7,072-yard course. A total of 560 homes fill the idyllic 850-acre development, and they range from $800,000 to $2 million—important to know because only Desert Highlands property owners can become members. In addition to golf, there are four grass, six clay, and three hard tennis courts; as well as a spa, fitness center, gourmet restaurant, outdoor pool and three-mile trail network. deserthighlandsscottsdale.com

TALKING STICK GOLF CLUB (Scottsdale) The club may have changed the names of the two courses, but 36 holes of Coore-Crenshaw golf still await at Talking Stick Golf Club’s links-style O’odham (née North) and tree-lined Piipaash (South) courses. Adjacent to Talking Stick Resort, the distinctive 20-year-old layouts represent the first namedesigner, big-ticket courses built on Native American land in Arizona. Both continue to thrive. talkingstickgolfclub.com

Resort Plays WE-KO-PA GOLF CLUB AND RESORT (Scottsdale) The one-two punch of the Saguaro and Cholla courses is a knockout for any golfer. wekopa.com THE BOULDERS RESORT AND SPA (Carefree) Easily Arizona’s most stunning spot for luxuriating, recharging and playing 36 holes. theboulders.com FAIRMONT SCOTTSDALE PRINCESS/ TPC SCOTTSDALE (Scottsdale) Luxe digs, unreal food and home to the greatest show on grass. tpc.com FOUR SEASONS SCOTTSDALE / TROON NORTH (Scottsdale) Five-star accommodations paired with Troon Golf’s two-course flagship. troonnorthgolf.com JW MARRIOTT DESERT RIDGE/ WILDFIRE (Phoenix) Suite lodging and two sweet courses played every March on the LPGA Tour. wildfiregolf.com COLORADO AVIDGOLFER | Spring 2017

ASU KARSTEN GOLF COURSE (Tempe) #KarstenWhileYouCan is social media’s way of saying “Play the ‘Home of Champions’ before it closes.” The superb Pete Dye layout that shaped the games of such Arizona State stars as Phil Mickelson, Jon Rahm, Anna Nordqvist and Grace Park faces an uncertain future, as the school has made it part a development deal and will move the men’s and women’s golf teams to Papago Golf Course in the fall. asukarsten.com PAPAGO GOLF COURSE (Phoenix) With the city’s goal of making this Billy Bell-designed muni the “Harding Park or Torrey Pines of Arizona,” the new home of the Arizona State men’s and women’s golf teams has undergone a course renovation, construction of a new clubhouse and will debut a spanking new indoor-outdoor practice facility, driving range and an elaborate Phil Mickelson-designed short-game training area. papagogolfcourse.net

Stay a While ROLLIN’ ON THE RIO Part of the Troon Privé network of private clubs, Rio Verde Country Club tucks into the trail-rich McDowell foothills at the edge of the Tonto National Forest and features two challenging, Tom Lehman-remodeled courses—White Wing and Quail Run. Amenities include two pickleball and bocce courts, tennis, fitness and stables. The clubhouse food is superb. Spend a few days and nights at this this 42-year old ungated unpretentious community by contacting Membership Director Susan Martin at smartin@rioverdecc.com. rioverdearizona.com TONTO, PRONTO! Situated in a 717-home gated community adjacent to Tonto National Forest, Tonto Verde Golf Club’s Ranch and Peaks courses purport to feature the truest greens in the area. Both semiprivate courses welcome the public, as does the club’s Mesquite Grill. Prospective members can try Tonto Verde’s $795 Discovery Package, a four-day/threenight luxury stay with myriad amenities. tontoverde.org

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Rio Verde Country Club

coloradoavidgolfer.com


ALWAYS DRIVING

Talking Stick Resort offers plenty of thrills on and off the links. Start your day with championship courses that feature stunning desert scenery. After your rounds, enjoy award-winning gaming and dining options. Relax in our world-class spa and luxurious accommodations for a break from the action. You can always find a way to playâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; and golf is just the beginning. Best Golf Resorts for a Group Getaway - USA Today 10 Best

S C O T T S D A L E | 8 6 6 . 8 7 7. 9 8 9 7 | TA L K I N G S T I C K R E S O R T.C O M L o c a l l y o w n e d a n d c a r i n g l y o p e r a t e d b y t h e S a l t R i v e r P i m a - M a r i c o p a I n d i a n C o m m u n i t y.


Golf – Tennis & Pickleball – Bocce – Pool

Proudly Managed by Troon Privé


Rio Verde is my perfect fit. “We love it here for so many reasons, like our two beautiful golf courses, gorgeous mountain views at every turn, and warm and friendly neighbors – many of whom have become wonderful friends. We’re always meeting up for a round of golf, game of pickleball, drinks and dinner, or a fabulous event at the club. We stay busy and happy. This is our paradise!” R o n & N a n c y M i l l e r

TAILORED TO YOU To learn more about making this your perfect place to live and play, contact Susan Martin: (480) 471.3410 │ smartin@rioverdecc.com RioVerdeArizona.com

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Fitness

Arts

Hike

Bike

Global Golf Benefits - TroonPrive.com

-

Trails


SPRING TRAINING

Arizona Real Estate

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SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

Thinking about living in a warmer climate this winter? Whether your passion is Golf, Tennis, Hiking, Cycling, Fine Dining or Desert Sunsets, you simply have to experience Scottsdale and Phoenix. Arizona home values can be exceptional and include many property types: • Golf Course Properties • Patio Homes / Condos • Single Family Homes • Investment Opportunities • Vacation Homes As a former Coloradan, I have represented buyers and sellers from Colorado in Arizona since 2010. Let me show you the opportunities that are available! To learn more about owning real Six Courses, estate in our beautiful Sonoran Desert, please contact me by phone, email orof visit my website. Plenty Fun Your CO / AZ Real Estate Connection desertfinehomes.com wayne@desertfinehomes.com Wayne Little, Realtor

(480)532-5479

COLORADO AVIDGOLFER | Spring 2017

Ak-Chin Southern Dunes

AK-CHIN SOUTHERN DUNES (Maricopa) Well worth the half-hour drive from Tempe or Mesa, this Troon-managed desert oasis evokes such great Australian Sandbelt courses as Royal Melbourne and Kingston Heath. Designed with Fred Couples by the Schmidt-Curley team, the 7,546-yard layout ranks ranks among Golf magazine’s “Top 100 You Can Play” in the U.S., and annually hosts NCAA tournaments, a U.S. Open qualifier, the first stage of Web.com Tour Qualifying, as well as multiple Arizona Amateurs, the Arizona PGA Section Championship and the final rounds of the Saguaro Amateur Series, chaired by CU’s head men’s golf coach Roy Edwards. No homes line the course, and the the Arroyo Grille turns out fabulous mojo pork street tacos and frybread “popovers.” akchinsoutherndunes.com

East Valley Highs

Queen Creek Olive Mill

LONGBOW GOLF CLUB (Mesa) A 20-minute drive from Sloan Park and HoHoKam, the Ken Kavanaugh (Murphy Creek) layout consistently ranks among the state’s better public offerings. longbowgolf.com BOBBY Q (Mesa) Tuck into the area’s favorite barbecue brisket, jumbo Texas ribs, pulled pork and smoasted (smoked and roasted) chicken. bobbyqmesa.com JOYRIDE TACO HOUSE (Gilbert) One of two rocking locations (the other’s in Glendale) specializing in fresh corn tacos. Hit the patio, sip a maragarita and dig into the Bandit Taco Platter. Or two. joyridetacohouse.com QUEEN CREEK OLIVE MILL (Queen Creek) You don’t have to go to Italy to find a working olive orchard and mill producing 100% virgin oil. Take a tour, see a pressing and savor the restaurant. queencreekolivemill.com USERY MOUNTAIN REGIONAL PARK & NATURE CENTER (Mesa) One of Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Department’s four green-friendly nature centers, this one features a memorable hike along Wind Cave Trail and the hanging gardens of Desert Rock Daisy. maricopacountyparks.net

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Insta


Art. Brought To Life.

Desert Highlands isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t just about where you live, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s about how you live. 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.


Welcome to Desert Highlands. Let the celebration begin. Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf | 13 Tennis Courts with Grass, Clay or Har-Tru 18-Hole Putting Course | Central Location | Award-winning Clubhouse 7,000 sq. ft. Fitness Center 10040 East Happy Valley Road, Scottsdale, Arizona 85255 480-419-3745 | www.deserthighlandsscottsdale.com


SPRING TRAINING

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SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

Westgate Entertainment

Wigwam Golf Resort

Fare & Family

Tee Off

ARROWHEAD STEAKHOUSE (Glendale) This awardwinning, quintessential steakhouse sizzles with sophistication. Order the Delmonico Steak, which follows the original 1894 recipe of Chef Charles Ranhofer from Manhattan’s Delomonico Hotel. Other succulent cuts, as well as inspired seafood, chicken and lamb dishes, come with a wide selection of sides, wines and cocktails. arrowheadgrill.com

WICKENBURG RANCH GOLF & SOCIAL CLUB (Wickenburg) This homespun creation, located in a development about 45 minutes from Surprise and Goodyear, boasts the stunning 18-hole Big Wick and the rollicking Lil’ Wick, a par-3 (rhymes with “party”) that pivots around a bar and restaurant. wickenburgranch.com

BOTTEGA PIZZA RISTORANTE (Glendale) Popular casual Italian place with pasta and pizza prepared with special flour and other ingredients imported directly from Italy. bottegaristorante.com COUP DES TARTES (Glendale) For more than 20 years, this cozy French boîte has dished up mouthwatering Gallic fare. Go for the Sunday brunch highlighted by crepes, croquettes, quiches, benedicts, charcuterie and the signature French Whiskey Bacon Bloody Mary. nicetartes.com MAIN EVENT (Avondale) This recently opened entertainment spot comprises nearly 60,000 sq. feet of play area, including video games, air hockey, miniature golf, bowling and laser tag. mainevent.com SPLASH PAD (Goodyear) Little ones will love this safe and fun water park to cool off on a hot day. goodyearaz.gov PUMP TRACK BIKE PARK (Goodyear) The desert terrain is the perfect path for off-road bikers who want to catch some air at this looping bike track. facebook.com/estrellafoothillsbikepark WESTGATE ENTERTAINMENT (Glendale) Outletshop ’til you drop at the Tanger shops and refuel in the eatertainment arena with 23 restaurants. Check the website for special events. westgateaz.com COLORADO AVIDGOLFER | Spring 2017

VERRADO GOLF CLUB (Buckeye) Jaw-dropping views, rugged beauty and playability define the home of two Tom Lehman designs: The Founder’s Course and the newly opened Victory Course. verradogolfclub.com WIGWAM GOLF RESORT (Litchfield Park) Opened in 1929, the resort sports three 18-hole courses (including two by Robert Trent Jones) and rates as one of the most historic venues in the West Valley. This favorite of Indians and Reds fans features a very Ohio-like feel, with its mature trees and ribboning streams. wigwamarizona.com ESTRELLA GOLF CLUB (Goodyear) Set in the foothills of the Sierra Estrella mountain range, this Nicklaus Design follows the natural washes and land contours, creating no shortage of risk-reward decisions. As with other Troon Golf-managed courses, Estrella offers dynamic pricing based on demand. estrellagolf.com

Putting Around Peoria QUINTERO GOLF CLUB Surrounded by the protected lands of the Hieroglypic Mountains and originally planned as a private club, this highly scenic Rees Jones creation spans desert, mountain ridges, lakes and washes. It recently cracked Golf Digest’s list of 100 Greatest U.S. Public Courses as the highest ranked course in the state. quinterogolf.com TRILOGY GOLF CLUB AT VISTANCIA Spanning 5,461 to 7,291 yards, this Gary Panks designed layout sports 70 bunkers to challenge all levels of player (as well as visitors of every age) in this active adult community. trilogygolfclub.com BLACKSTONE COUNTRY CLUB Also part of the Vistancia community, this private Jim Engh layout has earned plaudits from Golf Digest and Golfweek. Part of the Troon Privé network, Blackstone boasts a stunning, visit-worthy 30,000-square-foot Hacienda-style clubhouse. vistancia.com/blackstone-country-club

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Quintero Golf Club

coloradoavidgolfer.com


Cactus League Mileage Chart GLENDALE GOODYEAR MARYVALE (A’S) MESA (CUBS) MESA PEORIA SALT RIVER SCOTTSDALE SURPRISE TEMPE GLENDALE 12 9 33 31 12 37 28 13 26 GOODYEAR 12 17 37 33 23 41 32 19 30 MARYVALE 9 17 25 22 12 29 19 18 18 MESA (A’s) 33 37 25 4 40 12 19 18 18 MESA (Cubs) 31 33 22 4 39 9 6 47 10 PEORIA 12 23 12 4 39 30 36 10 34 SALT RIVER 37 41 29 12 9 30 6 38 17 SCOTTSDALE 28 32 19 9 6 36 6 39 10 SURPRISE 13 19 18 45 47 10 38 39 38 TEMPE 26 30 18 13 10 34 17 10 38

TM

TM

CENTRAL VALLEY

WEST VALLEY EAST VALLEY PHOENIX SKY HARBOR INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

CINCINNATI REDS/CLEVELAND INDIANS Goodyear Ballpark 1933 South Ballpark Way, Goodyear goodyearbp.com; 623-882-3130 Closest Courses: Estrella, Palm Valley, Verrado, Wigwam TEXAS RANGERS/ KANSAS CITY ROYALS Surprise Recreation Campus 15960 N Bullard Avenue, Surprise surprisespringtraining.com; 623-222-2222 Closest Courses: Rancho de los Caballeros, Surprise Golf Club, Trilogy at Vistancia, Wickenburg Ranch, Wigwam SEATTLE MARINERS/SAN DIEGO PADRES Peoria Sports Complex 16101 N. 83rd Ave., Peoria peoriasportscomplex.com; 800-677-1227 Closest Courses: Quintero, Trilogy at Vistancia LOS ANGELES DODGERS/CHICAGO WHITE SOX Camelback Ranch 10710 West Camelback Rd, Glendale camelbackranchbaseball.com; 623-302-5000 Closest Courses: Palm Valley, Verrado, Wigwam coloradoavidgolfer.com

MILWAUKEE BREWERS Maryvale Baseball Park 3600 N. 51st Ave., Phoenix phoenix.gov/sports; 800 933-7890 Closest Courses: Maryvale, Verrado SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS Scottsdale Stadium 7408 E. Osborn Road, Scottsdale scottsdaleaz.gov/stadium; 877-473-4849 Closest Courses: Camelback, McCormick Ranch, McDowell Mountain, The Phoenician, We-Ko-Pa, Westin Kierland LOS ANGELES ANGELS Tempe Diablo Stadium 2200 W. Alameda Dr. Tempe tempe.gov/diablo; 888-796-HALO Closest Courses: Ak-Chin Southern Dunes, ASU Karsten, Raven-Phoenix, Whirlwind

COLORADO ROCKIES/ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS Salt River Fields at Talking Stick 7555 N. Pima Rd, Scottsdale saltriverfields.com; 480-270-5000 Closest Courses: Ak-Chin Southern Dunes, Grayhawk, Talking Stick, The Boulders, TPC Scottsdale, Troon North, We-Ko-Pa, Wildfire OAKLAND ATHLETICS Hohokam Stadium 1235 North Center Street, Mesa hohokamstadium.com; 480-644-4451 Closest Courses: Ak-Chin Southern Dunes, ASU Karsten, Longbow, Raven-Phoenix, Superstition Springs, The Legacy, We-Ko-Pa, Whirlwind CHICAGO CUBS Sloan Park 2330 W. Rio Salado Pkwy, Mesa sloanpark.com; 800-THE-CUBS Closest Courses: Ak-Chin Southern Dunes, ASU Karsten, Longbow, Raven-Phoenix, Superstition Springs, The Legacy, We-Ko-Pa, Whirlwind

FOR DETAILS on stadiums, games to see, buying tickets and more, visit cactusleague.com or coloradoavidgolfer.com.

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SPRING TRAINING

tucson

SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

Cup Café

JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass

The Southern Swing FROM 1993 THROUGH 2010 the Rockies made their Spring Training home at Hi Corbett Field in Tucson, which now serves the University of Arizona Wildcats baseball team. Less than a two-hour drive from Scottsdale, the city known as “The Old Pueblo” remains a hot spot for golf (see below) and other adventures. visittucson.org SEWAILO GOLF CLUB (Tucson) A spectacular amenity of the Forbes Four Star and AAA Four Diamond Casino Del Sol Resort, this Notah Begay-designed layout blends the native landscape with 14 acres of lakes, 70 bunkers and enough challenge to have the University of Arizona golf teams make it their home course. Troon Golf manages the 7,283-yard course for the Pascua Yaqui tribe, which owns and operates the resort. sewailogolfclub.com OMNI TUCSON NATIONAL RESORT (Tucson) For 30 years, the resort’s Catalina course hosted the Chrysler Classic of Tucson. The event’s gone, but the 7,262-yard parkland challenge remains, as does the Omni’s Sonoran course, a 6,552-yard Tom Lehman desert layout that opened in 2005. Throw in a Forbes 4-Star spa, 128 oversized guest rooms, four lighted tennis courts and myriad other amenities and you have an ideal destination. tucsonnational.com THE GOLF CLUB AT DOVE MOUNTAIN (Marana) The one-time host of the PGA Tour’s WGC Accenture Match Play Championship is a 27-hole expedition through dense desert foothills of the Tortolita Mountains. Access to its three nines—as well as to the two John Fought-designed 18s at The Gallery Golf Club (which also hosted two WGCs and a Tucson Open)—come via a stay in one of the 250 rooms at the adjacent, superlative Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain. The 850-acre resort blends seamlessly into its saguaro-studded surroundings ritzcarlton.com/dovemountain.com WESTIN LA PALOMA RESORT AND SPA (Tucson) Another 27 holes of Jack Nicklaus-designed golf highlight a stay at this majestic property nestled in the high Sonoran Foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains westinlapalomaresort.com JW MARRIOTT TUCSON STARR PASS: Yet another 27-hole golf complex, this one authored by Arnold Palmer, Bob Cupp and Craig Stadler. The AAA Four-Diamond resort features 650 rooms and suites, a spirit-resurrecting spa and the soul-replenishing cuisine of Primo from James Beard Award-winning Chef Melissa Kelly. jwmarriottstarrpass.com COLORADO AVIDGOLFER | Spring 2017

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Tucson To-Dos CONGRESS SESSION Eat some of the best food in all Tucson at Cup Café. Based out of the historic Congress Hotel, it makes an art of three square meals, cocktails and bar food. Manadtory breakfast: the cast-iron baked eggs. hotelcongress.com/food GASTRO INTENSITY In 2015, Tucson became the First UNESCO City of Gastronomy. Discover the many mouthwatering stops on the “Best 23 Miles of Food” at visittucson.org/food-drink DEATH IN THE AFTERNOON What could be hipper than a craft cocktail bar in an old funeral home? Snug quarters, stained glass, and savvy barkeeps make Owls Club more than a hoot. owlsclubwest.com LACE UP YOUR BOOTS Hundreds of miles of scenic hiking trails zigzag through Sabino Canyon and Saguaro National Parks. The former features the Coronado National Forest, Sabino and Bear Canyon trails; the City of Tucson divides the latter into the Rincon eastern Rincon Mountain and Western Tucson Mountain District. nps.gov coloradoavidgolfer.com


THE

EXPERIENCES YOU’LL TAKE AWAY

CAN’T BE RECORDED ON A

Play like a pro at the premier Omni Tucson National Resort.

SCORECARD.

With two championship courses along the Santa Catalina Mountains, an award-winning spa and luxurious resort-style pools, no other golf experience brings you closer to the true spirit of the place you’re in.

OmniHotels.com/Tucson • 800-843-6664

Golf in Tucson means a break from the average links. Challenge your game on daring desert layouts or hit it long on fairways that host the champions. Whatever your style, Tucson has it in the bag. Find Your Course at VisitTucson.org/Golf


come out and play… and then play some more…

DISCOVER A PRIVATE CLUB EXPERIENCE UNLIKE ANY OTHER.

T

he Club at Pradera and The Pinery Country Club offer a dynamic membership with access to two distinctive private Clubs as well as privileges at our 60+ Clubs coast to coast.

There is something for everyone in the family with two premier golf courses, two restaurants with incredible patio dining, three swimming pools, three indoor and nine outdoor tennis courts, and two fitness centers. As a Member, you can immerse yourself in a year-round social calendar of events at both Clubs featuring impressive dining, live entertainment, wine and craft beer dinners, fun

JEFF MATHEWS 303.841.5157 jmathews@thepinerycc.com thepinerycc.com

pool parties and family events, along with the celebration of holiday traditions, and so much more. There’s never been a better time to join The Club at Pradera and The Pinery Country Club. To learn more about our different memberships or to schedule an appointment, contact our Membership Directors listed below. Don’t play golf? Ask us about our Tennis, Sports or Social Membership.

ANDREW BUSTAMANTE 303.607.5700 abustamante@theclubatpradera.com theclubatpradera.com


THE OFFICIAL 19TH HOLE OF THE CAGGY AWARDS

THANK YOU

for voting in our 16th annual salute to the Best of Colorado Golf. We received just shy of 100,000 votes in categories ranging from courses to instructors, and as the results attest, some places campaigned better than others. The top three vote-getters appear in each category, as do alphabetized staff picks. Turn the page to see how your selections faredâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;and let us know you what you think.

CommonGround Golf Course

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Spring 2018 | COLORADO AVIDGOLFER


JACK DANIEL’S TENNESSEE RYE

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Mariana Butte Golf Course

BEST FRONT RANGE/NORTHEAST COURSE (Public/Resort)

Staff Picks (alphabetical) Broadmoor Golf Club Country Club of Colorado (Colorado Springs) Kissing Camels Golf Club (Colorado Springs)

Staff Picks (alphabetical) Collindale Golf Course (Fort Collins) The Olde Course at Loveland (Loveland) Pelican Lakes Golf Club

BEST WESTERN SLOPE COURSE (Public/Resort)

1. Mariana Butte Golf Course (Loveland) 2. Pelican Lakes Golf Club (Windsor) 3. Estes Park Golf Club (Estes Park)

THE OFFICIAL 19TH HOLE OF THE CAGGY AWARDS

BEST MOUNTAIN COURSE

PUBLIC/RESORT COURSES BEST DENVER REGION COURSE 1. The Golf Club at Bear Dance (Larkspur) 2. Arrowhead Golf Club (Littleton) 3. Colorado National Golf Club (Erie) Staff Picks (alphabetical) The Golf Club at Bear Dance CommonGround Golf Course (Aurora) Green Valley Ranch Golf Club (Denver) The Ridge at Castle Pines (Castle Pines)

1. Pole Creek Golf Club (Tabernash) 2. Breckenridge Golf Club (Breckenridge) 3. Red Sky Golf Club – Fazio Course (Wolcott)

1. 2. 3.

Redlands Mesa Golf Club (Grand Junction) Lakota Canyon Ranch Golf Club (New Castle) Devil’s Thumb Golf Club (Delta)

Staff Picks (alphabetical) The Bridges Golf & Country Club (Montrose) Ironbridge Golf Club (Glenwood Springs) Redlands Mesa Golf Club

Staff Picks (alphabetical) Haymaker Golf Course (Steamboat Springs ) Red Sky Golf Club – Norman Course The River Course at Keystone (Keystone)

BEST SOUTHERN COURSE (Colorado Springs and below) (Public/Resort) 1. 2. 3.

Broadmoor Golf Club (Colorado Springs) Walking Stick Golf Course (Pueblo) Patty Jewett Golf Course (Colorado Springs)

Pole Creek Golf Club

BEST EGO-BOOSTER (Public/Resort) 1. 2. 3.

Eagle Trace Golf Club (Broomfield) Aurora Hills Golf Course Red Hawk Ridge Golf Course (Castle Rock)

Staff Picks (alphabetical) Applewood Golf Course (Golden) Aurora Hills Golf Course (Aurora) Red Hawk Ridge Golf Course The Golf Club at Bear Dance

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BEST ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP PROGRAM (Public/Resort)

Staff Picks (alphabetical) Fossil Trace Golf Club, No. 10 Pole Creek Golf Club, No. 4 The Raven at Three Peaks, No. 9 (Silverthorne)

1. CommonGround Golf Course 2. Colorado National Golf Club 3. The Golf Club at Bear Dance

Staff Picks (alphabetical) The Golf Club at Bear Dance CommonGround Golf Course Green Valley Ranch Golf Club

BEST PAR 5

BEST PRACTICE FACILITY (Public/Resort)

Staff Picks (alphabetical) CommonGround Golf Course, No. 11 Fossil Trace Golf Club, No. 12 Walnut Creek Golf Preserve, No. 13

Staff Picks (alphabetical) Broken Tee Golf Course (Englewood) Colorado National Golf Club Green Valley Ranch Golf Club

BEST CONDITIONS (Public)

1. Pole Creek Golf Club (Ridge), No. 9 2. Eisenhower Golf Club (Blue), No. 11 (Colorado Springs) 3. Eagle Ranch Golf Course, No. 12 (Eagle)

1. CommonGround Golf Course 2. Colorado National Golf Club 3. The Golf Club at Bear Dance

1. The Golf Club at Bear Dance 2. Colorado National Golf Club 3. Heritage Eagle Bend Golf Club

Broadmoor Golf Club

Staff Picks (alphabetical) Aurora Hills Golf Course Littleton Golf & Tennis Club Green Valley Ranch Golf Club

BEST CONDITIONS (Resort)

1. Broadmoor Golf Club 2. Beaver Creek Golf Club (Beaver Creek) 3. Omni Interlocken Golf Club (Brooomfield) Staff Picks (alphabetical) Broadmoor Golf Club The Inverness Golf Club (Englewood) Red Sky Golf Club

Colorado National Golf Club

FAVORITE COLORADO AVID GOLFER GOLF PASSPORT COURSE 1. Colorado National Golf Club 2. Buffalo Run Golf Course (Commerce City) 3. Heritage Eagle Bend Golf Club (Aurora) Staff Picks (alphabetical) All 64 of them!

BEST OPENING HOLE 1. The Golf Club at Bear Dance 2. Arrowhead Golf Club (Littleton) 3. Fossil Trace Golf Club (Golden) Staff Picks (alphabetical) The River Course at Keystone Red Sky Golf Club – Norman Willis Case Golf Course (Denver)

BEST FINISHING HOLE

Staff Picks (alphabetical) Broadmoor Golf Club Fox Hollow–Canyon 9 (Lakewood) Green Valley Ranch Golf Club

BEST PAR 3 1. Arrowhead Golf Club, No. 13 2. The Golf Club at Bear Dance, No. 17 3. Pole Creek Golf Club (Ranch), No. 7 Staff Picks (alphabetical) EagleVail Golf Course, No. 10 (Avon) Raccoon Creek Golf Course, No. 17 (Littleton) Red Hawk Ridge Golf Course, No. 14 Redlands Mesa Golf Club, No. 17

BEST PAR 4 1. The Golf Club at Bear Dance, No. 6 2. Riverdale Dunes Golf Course, No. 15 3. CommonGround Golf Course, No. 15

1. Broadmoor Golf Club 2. The Golf Club at Bear Dance 3. The Ridge at Castle Pines COLORADO AVIDGOLFER | Spring 2018

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Redlands Mesa Golf Club

BEST COURSE FOR FAMILIES (Public/Resort) 1. Colorado National Golf Club 2. CommonGround Golf Course 3. Applewood Golf Course

Staff Picks (alphabetical) Broken Tee Golf Course Homestead Golf Course (Lakewood) The Greg Mastriona Courses at Hyland Hills (Westminster) coloradoavidgolfer.com


BEST COURSE FOR WOMEN 1. Colorado National Golf Club 2. Heritage Eagle Bend Golf Club T3. Aurora Hills Golf Course Park Hill Golf Club (Denver) Staff Picks (alphabetical) Fossil Trace Golf Club Kennedy Golf Course (Denver) The Links at Highlands Ranch (Highlands Ranch)

Arrowhead Golf Club

BEST VALUE (Public/Resort)

BEST SERVICE (Public/Resort)

Staff Picks (alphabetical) Fox Hollow Golf Course (Lakewood) Plum Creek Golf Club (Castle Rock) Wellshire Golf Course (Denver)

Staff Picks (alphabetical) The Broadmoor Golf Club Red Sky Golf Club Topgolf

BEST TO WALK (Public/Resort)

MOST UNDERRATED COURSE (Public/Resort)

1. CommonGround Golf Course 2. Colorado National Golf Club 3. The Golf Club at Bear Dance

Heritage Eagle Bend

BEST APRÈS-GOLF EXPERIENCE (Public/Resort) 1. Broadmoor Golf Club 2. Arrowhead Golf Club 3. Colorado National Golf Club Staff Picks (alphabetical) The Golf Club at Bear Dance The Ridge at Castle Pines Topgolf (Centennial)

BEST FOOD (Public/Resort) 1. Broadmoor Golf Club 2. Colorado National Golf Club T3. The Golf Club at Bear Dance Topgolf Staff Picks (alphabetical) The Golf Club at Bear Dance The Bridges Golf & Country Club Green Valley Ranch Golf Club Riverdale Golf Courses (Brighton)

BEST WEDDING/PARTY VENUE (Public/Resort) 1. Arrowhead Golf Club 2. Broadmoor Golf Club 3. Colorado National Golf Club Staff Picks (alphabetical) Keystone Ranch Golf Club (Keystone) The Inverness Golf Club Raccoon Creek Golf Club (Littleton) coloradoavidgolfer.com

1. Aurora Hills Golf Course 2. CommonGround Golf Course 3. Meadow Hills Golf Course (Aurora)

1. CommonGround Golf Course 2. Colorado National Golf Club 3. The Golf Club at Bear Dance

1. Heritage Eagle Bend Golf Club 2. Colorado National Golf Club 3. Riverdale Golf Courses

Staff Picks (alphabetical) CommonGround Golf Course Flatirons Golf Course (Boulder) Kennedy Golf Course The Inverness

Staff Picks (alphabetical) The Links at Cobble Creek (Montrose) Kings Deer Golf Club (Monument) Murphy Creek Golf Course (Aurora)

BEST COURSE FOR SENIORS (Public/Resort)

BEST PACE OF PLAY (Public/Resort)

1. Colorado National Golf Club 2. Aurora Hills Golf Course 3. Broken Tee Golf Course Staff Picks (alphabetical) Foothills Golf Course (Denver) Heritage Eagle Bend Golf Club (Aurora) Indian Tree Golf Club (Arvada) Todd Creek Golf Club (Thornton)

BEST CHARITY TOURNAMENT VENUE (Public/Resort) 1. Arrowhead Golf Club 2. Colorado National Golf Club 3. The Golf Club at Bear Dance Staff Picks (alphabetical) CommonGround Golf Course The Inverness Golf Club The Ridge at Castle Pines

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1. Greenway Park Golf Course (Broomfield) 2. The Golf Club at Bear Dance 3. Aurora Hills Golf Course Staff Picks (alphabetical) CommonGround Golf Course Eagle Trace Golf Course Vail Golf Club (Vail)

PRIVATE CLUBS BEST FRONT RANGE/ NORTHEAST CLUB 1. Ballyneal Golf & Hunt Club (Holyoke) 2. Ptarmigan Country Club (Fort Collins) 3. The Fox Hill Club (Longmont) Staff Picks (alphabetical) Ballyneal Golf & Hunt Club The Golf Club at Fox Acres (Red Feather Lakes) Harmony Club (Timnath)  Spring 2018 | COLORADO AVIDGOLFER


BEST DENVER REGION CLUB

BEST VALUE

MOST UNDERRATED CLUB

1. Cherry Hills Country Club (Cherry Hills Village) 2. Cherry Creek Country Club (Denver) T3. Colorado Golf Club (Parker) The Country Club at Castle Pines Staff Picks (alphabetical) Castle Pines Golf Club (Castle Pines) Cherry Creek Country Club Cherry Hills Country Club Colorado Golf Club The Club at Ravenna (Littleton)

1. Black Bear Golf Club (Parker) 2. Valley Country Club (Centennial) 3. Perry Park Country Club (Larkspur)

1. Black Bear Golf Club 2. Perry Park Country Club 3. Valley Country Club

Staff Picks (alphabetical) Blackstone Country Club (Aurora) The Club at Pradera and The Pinery (Parker) Country Club at Woodmoor (Monument)

Staff Picks (alphabetical) The Club at Flying Horse Lake Valley Golf Club Meridian Golf Club (Englewood)

BEST OVERALL EXPERIENCE

BEST COURSE TO HOLD A TOURNAMENT

BEST MOUNTAIN CLUB 1. Red Sky Ranch 2. The Club at Cordillera (Edwards) T3. Frost Creek Club (Eagle) Roaring Fork Club (Basalt) Staff Picks (alphabetical) Country Club of the Rockies (Edwards) The Club at Cordillera Frost Creek Club Red Sky Golf Club

BEST WESTERN SLOPE/ SOUTHWEST CLUB 1. Telluride Ski & Golf Club (Telluride) 2. Glacier Club (Durango) 3. Bookcliff Country Club (Grand Junction)

1. Cherry Hills Country Club 2. Cherry Creek Country Club 3. The Country Club at Castle Pines Staff Picks (alphabetical) Cherry Creek Country Club The Club at Cordillera The Club at Flying Horse Frost Creek Club The Club at Pradera

Staff Picks (alphabetical) The Country Club at Castle Pines Lakewood Country Club (Lakewood) The Club at Rolling Hills Sanctuary

BEST FOR FAMILIES

MOST COVETED INVITATION

1. Cherry Creek Country Club 2. Valley Country Club 3. Colorado Golf Club

1. Ballyneal Golf & Hunt Club 2. Cherry Hills Country Club 3. Castle Pines Golf Club

Staff Picks (alphabetical) Columbine Country Club (Columbine Valley) Glenmoor Country Club (Cherry Hills Village) Blackstone Country Club

Staff Picks (alphabetical) Castle Pines Golf Club Cherry Hills Country Club Denver Country Club (Denver)

Staff Picks (alphabetical) Bookcliff Country Club Glacier Club Telluride Ski & Golf Club

BEST LOCKER ROOMS 1. Castle Pines Golf Club 2. Cherry Hills Country Club 3. Cherry Creek Country Club

BEST SOUTHERN CLUB 1. 2. 3.

Staff Picks (alphabetical) Cherry Creek Country Club Cherry Hills Country Club Columbine Country Club Lakewood Country Club

Broadmoor Golf Club Colorado Springs Country Club (Colorado Springs) The Club at Flying Horse (Colorado Springs)

Staff Picks (alphabetical) Broadmoor Golf Club The Club at Flying Horse Kissing Camels Golf Club

1. Ballyneal Golf & Hunt Club 2. Cherry Creek Country Club 3. Sanctuary (Sedalia)

BEST CLUBHOUSE Perry Park Country Club

1. The Country Club at Castle Pines 2. Valley Country Club 3. Castle Pines Golf Club Staff Picks (alphabetical) Colorado Golf Club Columbine Country Club The Club at Flying Horse

BEST CADDIES 1. Cherry Creek Country Club 2. Cherry Hills Country Club 3. Ballyneal Golf & Hunt Club Staff Picks (alphabetical) Broadmoor Golf Club Castle Pines Golf Club Colorado Golf Club Denver Country Club

Ballyneal Golf & Hunt Club

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BEST FOOD

BEST PAR 5

1. Blackstone Country Club 2. Broadmoor Golf Club 3. Cherry Creek Country Club

1. Cherry Creek Country Club, No. 14 2. Perry Park Country Club, No. 11 3. Country Club at Castle Pines, No. 5

Staff Picks (alphabetical) Colorado Golf Club Denver Country Club Glenmoor Country Club The Club at Pradera

Staff Picks (alphabetical) Cherry Hills Country Club, No. 18 Colorado Country Club, No. 16 The Club at Ravenna, No. 14

INSTRUCTION

1. Ballyneal Golf & Hunt Club 2. Cherry Hills Country Club 3. Sanctuary Staff Picks (alphabetical) Castle Pines Golf Club Cherry Hills Country Club Glacier Club Sanctuary

BEST PAR 3 1. Cherry Creek Country Club, No. 17 2. The Club at Ravenna, No. 16 3. Perry Park Country Club, No. 8 Staff Picks (alphabetical) Colorado Golf Club, No. 2 The Club at Rolling Hills, No. 17 Harmony Club, No. 7

BEST PAR 4 1. Cherry Creek Country Club, No. 18 2. Perry Park Country Club, No. 14 3. Cherry Hills Country Club, No. 14 Staff Picks (alphabetical) Country Club at Castle Pines, No. 15 Castle Pines Golf Club, No. 18 Ballyneal Golf & Hunt Club, No. 7 The Club at Cordillera, Summit, No. 6

COLORADO AVIDGOLFER | Spring 2018

BEST GOLF EXPERIENCE NEVADA

BEST INSTRUCTOR FOR JUNIORS 1. 2. 3.

Staff Picks (alphabetical) Coyote Springs Golf Club (Coyote Springs) Falcon Ridge Golf Club (Mesquite) Wolf Creek

Chris Schultz , CommonGround Golf Course Matt Schalk, Colorado National Golf Club Dennis Murray, Valley Country Club

BEST INSTRUCTOR FOR MEN

BEST COLORADO BUCKET LIST COURSE

1. Paa-Ko Ridge (Sandia Park) 2. Sandia Golf Club (Albuquerque) 3. UNM South Course (Albuquerque) Staff Picks (alphabetical) Sandia Golf Club (Albuquerque) Towa Golf Club (Santa Fe) Twin Warriors Golf Club (Bernalillo)

1. Wolf Creek Golf Club (Mesquite) 2. Shadow Creek (North Las Vegas) 3. Bearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Best (Las Vegas)

Staff Picks (alphabetical) Steve Beach, Glenmoor Country Club Ann Finke, Country Club of Colorado Trent Wearner, Trent Wearner Golf Academy (Englewood)

Cherry Creek Country Club

BEST GOLF EXPERIENCE NEW MEXICO

1. 2. 3.

Chris Schultz, CommonGround Golf Club Dennis Murray, Valley Country Club Ross McLean, Cherry Creek Country Club

Staff Picks (alphabetical) Nick Clearwater, GolfTec Alex Fisher, Glacier Club Stan Sayers, Colorado Golf Club Jason Witczak, The Club at Pradera

BEST INSTRUCTOR FOR WOMEN 1. Kimmy Bean, Cherry Creek Country Club 2. Dennis Murray, Valley Country Club 3. Elena King, CommonGround Golf Course Staff Picks (alphabetical) Sherry Andonian, Valley Country Club Dede Cusimano, Aspen Golf Club (Aspen) Lana Ortega, Lana Ortega Golf (Aurora)

TRAVEL BEST GOLF EXPERIENCE ARIZONA

BEST GOLF EXPERIENCE UTAH 1. Sand Hollow Resort (Hurricane) 2. Coral Canyon Golf Course (Washington) 3. The Ledges (St. George) Staff Picks (alphabetical) Entrada at Snow Canyon (St. George) Sand Hollow Resort The Ledges

BEST GOLF EXPERIENCE INTERNATIONAL 1. St. Andrews (Scotland) 2. Old Head (Ireland) 3. Royal Dornoch (Scotland) Staff Picks (alphabetical) Cabot Links Resort (Canada) Cape Kidnappers (New Zealand) Royal County Down (Scotland)

BEST GOLF EXPERIENCE OVERALL 1. Pebble Beach Resorts (California) 2. Bandon Dunes Resort (Oregon) 3. Pinehurst Resort (North Carolina) Staff Picks (alphabetical) Bandon Dunes Kohler (Wisconsin) Pebble Beach

1. Troon North (Scottsdale) 2. Desert Mountain (Scottsdale) 3. TPC Scottsdale Staff Picks (alphabetical) Ak-Chin Southern Dunes (Maricopa) The Boulders (Carefree) We-Ko-Pa (Fort McDowell) THE OFFICIAL 19TH HOLE OF THE CAGGY AWARDS

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Has had the privilege of serving the golf industry in Colorado for 35 years.

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AprèsGolf in Aspen COLORADO AVIDGOLFER | Spring 2018

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Major champion and Ryder Cup hero JUSTIN LEONARD moves up to the mountains and into the broadcast booth. By JON RIZZI Photography by JUSTIN TAFOYA/Clarkson Creative

“WHAT IF we took golf out of it?” Twelve-time PGA Tour winner Justin Leonard asked his wife Amanda the question in 2015. They were living in a 13,930-square-foot home they’d built just north of Justin’s hometown of Dallas, but an “urge to simplify” had them weighing alternative places to live and raise their children—daughters Reese and Avery and sons Luke and Skylar. Leonard, then 43, had played in 22 events that year, making only eight cuts. “I was tired of the travel, tired of not seeing any real results from playing and practicing,” he explains. “The worst part was the time I’d miss with family. When you’re playing well, you can kind of justify missing your daughter’s school play. But when I miss the play and I miss the cut, that’s doubly frustrating.” The couple considered downsizing in Dallas, but Justin knew he’d fall into the same familiar routines. They needed a change. “Amanda’s from Florida—the Jupiter area, where half the Tour lives,” he says. “So we started kicking that around.” But early in their marriage, the couple had owned two places in Telluride (“where there’s a real anti-Aspen sentiment,” he notes) and later rented a home in Aspen during the summers of 2012 and 2014. “When we left Aspen in 2014, it was like, ‘I really hate leaving this place,’” he says. Then Justin had an epiphany. “I came home one day from the golf course and said, Florida’s very natural for golf, but we’ve made enough decisions—vacations, whatever else—based on my playing career,” he remembers. “What if we took that completely out of the equation? I said, ‘We can move anywhere and I’ll just figure it out.’ Then all of a sudden, this became a real, viable option.” By “this” Leonard means the home he and Amanda bought in 2015 on a corner lot in the heart of Aspen’s charming West End neighborhood. The two-story, fivebedroom house is less than half the size of their Texas spread, and about as intimate as a 5,500-square-foot home can be. The rooms on the main floor flow into each other, leading to a well-appointed custom kitchen with a pair of islands: one for eating and food prep; the other a catchall for mail, schoolbooks and shopping lists—and beneath it, instead of cabinetry, a custom nest for the Leonards’ yellow labs, Blizzy and Maggie, who are chilling after joining Amanda on a 90-minute aerobic ascent up a nearby trail. A visit to the garage suggests an REI rather than PGA Tour Superstore. Six sets of downhill ski equipment—helmets, poles, boots—share space with pairs of skin skis, a fleet of mountain and road bikes, lacrosse sticks, footballs, soccer balls and other gear. Standing in a bag across the way, his shiny PXG golf clubs look somewhat neglected. To some degree they have been. Aside from occasionally practicing with Luke and Skylar and playing four or five holes with them at nearby Maroon Creek Club, Justin played all of four rounds last summer. “And I donated those for charity and stuff like that,” he says. Groomed hints of

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the bushy “mountain man” beard he regularly sported after relocating to Aspen shadow his youthful face. In his blue, eye-matching KJUS pullover, the five-foot-nine Texan appears far slimmer than his listed weight of 170 pounds. “I’d rather be on a bike or hiking up a mountain than on a golf course,” he says. “I’ve never been a social golfer. For me it’s always been more work-related.” In 2016, a whiskery Leonard played in 13 PGA Tour events, and last year, he only competed in the Texas Valero Open, finishing T58 in an event he’d won three times before. Trophies, plaques, photos and medals from those and other PGA Tour championships—

TROPHY LIFE: Testaments to Leonard’s pro and amateur success bedeck his office.

On his famous putt in the 1999 Ryder Cup: “I was just trying to lag it up there. If it hadn’t hit the hole it would have gone six feet by. It wasn’t perfect speed, definitely not a lag.” “He’s a natural. He was always a go-to guy for interviews as a player because he had such insight and took his craft so seriously. You could tell a long time ago that if he chose to go into broadcasting, the sky would be the limit.” That August, Leonard took to the sky for a meeting with NBC Golf producer Tommy Roy. “He’s in Jacksonville; I’m in Aspen, so we flew to DFW, never left the airport and talked for three hours,” Leonard remembers. The next month he found himself in Chicago in the production truck at the BMW Championship, where he also shadowed Gary Koch and Peter Jacobsen on the course. “He’s like a sponge,” says Sands. “He’s so enthusiastic about learning the business,” says Dan Hicks, the play-

CLUTCH: At the ’99 Ryder Cup, Leonard’s 45footer capped an epic comeback.

who’d done some digital announcing for Fox Sports, and shortly thereafter ran into NBC/ Golf Channel broadcaster Steve Sands, who was emceeing at Scott and Kim Verplank’s annual charity event in Oklahoma. “Steve’s a Vail guy,” Leonard jokes. “After the program, I pulled him into a dark corner with a couple of beers and picked his brain.” Sands recalls the chat. “Justin had such an interest in being around the game and letting the audience know what’s happening with the best players in the world,” he says.

On his 1997 British Open victory: “I really have to thank Barbara Nicklaus. I was down by five shots after the third round, and I’d never met her, but she came over to my table at dinner and told me, ‘You know you can still win this—go out and do it tomorrow.’ She changed my whole mindset. I shot a 65 and won.”

COLORADO AVIDGOLFER | Spring 2018

IMAGE COURTESY OF NBC SPORTS / GOLF CHANNEL

along with his Havemeyer Trophy, Claret Jug and the two Ryder Cups he earned as part of the 1999 and 2008 U.S. teams— fill two shelves in his modest home office Leonard may have shelved his competitive playing career, but he recalls his experiences in articulate detail with wit, insight and candor. That combination—along with his bona fides as a major champion and Ryder Cup icon—has made him a fast-rising star analyst on NBC Sports and Golf Channel. The broadcasting bug didn’t bite Leonard as much as nip him in 2014 when, as part of its Ryder Cup coverage, Golf Channel asked him to tour Brookline 15 years after his 45-foot “putt heard ‘round the world” capped the American squad’s improbable comeback to win the event. The following year, he talked to former Tour player Joe Ogilvie,

FAMILY MEN: Justin and dad Larry (here at Sand Hills) played in the 2017 PNC Father-Son.

FRESH AIR: A clean-shaven Leonard has consistently made the cut as a television golf analyst.

by-play host of NBC Sports’ PGA TOUR coverage. “He doesn’t have the ‘I got this’ attitude that many former pro athletes have, of just showing up and everything magically happens. He comes into the broadcast with the same work ethic he brought to playing. “He’s out on the practice tee with the players picking up nuggets. He has those relationships. The hardest thing for golfers who become broadcasters is realizing you’re not a player anymore. As a player, you’re worried about your game. But it’s a much bigger playing field in the booth than it is on the course. You have to be a broadcaster first, and Justin realizes that. He’s been able to cross that line almost immediately.” Leonard says his greatest challenge was giving his take. “I spent years not sharing my Continued on page 95

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Not Your Average Venue COLORADO NATIONAL GOLF CLUB is transforming the tournament experience as we know it. AS THE HOME COURSE of the University of

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club can customize any outing to exceed customer expectations. Hole-in-one Camera: With the help of Swing King, a company dedicated to helping clubs and players memorialize amazing shot experiences, the par-3 fifth hole now has a high-definition camera prepared to capture any odds-defying moments. The camera eliminates the need for a spotter because the video feed is transmitted directly into the clubhouse. Just in case something miraculous does happen, Colorado National offers hole-in-one insurance through its provider for cash prizes up to $100,000. The best part? The lucky player gets a copy of the video so he or she can relive that ace over and over with friends and family. Trackman: Just like the touring pros, your players can benefit from Trackman technology.

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To find investing-life balance, work with a professional You know what you want retirement to look like, and leaving a comfortable legacy for your loved ones is a priority. But free time feels a lot less free when you spend more time than youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d like managing your investments. Working with a professional portfolio manager can help you find the right balance between living life and investing for the future. Call for a complimentary portfolio consultation.

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Investment and Insurance Products:

NOT FDIC Insured NO Bank Guarantee MAY Lose Value

Wells Fargo Advisors is a trade name used by Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC, Member SIPC, a registered broker-dealer and nonbank affiliate of Wells Fargo & Company. Š 2016 Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC. All rights reserved. 0816-03253 [99919-v1] A2078 IHA-541098


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The path to your future is rarely a straight shot To navigate life’s twisty paths and sometimes stormy markets, you need an investment approach built on both adaptive technology and old-fashioned one-on-ones. Find out how an Envision® plan can help you plan for tomorrow, today. Call when you’re ready to talk.

Investment and Insurance Products: u NOT FDIC Insured u NO Bank Guarantee u MAY Lose Value Wells Fargo Advisors is a trade name used by Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC, Member SIPC, a registered broker-dealer and non-bank affiliate of Wells Fargo & Company. © 2016 Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC. All rights reserved.

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Thomas E. Gunnersen Vice President - Investments 5613 DTC Parkway, Suite 1000 Greenwood Village, CO 80111 Office: (303) 200-9523 thomas.gunnersen@wellsfargoadvisors.com home.wellsfargoadvisors.com/thomas.gunnersen

0517-02277 COLORADO AVIDGOLFER | Spring 2018

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The club employs a TrackMan 4 launch monitor, which typically retails at $25,000 and is the undisputed leader in the AI space. Guests can not only enjoy the interactive experience of receiving immediate tour-level feedback, but TrackMan’s easy-to-use Event Software captures great tournament moments. From longest drive to closest-to-the-hole to best swing path to fastest club or ball speed, Colorado National can tailor contests for you. Every participant receives a shareable, online report containing video and data recordings, leaderboards and explanatory graphics. Colorado National can make receiving a Trackman swing video and related statistics part of the package. Drone Footage: Video of tournaments taken from above used to be impossible without the use of a helicopter or blimp. No longer. The club can provide drones and drone pilots ready to capture every vantage point of your event. The photos and videos can later be used to relive the good times and as marketing for next year’s event. Brand-Name Trailers: Say goodbye to the conventional goody bag. The club brings in trailers for events from companies such as Travis Mathew, Callaway and Nike. Instead of getting another sack full of merchandise that you may not want or need, you get to shop for your prize in air-conditioned comfort. Whether its outerwear, polos, clubs, shoes or sunglasses, we can customize these pieces on site or ship directly to your guest. As if that isn’t enough, these mobile shops even have televisions, speakers, kegs, food and other amenities for your enjoyment. The above represents just some of the recent advancements the club has made to create an unmatched tournament experience. Above all, however, Colorado National prides itself on exceptionalism in all areas of tournament execution. The club maintains the capacity to accommodate any sized group, with expansive practice areas, masterful dining, a generous outdoor patio and separate staging area for silent auction items. FOR MORE INFORMATION, contact PGA General Manager/ Director of Golf Matt Schalk at 303-926-1723 x1; mschalk@coloradongc.com coloradoavidgolfer.com


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2018 TOURNAMENT GUIDE

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First-Time Tournament Planning WHAT TO DO and not to do on your maiden tournament voyage.

PICK THE RIGHT COURSE. The choice of golf course is paramount. Take into account the course’s reputation and value. Try to get your information from unbiased sources such as survey responses. After your initial research, draw up a “report card” with which you can rate courses based on reputation, cost, tournament experience, accessibility to prospective players, resources, etc. Pay a visit to your final four choices and make your ultimate decision. Decision should be easy and unanimous with members of the tournament committee. BUT… Do not assume the course “will take care of it.” Golf courses are great allies but there’s always some detail—like putting sleeves of balls on carts—that becomes a question of responsibility. Make sure every job has an owner. BE PROACTIVE. Planning is essential to the success of any event. Start as soon as you can. Sometimes a year out is just enough time. Design and use a written timeline. BUT… Do not over-plan. Since you will be relying on volunteers, being flexible and building camaraderie goes a lot further than micromanaging and holding too many meetings. PINPOINT YOUR GOALS. These can include: efficient tournament planning, generating more revenue, increasing the number of players, gaining/retaining sponsors, inventing fun and creative contest holes and formats. BUT… Keep expectations realistic. It’s good to have “stretch goals” for revenue, but remember that this is a marathon, not a sprint. You want to build support over the long haul to make it sustainable. CREATE A MEMORABLE INVITATION. The ubiquity of texts and emails has made the COLORADO AVIDGOLFER | Spring 2018

impact of an actual paper invitation far more profound. Then start with the emails and social networking. BUT… Do not market using only old school channels. In our socially networked world of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, just making telephone calls, sending emails and pretty invitations won’t cut it. FIGURE OUT TIMING AND DATES. Depending on time of year, golf courses should be offering different pricing and packages. Picking a suitable date and time is certainly critical and will play a major role in determining who will be able to participate or not. Make sure to pick a date that works for key stakeholders, doesn’t conflict with a holiday weekend or spring break and that also benefits fundraising efforts from a pricing standpoint. BUT… Don’t wait too long to decide. On any given day between June and September, you could be competing with as many as five other golf events. Many courses book tournament dates a year in advance. DO NOT UNDERSPEND ON YOUR EVENT. If this is the first year of your tournament, go ahead and do the little things to brand your event with the players. Higher-quality gifts, prizes and other items will bring them back next year. BUT… Don’t make it so fancy that guests wonder how much money is actually going to the charity. If you’re giving each player a box of Pro V1s instead of a sleeve of Pinnacles, get a sponsor to underwrite it. DO NOT TRY TO DO EVERYTHING yourself. Set up small, accountable committees. BUT… Make sure the appropriate people head the committees. If someone is reluctant to lead, you’ll be doing his or her job before long.

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GET AS MANY VOLUNTEERS as possible. More hands make less work, especially when filling goody bags, greeting guests and running the event. BUT… Do not have volunteers just show up. Have at least two mandatory planning and training sessions with your unpaid helpers. They need to know their roles and be accountable. TRY AND SECURE a presenting sponsor with multiple vendors. Companies in fields like construction or manufacturing tend to work with numerous businesses—each of which can provide a foursome. BUT… Do not let sponsors control your event While it’s great to have a backer for every hole, remember this isn’t a trade show. Golfers don’t want to accumulate freebies during a round. All sponsor premiums should be given out in a goody bag before or after the event. GET THE PLAYERS’ ENTRY FEES upfront. If at all possible, make the players pay before the event. This will ensure they will show up and they are committed. BUT… Don’t relentlessly dun them. Make it easy by setting up electronic methods of payment such as PayPal, ApplePay or credit card. The fee charged for those services will be far less than the entry fee you may not get. COMMUNICATE OFTEN WITH PLAYERS. Whether by email or social network channels, drum up anticipation for the event. Get people chatting about it. Build anticipation. BUT… Do not disclose pairings to the participants in advance or allow team changes at the tournament. This typically leads to discontent, last-minute changes and unnecessary on-site chaos. coloradoavidgolfer.com


Perry Park COUNTRY CLUB

Timeless Beauty. Amazing Golf.

10 Memberships Available at $2,500 (Regularly $4,500) For over 40 years we have been providing an extraordinary golf experience at an exceptional value. This Spring, to fill our 300 member cap, we’re offering 10 Full Golf memberships at the very attractive price of $2,500. It’s a unique chance to make your home course the one AvidGolfer’s 2016 Caggy Awards chose as one of the most underrated in Colorado. Plus you’ll experience all the benefits of an outstanding private club: including readily available tee times and a course always in tournament condition. For more information on these memberships, contact Amy Morrow at 303.681.3305, Ext 4 or amorrow@perryparkcc.com. And visit our website at www.perryparkcc.com.

PERRY PARK COUNTRY CLUB 7047 Perry Park Blvd Larkspur, CO 80118 Perry Park Country Club is a 501 (c) 7 Corp. Membership is by application and requires approval.

We’re Honored! We’re proud and honored to be named the winner of 7 Caggy Awards including: Colorado’s “Best Value” and “Most Underrated” Private Course by Colorado AvidGolfer.


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SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

27 Holes, 25 Years, One Great Venue A quarter-century into it, Lakewood’s FOX HOLLOW remains one of the region’s top tournament sites. By Drew Kort

UPON OPENING in 1993, The City of

Lakewood’s Fox Hollow Golf Course was voted the second-best new golf course in the country by Golf Digest. Since then, the 27-hole Denis Griffiths layout has been consistently rated one of the top public courses in the region, and management and staff have worked diligently to maintain this level of excellence. “We’re always trying to give people a reason to want to come back,” says Head PGA Professional Craig Parzybok. “That encompasses course conditions, treatment of the golfer, being reasonably priced and offering a very worthwhile and beneficial package for anyone who comes out.” Not often does a tournament planner get to provide their participants with the opportunity to experience vastly different brands of golf within a single event at a single location, but Fox Hollow offers exactly that. With three distinct nine-hole loops, players with all different game types and skill levels will feel welcome. Fox Hollow’s Links nine nestles up against the rolling terrain of the Rocky COLORADO AVIDGOLFER | Spring 2018

Mountain foothills with few forced carries, accommodating the bump-and-runners. The Meadow track meanders through Bear Creek and other water hazards, playing into the hands of the high-flyers. The Canyon nine is tucked into Coyote Gulch, catering to those who appreciate the elevationchanging mountain style golf that many players in Colorado are accustomed to. Plus, with no houses visible from any of the three courses, tournament-goers will get the tranquil feel of a private club. Pair this golf experience with all the amenities your event needs to succeed. Fox Hollow makes all its 27 holes available for use to increase the amount of golf that can be played and the amount of money that can be raised for your cause. The clubhouse, restaurant and all remaining facilities are available, as well as a covered outdoor pavilion that plays host to post-golf awards ceremonies (and also makes a blissful site for a wedding or similar reception. Aside from the primary offerings, conveniences from registration tables and chairs that welcome your participants to player assignment signs on golf carts to

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accurate scorekeeping for the tournament help to enable a seamless and organized proceeding. Not to mention, the course is completely accessible to golfers with disabilities—a feat that has earned the property national recognition. But be assured, these aren’t just cookie-cutter deals they are looking to deliver. The professional and easily accessible staff works closely with you in an effort to individualize the event to the degree you feel necessary. The staff encourages continuous lines of communication to achieve your vision. So, utilize Fox Hollow initially for the array of golf experiences it can provide and its scenic vistas and stay for its friendly, helpful staff and the joy that comes with the accomplishment of a positive and fruitful event.

FOR MORE INFORMATION on tournaments, contact Craig Parzybok craigp@lakewood.org; 720-963-5136.

coloradoavidgolfer.com


OUTSTANDING

COURSES The City of Lakewood has two outstanding municipal golf courses that offer golfers of every level an exciting golfing experience, coupled with spectacular views of Denverâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s iconic skyline and the snowcapped peaks of the Rocky Mountains.

LakewoodGolf.org

Fox Hollow and Homestead offer a unique mix of terrain types and course challenges. Nestled next to Bear Creek Lake Park on native rolling prairie lands, both courses offer an opportunity for escape and relaxation with tranquil lakes, quiet streams and spectacular vistas.


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SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

A Tournament Unlike Any Other How to Elevate Your Event to MUST-ATTEND STATUS

STRIKE IT RICH: A Footgolf hole can kick up your event

HOW DO YOU PREVENT your tournament

from becoming just another average charity golf scramble or best-ball? Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve got you covered. Here are some ideas that will have participants eager to return to your event year after year. Just donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t forget to confirm your plans in advance with your course contact. PRE-TOURNAMENT INSTRUCTION: Some tournaments have had success allowing golfers to warm up with a lesson. If the course you have chosen as the tournament COLORADO AVIDGOLFER | Spring 2018

venue has the practice facilities to support this, it can create added value for your guests and raise extra money for your cause. ALTER THE HOLE: To make things a bit easier and speed up the pace of play, choose a couple of the more difficult holes and alter the golf hole itself. This could be done by adding two more holes in different locations on the green or even enlarging the existing hole. This may boost team moral by boosting the birdie or eagle count.

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FLING OR FOOTGOLF: Have teams put aside their clubs for a hole and see how many kicks of the soccer ball or flings of the lacrosse stick it takes the team to get the ball in a makeshift hole next to the green using the same scoring format. Footgolf (footgolf.us) and FlingGolf (flinggolf.com) are perfect ways to involve the children in attendance who probably play in a junior soccer or lacrosse league. Choose a hole close to the clubhouse, and let the children play the hole after the big event concludes. coloradoavidgolfer.com


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Night putting

SPEED GOLF: Designate one hole as the speed hole. Instead of low score, the goal on this particular hole is low time. Teams can strategically place themselves at certain locations along the fairway and near the green, so they can hole the ball as quickly as possible. Volunteers on the tee and green can keep track of time. A special prize can be given out to the fastest team. FUNGO HOLE: Since golf coincides with baseball season, have players throw or use a baseball bat to launch a drive on a par 3. Think you can chuck it on the green? Consider a 137-yard hole is the same distance from home plate to the centerfield fence at Coors Field.

the hole-in-one insurance, a new car creates the most excitement. Choose the closest hole to the clubhouse so more people can watch. CHIPS AND PUTTS: After the tournament itself, organize a friendly up-and-down competition. Participants chip from the same spot to a designated hole on the practice green and play in. After three holes, the player with the lowest cumulative score wins. Or stage a putting competition, where

the players putt from the same distance on the practice green. Add five feet of distance and eliminate the player with the highest score on each turn. PUTT-PUTT: Not every attendee at your event is a golfer, but everyone has played miniature golf. Check if the course can customize a natural turf putting green with mini-bunkers or other obstacles. Complement the contest with cocktails and a satellite bar or appetizer station. TEST-DRIVE: To involve non-golfers, ask an automotive sponsor to promote and allow test-drives for those not out on the course.

DUSTIN’S DRIVE: Give each team the option of purchasing the “Dustin Johnson Drive,” which lets them place their ball at 150 yards from the green on any par 5. Only one DJ drive is available for purchase to each team, so teams must employ strategy when deciding to utilize their drive.

NIGHT GOLF: For events of 36 players or fewer, flip the usual golfthen-grub sequence and indulge in a great dinner and a few adult beverages before heading out for a shotgun scramble of six or nine holes using glow-in-the-dark balls. Lights can be placed along the fairways and on flagsticks to provide some guidance.

EVEN CLOSER TO THE PIN: At the end of the event, enlist the winners of the usual “Closest to the Pin” contests in a post-tournament hole-in-one competition. Each player takes one shot at the hole for the grand prize. If you can afford

KID AROUND: If the course hosting your event has a par-3 course, set up a parent-child tournament in conjunction with the regular tournament. No par-3 course? Create a makeshift putt-putt course on the facility’s practice green.

COLORADO AVIDGOLFER | Spring 2018

FlingGolf

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Grand Re-Opening planned for late Spring/early Summer 2018!


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2018 TOURNAMENT GUIDE

Sneak a Peek at Raccoon Creek A NEW CLUBHOUSE heightens the Littleton club’s status as a tournament venue. By Alec Barry RACCOON CREEK GOLF COURSE in Littleton

has undergone constant upgrades since 2014, beginning in May of that year with a complete overhaul of its Barn into an immensely popular wedding reception and events center. This May, three years after re-raising the Barn, Raccoon Creek’s PGA General Manager Don Allen will debut another structure: a brand new clubhouse. This will complete the rejuvenation of the facility and make it a premier spot worthy of praise and envy—as well as tournaments and events. The owners of Raccoon Creek Golf Course, along with architectural designer Brandon Anderson with LIB Studios put their heads together and spared no expense to build a bigger and better clubhouse. The total footprint of the new building takes up

approximately 11,500 square feet—7,500 of it indoors. Design and construction cost roughly $4 million in revenue generated from the award-winning Dick Phelps-designed golf course and existing restaurant. The building will have a significantly expanded restaurant area, capable of seating up to 100 people internally, and 250 externally, not to mention a new covered patio and an outdoor bar, accommodating more than 350 people in total. Many of those will come in the form of tournament fields and social events the club has already begun to schedule. The tournament patio will be covered, with plenty of room as well as tenting materials to protect patrons from the fickle Colorado weather. Furthermore, guests can enjoy a beer or a cocktail after a round of RENDERINGS BY LIV STUDIO

COLORADO AVIDGOLFER | Spring 2018

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2018

M O N DAY & T U E S DAY J U N E 4 & 5, 2018

FOR DETAILS and to reserve your spot, please contact Melissa Holmberg at 720-493-1729 ext. 15 or Melissa@ColoradoAvidGolfer.com

Aurora

Host Your Golf Tournament in

GolfAurora.c m Five courses to choose from. Visit our website and click on Host a Golf Tournament or call 303.739.7891.

COLORADO AVIDGOLFER | Spring 2018

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FOR MORE INFORMATION on tournaments at Raccoon Creek, contact Tournament Director Don Graham at dgraham@raccooncreek.com or call 303-932-0199. coloradoavidgolfer.com

RENDERING BY LIV STUDIO

Save the Date

golf around a new fire pit, filling mild summer evenings and brisk autumn afternoons with warmth and coziness. There will be an adjacent event lawn for rousing games of corn-hole or bocce ball, not to mention a stunning view of the Rocky Mountains beyond the upper practice green. Next and perhaps most significantly, Raccoon Creek has vastly expanded the restaurant and bar areas. The seating for the dining space can cater to 100 people. Sliding glass doors will separate patio and dining room guests, and even more flexible space will separate those who attend the club for meetings or a quiet meal from golfers who complement their rounds with strong drink, good food and outside voices. The bar will grow in size, from three seats seats to a 24. Increasing its capacity and updating its architecture should not only make Raccoon Creek Golf Course more conducive to hosting tournaments, but also enable it to attract more non-golf patrons. When asked how the new clubhouse will compare to its predecessor, General Manager Allen could only laugh aloud and say “it can’t,” as if the mere suggestion was the greatest absurdity. “It’s a huge upgrade,” he explains. “It really finishes up the facility.” What will happen to the old clubhouse? Will it be used as something else? New office space? Perhaps a storage facility? The answer is none of the above. Allen makes it abundantly clear that after the new clubhouse opens this May, Raccoon Creek will make the old building disappear like incriminating evidence, assuring us it would immediately be bulldozed and turned into a new parking lot.


LEONARD Continued from page 76 opinion or talking about anybody because I didn’t want to be in any kind of controversy,” he says. “Now I’m getting paid for giving my opinion. So in a lot of cases I had to figure out what my opinion was.” “Is Justin going to say something wacky or out of bounds?” Sands asks. “No. But he understands that sports is entertainment. He’s finding he can joke around a little more and not step over the controversial line. He’s not heeling to corporate sponsors, so he can be relaxed and just be himself.”

On skiing: “When I moved to Aspen, I thought I was a scratch skier, but then I started skiing with people who grew up here and realized I was about a 15. Now I’m down to single digits. It might not always be pretty, but I have fun.” “In the beginning I was trying to be a golf analyst,” Leonard says. “Now I’m getting more comfortable with just talking about something I know very well.” He now watches sports “completely differently. I listen more than watch—80 percent versus 20 percent.” Golf fans will hear and see Leonard at least 15 times this year, including at the Ryder Cup in France. Last December, however, they saw but didn’t hear him during the PNC Father-Son Championship, an event he was initially supposed to cover. Earlier, during the Presidents Cup, Golf Channel Executive Producer Molly Solomon asked if he would play on a son-father team with his dad, Larry. The Leonards paired up, but the event seemed to make the biggest impression on Justin’s oldest son, 11-year-old Luke, who traveled with his father to the Orlando event. “He really wanted to get out there and practice and stuff,” Justin says. “I think it kind of inspired him a bit seeing Paddy Harrington’s little boy, who’s 14, and Leo Goosen, who’s 15. Luke was like, ‘I wonder if I could be out here in three or four years.’ My approach with the kids and golf is give them access—if they want to go out, I’ll take them. I’m not forcing it on them at all, because that doesn’t usually work out very well at all.” After all, nobody forced him to move to Aspen, and things have clearly worked out quite well for him and his family. Jon Rizzi is editor of Colorado AvidGolfer. coloradoavidgolfer.com

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Spring 2018 | COLORADO AVIDGOLFER


Blind Shot THE UNSEEN GAME

Justin Time GOLF HAS BEEN a part of who I am ever since my dad took me to the putting green at City Park Golf Course when I was three years old. With my two-foot length putter I adopted a reverse putting grip—not to nullify the weak-hand/strong-hand relationship or because it felt natural, but to defy my father’s instruction. Yet, as he’d hoped, I fell in love with the game. I grew up watching the greats—Phil, Freddie, Payne, Tiger. And Justin. As a junior golfer you always look for players after whom to model your game; for me Justin Leonard was that player. It probably started with the fact that we shared the same first name, but after his heroics in the ’99 Ryder Cup, I was hooked. I was such a big fan that when he switched to Precepts, I started playing them too! Upon receiving the call that I was going to photograph a childhood hero, I couldn’t have been more excited. Although I photograph professional athletes on a regular basis, I rarely get to work with any I idolized growing up. I admit I’d set the bar pretty high, but Justin cleared it with room to spare. He was friendly, welcoming, and clearly loving the Aspen lifestyle. Photographing Justin Leonard was an experience I will never forget. — Justin Tafoya, Clarkson Creative

SAME NAME, SAME GAME: Nine-year-old Justin Tafoya holds his first-place trophy at the Greater Denver Junior Golf Tournament at Harvard Gulch Golf Course in 1995, the year after Justin Leonard turned pro.

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THE BMW M3 & M4 BUILT FOR DRIVERS

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Schomp BMW • 1190 Plum Valley Lane, Highlands Ranch, CO 80129 • 303.730.1300 • schompbmw.com Special lease and finance offers available by Schomp BMW through BMW Financial Services ©2018 BMW of North America, LLC. The BMW name, model names and logo are registered trademarks. European model shown.

Spring 2018 Colorado AvidGolfer Magazine  

Ryder Cup Hero Justin Leonard escapes the grind of the Tour for the slopes of Aspen. PLUS: 2018 CAGGY Awards. ALSO: 2018 Tournament Guide. A...

Spring 2018 Colorado AvidGolfer Magazine  

Ryder Cup Hero Justin Leonard escapes the grind of the Tour for the slopes of Aspen. PLUS: 2018 CAGGY Awards. ALSO: 2018 Tournament Guide. A...

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