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DRIVING FORCE: How golf helps VANCE JOSEPH coach the Broncos

Elevating the Game.



With six Nicklaus courses and limitless leisure options, Scottsdale’s famed golf community couldn’t possibly get better. Or could it?



The Renovation of LAKEWOOD Country Club


Next Year’s



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CONTENTS | Fall 2017


74 Vance Joseph’s Biggest Lift Taking over Denver’s favorite team as his first NFL head coaching job, the former CU Buff brings a world of experience from the gridiron and the greens. By Sam Adams

78 Remote, Unrushed... and Reversible It takes a bit of work to get to the Dan Hixsondesigned Craddock and Hankins Courses at Silvies Valley Ranch in Eastern Oregon. But the payoff is huge. By Tony Dear

80 80

DEPARTMENTS 6 Forethoughts

S IDE BETS 25 Getting Home

Falling for Golf Again By Jon Rizzi

8 ’net Score

CAGGY Voting has begun! Plus: Get in on hot travel deals.


What does the merger of the two

Bear Dance’s Best-Kept Secret By Martin Yaeger

28 Tapping In

Cider houses rule in autumn. By Cody Gabbard

31 Nice Drives

BMW 3-Series, Infiniti Red Sport 400 and Audi A4. By Isaac Bouchard

A Show of Hanse Gil Hanse, golf’s hottest designer, is back where it all began—renovating Lakewood Country Club. By Tom Ferrell

84 The Bandon Dunes of the Midwest Wisconsin’s Sand Valley is Mike Keiser’s latest hidden masterpiece. By Tom Ferrell

organizations mean for Colorado golfers?

13 The Gallery

Special Sections

Colorado Open and Women’s Open, South Suburban’s new clubhouse, farewell to Fitzsimons, more


Glacier’s Grand Opening, HealthOne

88 Blind Spot

Broncos Defensive Line Coach Bill Kollar



Livin’ on the Wedge. By Elena King

22 Gear

Domestic and international apparel for a leisurely resort round or a brisk 18 in Colorado. By Suzanne S. Brown COLORADO AVIDGOLFER | Fall 2017

The six-course, 8,000-acre Arizona community is getting even better.

How to find desert bliss in Arizona, Nevada and Southern Utah. and St. George

ON THE COVER Chiracahua Course, Desert Mountain Photograph by Gary Kellner Vance Joseph at Dove Valley

Photograph by Justin Tafoya /Clarkson Creative


34 coloradoavidgolfer.com



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Fall 2017 | Volume 16, Number 6 publisher

A llen J. Walters

Plan upstream for steady income downstream


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

Todd Hall

ART & EDITORIAL art director

Jani Duncan Smith editor - at- large

Tom Ferrell

automotive editor

Isaac Bouchard contributors

Sam Adams, Andy Bigford, Suzanne S. Brown, E.J. Carr, Clarkson Creative, Tony Dear, Denny Dressman, Sue Drinker, Dick Durrance, Chris Duthie, Cody Gabbard, Gar y James, Ted Johnson, Kaye W. Kessler, Phil Mumford, Kim D. McHugh, Jerr y Walters 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 :


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

A little planning today can make all the difference tomorrow. We can help you design a distribution strategy aimed at protecting your savings and ensuring your income stream flows throughout your retirement.

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Call today for a complimentary portfolio review.

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 six. 7200 S. Alton Way #A-180, Centennial, CO 80112. Colorado AvidGolfer is available at more than 250 locations, or you can order your personal subscription by calling 720-493-1729. Subscriptions are available at the rate of $17.95 per year. Copyright © 2017 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.

Tom Gunnersen, Vice President – Investments 5613 DTC Pkwy., Ste. 1000 Greenwood Village, CO 80111 Direct: 303-200-9523 thomas.gunnersen@wellsfargoadvisors.com tomgunnersen.wfadv.com Investment and Insurance Products: NOT FDIC Insured NO Bank Guarantee

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Your daily dose of iron A day on the course can do wonders for your mind and body, especially if you’re walking. Studies show that 20 to 30 minutes of exercise a day can lower your risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, and stress.* Kaiser Permanente is proud to support you on the fairway — and promote good health in the process. To learn more about how our high-quality care can empower your employees and strengthen your business, visit kp.org/choosebetter.

Choose better. Choose Kaiser Permanente. * CDC, 2014.




Falling for Golf Again


GOLF, THAT cruel and fickle mistress, severely tested me this year. After a summer of pushes, pulls, chili-dips, slices, yanks, yips and just plain yuck, I began to think she had jilted me for someone younger, a guy with a more ductile spine, firmer core and greater ball speed, the kind of guy who can play her game, not just write about it, who romances her with workouts, lessons and practice—her version of flowers, sweet talk and foreplay—instead of just taking a couple of hacks on the range before jumping on the first tee. Golf got fed up with my cynical, middle-aged attitude. Even though her flame-keepers perpetually refer to her as “The Game of Golf,” she evidently resented me taking that literally, treating her like an activity akin to cornhole rather than as a sport of skill like baseball or basketball. So I felt her wrath. She turned my swing into something so steep, I should have been holding a woodchopper’s ax or wearing an executioner’s hood. When I managed to drive the ball in the fairway, I swore I could hear it land—and not because I have such good ears. Admittedly, all this made the job of writing about Golf a bit like sending valentines to an ex-wife. I even took exception when one playing partner spouted the cliché about a bad day on the golf course being better than a good day at the office. Hmm, I thought. Would I rather go out and shoot the same score as the temperature on a 99-degree day or sit in air-conditioned comfort writing about the many ways Golf enriches the people and places of Colorado? But I’m loyal to Golf. She has enriched me to the point where I could never quit her over my own performance issues. It’s not you, Golf; it’s me. So as summer turned to fall and our magazine’s frequency converted from monthly to bimonthly, Golf started seducing me anew. A foray east to Ballyneal Golf and Hunt Club in Holyoke and Awarii Dunes Golf Club in Nebraska during the weekend of The Great American Eclipse rekindled my attraction. So did September peregrinations to the new Mountain Course at Glacier in Durango (page 13) and to The Club at Cordillera during the Colorado Land Rover Dealers Cordillera Golf Experience, an event Colorado AvidGolfer puts on every year (page 15). The beauty and novelty of the courses and their concomitant experiences provided the catalyst my relationship with Golf needed. It also helps that I’ve sought professional counseling through experts like Elena King (page 20), and get to assign and edit compelling profiles such as the ones about rookie Broncos coach Vance Joseph (page 74) and golf course architect Gil Hanse (page 80), as well as introductions to the exciting new destinations of Silvies Ranch (page 78) and Sand Valley (page 84). Spending more quality time with Golf at the range, on the course and on the road has also put a new spark in our relationship. I plan on hooking up with her in Utah and Arizona this fall and winter (see pages 34-73). The best part is, my wife will join us and fully approves. —JON RIZZI



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Seconds, anyone? YOU THOUGHT it was over, didn’t you? Well, Mile High Golf at $52.80 isn’t done just yet! While most of this year’s excellent tracks have seen their special annual rate come and go with great success, you can still get out to The Ridge at Castle Pines between October 16th and October 31st and play for $52.80. Act quickly. Tee times fill quickly and time is running out! PLAY MILE HIGH GOLF TODAY: coloradoavidgolfer.com/courses/ 2017-mile-high-golf-5280

Turkeys Can’t Fly… But You Can.

Election, 2018:

CAGGY Voting is Underway

LEARN MORE ON OUR TRAVEL PAGE: coloradoavidgolfer.com/travel/

DON’T LIKE THE RESULTS of last year’s election? Well, you get to let your voice heard again this year. CAGGY 2018 voting season is finally upon us. That means your favorite courses, instructors and destinations need you! Last year’s election set a record for participation, as more than 5,500 golfers cast votes in more than 50 categories to crown the very best in Colorado golf and beyond. To sweeten the process and get even more AvidGolfers involved in the awards selection, we’ll randomly select participating voters to win one of THREE FREE 2018 Colorado AvidGolfer Golf Passports. So, what are you waiting for? YOUR COURSE NEEDS YOU! ROCK THE VOTE: coloradoavidgolfer.com/vote-2018-caggy-awards-best-colorado-golf COLORADO AVIDGOLFER | Fall 2017

WE GET IT. The weather is starting to turn and you’re understandably dusting off those old K2s for ski season—but don’t mothball your sticks just yet! Not only do we still have plenty of gorgeous, crisp autumn golf days here in Colorado, but our pals in warmer sections of the region are also opening their doors to you. Golf resorts, spas and casinos in Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and Nevada make for the perfect getaway—and only Colorado AvidGolfer can get you the best deals in the region for golf, fun, and relaxation. So don’t forget to take your clubs on a trip this winter. You’ll thank us.


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Fred Couples

Celebrate the Century The Broadmoor 1918-2018

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.  Order today at 2018ussenioropen.com 39TH U.S. SENIOR OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP | THE BROADMOOR | JUNE 25 - JULY 1, 2018


ALLIED FORCES (l-r): CGA President Joe McCleary; CWGA Executive Director Laura Robinson and President Juliet Miner; CGA Executive Director Ed Mate.


So Happy Together The CGA and CWGA’s historic merger will better serve all Colorado golfers. WITH THE GOAL OF growing engagement among all golfers and clubs across Colorado, the Colorado Golf Association (CGA) and Colorado Women’s Golf Association (CWGA) have announced that they will unify operations and programs of both associations. The unified organization will operate as the Colorado Golf Association to serve as the USGA-designated Allied Golf Association for the state of Colorado to foster stronger golf communities and improve the quality of services to golfers and golf clubs. Effective January 1, 2018, the unification will result in an association serving more than 250 golf facilities, 500 organized clubs and 60,000 golfers throughout the state. The association will blend its board of directors into a single governing body with current CWGA President Juliet Miner and current CGA President Joe McCleary serving as co-presidents for a one-year term beginning in 2018. Continuing to serve in his capacity as executive director over the unified organization, CGA Executive Director Ed Mate will supervise the professional staff. Current CWGA Executive Director Laura Robinson will take on the role of Managing Director of Program Integration with the responsibility of overseeing the integration of women’s golf programs and services, including tournaments and member programs. The organization will focus on its core services in the areas of membership, championships and delivering USGA-led programs in the state. Additionally, it will continue to own and oversee the operation of CommonGround Golf Course in Aurora, which is home to numerous association COLORADO AVIDGOLFER | Fall 2017

and community programs that serves as “A Place for All and All the Game Teaches,” utilizing golf as a means for wellness, outreach and youth development. “We look forward to entering this new chapter with our partners at the Colorado Golf Association,” CWGA President Juliet Miner says. “The idea of joining forces is not new. Both organizations recently celebrated their centennials, and believe that the opportunity to grow and expand golf in Colorado for the next 100 years lies through developing one strong state association that serves everyone. This structure will elevate the importance and profile of women golfers who represent the fastest growing segment in the golf industry.” CGA President Joe McCleary echoes those remarks. “Our number one goal in this unification process was to create a structure that provides a collaborative foundation for golf in Colorado through the creation of an inclusive and diverse association that provides programs and services to golfers of all abilities across the state.” The CGA and CWGA were formed in 1915 and 1916 respectively with very similar missions. The founding purpose of both associations was to conduct amateur golf competitions recognized as the official state championships for the state of Colorado. Today, the organizations continue to conduct state amateur championships but have grown to serve much broader missions including collaboration with allied state golf associations, such as the Colorado PGA Section, to advocate and advance the game of golf. A critical part of this initiative was to satisfy the vision of the USGA to work through a single


point of contact in each state or region to grow engagement among all golfers, increase the adoption of the USGA Handicap System, foster innovation and standardize golfer experiences throughout the United States.

Mike Davis, USGA Executive Director/CEO

“Colorado has consistently been a place of innovation when it comes to creating unique programs to serve and grow the game. We are very excited about this collaboration, and look forward to working together to serve all golfers and clubs in Colorado.” —USGA Executive Director/CEO Mike Davis TO LEARN HOW this historic merger can serve you, turn the page. coloradoavidgolfer.com






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The merger of the two associations will impact more than just titles, letterhead and office space. As Ed Mate, executive director of the Colorado Golf Association puts it: “Through this unification we will continue to honor the legacy of the CWGA while also developing into one strong state association with the resources to expand our programs to all golfers.” “Think of what we can do together!” adds Laura Robinson, executive director of the Colorado Women’s Golf Association. “We have the opportunity to have a real presence in Colorado. And this provides many more opportunities for our staff to grow and develop their careers.”

Benefits Package By unifying the CGA and CWGA Colorado members stand to benefit in new and exciting ways. Here are some of the benefits they can look forward to enjoying in 2018.



Member discounts and benefits.

All members will have access to unique benefits on merchandise, travel, business services through the CGA “MemberZone.”

Member programs in Colorado.

The collective association will increase its offering of member programs such as the CWGA’s Golf Experiences and Annual Spring Meeting. Additional efforts to conduct mixed events will begin in 2018.

Special rates at CommonGround Golf Course.

All members will enjoy member rates at CommonGround Golf Course, and kids 18 and younger have free access to the par-3 kids course.

Community impact at CommonGround Golf Course.

The association will utilize CommonGround to create innovative programs to grow the game of golf, as well as continue to conduct local programs for metro Denver-area youth through various school districts and local nonprofits.

Issue USGA handicaps through member facilities.

Join online or at your local facility.

Conduct official state championships for men and women.

State championships, conducted since 1908, will continue unchanged.

Provide access to USGA qualifying events.

Local path to compete for national championships remains.

Access to score posting and course rating.

Easy access at coloradogolf.org or via GHIN Mobile App.

Support for junior golf competition.

The Junior Golf Alliance of Colorado was established collectively with the Colorado Section of the PGA and the CGA and CWGA to serve as the pathway for the development for junior golfers in Colorado.

For more information, contact Ed Mate, Colorado Golf Association (303-366-4653) or Laura Robinson, Colorado Women’s Golf Association, (303-366-7888).



The Gallery NEWS | NOTES | NAMES

Glacial Growth More than 15 years in the making, the Hale Irwin/ Todd Schoeder-designed Mountain Course at Glacier has officially opened, bringing the number of exquisite golf holes at the Durango club to 36. By Jon Rizzi

PENULTIMATE DRIVE: Glacier’s par-4 17th, shown from the up tees, tips out at 474 yards.




The Gallery

IRWIN’S FAVE: The par-4 15th NATIVE RITES: On the first tee, high above the fairway, Ute Mountain Ute tribe members dance (above) before leader Mark Wing blesses the course (below) and meets co-designer Hale Irwin.

SCHOEDER’S FAVE: The par-4 11th

LABOR DAY WEEKEND BROUGHT World Golf Hall of Famer Hale Irwin to Durango to dedicate a golf course as singular as the one-word name of the property through which it climbs: Glacier. Glacier’s 7,035-yard, par-71 Mountain Course, which Irwin designed with Todd Schoeder of iCon Studios in Broomfield, gambols about the dense ponderosa pines and roseate outcroppings of the San Juan Mountains north of Durango. Its ceremonial first tee— adjacent to the clubhouse and perched 150 yards above the fairway and 450 yards from the green—served as the launching pad for Irwin’s inaugural drive, as well as the stage for a ritual blessing performed by Mark Wing of the Ute Mountain Ute tribe and a colorful performance by a circle of tribal dancers. The Mountain Course now complements Glacier’s Arthur Hills-designed Valley Course, which originally opened in 1975 as Tamarron and later was renamed The Cliffs. Considering plans for the Mountain Course were initially approved 16 years ago, “glacial” might also describe the pace at which it proceeded. But a Schoeder-designed Glacier Nine did open in 2004, bringing the property’s hole total to 27. Owner Rick Carlton then waited out the recession, engineered a 228-acre land swap with the U.S. Forest Service and re-engaged Irwin and Schoeder. The Glacier Nine became holes 1-6 and 7-9 of the Mountain Course. Working with Aspen Construction, the team COLORADO AVIDGOLFER | Fall 2017

broke ground on the other nine holes in 2014. To build all 18 holes, they moved a 346,000 cubic yards of earth, 200,000 of which was dynamited granite and dolomite used to create a shaping layer that they then capped with 76,000 cubic yards of planting sand. Even with the short five-month growing season, the 18-hole, $11 million project, complete with six miles of cart path, opened this spring. In contrast to the Hills-designed Valley course, which the initial Tamarron developer Stan Wadsworth conceived as the summer counterpart to his Innisbrook Resort in Florida, the Mountain Course takes full advantage of its spectacular setting 8,000 feet above sea level. Its plunging, reachable par 4s and par 5s bedazzle with their views and bedevil with their risks. The 600 feet of elevation change puts a premium on club selection. Both designers’ favorite holes are on the shorter, higher back nine. For Schoeder, it’s No. 12, “Dolly,” a downhill par-4 that’s the “epitome of risk/ reward play.” Irwin favors the long par-4 15th, “Gambler,” a stunner that drops a hole-shortening 100 feet from tee to a green protected by a pond and multiple bunkers. On-course fauna includes bears, marmots, coyotes and the random moose and puma.


Around the clubhouse, the Rocky Mountain goat—which serves as club’s logo—appears on the apparel of members, all of whom are thrilled by Irwin’s and Schoeder’s efforts. “The goal was to have a member-friendly course that would be challenging, playable and enjoyable,” Schoeder says. “It also had to be one they could be proud of. And I think we accomplished that.” Nonmembers and on-property guests of Tamarron Resort can access the Valley Course, which sports its own new clubhouse and plush cottages outside Glacier’s gates. Real estate within the 1,000-acre development ranges from club cottages and cabins to .5- to 2.5-acre custom homesites and 5,000-square-foot villas. Purgatory Ski Resort lies 10 miles north. Discovery packages start at $695 for a three-day, two-night stay plus a round of golf for two players and the club’s impeccable hospitality. theglacierclub.com

POND CARRY: The par-3 4th


ade a Bill Bailey- Omne & Hole -in d Rover! won a Lan

THANK YOU to our sponsors and players! Congratulations to the Winners, Mike Painter & Jack Parsons and the Fun Flight Winners, Mark & Lynn Cramer TO RESERVE YOUR SPOT FOR NEXT YEAR’S EVENT please contact Todd Hall at 720-493-1729 ext.15 or Todd@ColoradoAvidGolfer.com

The Gallery

HUGE WIN: Former Kentucky Wildcat Liz Breed, CoBank Colorado Women’s Open winner.

A Breed Apart GOING INTO THIS year’s CoBank Colorado Women’s Open, only one Colorado-based player, Becca Huffer in 2013, had won in this century. With Huffer opting to play in a concurrent Symetra Tour event in Sioux Falls, Westminster’s Jennifer Kupcho—a Wake Forest junior and the third-ranked women’s amateur in the world—represented the Centennial State’s best chance for a hometown champion. But with this year’s purse increased to $150,000 and the winner’s share at $50,000, the event drew competitors from the Symetra Tour, Ladies European Tour and the LPGA. At the end of the three-day tournament, 25-year-old Symetra Tour player Liz Breed was the one posing with the winner’s trophy and the giant check. Breed, from Waynesboro, Pa., shot a 9-under par 207, with Kupcho finishing two shots back in second place. Paired with LET player Andrea Wong on the final day, both players carded oneover 73s and bogeyed the final two holes. Kupcho did claim low amateur by 11 strokes, and the next day she joined her fellow Demon Deacons at the Ocean Course on North Carolina’s Kiawah Island. She posted rounds of 69, 68 and 70, dominating the field by seven strokes to win the Ocean Course Invitational. coloradoopen.com

SECOND TO NONE: Jonathan Kaye exults as his putt clinches the CoBank Colorado Open.

Oh, Kaye! TWENTY-ONE YEARS after his first Colorado Open victory, Jonathan Kaye of Boulder posted an impressive final-round 6-under 66 at Green Valley Ranch Golf Club en route to a record-tying 23-under-par 265 in the 53rd CoBank Colorado Open July 20-23. The victory earned the two-time PGA TOUR winner $100,000. For perspective, Kaye’s winning share in 1996 was $27,000. Kaye, who winters in Arizona, finished one shot clear of Jacob Lestishen of Lone Tree, who pocketed $20,000 for the week. Lestishen went five-under par on the back nine to tie Kaye at 22-under, but Kaye overcame an abysmal second shot into the rough on the par-5 finishing hole, launching a 215-yard rocket to within 10 feet of the pin. He then coaxed in the putt to make birdie, tying the all-time tournament scoring record of 23under 265 set by last year’s winner, Neil Johnson. The defending champion (-19) tied for third with Oscar Fraustro of Mexico. In the low amateur competition, Colorado State University junior Jake Staiano carded a 15-under 273, seven shots better than University of Colorado senior John Souza. Staiano tied for eighth overall with Steven Kupcho of Westminster. coloradoopen.com COLORADO AVIDGOLFER | Fall 2017



yards downhill went the drive by Cherry Hills CC PGA Professional John Ogden on the 54th hole of the Colorado PGA Professional Championship held at Red Sky Golf Club’s Fazio Course. Ogden, 50, birdied the 571-yard par 5 to finish at 4-under 212, forcing a playoff with Eaton Country Club’s Rick Cole. Ogden won on the first playoff hole—the same par 5—for his first Colorado PGA Professional Championship title. coloradopga.com coloradoavidgolfer.com

Senior Services ON AUGUST 15, Colorado Golf Hall of Famer Ron Vlosich shot a 9-under-par 135, nipping fellow PGA Life Member Mike Northern by a shot to win his first Colorado Senior PGA Professional Championship. At 10:30, an even more senior group teed off. Led by Colorado Golf Hall of Fame members Vic Kline and Jim Johnson, a group of five PGA Life Members—Kline, Johnson, Bill Poirot, Ralph Haddad and PJ Irwin (pictured above)— played a nine-hole round. “The score wasn’t the point,” says Haddad, who organized the event. ”The message is, we want avid golfers over the age of 70 to keep on playing. No matter your mental or physical illness, no matter how you hit it, get out and play nine holes.” coloradopga.com

Breaking 600 WHEN YOU’RE 86, shooting your age or better can testify as much to good genes as God-given ability. But in the case of The Club at Cordillera member Don Salanty, it’s truly a matter of both. After retiring from a career in engineering and business, the Cleveland native and his wife Sallie moved to Colorado in 1991, playing at Singletree (now Sonnenalp Club) until Cordillera opened in 1996. The following year, at the age of 67, he shot a 66 at Barton Creek Resort in Austin, Texas. He has since equaled or bettered his age more than 600 times. He may have accomplished the feat more often had Sallie not requested he take Sundays off to attend church with her. “When I kept playing golf, she called my kids, then finally called my mother,” he says. “So I guess at that point I started playing six times a week.” cordillera-vail.com —By Josh Headley

5 Colorado courses made Golf magazine’s Top 100 Courses lists: Ballyneal (86th Best in the World and 41st Best in the U.S.), Cherry Hills (72nd in the U.S.), Red Sky Ranch-Norman (51st, Top 100 Public) pictured, The BroadmoorEast (67th, Top 100 Public) and The Golf Club at Redlands Mesa (93rd, Top 100 Public). Not placing this year was Castle Pines Golf Club, which Golf Digest ranks 42nd—eight spots ahead of Ballyneal and 31 ahead of Cherry Hills—on its latest list of America’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses.

experienceThe Ridge

Enjoy The Ridge’s Newest Dining Experience

The Ridge, located in Castle Pines, Colorado is excited to announce the re-launch

of The Ridge restaurant. Named after Grace Park, a 12-year LPGA Tour Player, Park Place will offer a fresh, new ambiance, unparalleled food choices & upscale service. In addition, Park Place has recently hired a BRAND NEW Executive Chef & Sous Chef! Visit www.PlayTheRidge.com or call 303.688.4575 for reservations today.


14 14 C A S T L E P I N E S P A R K W AY, C A S T L E P I N E S , C O 8 0 1 0 8 | 3 0 3 . 6 8 8 . 0 1 0 0 | P L AY T H E R I D G E . C O M

T H E R I D G E I S M A N A G E D B Y T R O O N G O L F, ® T H E L E A D E R I N U P S C A L E G O L F C O U R S E M A N A G E M E N T

coloradoavidgolfer.com Ridge_COAG_7x5.indd 1


Fall 2017 | COLORADO AVIDGOLFER 3/1/16 12:08 PM

The Gallery

Take the Mulligan SHARP-DRESSED MAN: Bear Dance’s Mark Pfingston is now nationally recognized.

Making His Mark FOR THE SECOND TIME in the last three years—and the fourth time in the last six—the PGA of America will recognize a Colorado PGA Professional as its Merchandiser of the Year. Mark Pfingston, the PGA head golf professional at The Golf Club at Bear Dance, will receive the 2017 PGA Merchandiser of the Year Award for public facilities November 1 at the 101st PGA Annual Meeting in Austin, Texas. Working at the Larkspur course since 2003, Pfingston has won the PGA Colorado Section’s version of the award three times (2005, ’15 and ’16). He and his staff fill their 900-square-foot shop with welcoming smiles, top-of-the line merchandise and bountiful pride—all of which pays off quite handsomely for the club. “Personally, it is an honor for me to represent our ownership group, our club, our members and our golf professionals that have been instrumental in allowing us to grow our merchandising and retail philosophy,” Pfingston says. “The dedicated effort of the entire team has brought us to this pinnacle.” coloradopga.com

As previewed in these pages last August, Holyoke’s superb Ballyneal Golf Club has opened a second course designed by Tom Doak and Renaissance Golf. The Mulligan Course, a par 3 consisting of twelve greens with holes ranging from 65-190 yards, can be played in any sequence and sprouts drink-holders by the tees. The name not only suggests a second crack at Doak’s holes; it honors the late Charlie Mulligan, the club’s original caddie. Ballyneal also features a one-acre putting course called The Commons, which features glowing flagsticks for night-putting, as well as lodging for 56 guests, dining, sporting clays and upland pheasant hunting. ballyneal.com

FOR THE WIN: Mark Kelbel (left) and Trent Wearner.

They Have the Honors THE COLORADO PGA SECTION announced the winners of its annual awards, the ceremony for which takes place October 27 at Colorado Golf Club in Parker. The winners are: Mark Kelbel, The Broadmoor (Golf Professional of the Year); Trent Wearner, Trent Wearner Golf Academy (Teacher of the Year); Ty Walker, GolfTEC (Bill Strausbaugh Award); Cy Twete, The Golf Club at Bear Dance (Assistant Professional of the Year); Patrick Nuber, GolfTEC (Horton Smith Award); Leighton Smith, The First Tee of Pikes Peak (Player Development Award); Todd Laxson, Cherokee Ridge Golf Course (Youth Player Development Award); Barry Milstead, Valley Country Club (Warren Smith Award); Steven David, Denver Country Club (Private Merchandiser of the Year); Phillip Tobias, Keystone Resort Ranch and River Courses (Resort Merchandiser of the Year); Dale Smigelsky, Collindale Golf Club (Public Merchandiser of the Year. Eric Kenealy of Novarus Capital and Massage Envy received the President’s Award for his substantial support of PGA REACH, and PGA Members Stan Fenn and Doug Perry, the hosts of “Morning Cup of Golf” on KCOL Radio, won the Todd Phipers Award for golf journalism. The winners of the Dow Finsterwald OMEGA Player of the Year, Senior OMEGA Player of the Year and Apprentice Player of the Year were released after this issue went to press. The Section’s Vic Kline Award will be announced at the ceremony. coloradopga.com COLORADO AVIDGOLFER | Fall 2017



teams from the U.S. and U.K. will compete in the Topgolf Tour Championship in Las Vegas Oct. 14-16. Representing Denver will be Danny Hahn (left) and Rich Lash, who won this year’s Denver Regional Tournament at Topgolf in Centennial after a close second-place finish in last year’s regional. The duo is gunning for the $50,000 first-place prize and the title of World’s Best Topgolfers. tour.topgolf.com


Farewell, Fitz?

Suburban Renewal

© 2017

KNOWN FOR ITS TREE-LINED fairways and devious greens, South Suburban Golf Course’s Dick Phelps-designed 6,815-yard 18-hole layout and nine-hole par-3 course annually see more than 75,000 rounds. Now, thanks to the airy new clubhouse, the 44-year-old facility on Colorado Blvd. between Dry Creek and County Line roads has become even more popular. The building, which opened July 28, is the showpiece of a $4.6 million improvement project that also includes a new cart barn and upgraded cart paths, pedestrian walkways, landscaping, irrigation and retaining walls. Designed by the Denver-based architectural firm Barker Rinker Seacat, the clubhouse takes full advantage of views of the golf course and mountains, with natural light filtering through glass walls to fill large spaces defined by vaulted ceilings and soothing décor. The pub-styled Clubhouse Bar and Grill boasts a modern, six bottle self-service wine station for adult patrons, as well as a separate full-service bar with two flat-screen TVs. A new patio overlooks the driving range, 18th green and a future putting/chipping area. Between the clubhouse and patio, the facility added nearly 900 square feet. ssprd.org

THE CITY OF AURORA Golf Division recently announced Fitzsimons Golf Course would close by the end of 2017. Really? Haven’t we heard this before? A deathwatch has persisted at the corner of Montview and Peoria since 1998, when the U.S. Government closed the Fitzsimons Army Hospital Post and put the land occupied by the golf course in the hands of the Fitzsimons Redevelopment Authority. The FRA selected Aurora Golf to manage the course, predicting it would close by 2004. It’s 2017, and Fitz is still kicking. Like the tough soldiers who once recuperated on its fairways, the 78-year-old course carries on despite a terminal diagnosis. You’d expect nothing less from a historic layout that helped President Eisenhower recover from a heart attack and earlier this year had its heavily philanthropic women’s league win the Colorado Women’s Golf Association’s Club of the Year. “Nothing’s been finalized about a date the course will close for good,” says Karin Rivale, marketing specialist for Aurora’s Golf Division. It sounds as if Fitz hasn’t run out of lives just yet. auroragov.org

When you play CommonGround, you are supporting numerous Community & Wellness Programs such as PGA Golf in Schools, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Special Olympics, and Boy Scouts that create opportunities for kids to experience the game we love. www.commongroundgc.com | 303-340-1520 coloradoavidgolfer.com



Player’s Corner LESSON

WHY DO WE “BOTTOM OUT”? Below are some of the most common reasons— and how to fix them:

Livin’ on the Wedge

1. INCORRECT: Swinging over the top of the plane.

LIKE EVERY OTHER SPORT, golf has become a statistical salad chopped numerous ways. You probably know your swing speed, ball speed and the average spin rate produced by every club in your bag. One of the most critical and oldest stats—Greens In Regulation—remains very relevant when you consider a 10 handicap only hits one-third of greens in regulation in a given round. Moreover, during that round he or she will have a shot from within 100 yards—typically a ½ wedge or ¾ wedge—eight times. Compare this to a 25-plus handicap who only hits two GIR per round and hits a shot from within 100 or less than 16 times! The bottom line: improve your partial (½ and ¾) wedge play and the most important stat of all— your score—will drop.

1. CORRECT: Hinge the clubhead up on the back swing.

Perfecting shots from inside 100 yards will drive down your handicap. By Elena King

GIR% BY HANDICAP BRACKET 0.7 0.6 0.5 0.4 0.3 0.2 0.1 0.0 Scratch








2. CORRECT: Keep the majority of pressure on the lead foot vs. the trail foot at impact.

< THE PROBLEM One of the most common reasons golfers are challenged by wedge play is inconsistent contact. Their club “bottoms out” at a different spot on every swing. For solid contact the club needs to strike the ball with negative angle of attack—also known as a descending blow—allowing the club to contact the ball first and then the turf. The divot will be on the target side of the white line.






2. INCORRECT: Hanging back on your trail (or rear) foot.

3. INCORRECT: Not rotating your body to the target.

3. CORRECT: Rotate chest and shoulders toward the target, with your lead shoulder rotating up and out of the way.

4. INCORRECT: Keeping your head down too long.

5. CORRECT: Allow your eyes to move toward the target.

5. INCORRECT: Hitting “at” the ball and not through it.

6. CORRECT: Hold your finish with your chest toward the target and pressure on your left side.

THE POWDER DRILL To work on proper and more consistent contact, try this drill:

• Use baby powder to draw a straight line perpendicular to your target line

• Place the ball on the line with it in the middle of your stance (For shorter wedge shots, don’t change the ball position; rather, put a little more pressure on your left foot to start.)

ONCE YOU MAKE CONSISTENT CONTACT, work on your distances: • Vary the tempo of your swing (25%, 50%, 75%, 100%). Discover at what tempo you make the best contact. • Vary the length of your follow-through:

• Go through your routine and alternate your distance and target every shot.

• Hit balls and see where your divots are in relation to the white line. (The relation of the divot to the white line in the above photo is correct.) • Track how many greens you hit when you have your wedge in hand and average proximity to the hole.

The only Colorado instructor among the 50 Best Teachers in the LPGA chosen by the Women's Golf Journal, Elena King is president of Experience Golf. She teaches at CommonGround Golf Course in Aurora and Meridian Golf Club in Englewood. Reach her at info@experiencegolf.biz or 303-503-0330. coloradoavidgolfer.com



Player’s Corner GEAR

Falling into Place Whether for a leisurely resort round or a brisk 18 in Colorado, domestic and international apparel define our options come autumn. By Suzanne S. Brown

> SPORTING GOODS Linda Hipp’s Vancouverheadquartered company Lija has expanded from golf into a full lifestyle brand, with collections for golf, yoga, tennis and more. Lija’s upcoming Carmel Horizon line will feature this long-sleeved crewneck Pacer top, $90, and classic slim-legged shorts with 11½-inch inseam, $110. The zip-up polo with mesh inset panels, $80, is paired with a printed skort with side-zip and undershorts, $120. lijastyle.com

> TRAVEL COMPANIONS The best clothing to take on a trip is functional, versatile, lightweight and fashionable. Kate Boyer manages to build all that into the Anatomie line, which features fine European-sourced fabrics used in a variety of pieces that can go from golf course to restaurant to airport with ease. Her new line offers the mesh Lily jacket, $195, worn over an Adele tank top, $138, and Marisa pants, $225. Other transitional pieces include the Nessa mesh tunic in a blossom print, $195, and Gail pants, $250. At Luca Bruno in Vail and anatomie.com

> HITTING THE SWEDE SPOT J. Lindeberg's fresh designs now include men’s and women’s fashion, but golfwear is a mainstay and continues to look like nothing else in the category. Body-conscious and graphic, J. Lindeberg’s fall line updates the classics, such as this argyle merino wool V-neck vest, $135, layered over a long-sleeved polo, $135, compression shirt, $95, and Ellot microstretch pants, $135. jlindebergusa.com


YOUR ROSS TO WEAR Donald Ross designed hundreds of courses, but fans of men’s golf apparel also associate his name with classic design and high-quality fabrics you’ll find only in green-grass shops. The company’s designers concentrate on the four W’s: wind protection, water protection, wicking power and warmth retention. The next line features rich blues and yellows in a range of mini-print or striped jersey polos ($85-$95), pullovers ($125-$160) and seersucker walk shorts ($75-$85). To find stores, call 910-944-3114; donaldross.com




Player’s Corner GEAR


MATERIAL GAINS After years of outsourcing, Ping took apparel design back in house last year. The streamlined men’s collection has a lean but not skinny fit with stretch in both tops and pants. Pieces like the Knowles color-blocked sweater, $89, feature natural thermal properties in 100% merino wool. The Harrison heather polo (left) wicks moisture, dries quickly and has a UPF of 50-plus, $59. Shown here with Lennox chino-style pants in its Sensor Cool stretch fabric, $99. Retail locator at ping.com


< VESTED INTERESTS Keep the winds at bay in Daily Sports’ Lilian vest, $155, with a mock neck, full zipper and front pockets. The paisley print fabric is lightweight, water repellant and breathable. It’s worn with a mock neck long-sleeved Mayra top, $125, and khaki Emma pants, $130. The Swedish company also makes the Katelyn wind vest (right) in herringbone, $155; zip-neck pullover sweater, $110; and hat, $40. Available in pro shops and at dailysportsusa.com.

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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WATER AND COURSE: The views from behind Grayhawk Place in Bear Dance Village.

Bear Dance’s Best-Kept Secret For those seeking space and seclusion, the areas surrounding the popular Larkspur course hold great appeal. Text and Photography by Martin Yeager CURB CONCEAL: A pine-ensconsed $1.5 million home on Grayhawk Place in Bear Dance Village


THE GREAT AMERICAN ARCHITECT Louis Kahn once said, “The sun does not realize how wonderful it is until a room is made.” With Colorado getting more than 300 days of sunshine every year, there’s more than a chance his belief would apply to many houses across the state. And for most of us, adding a rolling fairway just outside that room would create the perfect setting to call home. Welcome to “Getting Home,” a new column featuring residences and communities that reflect life along the fairways. From a one-bedroom condo overlooking Heather Ridge that recently sold in the low $100s to the stunning residences of Castle Pines Village or Cherry Hills Country Club that reflect price points in the $3 million range, numerous select homes become available on an ongoing basis. As of this writing, there are approximately 320 homes for sale that offer a golf course view. My experience tells me that not every residence described with a “view” borders a course, though many are within the surrounding neighborhoods. Approximately 1,400 similar homes sold in the past year while new custom homes continue to expand your real estate opportunities. If you are considering a



Homes: $1.19M-$2.71M Home sites: $229,950 and higher While two- to five-acre home sites outline your actual property, the additional open space and the distinctive layout of the golf course instills a feeling of a far larger private estate. Currently, seven of the 47 home sites are available for sale along with three existing residences. The open lots range from the 4.6-acre lot along the back 9 offered at $450,000 to the 2.4-acre lot offered at $229,950. Existing home sales reached a high of $2.71 million earlier this year, with the three currently available estate properties ranging from $1.19 million to $1.95 million. Unlike communities utilizing one or two builders, the Village at Bear Dance offers an impressive array of custom homes—each one illustrating a distinctive style and ambiance. Fall 2017 | COLORADO AVIDGOLFER

Side Bets | GETTING HOME BIG BACKYARD: The view of Bear Dance from behind a Hidden Oaks home.


Homes: $700K - $1.1 million Home sites: $200,000 and higher Located directly west of the back nine, Sterling Pointe consists of an impressive collection of custom homesâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;each situated on a 2.3-acre site defined by manicured lawns and tall pines. This exclusive, sylvan setting explains why only two homes were available for sale as of August 14.

home adjacent to one of your favorite courses, you will find options in all price ranges. Just donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t expect your neighbor to complete your foursome. An estimated onethird of golf community homeowners are not active golfers; they choose to live there for the open space, serenity and the unique vantage point. Traditionally, homes adjacent to the golf course bring a higher price than similar homes. Builders often add a premium lot price for new homes on the course, which adds to the increased resale values. Many golf neighborhoods have seen surges in home prices greater than those in metro area. We tee up this newest section with The Golf Club at Bear Dance, located just south of Castle Rock in Larkspur. While the golf

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course has rightfully earned numerous CAGGY Awards for Best Public Course, the residences and home sites nestled in the tall pines of the surrounding communities could be Bear Danceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s best-kept secret. The Village at Bear Dance and the adjacent Hidden Oaks at Bear Dance are so secluded, you may not know they exist. They benefit from the same sense of privacy afforded by the thick pines and dramatic foothills that the golf club does. Both Hidden Oaks and the Village at Bear Dance are gated communities, combining

existing custom residences and undeveloped building sites. The vision of the initial planners and developers sought to retain the natural landscape while developing the area into a prestigious golf club and community. They represent part of the master plan of Southwest Greens, the company that developed the course and continues to own and operate it. Only 47 of these estate residences exist in the entire development, while neighboring communities of Sterling Pointe and Sage Port offer additional options and collectively create the quintessential Colorado lifestyle.

LOCAL HUB: The Bear Dance clubhouse sets the architectural and cultural tone of the neighboring communities.


Homes: $450,000 to $1.2 million Home sites: $100,000 and higher Another neighboring community, Sage Port, offers both home sites and existing custom homes. Similar to Sterling Pointe, the neighborhood does not border the golf club, yet is within minutes of the clubhouse Uniquely situated on smaller one-acre lots, the homes reflect varying architectural styles. Prices are in the $600,000$1,000,000 range with home sites available. Future buildable home sites will be available as the infrastructure connects additional properties to the existing system of roads and utilities.

Martin Yeager, a realtor with Keller Williams DTC, writes Colorado AvidGolferâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Getting Home section. To find out more about golf course homes and properties, reach him at Martin@FairwaysColorado.com or 303-6689373. Special thanks to Kerry Comstock of Eagles Nest Construction, Jay Johnson of Vision Real Estate Services and Ben Wolfe of Wolfe Realty Group.

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Side Bets | TAPPING IN

Cider Houses Rule

TEAM PLAYERS: The St. Vrain Taproom pours other Colorado ciders alongside its own.


With fall in the air, so is the crisp smell of apples and the potent ciders they inspire. By Cody Gabbard HARD CIDER HAS BEEN around just as long—if not longer—as beer in the United States. In fact, many of the Founding Fathers preferred it to malted beverages. That said, cider is still treated like beer’s little brother, especially in a state renowned for its brews. Such attitudes may never change, but a handful of independent cideries and cider bars have recently sprung up across the country with the Front Range at the forefront of the trend. FERMENT IN FIRESTONE Amid randomly arranged picnic tables and a makeshift pizza oven, Wild Cider’s co-founder Mark Birkin stretches out in a lawn chair under a shady tree behind the farmhouse near Wild Cider’s production facility in Firestone. The scene suggests another lazy Sunday in a friend’s backyard as he talks with nonchalant pride about his cidery. FRONT NINE: Wild Cider creates an orchard’s worth of fruitful concoctions.



His laidback approach makes sense. Wild Cider began by chance when the founders left a jug of Martinelli’s Apple Juice too long in the refrigerator. It fermented. The taste was unique to any cider they had tried before and thus began their experimentations with apple juice and wild yeasts. Today, Wild Cider is fermented with a proprietary “wild” yeast that ferments for weeks at cool temperatures compared to the wine yeasts producers typically use to get their cider bottled in days. Mark attributes the full apple flavors and aromas to this slower fermentation process and high quality apple juice from fruit grown on Wild Cider’s 14-acre orchard. The taste difference from other ciders is quite evident, especially in its base product, Apple. The first impression is the tart and somewhat sweet flavor of a fresh apple, skins and all. It balances slightly sweet but is dry enough to keep it from being overly saccharine like many larger, commercially produced ciders. coloradoavidgolfer.com

addition to its taproom in Firestone, Wild Cider shares a tasting room on Lee Hill Road in Boulder. 11455 Co Rd 17, Firestone; wildcider.com


Wild Cider has plenty of rotating taps that showcase fruits, spices, herbs and honey additions. Agave Peach is back-sweetened with peach juice and agave for a mouthwatering, fresh peach flavor and an aroma that leaps out of the glass. When available, the Oaked Cherry cider is a richly complex concoction perfect for long sips, with big vanilla notes melding with deep, cherry flavors that are faithful to the actual fruit. What distinguishes Wild Cider is the focus on finding true, complementary flavors in each selection, whether in hopped, honey infusions like Bee Hoppy or the popular Lemon Basil Cider. Wild Cider is sold throughout Colorado on tap as well as in 16-ounce four pack cans, and will soon be available on select Frontier Airlines flights. In

BASQUE IN VARIETY Arcana, a year-old Boulder restaurant, boasts a superbly curated list of ciders from all over the world. More than 20 are available at any given time, ranging from local creations to curios from regions like Normandy and Spain’s Basque NOT A BONG: Arcana serves its Basque ciders in authentic porróns such as this.

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GOOD APPLES: St. Vrain’s ciders combine multiple varietals.

THE RISING TIDE Compared to other commercial ciders, St. Vrain Cidery’s are typically a bit drier. The Longmont cidery also tries to stand out with unique fruit and spice blends such as Dry Chokeberry and Ginger, two of its flagships. The fruit in Dry Chokeberry provides additional tartness and tannins for an extra dry finish. It drinks clean and has some cherry notes to round out the flavor. Ginger is a highlight of the menu with the spice coming across as mildly fruity rather than a spicy burn. Initial green apple tartness finishes with subtle spice. Upcoming flavors include grapefruit, strawberry and hop infusions. A majority of the pre-fermented apple juice comes from another Colorado cider and fruit juice producer, Big B’s, out of Hotchkiss. Most ciders are comprised of a blend of apple varietals, much like the malts in beer. Dessert apples provide the sugars needed for fermentation, while other varieties bred specifically for cider-making provide the balancing qualities of bitterness, acids and tannins. For additional complexity, St. Vrain sources specialty apples such as winesap, bittersweet and sharp from the West Coast. Unlike most cideries and even breweries, St. Vrain doesn’t just serve their own creations, but a majority of

their taps (currently at 24 and soon expanding to 36) are devoted to other Colorado ciders. According to co-owner Dean Landi, pouring a wide range of cider styles should benefit the industry as a whole by exposing as many flavors as possible to new drinkers. The decision to provide what would appear to be their competition is reminiscent of the early days of craft beer when camaraderie was much more important than beefs over trademarks. stvraincidery.com

MESSAGES IN BOTTLES: A selection of Arcana’s internationally curated cider collection.

Country—the latter of which differ from the highly carbonated ciders available at the local grocery store. Typically fermented naturally with the yeast and bacteria that exists on the apple skins, these still ciders are dry, earthy and quite sour. Order one with a porrón—a specialized drinking vessel that looks like a cross between a wine decanter and a bong, from which you stream the cider into your mouth to create a carbonated sensation. arcanarestaurant.com

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Cast your vote at ColoradoAvidGolfer.com Polls close December 31st. Results revealed in the Spring issue.

KNOW YOUR CIDERS There’s no better way to explore what types of cider are available than to try as many as possible. With 48 taps and ciders ranging from whiskey barrel-aged, sweet to dry and everything in between, Scrumpy’s Hard Cider Bar and Pub in Fort Collins is a must visit. If you’re unfamiliar with the range of styles and flavors available, try one of the flight selections of eight small pours. Sample dry and sweet, English and American. Although cider styles are much more loosely defined than beer styles, there are some definitive characteristics between countries of origin, which the knowledgeable staff will happily help you discover. scrumpys.net Contributor Cody Gabbard writes CAG’s Tapping In column. Read more of his writing at coloradoavidgolfer.com. AMPLE SAMPLES: Cider flights at Scrumpy’s are a must-try.







BMW 3-Series

Who’s Winning the Sports Sedan Race? Comparing the BMW 3-series, Infiniti Red Sport 400 and Audi A4. By Isaac Bouchard SPORTS SEDANS LIKE the BMW 3-series have long served as the leading indicators of how competitive a company is in the premium segment. With crossovers outselling them at many companies, some people now question this metric. But not the automotive purists. Is BMW’s current iteration of the 3-series— now called the 330i and 340i in four- and six-cylinder forms, respectively—still the benchmark despite being almost six years old? The competition is fiercer than ever: Besides the dynamically accomplished Lexus and Cadillac offerings, Alfa sells again in the States, Jaguar has a competitor in the XE, the Audi A4 is allnew from last year and the 2018 Infiniti Q50 has undergone a thorough update to its powertrains, chassis and other systems over the past 12 months. It’s time to see if the BMW still has what it takes. The Bavarian name games denote a new, modular range of engines, slightly more powerful and substantially more efficient. The 2-liter B46 in the 330i has outputs of 248hp/258lbft, and the 340i’s 3-liter inline six B58 is rated at 320hp/332lb-ft. Both are smooth, lag-free offerings that—like many German powerplants— seem to outperform their numbers. The 330i will hit 60mph in the low-5s, the 340i about a half second faster. The four cylinder’s lesser mass means the BMW is slightly more responsive to inputs; updates to the steering and suspension linkage made in 2016 help it respond more like the Ultimate Driving Machines of yore, but the neartelepathic link between driver and car isn’t there coloradoavidgolfer.com

as it is in a Cadillac ATS or Jaguar XE. However, those two aren’t nearly as complete a package as the 3-series, whose latest iDrive system, intuitive voice command system and other essential (wo)man-machine interfaces are much better resolved. More standard equipment, including supportive sports seats, higher quality trim, and tweaked front and rear fascias, keep the BMW looking current if not cutting edge.

INFINITI RED SPORT 400 Infiniti’s 2017 update of the Q50 series is thorough and overall quite well done. Copious chassis revisions to geometry, damper and bushing response mean it rides and handles very well now, and the Red Sport 400 model, with its adapative Dynamic Digital Suspension, really knows how to straighten out a curvy road. Infiniti should be lauded for being the first major manufacturer to spec fly-by-wire steering, and the revised Q50 system—optional unless you want driver assist systems, where it becomes standard—is now much less objectionable than it was a few years ago. It doesn’t approach the intuitive response of the Cadillac, Jaguar, Lexus or BMW, but it’s no longer a deal breaker. The more conventional steering that is available on the Q50 is really quite refreshing, as the electric motor is now mounted on the steering rack itself, and works as well as many of the prior decade’s best hydraulic-assist setups. Infiniti is playing the value card on the Q50; the basic 2-liter—powered by a torquey and smooth, 208hp/258lb-ft Mercedes-sourced


Sticker Stats EPA ratings: Audi A4: 24/31 mpg BMW 340i: 21/32 mpg Infiniti Red Sport 400: 19/26 mpg 0-60 mph: Audi A4: 5.2 sec. BMW 340i: 4.8 sec. Infiniti Red Sport 400: 4.5 sec. Price as tested: Audi A4: $53,325 BMW 340i: $57,750 Infiniti Red Sport 400: $57,020 engine—is a strong contender, and the twinturbo 3-liter V6s, in 300hp/295lb-ft and 400hp/350lb-ft form (there’s also a 360hp hybrid), are priced substantially less than BMWs of similar output. These boosted sixes are really thrilling, and the shift programming of the corporate sevenspeed auto now approaches the transparency and slickness of the eight-speed shared by BMW and Jaguar, as well as Audi’s twin clutch. Interior quality is superb—probably better overall than the BMW—but the updated InTouch interfaces Fall 2017 | COLORADO AVIDGOLFER

Side Bets | NICE DRIVES still aren’t as well resolved or easy to use as the German cars’ and the lack of such options as ventilated seats, a heated steering wheel, or head up display date the Japanese machine.

AUDI A4 The Audi is the only completely new one of this trio, and while that means that it is capable of feats the others can’t pull off, there are signs it has lost some of the essential charisma of older models. The A4 has been described as cold, clinical and calculating—but competent, comfortable and convincing are also apt. Characterful isn’t really on the list, though. Partially this results from its boorish exterior styling, which lacks the athletic stance and proportions that are essential to successful minimalism. The A4 is somewhat fussy in detailing and proffers a sense that it will soon grow dated; no wonder the company replaced its head of design during the car’s creation. The Audi’s interior is more successful, with a rigidly horizontal layout that, while not to everyone’s liking, is über-modern and very well sorted. The optional, high-resolution 12.3-inch virtual instrument display make the BMW and Infiniti—and most everything else—seem so last century, and the semi-autonomous systems operate in the kind of trustworthy, seamless way that lets one actually use them. The A4 is offered only with a 2-liter turbo of 252hp/273lb-ft, but it runs really hard, with 0-60mph available in just over 5 seconds and excellent real-world efficiency. A twin-turbo six can be had in the S4 model range, but the price jumps substantially. The A4 handles in a predictable if uninspiring manner, but its ride quality is stellar and it is quieter than almost any luxury liner made.

Infiniti Red Sport 400

THE VERDICT For decades, Infiniti was likened to an Asian BMW, and that seems even more apt in the case of the updated Q50, which does indeed remind us of the best of early 21st Century E46 and E90 Bavarians. Of the BMW, Audi and Infiniti, the last is the most rewarding to drive hard and fast. Audi has forged its own path. Its European tagline—Progress Through Technology—neatly encapsulates the car Mr. Spock would choose. The 3-series plots a centrist approach, with better tech than the Infiniti and more driver involvement than the Audi. While a 3-series is no longer the definitive driver’s sedan it once was— the Alfa Romeo Giulia, Cadillac ATS and Jaguar XE all handle better and are more involving—the BMW remains probably the best mix of high tech, practical function and pleasing dynamics that the segment offers.

Automotive Editor Isaac Bouchard is the owner of Englewood-based Bespoke Autos (303-475-1462). Read more of his writing on coloradoavidgolfer.com and bespokeautos.com. COLORADO AVIDGOLFER | Fall 2017

Audi A4



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Land Rover Roaring Fork 52876 Two Rivers Plaza Road. Glenwood Springs, CO 81601 970-366-4482 LandRoverRoaringFork.com

The Mountain is Calling...

...and you must go—to Desert Mountain, Arizona’s premier golf community. EVER SINCE OPENING its gates in 1986, Desert Mountain has defined the upscale Arizona snowbird lifestyle. Occupying 8,000 acres—an area twice the size of Cherry Hills Village—this luxury master-planned community comprises seven percent of the city of Scottsdale. It remains the only club in the world with six Jack Nicklaus Signature Courses. In addition to enjoying distinguished architecture and 108 holes of championship golf, members can dine at one of the community’s nine restaurants; serve and volley on their choice of clay, hard court or Wimbledon-quality grass; and rejuvenate in the 42,600-square-foot Sonoran Fitness, Tennis and Spa Center that recently underwent a $12 million renovation.


They can also hike, bike, run or walk on the property’s 15-mile award-winning private trails system, which consists of seven segments, each varying in degree of  difficulty, leading into the adjacent Tonto National Forest and up the scenic eastern slope of the Continental Mountains. “Desert Mountain is built around golf in its heritage, but they’ve built a community that has something for everyone,” says one Cherry Hills Country Club member whose family joined Desert Mountain seven years ago. “The more time I spend down there, the harder it is to leave.” It’s easy to see why. COMMUNITY-MINDED Desert Mountain may have “something for every-


one,” but the enormity of the development—1,850 equity golf members and 2,300 properties (1,800 homes, 500 sites) in 32 subdivisions—can intimidate some prospective members. “With the size and scope of the offerings at Desert Mountain, there can be a perception that it can be a bit overwhelming,” Director of Membership Sales Nicole Forbes says. “The people here are very welcoming. We make sure everybody finds their niche.” A member services team coordinates events and programming and serves as a personal concierge “to ensure that each and every member’s needs are met no matter what the request may be,” according to Director of Member Services Kathy Wyckoff.


Wyckoff’s group regularly arranges onproperty glamping (tents with running water, queen beds and wood floors), four-wheeling, horseback rides and even grocery delivery and 50-minute rides to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. That team also manages the more than 30 social clubs to which Desert Mountain members belong. They range from bridge, poker and mahjong to hunting, running, biking, motorcycling, gardening and more. Authors, artists and experts in health and other topics regularly present to eager audiences. The programming is extensive. Daily events pack the calendar. From October to May, the club hosts an 18-event Dinner Series highlighted by a Glenfiddich Single Malt Dinner, Tequila and Mescal Taco Dinner and wine dinners featuring Silver Oak/Twomey, Duckhorn, Mondavi, Darioush and other fine wineries. Desert Mountain also enjoys a tradition of ladies-only Bella Constantina dinners featuring foods and wines from specific parts of the world. The food and wines prepared and served at Desert Mountain’s nine restaurants rival those at any eatery in dining-rich Scottsdale. To ensure this, the club in April hired as its Director of Culinary Operations Bertrand Bouquin, who during his 12 years as executive chef at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs opened the award-winning Summit and elevated Penrose Room to Mobil 5 Stars and AAA 5 Diamonds.

A MOUNTAIN OF HEART In addition to kicking back, Desert Mountain members enjoy giving back. Desert Mountain boasts a number of grass-roots charities. The Desert Mountain Community Foundation raises funds to provide college scholarships for employees and their families. CARE has raised millions for cancer research over the past 15 years. And that aforementioned 15-mile trail network? It was paid for and is immaculately maintained by the Desperados, a lime green-shirted brigade of members that raises funds to protect, promote and enhance Desert Mountain’s outdoor recreation experience. Further evidence of this altruistic spirit came this September when Desert Mountain CEO Damon DiOrio organized Clubs Helping Clubs, an initiative involving 12 private clubs whose staff and members collected more than 250 boxes of donated food, clothing, water, cleaning supplies, diapers and other necessities that Desert Mountain staff delivered to their club peers in the Houston area. There’s something for everyone, but no pressure to do any of it. “You can be as engaged or as secluded as you want,” says another Colorado-based member. “It’s the best of both worlds.” DISNEYLAND FOR GOLFERS “I’d never seen a more beautiful place in my life,” PGA Director of Golf Mike Scully remembers thinking when he interviewed for the job he got at Desert Mountain five years ago. For

perspective, the club he left wasn’t exactly Bushwood; it was the illustrious Medinah Country Club. Scully now oversees what Membership Director Forbes calls “Disneyland for Golfers.” The description is apt. Each of the six courses—Cochise, Geronimo, Chiricahua, Outlaw, Apache and Renegade—is a unique and thrilling ride. The property’s four dual-sided ranges let you practice every conceivable lie. The Jim Flick Performance Center features six bays: four for high-tech instruction; one for custom clubfitting with master clubfitter Chris Heasley; and one for a Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) Fitness assessment so the TPI trainers in the Sonoran center can customize a regimen. THE COURSES Each course has its own practice area, as well as a distinct layout and clubhouse—complete with restaurant and shopping—except for Cochise and Geronimo, which share a large Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired clubhouse. Cochise, perhaps the best known of the bunch, hosted The Tradition, a PGA Tour Champions major, from 1989 to 2001, as well as four of the last five Charles Schwab Cup Championships. Geronimo, a visually intimidating layout that rollercoasters around boulders and through ravines, rates as Desert Mountain’s toughest test, according to Scully. The northernmost of the courses, Chiricahua features an Old World-inspired clubhouse

THE LONG VIEW: The 10th on Renegade overlooks the valley and distant mountains.




that perches above 18 spectacular holes and houses Constantino’s, arguably Desert Mountain’s finest restaurant. On the southeastern side of the property lies Apache, a popular course among women and late-afternoon couples because of its lack of forced carries. But it’s no cupcake from the back tees, from which the club championship is decided every year. The newest course, Outlaw, opened in 2003 beyond the gates on the property’s eastern edge. Featuring views of Pinnacle Peak and the Tonto National Forest, this “desert links” is unencumbered by real estate and favors better players and creative shotmakers. Nicklaus opened the oldest of the six, Renegade, in 1986, “right after he’d won the Masters,” Scully notes, “and he shot an 83 here in his first round.” Renegade also earned notoriety because, in addition to the usual range of teeing areas, each hole has two sets of greens—the white greens eliminate a number of the forced carries over waste areas and bunkers. “It can play 4,000 to 8,000 yards,” Scully says. “Everyone from the beginner to the most accomplished player can get around.” A SEVENTH COURSE They should be able to get around even better once the premieres an upgrade of the course on Super Bowl Sunday, 2019. Also on that day, a little southwest of Renegade, Desert Mountain will unveil an 18-hole par-3 course designed by Bill Brownlee and Wendell Pickett, the same team that designed the highly acclaimed 9-hole Li’l Wick Par 3 at Wickenburg Ranch and Social Club 70 miles to the west. A par 3 from the back tees, the as-yet-unnamed course can double as a putting course from the front tees. Adjacent to the course will stand a new indoor-outdoor clubhouse, featuring bocce, cornhole, firepits, music and other elements conducive to what has come to be known as “the hang.” The par 3 will bring the total number of courses to seven—and the number of members potentially to 2000, attracting new blood with

PERFECTING PRACTICE: One of the six high-tech bays at the Jim Flick Performance Center.


FOOD WITH A VIEW: The Chiricahua Grill overlooks the course and beyond.

a more relaxed, accessible approach to golf and the Desert Mountain lifestyle. MEMBERSHIP DRIVE Another huge attraction is a new 30-day Trial Preview Membership. For $3,000, you and your family can become Desert Mountain members for 30 days. Participants can rent a house on property and enjoy the same access and privileges as full golf members. If, after the 30 days, you decide to join, the $3,000 applies to your initiation deposit. Should you opt not to join, you’ve had a month of amazing golf, dining, spin classes, hikes and stargazing beneath the inkblack desert sky. Members have owned Desert Mountain since 2011, with the market-based initiation fee for an equity golf membership currently trending in the $40,000 range. Monthly dues run $1,510 and the annual food and beverage minimum is $2,000, which can be met at any of the restaurants, beverage carts, commissary or even the mobile chef who makes his rounds on the golf courses and new pickleball and croquet facilities. Members are no longer required to own property in Desert Mountain, although home purchases occasionally come with a membership folded into the price. Properties range from 2,500-square foot lock-and-leave adjoining townhomes in the mid-$600s to $10 million estate homes. The average lot size for a single-family home ranges from one to 10 acres. There are roughly 500 vacant homesites and 150 homes being built, remodeled or on the market. Desert Mountain itself is going through a slight remodel. The place that once boasted the hardest courses in Arizona now promotes the USGA/PGA’s Play It Forward initiative and is building a Par 3 course with piped-in music. Spinning, Zumba, yoga and Pilates classes fill the new Sonoran studio spaces. And a triathlete, Mirinda “Rinny” Carfrae, not a golfer, has become its resident touring professional.


BIKE AND BIVOUAC: Desert Mountain’s 8,000 acres include 15 miles of trails and numerous glampsites.

Yet the club still logs 145,000 rounds a year and remains a golfer’s dream. “My wife and I looked at numerous, more traditional clubs in the area, and there was just no comparison,” one Denver-based member explains. “From the variety of golf courses and restaurants to the facilities and community, Desert Mountain really is world-class and all-inclusive. Plus, you can’t beat the convenience from Denver.” For more information, visit desertmountain.com or call 480-595-4110 coloradoavidgolfer.com





Welcome to

Courses, resorts, spas and other paths to discovering bliss in the desert

Boulders Resort & Spa, Curio Collection by Hilton





An Experience...

that Truly Represents Golf in the Arizona Desert


ARIZONA 42 Scottsdale/Phoenix A curated selection of resorts, destinations, developments, activities, restaurants and golf courses in the Valley of the Sun.

54 Tucson

There’s nothing “old” about the Old Pueblo. It rocks in every way. So do nearbyTubac and Marana —all hubs of great golf, lodging and culture.


NEVADA 60 Mesquite

Surreal golf, fun casinos, fine food and abundant natural beauty waits 90 minutes from Las Vegas.

68 Summerlin

A trifecta of stellar courses and stay-and-play deals proves the TPC isn’t the only game in town.

UTAH 70 St. George

480-488-0398 5734 E. Rancho Manana Blvd Cave Creek, AZ 85331 www.RanchoManana.com COLORADO AVIDGOLFER | Fall 2017

70 38

Golf along the Red Rock Trail is nothing short of spectacular— and trips to the nearby canyons are pretty sweet, too. coloradoavidgolfer.com


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.

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


scot tsdale / phoenix


Talking Stick

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

Eat & Drink SCOTTSDALE’S craft-brewing scene is pouring the

Making It Stick STAYING: With two golf courses, 497 guest rooms, six restaurants, a 240,000-square-foot casino, 13,000-square-foot open air spa and 20 cabanas (with misting systems) around three pools, Scottsdale’s Talking Stick Resort has everything—including big-name entertainment at the Showroom. Atop the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community-owned resort sits the fine-dining Orange Sky Restaurant and O Lounge, which feature more than 300 wines to pair with the award-winning cuisine and stunning sunsets. talkingstick.com PLAYING: The names of the two courses may have changed, but 36 holes of memorable golf still await at Talking Stick Golf Club’s links-style O’odham (née North) and tree-lined Piipaash (South) courses, designed by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw. The facility celebrates 20 years in 2017. talkingstickgolfclub.com COLORADO AVIDGOLFER | Fall 2017

competion on Denver’s. Craft 64, a pizzeria in a historic home, taps its own blondes, IPAs and wheat beers. McFate Tap & Barrel’s Porch Pilz German-style lager is great at Sunday Brunch. You can’t go wrong with Four Peaks Grill & Tap’s six-time World Beer Cup medalist Kilt Lifter. The sour ales at Two Brothers Tap House & Brewery rock, and no beer lover should miss Goldwater Brewing’s Desert Rose, which is brewed with real cactus fruit. experiencescottsdale.com

NEARLY 800 restaurants pepper the Scottsdale

landscape. Among the best is the award-winning FnB, whose co-owner, Pavle Milic, curated the first Arizonaonly wine program. His favorites include the 2013 SandReckoner W, 2014 Rune Wild Syrah, 2014 Saeculum Cellars Viognier, 2015 Los Milics Hannah’s and the 2009 Dos Cabezas El Campo. fnbrestaurant.com

SANCTUARY ON Camelback Mountain is even more tranquil than it sounds. Renowned for its private luxury casitas and newly renovated Sanctuary Spa, the resort serves as home base to celebrity chef Beau MacMillan, who dishes up farm-fresh American Cuisine with Asian accent at elements. sanctuaryoncamelback.com


Four Peaks Grill & Tap





• Two championship golf courses and an innovative par-3 course • Tennis, Pickleball and Bocce courts, exercise facilities, art and dance studios, hiking and biking trails, and much more • Access to over 250 courses worldwide with our Troon Privé & Advantage Programs. • Custom homes on large lots priced from $350,000 to $1.5 million

To Learn More About Rio Verde’s Welcoming Lifestyle 480.471.7010 | 1.877.746.8373 r i o v e r d e a r i z o n a . c o m /a v i d membership@rioverdecc.com


scot tsdale


Troon North

Top Shelf NORTH STAR: Stretching through the natural ra-

vines and boulder-strewn foothills of Pinnacle Peak, Troon North Golf Club’s Pinnacle and Monument courses remain the hallmarks of daily-fee desert golf. Designed by Tom Weiskopf and Jay Morrish—with some sweet recent remodeling work by Weiskopf —the 27-year-old flagship of the Troon empire represents the apex of the brand. troonnorthgolf.com Ak-Chin Southern Dunes

SOUTHERN EXPOSURE: Employing creative routing, native grasses and rugged, unbridled landforms, archi-

tects Lee Schmidt and Brian Curley, along with popular Tour player Fred Couples, created this homage to the great sandbelt courses of Australia 40 miles south of Scottsdale. Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club sprawls across 320 acres of the Ak-Chin Indian Reservation in Maricopa and Golfweek and Golf magazines rank it among Arizona’s top daily-fee golf courses. No traffic or homes intrude on the 7,546-yard experience. The Arroyo Grille turns out mojo pork street tacos and frybread “popovers.” Troon Golf manages the upscale facility. golfsoutherndunes.com

Cowboy Up LOOK FOR the cutout cowpoke with the red shirt and

lasso on Scottsdale’s Main Street. Then push through the swinging doors into the Rusty Spur Saloon, a Scottsdale institution since 1951. Line-dancing and two-stepping to all forms of country and western music rattle the rafters in this shrine to good times. The barstools get funnier the longer you’re at the bar. rustyspursaloon.com

MORE THAN a collection of leather chaps and arrowheads, Scottsdale’s Museum of the West opened in a sleek wood-and-steel building in 2015. Current exhibits include the must-see Rennard Strickland Collection of Western Film History and 100 years of artist impressions of the Grand Canyon. Permanent exhibits contain artifacts, paintings and instruments of trailblazing and conflict resolution.scottsdalemuseumwest.org

SADDLE UP at MacDonalds Ranch. The premier Rusty Spur Saloon


Scottsdale stable specializes in individual, group and moonlight horseback and stagecoach rides, cookouts and more. macdonaldsranch.com


Rio Verde

ITS NAME IS RIO: Part of the exclusive Troon

Privé network of clubs, Rio Verde Country Club tucks into the trail-rich McDowell foothills at the edge of the Tonto National Forest. The club features the challenging White Wing and Quail Run golf courses, two pickleball and two bocce courts, tennis, fitness and stables. The clubhouse food is superb. Members in the 42-year-old ungated community are welcoming and unpretentious. Try a Rio Verde Discovery package to find out for yourself. rioverdearizona.com coloradoavidgolfer.com



“#1 ranked course you can play in Arizona”–Golf Magazine 2016 Come experience both of Troon North’s Monument and Pinnacle courses for the best desert golf in Arizona. Please visit www.TroonNorthGolf.com for best available rates and 36-holes packages. After your round, stop in at the Dynamite Grille where you can enjoy great food with a view. Use Promo Code “Dynamite10” online or by phone and get 10% off the already best available rate through 2017.



4 8 0.5 8 5 .7 70 0


T R O O N N O R T H G O L F. C O M


C A L L 4 8 0.5 85.7700 OR V ISI T T ROONNOR T HGOL F.C OM U S E P R O M O C O D E “ D Y N A M I T E 10 ” T O B O O K T O D AY


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Wickenburg Ranch Golf and Social Club

Tonto Verde

MANY CONSIDER the greens at Tonto Verde Golf Club to be the finest in the area. Roll a few on the club’s Peaks

and Ranch courses and see if you agree. Situated in a 717-home gated community adjacent to the Tonto National Forest, the 7,004-yard Ranch and tighter 6,733-yard Peaks both claim Gary Panks and David Graham as designers. Both welcome the public—as does Tonto Verde’s Mesquite Grill. Members enjoy a fitness center, pool, saddle club and artist’s league. The debt-free community currently offers a $795 four day/three night couples Discovery Package that includes two rounds of golf, dinner, use of a luxury townhome, bikes and copius amenities. tontoverde.com

Hike & Bike Golf in Two Hours or Less... PARADISE VALLEY: The resurgent Mountain Shadows Resort this spring debuted The Short Course at Mountain Shadows, an upscale 18-hole par-3 layout designed by Forrest Richardson, who worked with Jack Snyder on the original course in the 1960s. Holes range from 75 to 193 yards from the tips, with challenges galore. Golf Inc. rated it 2017’s “Renovation of the Year.” mountainshadows.com/golf WICKENBURG: Li’l Wick, the short course at WIckenburg Ranch Golf and Social Club comprises nine huge greens pivoting around a small lake and The Watering Hole. Speakers pump tunes into every green complex and five holes are lit up for night golf. The concept has proved so popular that Desert Mountain hired the designers to create an 18-hole version to bring its course total to seven. wickenburgranch.com COLORADO AVIDGOLFER | Fall 2017

THE 1.75-MILE Pinnacle Peak Trail, a wide mani-

cured path that clambers up and over the shoulder of one of Scottsdale’s most distinctive formations, thrusts up and down through a blend of saguaro, cholla, ocotillo, creosote and more. Rewards come at two overlooks with benches, not at the top, which is for experienced rock climbers only. The trail isn’t a loop, so you get to double your fun coming down. experiencescottsdale.com

A TRAIL MIX, from easy to difficult, can be found

in the superb Hiking and Trail Guide available at the Scottsdale Tourist Information Center in Fashion Square. Among the recommendations is the 30,200-acre McDowell Sonoran Preserve, where five trailheads lead to a latticework of two-footed adventures such as the Granite and Cholla Mountain loops, Tom Thumb’s Trail and Sunrise Trail to Sunrise Peak. experiencescottsdale.com

ADVANCED RIDERS looking for the most rigorous

terrain should hit the steep Gateway Loop or the technically demanding National Trail at South Mountain. For gentler rides, head to McDowell Mountain Park’s popular 15-mile Pemberton Loop, Desert Park and Coachwhip Trail. 360 Adventures, among other outfitters, provides exhilarating tours for all levels. 360-adventures.com


McDowell Sonoran Preserve coloradoavidgolfer.com

Take Tonto Verde AZ for a Test Drive Two 18-hole championship golf courses surrounded by breathtaking mountain views Custom homes or townhomes available in a gated community Join 80 of your fellow Coloradans that own and golf here!

Discover Package $795 • 4 days/3 nights in luxury townhome • An electric golf cart and two mountain bikes included • Golf for 2 on both of our championship courses • Tour and use of the clubhouse, fitness center, pool • $100 gift card to our award winning Mesquite Grill and spa This package is for couples considering a purchase in the next 1-2 years.

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


Arizona Real Estate

scot tsdale / phoenix


Are you thinking about living in a warmer climate in 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 estate in our beautiful Sonoran Desert, please contact me by phone, email or visit my website. Your CO / AZ Real Estate Connection www.desertfinehomes.com

Wayne Little, Realtor

The Boulders

NAMED THE BEST HOTEL in Arizona this year by the readers of Travel+Leisure and Best Course in the

Southwest (2016-2017) by Golf Digest, The Boulders recently unveiled an exquisitely appointed new clubhouse that further elevates the golf experience in this jaw-dropping natural landscape. Guests can play two award-winning Jay Morrish-designed golf courses and can make use of the club’s certified caddie professionals who know the intricate tricks and challenges of the North and South layouts. The Boulders also offers memberships, with access to all hotel amenities, including the 33,000-square-foot spa, six restaurants and eight-court tennis gardens. theboulders.com

Ways to Play PLAYER-FRIENDLY: Rancho Mañana Golf Club,

located in historic Cave Creek, features a highly scenic, superbly conditioned par-70 layout ranked by Golf Digest as one of the Top 50 Courses in the Country for Women. Challenges abound in the form of water, washes and elevation changes. The resort includes luxurious 1,500-square-foot casitas, a full-service European style spa, expansive outdoor swimming pool and the award-winning Tonto Bar & Grill. ranchomanana.com


boasts 160 newly renovated casitas and villas with wood-burning fireplaces, private patios and many border the two golf courses. Outdoor adventures such as rock climbing, desert hikes, horseback rides, bicycling, jeep tours and hot air balloon rides take place right on the resort’s 1,300 acres. theboulders.com

TALE OF TWO CITIES: Neighbors Cave Creek and

(480) 532-5479 wayne@desertfinehomes.com COLORADO AVIDGOLFER | Fall 2017

Carefree provide a delightful yin-yang experience. The former has a charming Frontier Town that exudes its rugged history, complete with saloons and general stores. The latter, as its name suggests, is more “new west” with boutiques, galleries, and a pedestrian thoroughfare called, yes, Easy Street. carefreecavecreek.org


Rancho Mañana


Named “Best Hotel in Arizona” – Travel + Leisure magazine

Take Desert Golf to the Next Level

Experience challenging play in the sun-splashed atmosphere of the Boulders Club, featuring two Jay Morrish-designed champion courses sculpted into the natural terrain of the high Sonoran foothills. Golfers can tee off atop a boulder, look out over fairways framed by ancient saguaros and catch a glimpse of desert wildlife darting into the rough at this award-winning golf resort. Afterwards, take in the million dollar views from the new golf club patio.

480.488.9009 | theboulders.com


scot tsdale / phoenix


Après-Golf NOTHING CAPS OFF a memorable round better

Desert Trails

A Week of Tee Times WITH A DIFFERENT COURSE FOR EACH DAY, Sun City West might be the best reason to turn 55.

Located an hour’s drive west of Scottsdale, the 40-year-old Del Webb active-adult development features four attratively priced 18-hole, par-72 layouts (Grandview, Trail Ridge, Deer Valley and the original, Pebblebrook) and three par-60 /61 executive layouts (Desert Trails, Echo Mesa and Stardust). The seven courses more than handle the golf needs of Sun City West’s 30,000 residents, so non-resident tee times are relatively easy to get. Superb conditioning and walkability make rounds at all courses a pleasure. The community features miles of walking trails and three recreation centers with pools, fitness centers, pickleball courts, ballroom and clubrooms and more. suncitywest.com

THE WEST VALLEY also features the pricier Trilogy Golf Club at Vistancia (trilogygolf.com) in Peoria, Wickenburg Ranch Golf Club (wickenburgranch.com) in Wickenburg and Buckeye’s Verrado courses (verradogolfclub.com).

than an equally unforgettable meal. After playing Troon North, head to the scrumptious Talavera at the Four Seasons Scottsdale at Troon North (talaverarestaurant.com), a modern take on the classic steakhouse with equally vibrant sunset views. Another post-round indulgence is The Grill at The Boulders, which boasts an exhibition kitchen, a fireplace, and newly renovated patio seating with grand views of the lush 18th hole fairways. theboulders.com

SCOTTSDALE HAS PUT the art in party every

Thursday night for the last 42 years. The Scottsdale ArtWalk showcases the eclectic artistic styes of the city’s vibrant gallery scene along Main Street and Marshall Way. Wander into galleries and stroll around a delightful area punctuated by dramatic statues, bubbling fountains, live music, lighted palms, courtyards, restaurants and bars. scottsdalegalleries.com

You thought a winter golf trip to Phoenix would be too expensive to take…

think again! Must play on Friday (PM), anytime Saturday or Sunday on three consecutive days. Based on tee time availability.

Decemb er 201 April 201 78.

Available at ALL 7 golf courses Deer Valley, Desert Trails, Grandview, Echo Mesa, Pebblebrook, Stardust, Trail Ridge

Contact Patrick O’Hara, PGA at patrick.ohara@suncitywest.com or 623.544.6499 to discuss how you can take advantage of this offer. Group size must consist of 4-16 players. Tee times will be booked once fees are paid. COLORADO AVIDGOLFER | Fall 2017




8100 E. ORCHARD ROAD DENVER, CO 80111 | 303.796.0100 DELFRISCOS.COM



Omni Tucson National

DURING ITS THREE decades as host of the Chrysler Classic of Tucson, Omni Tucson National Resort’s Robert

Van Hagge/ Bruce Devlin-designed Catalina course had one of the PGA Tour’s hardest finishing holes—a blind par 4 with water on both sides of the fairway. 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. Combined with the resort’s Forbes 4-Star spa, 128 oversized guest rooms, four lighted tennis courts and the Texas-sized cuts of meat at Bob’s Steak & Chop House, they complete the perfect golf destination. tucsonnational.com

Count ’em Up Pride of the Pueblo NOTAH’S ART: The 7,283-yard Notah Begaydesigned Sewailo Golf Club has shot up the lists of Arizona top courses. Sewailo, meaning “the land where flowers grow” in the Pascua Yaqui language, 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 it. sewailogolfclub.com THE SOL OF TUCSON: Owned and operated by the Pascua Yaqui Nation, the 215-room Casino Del Sol Resort ranks as the only Arizona casino resort to have earned a Forbes Four Star award and a AAA Four Diamond award. A superb combination of gourmet fare (try PY Steakhouse and Ume Asian Cuisine), championship golf, elegant décor, 5,000seat amphitheater and lively gaming make this a sure bet. casinodelsolresort.com COLORADO AVIDGOLFER | Fall 2017

45 HOLES OF GOLF, 31 lighted tennis courts,

five swimming pools (including one with a 143-foot “Sliderock” water slide), four pickleball courts and an Elements Wellness Center highlight The Hilton El Conquistador Golf & Tennis Resort. Greg Nash and Jeff Hardin designed both the 18-hole Conquistador and Cañada courses, as well as the highly creative ninehole Pusch Ridge Course that encircles the resort and features a par-4 fifth hole surrounded by water with an island green. hiltonelconquistador.com

THE 5,300-FOOT CLIFFS of Pusch Ridge provide the backdrop for El Conquistador’s alfresco Epazote Kitchen, which plies diners with such inspired fare as Chipotle-Braised Beef Short Ribs, Tamarind-Glazed Quail and Ancho Pepper Salmon served with CaperCilantro Chimichurri. hiltonelconquistador.com/dining

THE BEST 23 MILES of Mexican food north of the

border can be found in Tucson, the First UNESCO City of Gastronomy. From Alejandro’s Tortilla Factory in the south to Berraco’s in the north, the Old Pueblo sizzles with authentic restaurants serving carne asada, ceviche, empanadas, raspados, elote and the popular Sonoran hot dog. Get the mouthwatering list at visittucson.org


El Conquistador


It delightfully can at Sewailo Golf Club.

Fits you to a tee.

Designed by PGA Tour pro and Native

American Notah Begay III, this 18-hole, par-72 course offers a one-of-a-kind championship golf




“flower world” in the Pascua Yaqui language— is just that with more than 30,000 native

flowers and 14 acres of exquisite water features throughout its design. Come play

and stay and watch your game blossom in The Sol of Tucson.

8 5 5 . S ol . STAY • CA S I NO D ELS O L .CO M


Home of the Arizona Wildcats


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


The Gallery at Dove Mountain

Getting Home GOLF AND LUXURY LIVING intersect at The

Gallery at Dove Mountain, an upscale community located along the 36-hole Gallery Golf Club in the Tortolita foothills northwest of Tucson. The stunning residences start around $650,000, with most singlefamily homes costing $1-3 million. The highly rated courses hosted the 2007 and ’08 WGC-Accenture Match Play. gallerygolf.com/real-estate The Golf Club at Dove Mountain

FOR SIX YEARS the host of the PGA Tour’s WGC Accenture Match Play Championship, The Golf Club at Dove

Mountain is a 27-hole expedition through dense desert foothills of the Tortolita Mountains. All three nines—Saguaro, Tortolita and Wild Burro—feature ample landing areas, strategically placed fairway bunkers and few forced carries; that is, unless you play the 7,814 tips on Saguaro/ Tortolita as the pros did. The greens vex everyone. Play designer Jack Nicklaus’ favorite nine, Wild Burro, which serves up incredible vistas of the Tortolitas and a panoramic view from the fifth green of The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain Resort. thegolfclubatdovemountain.com

Ritzy Digs AT JUST SHY of 250 rooms and casitas—the latter

climbing into Wild Burro Canyon above the resort—the Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain exudes an intimacy that many Western golf facilities lack. Pair the elegant accommodations and an exceptionally attentive staff with world-class amenities including a spa, four tennis courts, sprawling three-pool complex and five dining options and you’ve found an unbeatable destination. The 850-acre resort blends into its surroundings, where adventurous guests can tackle 20 miles of saguarostudded trails. ritzcarlton.com/dovemountain

LOVE THE DOVE? Consider full ownership of one of

Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain


The Residences at The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain. Homes in eight distinctive Southwestern styles range from the $800s to $2 million; in size from 1,650 to 5,400 square feet; and occupy lots between one and seven acres. The Residences occupy only 14 percent of the development’s 6,200 acres and ownership comes with access to resort amenities and the 45,000-square-foot golf clubhouse. theresidencesdovemountain.com


DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun

LOCATED on 10 acres in the Santa Catalina Moun-

tains east of Dove Mountain and north of Tucson, the DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun is a National Historic District devoted to the thousands of paintings, mosaics, sculptures and structures created by Ettore “Ted” DeGrazia (1909-1982). His life was a joyous work of art and this brillant complex, which also features the open-air chapel he constructed, testifies to his genius. degrazia.org coloradoavidgolfer.com

RECONNECT AND ESCAPE IN AN UNFORGETTABLE LUXURY GOLF DESTINATION Discover 63 holes of World Match Play golf combined with Forbes Five-Star and AAA 5-Diamond award-winning luxury. Reconnect with nature among towering saguaro and challenge yourself on five stunning Championship courses at The Gallery Golf Club and The Golf Club at Dove Mountain. Find balance in healing spa treatments, soak up the sun in sparkling heated pools, hike and bike alongside ancient petroglyphs, savor innovative cuisine, and relax in the comfort of luxuriously-appointed rooms, suites and spacious casitas. For more information on available golf packages or to make reservations, contact your travel professional, call The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain at 520-572-3000 or visit ritzcarlton.com/dovemountain. For membership inquiries about Tucsonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s premier private club experience at The Gallery Golf Club, please call 520-579-4118 or visit gallerygolf.com.


tucson / tubac



Tubac Resort & Spa

PLAY THE HOLES Kevin Costner made famous in Tin Cup at a historic resort where Bing Crosby was an original

investor. Located an hour south of Tucson, Tubac Golf Resort & Spa weaves its way through the mesquite groves between the Tumacacori and Santa Rita mountain ranges with a river running through it. Robert “Red” Lawrence designed the original 18 in 1959; Ken Kavanaugh added nine more in 2006. Each nine—Anza, Rancho and Otero— boasts memorable holes, including island greens. In addition to the “Tin Cup” holes, the Rancho nine has the “Tubac Triangle”—nos. 6, 7 and 8—which culminates in Train Wreck, an aptly named 651-yard par-five. tubacgolfresort.com

Off the Beaten Track It’s Tubac for Sure BABY GOT TUBAC: Set on the historic (est. 1789) 500-acre Otero Ranch, Tubac Golf Resort & Spa’s 98 private haciendas and casitas lead to golf, lush gardens, a swimming pool, rejuvenating spa and a 3,000-square-foot showroom featuring the hand-crafted Mexican, Spanish and Western furnishings for which the area is famous. The Stables Ranch Grille & Patios’ rustic dining room, bar and patio all have views of the “island green” and Santa Rita Mountains. tubacgolfresort.com HIKES: Tubac was where Spaniard Juan Bautista de Anza began his westward journey to found San Francisco. The four-mile Anza Trail to Tumacacori commemorates the trip. Part of the trail-rich Coronado National Forest, Madera Canyon offers great hiking, birding, mountain biking and picnicking on the way to Mount Wrightston. tubacaz.com COLORADO AVIDGOLFER | Fall 2017

THE VILLAGE OF TUBAC, just one mile from the

resort, features meandering streets punctuated by hidden courtyards, sparkling fountains and eclectic shops and world-class galleries featuring painting, sculpture, ceramics, photography, regional fashion, leather, crafts and jewelry. The Tubac Center of the Arts features acclaimed pieces from artists in the Santa Cruz Valley and throughout the United States. tubacarts.org

MEXICO’S LOSS is Tubac’s gain. In 2009, Elvira’s

Restaurant—for 82 years a fixture south of the border in Nogales—relocated to Tubac with some of the funkiest, flavorful moles and molcajetes ever imagined. The 34ingredient Mole Negro and Flank Steak Molcajete are two of the dozens of must-haves on Chef Ruben Monroy’s colorful menu. The décor, highlighted by 2,000 glass raindrops suspended from the ceiling, is just as spirited. A second Elvira’s is open in Tucson. elvirasrestaurant.com

GET BUSY in Bisbee. A two-hour drive southeast from Tubac, the old copper-mining town of Bisbee features a charmingly preserved downtown featuring eccentric specialty shops, quirky galleries, rocking restaurants and what seems like a street party every weekend. Bisbee embraces the weird, wild side of the wild, wild west. discoverbisbee.com


Tubac Center of the Arts


Colorado Avid Golfer

Unlimited Golf Package For Two

For reservations call 800.848.7893 Ask for the COLORADO AVID GOLFER PACKAGE (Code AVID) (Valid until Jan 14, 2018)

Luxurious Hacienda Accommodations Unlimited use of Practice Facilities One-Day of Unlimited Golf for 2 • A Sleeve of Tubac Golf Resort Golf Balls Unlimited Fitness Center Access • Beautiful new swimming pool and lap pool New Patio at Stables on the Island Green 10% off Spa Treatments • Club Storage $349 per night (Plus tax and resort fee, based on availability)

Make your reservations now! 1.800.848.7893 www.TubacGolfResort.com

I-19, Exit 40 (30 minutes from Tucson)

www.TubacGolfResort.com 1.800.848.7893



Lost Vegas “VEGAS, THE WAY IT USED TO BE” provides

the slogan for Mesquite Gaming, owner of the CasaBlanca Resort and Virgin River Hotel & Casino in the border town of Mesquite, an hour’s drive from Las Vegas. The two properties total 1,186 guest rooms, a luxury spa, six restaurants and 76,000 sf of casino space. Mesquite Gaming properties help you build your own discounted golf vacation from 11 courses in this golf-rich region. mesquitegaming.com Wolf Creek

THE GOLF WORLD has howled about Wolf Creek Golf Club ever since the homespun architectural effort by the

father-son team of Dennis and John Rider earned Golf Digest’s Best New Course in 2002.It has resided permanently on the rosters of America’s 100 greatest public courses—as well as on most golfers’ bucket lists—ever since. From the very first tee shot, holes plunge and squiggle through canyons, disappearing behind buttes and reappearing as you wind along precipitous cart paths. A surreal masterpiece of verdant lushness painted onto the sere mountains, Wolf Creek enjoys a stay-and-play relationship with Eureka Casino Resort and six other courses. golfwolfcreek.com

Eat and Play OYSTERS ROCKEFELLER, escargot, fresh Florida

stone crab, tender dry-aged USDA beef and other classic steakhouse fare comes impeccably prepared at the Katherine’s Steakhouse, the well-appointed oasis of fine dining in the CasaBlanca Hotel. Tableside preparations of signature appetizers, warm salads and dramatic desserts enhance the experience. casablancaresort.com


Valley, the Cal Olson-designed CasaBlanca Golf Club winds in and out of the Virgin River Basin offering a new experience from every tee. Five sets of tees allow golfers of all skill levels a fair chance on this championship golf course, which annually hosts the Nevada Open and Mesquite Amateur. casablancaresort.com

VIRGIN TERRITORY, in the form of the Virgin Moun-

Katherine’s Steakhouse


tains rising west of Mesquite, inspire a short drive to the trailheads for Little Virgin Peak, the top of which affords views of Davidson, Moapa and Mormon peaks, Valley of Fire, Lake Mead and Virgin Peak. summitpost.org


Virgin River


provide exceptional experiences. CasaBlanca features a world-class spa with a full menu of relaxing, nourishing services for body and soul, as well as Katherine’s Steakhouse, Skydome Lounge and the rocking Casapalooza poolside concert series. Virgin River provides extra enjoyment with a complete bingo hall, bustling bowling alley and amusing game arcade. mesquitegaming.com coloradoavidgolfer.com

Presented By: Mesquite Gaming

NOVEMBER 7–9, 2017

$140,000.00 Larger Tournament Purse

November 10–12, 2017


Learn More CasaBlancaResort.com/ii-m/

Amatuer Two Man Golf Tournament Total Cash and Prizes

*With 25 Teams

Play 3 Championship Golf Courses Day 1: Scramble Day 2: Best Ball Day 3: Alternate Shot

A Unique If there’s a recipe for the ultimate golf experience, Wolf Creek Golf Course in Mesquite, Nevada has discovered it. Wolf Creek combines equal parts of breathtaking views and challenging (but not impossible)golf holes. It mixes in some of the Southwest’s most rugged desert terrain, then to balance that out, it adds in 6,939 yards of some of the most beautifully kept fairways and greens a golfer will be lucky enough to land a ball on. And then, to finish it all off, a 19th hole called The Terrace Restaurant that takes golf course cuisine to the next level. Since Wolf Creek opened in 2000 that recipe has made it a yearly staple on the “Best Of” lists of just about every golf publication in the world. The year it opened it was voted Golf Digest’s “America’s

Best New Course,” and since then it has kept raking in the accolades. “Top 100 Courses You Can Play,” Golf Digest’s “Fan’s Choice 2011,” “Top 100 Greatest Public Courses,” “Best Resort Courses,” and “Ten of the Best Places in the World to Play Golf.” After being consistently featured for the past 10 years in Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroys PGA Golf video game from EA Sports, Wolf Creek has been on many more golfers’ must play lists. But to really get what Wolf Creek is all about, it must be experienced, not just read about in the pages of a golf magazine or previewing the magnificent photos on a website. Standing on the first tee is when reality hits, the spectacular beauty of Wolf Creek and the anticipation of what the next 18 holes have in store. At times Wolf Creek feels less like a golf course than

Experience. an 18-hole roller coaster that just happens to wind its way through a wild and rugged southern Nevada desert. Many of the tee boxes are perched 100 feet above the greens, providing 360-degree views of the surrounding desert. But on the fairways and greens, the desert landscape takes a backseat to the luxurious fairways and expertly manicured bent grass greens. The contrasting colors are simply stunning. It’s this environment that makes a round at Wolf Creek unlike a round at any other course in Nevada – or the world, for that matter. It’s a challenge for any golfer, but despite the challenging nature, it’s fun for a golfer of any ability. After a round is over, golfers can look forward to rehashing their experience over cocktails and Southwest-inspired cuisine at The Terrace Restaurant.

Wolf Creek vacation’s seasoned sales team and staff can help golfers arrange play and stay packages with the recently renovated Eureka Casino Resort for those that want to experience this first-rate golf destination.



Falcon Ridge

Coyote Springs

TUCKED BETWEEN two picturesque mountain ranges in the high desert 50 miles north of Las Vegas, Coyote

Springs Golf Club offers a breathtaking setting accented by native grasses, cacti, sage and other indigenous plants, clear sapphire blue skies and 360 degrees of mountain views, including the snow-covered Sheep Range during winter. Originally planned as the first of a series of courses in the Coyote Springs community, the par-72 Jack Nicklaus Signature design measures between 5,349 and 7,471 yards. Eleven lakes come into play. The 19-acre practice facility features opportunities to work on every conceivable type of shot. coyotesprings.com

All Teed Up Golf in a Border Town FALCON RIDGE: Designed by Kelby Hughes and Cresent Hardy, Falcon Ridge Golf Course winds through the hills and canyons of Northwest Mesquite. This 6,569 yard par 71 desert layout boasts spectacular elevation changes, numerous water features and high mesa views along with numerous teeing areas that make it playable for all levels of player. golffalcon.com I-15 SURPRISE: The spectacular 29.43 miles of road between Mesquite, Nev. and St. George, Utah, is located in Littlefield, Arizona, home of the first golf course built in the Mesquite area. The William Hulldesigned Palms Golf Club was the first golf course built in the Mesquite area and plays 6,813 yards from the championship tees. The wide, grassy front nine segues into a back-nine desert test set around arroyos and deep canyons. casablancaresort.com COLORADO AVIDGOLFER | Fall 2017


Gary Panks-designed Conestoga Golf Club, artfully interweaves within the character and contours of Sun City Mesquite’s spectacular landforms. Undulating through canyons with gently ascending and descending elevations, rugged rock outcroppings and tranquil water elements, the Troon Golf-managed course preserves the integrity of the land at every opportunity, creating the appearance of a course crafted by nature and forged over time. conestogagolf.com

THE 36 HOLES at Oasis Golf Club feature two

magnificent layouts: the Palmer Course and the Canyons Course. Designed by Arnold Palmer himself, the par-71 Palmer serves up some of the most scenic desert panoramas in Southern Nevada. Its rugged canyon fairways and meticulous contour greens distinguished it during The Golf Channel’s Big Break Mesquite in 2007. The Canyons Course complements the Palmer Course and rates as the more difficult of the two. It has distinct front and back nines. The front plays a lot like the Palmer course because, well, Palmer designed it; the back, originally designed by David Druzisky, demands length and precision to narrow targets. theoasisgolfclub.com





on sale



Palm Valley

Long & Short THE LONG: Built in 1989, Golf Summerlin’s oldest, longest and most challenging course, the 6,849-yard Palm Valley, features mature, gently undulating fairways that are wide enough to allow most players to hit driver all day, but the deceptively rolling bent grass greens make every two-putt a test. Pines line many of the fairways, and 68 bunkers also tighten this well-kept traditional layout. golfsummerlin.com Golf Summerlin

JUST OFF I-15 and near TPC Summerlin, home of the PGA TOUR’s Shriner’s Hospitals for Children Open (November 2-5) lie three golf courses designed by Billy Casper and Greg Nash. Highland Falls, Palm Valley and Eagle Crest are managed by Golf Summerlin, which combines these well-conditioned courses and the excitement of Suncoast Hotel Casino into one the most affordable stay and play packages in the Las Vegas area. Less than 10 miles from the Strip, you can enjoy the same valley views and playing conditions as the TPC for half the price. golfsummerlin.com

Why Summerlin? A RESORT-LIKE ATMOSPHERE without the sticker

shock is one of Summerlin’s appeals. “We are a hidden gem in a community of 7,800 homes, but all three courses are public and open to outside play,” Golf Summerlin PGA Director of Golf Donny Long says. “The private feel is a bonus. Not only are you guarded in a beautiful community, but you will also enjoy the mountain scenery as we are located at the base of the Charleston Mountain range, making us about five degrees cooler than most of the Las Vegas area.” golfsummerlin.com

A FAVORITE AMONG out-of-town visitors for its

Highland Falls


spectacular conditions, elevation changes and views of the Las Vegas Strip, Summerlin’s 25-year-old Highland Falls Golf Club recently won the Las Vegas ReviewJournal’s “Best of Las Vegas” award. The rolling hills of the front nine become steeper on the back side, leading to abundant risk-reward opportunities on the inward nine. Elevation changes, rich fairways and strategically placed bunkering makes each of Highland Falls’ 18 holes fun, fair and challenging. golfsummerlin.com


Eagle Crest

THE SHORT: A par-60 executive course, Eagle Crest Golf Course has become popular with locals and visitors looking for a quick, quality round. Built into the side of a stately mountain, Eagle Crest plays along some of Las Vegas’ highest points, showcasing exciting city vistas. The course even lets you swing the driver on some holes. As course designer Bill Casper said, “You can take any hole from this course, put it in the middle of a championship course, and it would fit right in.” golfsummerlin.com coloradoavidgolfer.com




Marché Bacchus

Suncoast Hotel & Casino

GOLF SUMMERLIN’S lodging partner, Suncoast Hotel & Casino, is located in Summerlin with incredible views of the Las Vegas Valley and the nearby Spring Mountains. The property offers 388 newly remodeled deluxe guest rooms at 550 square feet and 39 newly remodeled lavish guest suites ranging from 1,100 to 2,300 square feet. Exclusive restaurants, fun gaming, deluxe accommodations, bowling, movie theaters, bingo and a 500-seat showroom, a throwback to the showrooms of splendor that made Las Vegas famous. suncoastcasino.com.com

What’s Summerlin? Of Fine Food and Fun


TPC Las Vegas and the Golf Summerlin courses, the community also serves as the gateway into Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, a 10,000-acre showcase of geological marvels visited by more than 2 million people annually. It showcases a set of large red rock formations—sandstone peaks and walls called the Keystone Thrust that draws hikers and rock climbers. Bikers and drivers like the relatively flat, paved 13-mile loop road that provides access to many of the features in the area. redrockcanyonlv.org

FINE FOOD: Las Vegas proper will always draw high rollers to its restaurants, but Summerlin more than holds its own. Among the best is Vintner Grill, (vglasvegas.com) a compellingly designed bistro featuring American dishes infused with flavors from Spain, France and Italy that diners can also enjoy on a beautifully appointed patio featuring two illuminated cabanas. Another winner is Nittaya’s Secret Kitchen (nittayassecretkitchen.com), an absolute shrine to authentic Thai food, and Marché Bacchus (marchebacchus.com), a bistro and wine shop where swans drift by as you dine along Lake Jacqueline.

ONE OF THE MOST affluent areas in Nevada,

Summerlin traces its history to Howard Hughes, the reclusive multibillionaire who bought the 25,000 acres in northwest Las Vegas in 1952. Though technically still part of Las Vegas, Summerlin couldn’t be more different. Yes it features a dynamic urban core, but it also has 19 subdivisions and a 150-mile trail system—comprised of street-side, village, bike, regional and natural—that connects neighborhoods to various amenities throughout the community and will soon expand to 200 miles and connect to 2,000 miles of regional trails, making it one of the most comprehensive and efficient trail systems in the southwest. summerlin.com coloradoavidgolfer.com

FUN: Participate in Golf Summerlin’s stay-and-play package and then attend the PGA Tour’s Shriners Hospitals for Children event at TPC Summerlin November 2-5. The Suncoast Hotel will provide free parking and shuttles to the course from the hotel. Day tickets range from $35-$125. pgatour.com

Downtown Summerlin




Zion National Park

Sand Hollow

SOUTHERN UTAH’S PREMIER golf destination, Sand Hollow Resort blends the appeal of the state’s top golf

course (per Golfweek, eight years running) and a spectacular red-rock setting with six types of foursome-friendly suites, spacious villas and luxury homes; two swimming pools and numerous other amenities. The clubhouse grill serves dinner Tuesday through Thursday, and then turns into a live music venue Friday and Saturday nights. Attentive service, equipment rentals and local opportunities for boating, motor sports, biking, and hiking at Sand Hollow Reservoir, the Sand Mountain Dunes, and Zion National Park help complete the rosy picture. sandhollowresort.com

27+ Holes Off-Course Drives PUT IT IN PARKS: Sand Hollow lies east of St. George on the southwestern edge of Hurricane, less than 30 miles east of Zion National Park, home of such geological wonders as The Great White Throne, The Watchman, Angels Landing and Weeping Rock. An 80-minute drive from Zion places you amid the myriad brilliantly colored spires rising from the amphitheaters of Bryce Canyon National Park. COLISEUMS AND THEATERS: Only 80 miles from Sand Hollow is the coliseum-like Cedar Breaks National Monument,which sits within the lush Dixie National Forest. There’s boating in nearby Sand Hollow State Park, as well as mountain biking along the Anasazi Trail and Gooseberry Mesa. For a bit of culture, drive 15 minutes northwest of St. George to the Tuacahn Amphitheater, Utah’s version of Red Rocks Amphitheater. visitstgeorge.com COLORADO AVIDGOLFER | Fall 2017

FRAMED BY THE NATIVE landscape, Sand

Hollow’s 7,300-yard, Par-72 John-Fought-designed Championship Course perpetually cops top honors among Utah courses. It takes brilliant advantage of the red rock outcroppings, natural vegetation, indigenous sand bunkers and rolling fairways that define the region’s beauty. And that’s just the front nine. The back nine holes, as Fought says, “are unlike anything in the West.” They tightrope along ledges, undulate wildly and perch precipitously along a towering ridgeline, affording camera-worthy views and birdie-worthy shots. sandhollowresort.com

THE AULD SOD INSPIRED Sand Hollow’s 3,600-

yard 9-hole Links Course, designed by Fought and Andy Staples. It suggests an old-world course—i.e. sheep fencing—with a desert twist and the state’s largest greens and fairways. sandhollowresort.com

PITCH, CHIP, FLOP, bump and run and lob your way

around Sand Hollow’s nine-hole Wee Course, which offers both fun for the whole family and a quick shortgame practice round. Holes vary from 50 to 120 yards, and require players to hit those pesky scoring shots to go low. sandhollowresort.com


Sand Hollow


! Stay & Play

$646 6 Nights, 6 Rounds

You’ve seen green grass and blue skies before, but mix that with the colorful terrain of the Red Rock Golf Trail and you’re in for a blast of color that will widen your eyes and revitalize your game. With courses like Green Spring, Dixie Red Hills and Coral Canyon, you can see that golf has always been built around the inspiring colors of the area. ar St. George, Utah is the new hot spot for destination golf trips. It’s easy to see why. With 10 courses within a 10 mile radius, the Red Rock Golf Trail has everything you’re looking for. Daily ights on Delta, DEN >> SGU, make getting there a cinch. Going home.... well, that may take some convincing.



Coral Canyon

Colorful Golf A PRIME and stunning example of why many

consider southern Utah “Color Country,” the 7,029yard Keith Foster-designed Coral Canyon Golf Course in Washington contrasts verdantly with the pastel reds and oranges of the surrounding rock formations. The generous fairways and sightlines echo the shapes of the land. Coral Canyon’s receptive greens invite creative shotmaking. redrockgolf.com Sunbrook

COMPRISING 10 STELLAR golf courses within a 30-minute radius, the Red Rock Golf Trail is a complimentary

service provided by the St. George and Zion National Park Tourism Office. In addition to Sand Hollow Golf Resort, the service connects you to the nine Southern Utah courses of Sunbrook, Coral Canyon, Southgate, Dixie Red Hills, Green Spring, Sky Mountain, as well as The Ledges Golf Club, St. George Golf Club and Falcon Ridge Golf Course in Mesquite. A one-stop shop for staying and playing, The Trail has partners with 11 hotels, two of which—Sand Hollow in Hurricane and The Ledges in St. George—are located on-property at the golf course. redrockgolf.com

Stops on the Trail FROM THE ELEVATED teeing areas, the appropri-

ately named Sky Mountain Golf Course delivers amazing views of Zion National Park and the azure rim of the distant Pine Valley Mountains. A public 18-hole golf course owned and operated by the City of Hurricane, the 6,383-yard Jeff Hardin-design plays tougher than the scorecard suggests. redrockgolf.com

THE SANTA Clara River weaves along the narrow front nine of the eminently walkable Southgate Golf Course, bringing water—and your ability to avoid it—into play on eight holes. The slightly longer back nine adds the element of risk /reward and allows you to recover shots lost on the front nine. redrockgolf.com

THE HISTORY of golf in the St. George area begins in

Sky Mountain


the mid-1960s with the nine-hole par-34 Dixie Red Hills Golf Course, which took St. George from a gas-station stop to a true place of tourism. In addition to sandstone formations, hundreds of mature cottonwoods and pines provide ample shade when it’s hot.redrockgolf.com


The Ledges

EVER PLAY golf in a postcard? At The Ledges

Golf Club in St. George, that’s what the red rock panoramas from the rim of Snow Canyon State Park make you feel like. Designed by Matt Dye, this innovative and challenging 7,200-yard course has a friendly atmosphere with an upscale pro shop and delightful Fish Rock Grill restaurant. The front nine sets up well to help you break in your driver, and the back nine is a great test of iron play. redrockgolf.com coloradoavidgolfer.com

We aren't just golf anymore. Home to one of Americaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most prestigious golf courses, we are 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. The resort offers boat and jet ski rentals, UTV rentals and Jeep tours, shuttles to and from Zion National Park, nearby rock climbing, zip-lining and hiking. Sand Hollow Resort is conveniently located 15 minutes from the St. George Regional Airport and 2.5 hours away from Las Vegasâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; McCarran Airport. Shuttles are available.

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



LAUGHTIME SHOW: The Broncos’ usually stoic head coach breaks form during his interview at the team’s Dove Valley Training Facility.




Taking over Denver’s favorite team as his first NFL head coaching job, the former CU Buff brings a world of experience from the gridiron and the greens. By SAM ADAMS Portrait by JUSTIN TOFOYA

BUFFED, BOTH PHYSICALLY AND SENTIMENTALLY, Vance Joseph stands under a hot sun hovering above the Denver Broncos’ practice field at Dove Valley. Freshly showered after putting his team through a two-hour practice, the team’s head coach has exchanged his coaching gear for golf attire. He willingly takes a break from football film study and roster decisions for photographs and golf conversation. Joseph sports a bright, tight-fitting orange shirt bearing a Broncos logo. For the first few photos he pulls a Titleist driver from the bag, and removes the buffalo head cover that serves as a clear proclamation of his University of Colorado allegiance. The Broncos’ 16th and newest head coach also could be the strongest in the franchise’s 58-year history. It’s highly unlikely that Mike Shanahan could ever match the 420-pound squats Joseph posted in the weight room during his playing days at Colorado and two seasons in the National Football League. When asked to show off his muscles during one pose, Joseph laughs—bellowing the trace of his smooth baritone voice that’s quite suitable for crooning any R&B slow jam in a karaoke catalog. It’s the same rich voice that greets arriving passengers aboard the train that shuttles them to the main terminal at Denver International Airport. In between snaps from the camera, Joseph, who turned 45 years old September 20, explains why big biceps don’t necessarily translate into great golf scores. “Football is an explosive sport,” Joseph says. “In football we do everything hard and fast, and that can work against your golf swing. You want timing, rhythm and smoothness. Most football players struggle with that. They swing way too hard. I struggled with that for a long time when I was younger. It’s the tempo of the swing, letting the club do the work. “I’m more into accuracy versus distance now. I used to swing out of my shoes. But there’s a way to explode without over-swinging.” Joseph’s best round is an 87, shot at the Omni Interlocken in Broomfield — which is one of the Colorado courses (along with Sanctuary and Fossil Trace) he enjoys. Lowering scores, let alone finding time to relax with a round of golf, is tough for Joseph because of the daily demands on a head football coach’s schedule — especially at the NFL level. He’ll get in an occasional round with his wife, Holly. He’s also enjoyed time on coloradoavidgolfer.com



Johnson … we had a good group of guys who played together for about two years, playing three times a week.” Playing golf with the fellas from his college days usually resulted in plenty of gripping, ripping and goodnatured ribbing. More chirping than birdies, for sure. “Our outings were epic. We couldn’t tell you the final results,” Johnson says. “Golf etiquette be damned, we would beat up on each other verbally. “Vance was ‘Air Hammer’—he used to play with an Air Hammer driver. It was a gimmick driver that came out about 15-20 years ago. It had holes in it, and it would whistle when you’d swing it. VJ would swing so hard, to make that thing whistle louder. And he’d hit the ball a mile—in any direction.” Those friendly rounds aren’t played as frequently. But Joseph makes sure those playful jabs have legs amongst former Buffs. “I always enjoyed playing with Alfred,” Joseph says of Williams. “Alfred’s best club is his pencil. Print that. If it’s not right (on the scorecard), he’ll make it right.” Joseph declares decency with his Scotty Cameron putter. It’s control of the Ping irons that gives him the most concern. “The worst part of my game is my short clubs and finishing,” Joseph says. “That’s the bad part of my game. I can’t finish.” Not being able to finish was the Broncos Achilles Heel last year. The team’s red-zone percentage for touchdowns was 28th in the NFL—and they were worse at punching it in at home than on the road. Subpar play from the linemen was a major concern for the Broncos’ offense. When the team held its annual team golf outing this summer at Sanctuary Golf Course, Joseph decided to get a close-up view of the players responsible for opening holes and protecting his quarterback. Instead of joining foursomes with any of his team’s assistant coaches or frontoffice personnel, Joseph chose to get into the fairways with some of his offensive linemen. “You can learn a lot about football players through golf—especially the big guys,” Joseph says. “It’s no different than watching a big guy play basketball. You watch a big guy swing a golf club, his handeye and timing, watch his hips and his hands work, the timing and twitch. “Absolutely, you can tell from golf if a guy is an athlete.”

WINNING WAYS: At 14, Joseph led Archibishop Shaw to the Louisiana high school state championship; he then played on CU’s national championship team.

BUCKET-LIST BILL Joseph is far from the most avid golfer on the Broncos coaching staff. Find out about D-Line coach Bill Kollar on page 88.


CENTER STAGE: Joseph at this year’s Buffs4Life tournament with fellow alums John Wharton, T.R. Swanwick, Barry Remington and Doug Hatfield.

the links with Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis, and the man he replaced as the Broncos’ coach, Gary Kubiak. “I don’t play a lot — usually it’s a business outing,” Joseph says. “When I retired I was obsessed with golf. Then I got a real job and that obsession went away quickly.” Laughing, Joseph adds, “And then when we had kids, it was nonexistent.” Broncos defensive line coach Bill Kollar has witnessed the Vance Joseph golf experience. Kollar and Joseph worked together as assistant coaches on Kubiak’s staff with the Houston Texans. “Vance is so competitive,” Kollar says. “The first time we went out to play, he bought a box of Pro Vs, and he’s killing the ball. But it was a really COLORADO AVIDGOLFER | Fall 2017

tight course so every now and then it’s oops, in the trees here or in the trees over there … he just flat killed the ball. “But you know how it is. In our line of business guys are competitive. You want to win no matter what you’re doing and that’s how Vance is.” Joseph has not taken golf lessons. He picked up the gist of the game while in college, by hanging out with some of his CU teammates. “We would go to the range, Kordell Stewart and I, and just hit balls,” Joseph says. “And I watched a lot of golf videos. I’m a visual learner, so I pick things up pretty quickly. After I finished playing in the NFL, that’s when I started to play more. “I’d play with Alfred Williams, Charles



Joseph’s athleticism shows up on the course too, especially off the tee. “Driving is the best part of my game, especially in Colorado,” he says. “That’s from my baseball background.” Baseball? The word around camp is that Joseph often compares himself to Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson. “Before there was Russell, there was Vance Joseph,” the Broncos head coach says without hesitation. “A 5-foot-10, 5-11 quarterback wasn’t accepted when I played.” Wilson was drafted by the Colorado Rockies in 2010, and had 315 Minor League at-bats before returning to college for his senior year at the University of Wisconsin. Joseph maintains he was also skilled enough to have been selected in Major League Baseball’s amateur draft. His high school football coach, Hank Tierney, says Joseph threw a baseball “harder than any 11-year old I’ve ever seen.” Tierney also takes credit for preventing Joseph from playing baseball in high school. Joseph attributes the power of his golf swing to his youthful days swinging a baseball bat. When speaking to friends about Joseph’s golf game, it’s easy to believe he must’ve hit a lot of really long foul balls. Then again, one shouldn’t poke fun at a guy who could win a pec-to-pec weight room chest-off with Shannon Sharpe. When he arrived at CU Joseph was a highly touted football prospect because of his ability to play quarterback in a runoriented option offense. As a freshman, he backed up Johnson and Darian Hagan during CU’s national championship season. He was converted to running back after helping to recruit Stewart, a fellow Marrero La. native, to play quarterback. He wasn’t drafted after his senior season at CU, but Joseph’s raw athleticism was good enough to earn him an NFL tryout. He made the New York Jets’ roster as a free agent in 1995, was converted to defensive back and played 17 games (with six starts) in two seasons playing for the Jets and Indianapolis Colts. Kubiak isn’t the only Broncos head coach who can boast of scoring a touchdown while wearing the team’s uniform. Joseph did it in while in training camp with the Broncos in 1997, during a preseason game against the Buffalo Bills. He intercepted Bills quarterback Jim Ballard, and returned the pick 99 yards for a touchdown. “It was my proudest moment in the NFL,” Joseph says. “It was my best camp because I was finally physically fit to be an coloradoavidgolfer.com

NFL defensive back. It’s different than being he’d be successful.” a quarterback. But I couldn’t stay healthy.” Joseph interviewed for the Broncos’ Joseph suffered a torn groin late in the final vacant head coaching job in 2015, but the preseason game, and his release from the team hired Kubiak while trying to lure Joseph Broncos eventually led to the end of his NFL away from the Bengals to be the defensive playing career. coordinator. The Bengals, however, would Joseph feels the path he traveled as a not release Joseph from his contract. player to reach the NFL helps him greatly That time Joseph spent in 2015 with as a coach, especially when it comes to the Broncos’ current president of football relating with his players. “This business— operations John Elway proved propitious the talent gets you here, but it won’t keep you second time around. In January, less than two here,” Joseph says. “There are a lot of guys weeks after Kubiak stepped down as head with the talent but they don’t have the coach, Elway announced Joseph’s hiring. mindset, the work ethic or the wherewithal or the engagement to stay here. The love of the game—that’s what keeps you here. “As an ex-player who was a free agent who had to work every camp to make a team, you recognize guys who are talented but don’t have the right mindset. I know, as a coach, I don’t want those guys because when it gets hard, they will get you beat.” Joseph’s leadership qualities in athletics were evident at an early age. As a 14-year-old sophomore he quarterbacked Archbishop Shaw to a state STRONG START: Joseph’s tenure began football championship. He also with some solid wins. was the starting point guard for the school’s state championship-winning “When it happened, it felt normal,” basketball team. Joseph says. “In my mind, my entire life has “Not only was he 14 years old, but been like this—I’ve expected to have success. Vance was following his brother (Mickey), For me, I knew this day was going to come. I who was one of the most highly recruited didn’t know when. So when they offered the players in America, not to mention the job and I said yes, it wasn’t like a shock or history of Louisiana,” Joseph’s high school surprise because I’d played it in my mind 150 coach Tierney says. “So Vance had nothing times or so. I didn’t have time to get excited but pressure on his shoulders. All he did was or think that it was huge. bring the school to its first—and to this day, “I went right to work.” its only—state football championship.” Last season the Broncos became the The Joseph family name is famous on first defending Super Bowl champion to miss the West Bank of the Mississippi River for the playoffs after starting a season 4-0. They producing star athletes at Archbishop Shaw. also failed to reach the postseason for the Vance’s older brother Mickey played football first time since 2010. At press time, the team at Nebraska, and currently coaches the was off to a 2-0 start. wide receivers at Louisiana State. Younger With expectations at Dove Valley brother Sammy played football at CU as a always raised high, Vance Joseph is eager freshman before transferring to LSU. And to show that the weight heaped upon Terry Joseph, Vance’s cousin, was drafted by a first-time NFL head coach is not too the Chicago Cubs (13th round) in 1995 and heavy for his broad shoulders to bear—and currently is the defensive backs coach at the that, unlike his experiences in the often University of North Carolina. exasperating game of golf, he’s confident of “I’ve coached many more talented a strong finish. players, but none that could get the results from A to Z like Vance did,” Tierney says. CAG Contributor Sam Adams (samadamscomedy. “He’s a natural leader, and very driven from com) is an award-winning sportswriter and within. I knew that whatever he chose to do, standup comedian.



TWO TIMES THE FUN: Craddock’s 7th green doubles as the 10th on Hankins.


It takes a bit of work to get to the Dan Hixson-designed Craddock and Hankins Courses at SILVIES VALLEY RANCH in Eastern Oregon. But the payoff is huge. By TONY DEAR

Golf Course Photography by BRIAN OAR

DAN HIXSON STANDS on the 16th tee of the Craddock Course at Silvies Valley Ranch in eastern Oregon, and asks members of his foursome how many double greens there are on the property. Each of us thinks back to our two rounds here—one on the Craddock, the other on the Hankins. We throw out some speculative numbers. “Er, seven,” one ventures. “No, eight…nine?” “Well,” says Hixson, the architect who designed the courses, “there’s four and 14, five and 13, six and twelve, seven and…hang on.” He ponders for a second. “You know, I can barely remember myself.” There are two things you should know about the routing for the reversible course(s) at Silvies Valley Ranch. One: It is complicated—there are 36 holes, 27 greens, and 16 fairways. You play COLORADO AVIDGOLFER | Fall 2017

down a certain fairway one day, and back up it the next all the while feeling this is strangely familiar. You see a lone green in a depression to your left, and wonder which hole that is and if you’ve already played it, or are going to. You choose your club for a short hole whose green you recognize, but which is angled very differently to how it was the previous day. Two: It is brilliant. Hixson began working at Silvies Valley Ranch in 2009, shortly after the opening of his inland links design at Wine Valley Golf Club in Walla Walla, Wash. But construction was awfully slow going. He employed a tiny crew, had to halt work in the -30F° winters, and the boss—veterinarian Dr. Scott Campbell, the former owner and CEO of Banfield Pet Hospital who purchased the 140,000-


acre ranch in 2007 for $23 million—was never in any particular hurry to get it done. Compounding the delays, the well providing the water for irrigation malfunctioned a couple of years ago. At one point, Silvies was going to beat The Loop, Tom Doak’s layout at Forest Dunes in Michigan, in becoming the first 18(36)-hole reversible course since the Old course at St. Andrews. And though Campbell says his 600-acre layout has actually been playable since the summer of 2015, it didn’t officially open until July of this year, 13 months after The Loop. The thing about reversible courses though, is that while designing one that works is really pretty clever, if the holes themselves aren’t terribly exciting you would probably play each direction once for the coloradoavidgolfer.com


OF UNKNOWN OREGON: The 18th green on the Hankins course (above); Hankins’ 9th and 10th crossing with Craddock’s 8th and 9th; three of the eight lakeside cabins.

...and Reversible novelty value, then never go back. Or if one direction works really well but the other is disdained, then the concept has failed. Neither is the case at Silvies Valley Ranch, which is intriguing and full of engaging shots with amazing views. Hixson didn’t build an entirely genuine reversible 18 here though, because doing so would have resulted in several very bad uphill holes, hence the nine stand-alone greens. Chief Egan, an amusing nine-hole pitchand-putt is also open to the east of the two main courses, and the dramatic, seven-hole McVeigh’s Gauntlet opens next year. Silvies’ only drawback is that it is extremely remote—a fact some might not find a drawback at all, but rather an asset. The ranch is located roughly 170 miles east of Bend, the nearest commercial airport. It does have its own airstrip, however. Still, you don’t decide after work that you might try to get in a few holes before dark. You resolve well in advance to venture this far out into the high desert, adjacent to Malheur National Forest, and prepare for a


very different sort of vacation experience. The cabins at the Retreat are appropriately rustic and low key, but very comfortable—perfect for couples, families, or golf groups. And Executive Chef Boomer and Executive Chef Lynette Bushy’s food in the main lodge—which houses three separate dining areas, The Dining Room, Gun Room, and Porch—is absolutely superb. Everything on the menu looks tempting, but the highlights are the ranch’s own organic “Naked Beef,” and the surprisingly delectable chevon—meat from the American Range Goat which the ranch has bred since 2012. Elsewhere on the Ranch, you can herd the goats, drive cattle, fish, hike, bike, and shoot. A spa is coming in 2018. Silvies Valley Ranch has been here since 1883, but Silvies Valley Retreat is a new enterprise, and it’s going to take some time for people to become cognizant of a destination this far from civilization. It surely never will see the numbers of traveling golfers fellow Oregon destinations Bandon Dunes and Bend record each year, but for


some, it is going to become a very special home away from home. CAG Contributor Tony Dear regularly covers gear and travel for coloradoavidgolfer.com. Silvies Valley Ranch’s Hankins course is currently open on odd-numbered days of the month; the Craddock operates on even-numbered days. silviessimplyamazing.com; 800-SILVIES SMOOTHING ADVICE: Every Silvies bunker rake bears a message. One reads: “Sand Sucks.”


o A Show at Lakewood A HANSE-ON JOB: The architect at Lakewood in August. The club was his first client 24 years ago.




ofCountry Hanse Club Golf â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hottest designer is back where it all began





WITH THE OPENING of its expansive Black Course in August, Florida’s superlative Streamsong Resort now advertises itself as the only resort featuring courses by the “Big Three” modern designers—Coore & Crenshaw, Tom Doak and Gil Hanse. Just a few years ago, only the geekiest golfclubatlas.com contrib- NEW CLASSIC: Hanse’s Boston utors would have even men- Golf Club echoes Pine Valley and The Country Club at Brookline. tioned Hanse in their ongoing banter about elite designers. That was before the International Golf bulldozers and maintenance equipment. “I Federation shocked the industry in 2012 by went to the University of Denver, and then selecting Hanse to design the course for my wife Tracey and I lived up in Evergreen golf ’s return to the Olympics in Rio last for four years. I had gotten to know Chris year. Next thing you knew, he was every- Swim, who had recently been hired as the where. superintendent at Lakewood. Being new, Fox Sports introduced him to an he wanted some architectural advice and audience of millions when it made him asked me to come down and have a look. the design commentator for its U.S. Open And we developed a master plan all the way telecasts. His earlier work, highlighted back in 1994.” by Rustic Canyon in Southern California, Hanse has worked on some storied Boston Golf Club and French Creek in rural golf courses, including Los Angeles Pennsylvania, became destination courses Country Club, Sleepy Hollow, Fishers for architecture enthusiasts. Pinehurst hired Island, Winged Foot, Ridgewood and Hanse for a complete redesign of No. 4 and Denver Country Club. His double major a Short Course, the Cradle. at DU—political science and history— has But this was no overnight journey. It come in handy. “I get the history of the originated in 1993 in the hills of Evergreen game and the politics of clubs,” he laughs. when Hanse hung out his own shingle. We But the upshot is that Hanse has perfected caught up with him in August when he the art of treading lightly while still making returned to where it all began—Lakewood a dramatic impact. Country Club—to check in on a restoration “So much is dependent on the property,” project at the historic club. Hanse notes. “Here at Lakewood, there’s a “Lakewood is in fact our longest- lot of Donald Ross, but a number of other tenured client,” Hanse says over the hum of architects have worked here over the years.

CHANGES COMING: Lakewood’s current first, fourth, sixth and 10th.

RENOVATOR: Hanse bridges Lakewood’s past and future.


The most important thing is to pick a style and make it consistent throughout the course while making sure that features and strategies are appropriate for today’s game.” Lakewood is a tight property to begin with, but Hanse and his partner Jim Wagner found places to “push and pull” the design to add a little length and a lot of thought. The course opens with a short par-4 that had been somewhat overwhelmed by the modern game. The objective was to add risk to the risk-reward equation, as there was no opportunity to extend the green beyond its current site. “It has to be a showcase hole to set the mood for the rest of the course,” Hanse wrote to the club. He did that by creating a challenging angle of approach for the player who plays safe off the tee. For the longer hitter, Hanse created a new back tee, repositioned bunkers and opened up the length of the green to offer an enticing reward. “We believe we now have an opening hole that is full of strategies and options.” Number 4, which runs parallel to 6th Avenue, becomes a longer hole with the green shifted significantly to the left. That shift allowed Hanse to bring the tee on the scenic par-3 fifth back about 15 yards. But perhaps the most notable change comes at Number 6, a downhill, right-bending par-4 that will go from 380 yards to more than 440. Hanse removed trees that affected the tee shot, added two fairway bunkers and moved



the green some 60 yards back, over the Lakewood Gulch. To accommodate that move, Hanse has moved the green on the par-3 10th north toward the clubhouse. The redesigned holes will open for play in May of 2018. “There’s a lot of challenge in working with HISTORIC EFFORT: In Rio de compact properties,” Janeiro, Hanse designed the first Olympic golf venue since 1904. Hanse notes. “But there’s a lot to love. This course is a great walking course, with tees very close “And we are still thinking about moving to the previous green. Golf is a social game, back. It’s just such a wonderful place on so and I love the idea of people spending time many levels.” Colorado’s golfers are lucky, the together and seeing other friends during the round. We are excited about the work we’re architect notes, to have quality classic courses and modern courses. “You have Lakewood, doing here.” “Here” is something of a relative term Cherry Hills and Denver Country Club for Hanse. After growing up in upstate New anchoring the historic side,” he says, “and York and on Long Island, he ventured west then you have the great modern designs like to DU and then headed back east, where he Colorado Golf Club and Ballyneal.” Outside of Colorado, Hanse has a full earned a Master’s Degree through Cornell University’s famed Landscape Architecture plate of modern design work. Mossy Oak, program. There, he received the prestigious located in rural Mississippi, opened last William Fredrick Dreer Award, which year to wide acclaim. Streamsong Black has allowed him to spend a year in Great already received rave reviews as play gets Britain, studying the great links courses and underway. The design work at Ohoopee interning for Hawtree and Son, one of the Match Club is mostly complete and grow-in is underway. oldest golf architecture firms in the world. “Ohoopee is an interesting project,” he Eventually, Hanse and Tracey settled outside of Philadelphia. Now easing into says. “The whole concept is for groups to empty-nester status, the Hanses sometimes visit for match-play competition. That lets rent homes near active projects. Most me push the envelope a little bit, knowing recently, they spent time in Savannah while that people aren’t going to be struggling and Gil worked nearby on Ohoopee Match Club. writing 10s on the card. We did a lot of half“We still love Colorado,” Hanse says. par holes, incorporated a lot of risk. It was fun



to focus on that kind of mission.” Hanse also believes that reports of golf ’s demise have been greatly exaggerated. “A well-thought course should inspire thoughtful play,” he explains. “And golf is the greatest of all sports when it comes to the playing landscape and the individual engagement. We just have to get clubs in people’s hands. I love that walking is becoming such a major part of the modern game. Take the time to walk and really enjoy the land.” You can’t talk to Gil Hanse without bringing up the Olympics and the subject of whether golf belongs in them. “Here’s the thing,” he says, “it’s such a joyful occasion, and yes, golf belongs. It was a perspective of the game that none of us had ever experienced. I’d love to see some team competition added, and I think there’s a good chance we will see that. And don’t forget the other benefit, which is the establishment of golf federations all over the world.” In Gil Hanse’s world, golf is good: “This game isn’t going away. The same qualities that attracted people to the early clubs like Lakewood and Denver Country Club and Pinehurst are the same things that bring them to Colorado Golf Club or Streamsong —the chance to unplug for a little while and truly connect with the land and other people. What could be better than that?” Tom Ferrell is Colorado AvidGolfer’s editor at large.


The Bandon Dunes of the Midwest Wisconsin’s SAND VALLEY is Mike Keiser’s latest hidden masterpiece. By TOM FERRELL Photography by RYAN FARROW




Such a long, long time to be gone and a short time to be there — Box of Rain, the Grateful Dead ALL MY LIFE I’ve been willing to travel a long way for a little magic. And as I exited Chicago on a steamy July morning this summer, bound for Sand Valley Golf Resort—Mike Keiser’s newest golf mecca, in the great north woods of Wisconsin— the road and the feeling I had on it felt just a little too familiar. Then it came to me. I had traveled these roads before. I was much younger then, in the summer of 1983, and the gold ring I was chasing wasn’t a golf experience but the musical caravan of the Grateful Dead. The memories came rushing back, how we had made roadside repairs to my little Toyota Corolla way back in Virginia and how we had limped our way through Columbia, Maryland and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and then made the long overnight trip through Illinois and into Madison, Wisconsin. That’s when I first experienced the legendary hospitality of the Badger State—hospitality that is deeply woven into the Sand Valley ethos, I would soon learn.

Anytime Wayne

PERFECT PERCH: Craig’s Porch, Sand Valley’s highest point, offers 360-degree views and nine flavors of ice-cream sandwich.


When the roadside repair we’d made more than 1,000 miles earlier needed professional reinforcement, I opened the phonebook, and there, hovering above the yellow page in a perfect transcendental moment, were the words, “Anytime Wayne’s.” I dialed the number and let it ring more than a dozen times before an irritated voice greeted me. I explained my plight, speaking loudly so he could hear over the metal clamoring and the barking dogs surrounding him. “Okay,” he said. “Bring it out.” When he lifted his head from beneath the hood, Anytime Wayne had the news I was hoping to hear. He could do the job, but I would need to leave the car overnight. “Fine,” I said, “but I need a ride to the coliseum for the show tonight.” Anytime Wayne then disappeared behind his shop and came rolling out in a mammoth forest green mid-1970s Thunderbird. I was ready to hop into the passenger when he got out and said, “You


can have this for the night. Meet me here at ten o’clock tomorrow morning.” It’s an act of generosity, trust and hospitality that I quite obviously never forgot—uniquely American, one of those defining moments you get when you throw yourself onto the open road, rely on the kindness of strangers and give your wits a chance to work themselves out.

On Tour – With Golf? Alas, you can’t follow the Grateful Dead around anymore. But now there’s golf. I’ve traveled the sand hills of Nebraska, the lonely coastal roads of Oregon and the desolate timberlands of Nova Scotia in search of the next great golf experience. In other words, I’m Mike Keiser’s target audience. Keiser waded into his Bandon Dunes project with a hunch that there were people who would trek to a beautiful, remote setting if he could provide a quality links golf experience—a little magic. Within months of opening, he knew he had found a winning formula. Bandon grew, becoming a modern golf resort legend. Then Keiser took his expertise to Inverness, Nova Scotia, lending his experience to Ben Cowan-Dewar to create Cabot Links. He worked with a potato farmer in Tasmania to craft Barnbougle, perhaps the world’s most remote golf destination. When an unexpected phone call came in with tales of a massive sand ridge hidden below thousands of acres of farmed jack pines in a remote part of central Wisconsin, he asked Josh Lesnik, the former Bandon Dunes GM and current president of KemperLesnik and Kemper Sports, to check it out. Lesnik’s report has become the stuff of a great tall tale. “Mike, I have bad news…you’re going to love it.” And so Keiser turned to his trusted guides Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw for their assessment. They agreed with Lesnik, and the Sand Valley saga was underway. You don’t happen across Sand Valley. Like Bandon, you have to want


to get there. But when you do, you know you have arrived someplace special. The ATV roads and thick stands of pine suddenly open to an otherworldly dunescape, and the resort—with its Midwestern farm and barn motif—appears before you. This is no RitzCarlton or Four Seasons, but the perfect resort for the traveler willing to go those extra miles. The first thing you notice is the downhome friendliness of the staff. Mike Keiser, Jr. has directed this project and has extended his father’s experience on almost every level. It took several years for Bandon to “catch up,” in terms of lodging. At Sand Valley, there are two lodges, clubhouse rooms and cottages already hosting links golf enthusiasts. I grabbed a quick bite in the comfortably casual barn that houses the restaurant and bar and hopped on the shuttle for the short ride to Sand Valley’s first tee.

Sand Valley

Coore & Crenshaw’s Sand Valley course opened in May, and the accolades are pouring in (Golf Digest’s Ron Whitten called it “a public Pine Valley,” and it debuted at 52 on Golf ’s Top 100 in the U.S.). From Craig’s Porch, the property’s highest point, virtually 360 degrees of golf—shades of Sand Hills, Bandon Trails and Cabot Cliffs—surround you. While Coore TEMPTING START: Sand Valley’s risky, reachable par-4 first.

& Crenshaw’s site selectivity has filled their portfolio with private gems like Sand Hills, Old Sandwich, Friar’s Head and Colorado Golf Club, their relationship with Keiser means some of their finest work is available to anyone willing to journey to places like Bandon, Barnbougle or Sand Valley. Sand Valley’s par-4 first hole sets the tone for the rest of the round. Try a heroic shot off the tee, cutting the corner of the massive sandy waste area on the left, and you might drive the green. Play safe and you’ll find a generous fairway that leaves a challenging pitch to a sharply elevated and two-tiered putting surface. You might guess COLORADO AVIDGOLFER | Fall 2017

by now that I didn’t play it safe. Instead, I bombed one into the yawning maw of the bunker that protects the entire left side of the hole. My playing companion, Alexandra, escaping the rigors of Wall Street for a weekend, took the more conservative route. And in true C&C fashion, she found an easy par. A magical recovery shot led to a par of my own. And we LINES AND ANGLES: The 419-yard par-4 15th. were off. Sand Valley is textbook sliver of fairway skirting just left of a deep, Coore & Crenshaw. You play semi-blind thin bunker. shots, fall prey to tempting lines that lure you “That’s where the fearless players go,” toward trouble, find scoring opportunities she said, clearly throwing down the gauntlet. on short holes bounded by round-killing I hit a perfect draw into the slot and disaster. Number two, a long par four, plays reaped my reward in the form of a 9-iron over a sandy rise to a green partially obscured approach that did not have to challenge the by the slope. A thrilling shot. hellish little collection bunker that guards the By the third tee, Alexandra’s caddie elevated green. Michelle and I had discovered that we both We joined a father and son from loved the Grateful Dead. Things coming full Chicago at the par-3 17th and made our way circle now. But back to golf. to tee of the dramatic closer. Think Sand Many of the bunkers at Sand Valley Hills. Or Bandon Trails. Or Colorado Golf are simply gouged hillsides with cultivated Club. Any of the great Coore & Crenshaw lips, giving the course the feeling that it has courses. Like all of those home holes, this one been there forever, the same kind of feel climbs dramatically toward the highest part Pinehurst No. 2 has now that the design of the property. Unlike those, however, this duo has restored it. The front nine at Sand reachable par-5 offers the chance for a birdie. Valley works along the edge The round over, we all shook hands. I of the woods, climbing and gave the caddie, Michelle, one of my custom falling, and culminates with Titleists bearing the inscription “Long, the short par-3 eighth, with Strange Trip.” She laughed with delight and its 95-yard shot to a tabletop headed off to show her colleagues. green and the drivable par-4 ninth, which tempts you off Mammoth Undertaking the tee but punishes those On the shuttle back down to the lodge, who undeservedly respect Alexandra asked if I had yet played the sixtheir driving ability. hole preview loop of David McLay Kidd’s The back nine, to me, Mammoth Dunes. We agreed to go off is home to Sand Valley’s at 7:00 p.m. and enjoy the twilight while most memorable stretches. sampling Sand Valley’s coming attraction, The massive fairway on which is slated to open next year. the reachable par-5 No. 10 While the landscape of Mammoth is features a fairway split into upper and lower similar to Coore & Crenshaw’s Sand Valley, halves by another gaping sand area. Go the contrast between the two courses low for a shorter approach, high for better is sharp. Kidd operates on a grand visibility. Either way, you’ll hope to get your scale, with seas of fairway bounded by birdie early, as the par-4 eleventh, with a broad beach-like bunkers. The preview devilish runoff at the right side of the massive holes are 1 and 2, followed by 15-18, green, awaits. all of which play on one side of a giant With Coore & Crenshaw, it’s all about sand ridge dividing the course into lines and angles. There are few better distinct ecosystems. examples of this quality than the par-4 As the sunset cast reds and Nos. 15 and 16. As I considered my tee shot pinks against the sky, we reached the on the 419-yard 15th, Michelle told me final tee of the day and stared out at to aim at “the Charlie Brown tree.” One the rollicking 561-yard 18th, which look, and I knew immediately which one plays between two heaving bunkers she meant. At the 16th tee, she pointed to a



before climbing onto an upper bench, where the green sits beneath the clubhouse patio. “You should play one of those Grateful Dead balls,” my playing partner suggested. I did, and proved the supernatural point by holing a 35-foot putt for eagle and igniting the small crowd on the patio.

Cool in Nekoosa “I travel alone on a lot my golf trips,” Alexandra told me. “Sometimes, at places like Pebble Beach, I feel self-conscious, like people are watching me. But the people at Bandon and Sand Valley just come because it’s the best golf out there. There’s a different feeling – you can be whatever you want to be as long as you love the golf and like being with other people who love it, too.” Could there be a better endorsement? Mike Keiser is changing the face of golf travel. Next up at Sand Valley is a 17-hole Coore & Crenshaw Short Course that can play as either a putting course or a pitch and putt. Caddies say more courses are coming, although the Keisers are playing it cool. But they’re clearly onto something. Nekoosa, Wisconsin—like Bandon, Oregon; Inverness, Nova Scotia; and Barnbougle, Tasmania–embraces its location. The menu at Sand Valley features regional dishes such as cheese curds and beer-braised brats, and bountiful local produce. The ball marker sold in the golf shop is in the shape of the state of Wisconsin. The golfers – those with an advanced sense of adventure, at least – will come from anywhere, bound for the promise of something more. And Keiser delivers. Just like Anytime Wayne. Just like a band I used to know. Tom Ferrell is CAG’s editor-at-large. For rates and information, visit sandvalleygolfresort.com, or call 888-651-5539.

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BIRDIE CLOSER: The 523-yard par-5 18th.




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Carding 100 WHEN HE’S NOT yelling at linemen to make tackles, Denver Broncos’ defensive line coach Bill Kollar is coaxing his golf ball towards the hole. An avid golfer, Kollar, who is in his 28th season coaching in the NFL, has played many of the world’s finest courses—from Scottsdale to Scotland—all by design. In 2006 the Ohio native decided he wanted to play the 100 “Greatest Golf Courses in the World,” as listed in Golf Digest. Although the list changes every two years, he’s now played 94 of the top 100. The six he has left? “Fishers Island, Maidstone and Atlantic Golf Club—all in the Long Island area. I’ve got Brookline Country Club in Boston, Kittansett (Marion, Mass.), and one in Florida left, too. Whenever I get it done, I get it done.” A highlight came about 10 years ago when Kollar went to Scotland with his sons, Chad and Clint, to play the Old Course, New Course, Kingsbarns, Turnberry and Prestwick. The 64-year-old Kollar, who played defensive line in the NFL for eight seasons before getting into coaching, has teed it up on numerous courses around Colorado. He and his wife, Jan, are considering a membership at Columbine Country Club once he retires. He keeps track of his rounds, and his index has been as low as 5.8. “That was when I had some time to go out in the summers,” he says. “I’m probably around 11.5 or something like that now. I love playing—even though I don’t play worth a damn any more.” —Sam Adams

KOLLARED GREENS: Broncos D-line Coach Bill Kollar with sons Chad and Clint (l.-r.) at the Cabo Del Sol Ocean Course, No. 70 among Golf Digest’s list of the World’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses.




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Profile for Colorado AvidGolfer

Fall 2017 Colorado AvidGolfer Magazine  

Desert Mountain. Warm Escapes to Arizona, Nevada, Utah, and other sweet spots. Broncos Head Coach Vance Joseph. 2018 Bucket List: Glacier, S...

Fall 2017 Colorado AvidGolfer Magazine  

Desert Mountain. Warm Escapes to Arizona, Nevada, Utah, and other sweet spots. Broncos Head Coach Vance Joseph. 2018 Bucket List: Glacier, S...