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| LESSONS | GEAR

player’sCorner

COURSES

p h o t o g r a p h by Pat r i c k G e n t i l e

DOWAGER’S TRUMP: Patty Jewett is the third-oldest course west of the Mississippi River.

T

The Grand Dame of Colorado Golf

he state’s oldest continually operated golf course opened in 1898 in Colorado Springs as the private Town and Gown Golf Club—its name a reference to nearby Colorado College. But by 1900, the school’s yearbook lamented, “the Gown element has been decidedly driven out by the Town element.” Nineteen years later, the only driving on the course was done by residents of the City of Colorado Springs, which received the property as a gift from William Jewett, with the stipulation it would bear the name of his late wife. Today the municipal Patty Jewett Golf Course—known to all who play it as either “PJ” or “Patty”—ranks as not only Colorado golf ’s elder stateswoman but also as one of its busiest courses. Some 100,000 people annually pass through the elegant wrought-iron gates at the tree-lined, 225-acre, 27-

co l o r a d o a v i d g o l f e r. c o m

hole facility, which, according to Head PGA Professional Bill Martin, regularly tallies more rounds than any in the state. Willie Campbell, a Scot whose architectural resume includes The Country Club in Brookline, authored the first 18 holes, and in 1968 Miami’s Mark Mahannah designed nine additional holes and tweaked some of the existing ones. The Peak, Plains and Prairie nines now represent a composite of both architects’ work, with Peak/ Plains serving as the combination for tournaments such as the 66-year-old Pikes Peak Amateur, a six-day (July 1520) match-play championship. With its view of that iconic snowcap, the par-5 first on the Peak nine rates with the Plains’ water-protected fifth and sixth, as well as its tree-lined ninth, among PJ’s most memorable holes. The stern Plains serves as the championship course’s inward nine, its heavily contoured greens and omnipresent

hazards vigilantly protecting par. The tighter Prairie—colloquially known as the Popcorn nine, according to Course Superintendent Pat Gentile—plays deceptively difficult because of its tightness and smallish greens. Colorado Golf Hall of Fame member and Junior Golf pioneer Paul Ransom was Patty Jewett’s PGA Professional from 1977 to 2000. A photo of the youthful Ransom caddying for, among others, Dwight Eisenhower, hangs in PJ’s sprawling, elegant haciendastyle clubhouse. More prominent is a Thomas Seymour painting of Patty Stuart Jewett—to date, the only woman to have a course named for her—above the fireplace in the lobby. An 18-hole non-resident weekend round at PJ maxes at $30, plus another $25 if you take a cart, which is unnecessary and somewhat sacrilegious on this canvas of golf history. 719-3856934. springsgov.com/golf. August 2013 | Colorado AvidGolfer

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August 2013  

The August issue of Colorado AvidGolfer covers the Solheim Cup, being played at Colorado Golf Club August 13-18. Additional stories include:...

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