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Golf In Schools: A Plan to Save the Game

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InsideContents

50 12

78 Features

36

45

Player’s Corner 35 Home Course Buffalo Run Golf Course. 36 G  ear The latest drivers. By Ted Johnson

9th Annual Best of Colorado Golf Your votes determine this year’s winners.

78

In Every Issue 10 Forethoughts The Surprise that Binds. By Jon Rizzi 12 The Games of Golf One Degree of Separation. 25 Gallery Golf In Schools Program; CommonGround’s big news; Jake’s Place, more. 88 Back Nine Jim Engh answers your questions.

70

38 A  Look Back Hope and Crosby’s road through Denver. By Rob Mohr and Leslie Krupa Mohr 40 Elevated Green When Courses Close. By Peter Bronski  Side Bets 45 Fareways Five culinary trends for 2011. By Lori Midson 48 Nice Drives Dodge Durango and Mazda 2. By Isaac Bouchard 50 Clubbing Up The Club at Flying Horse. By Jon Rizzi

A Hallberg Moment A Champions Tour victory got Colorado’s Gary Hallberg his card. Now he’s pushing the envelope. By Tom Ferrell

84

Tucson Puts on The Ritz Championship courses, a PGA tournament and sumptuous resorts propel Tucson into the firmament of stellar golf destinations. Who cares if the Rockies no longer train there? By Ken Van Vechten

55

2011 Tournament Planner Tips, tricks and everything you need to pull off the perfect event.

On the Cover: Hole 8 at Ballyneal Golf & Hunt Club, Holyoke. Photograph by Drinker/Durrance Graphics.

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Colorado AvidGolfer | Spring 2011

www.colorado avidgo lf e r.c o m


Cordillera


  

Spring 2011 Volume 9, Number 8

PUBLISHER

        

Allen J. Walters EDITOR

Jon Rizzi ART DIRECTOR

Dana Barak ASSOCIATE EDITOR/WEB MANAGER

Jake KubiĂŠ

EDITOR-AT-LARGE

Tom Ferrell



  

                 



   

DINING OUT EDITOR

Lori Midson AUTOMOTIVE EDITOR

Isaac Bouchard CONTRIBUTORS

Sam Adams, Andy Bigford, Tony Dear, Lynn DeBruin, Sue Drinker, Dick Durrance II, Chris Duthie, Lois Friedland, Barbara Hey, David R. Holland, Ted Johnson, Kaye W. Kessler, Todd Langley, Kim D. McHugh, Emily Ritt, Bob Russo, Jerry Walters, Gil Whiteley, Mike Wolf, Neil Wolkodoff DIRECTOR OF SALES AND MARKETING

Chris Phillips ACCOUNT MANAGER

    

Jim Plank OFFICE AND OPERATIONS MANAGER

 !"#$ % " #   &'()* * +,!-+ .* #/  '  # %

Cindy P. Nold GOLF PASSPORT, CIRCULATION

AND

Jeffrey Manson

EVENT MANAGER

INTERNS

Mia D’Angelo, Patrick Gill P R I N C I PA L S

--0#1#   ( )**, * +-**+,,) #/ 2 # % #/  ' # %

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ADVERTISING INQUIRIES: cindy@coloradoavidgolfer.com EDITORIAL INQUIRIES AND LETTERS: jon@coloradoavidgolfer.com CUSTOMER SERVICE AND SUBSCRIPTIONS: 720-493-1729 MAILING ADDRESS: 7200 S. Alton Way #B-180, Centennial, CO 80112 FAX: 720-482-0784 NEWSSTAND INFORMATION: 720-493-1729 WEBSITE: coloradoavidgolfer.com Colorado AvidGolfer (ISSN 1548-4335) is published eight times a year by Baker-Colorado Publishing, LLC, and printed by American Web, Inc. Volume 9, Number Eight. 7200 S. Alton Way #B-180, Centennial, CO 80112. Colorado AvidGolfer is available at more than 250 locations, or you may order your personal subscription by calling 720-493-1729. Subscriptions are available at the rate of $17.95 per year. Copyright Š 2011 by Baker-Colorado Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is prohibited. Postmaster: Send address changes to Colorado AvidGolfer, 7200 S Alton Way #B-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.

See

Page 18

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Colorado AvidGolfer | Spring 2011

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


winning isn’t every thing.

how you do it, is.

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Forethoughts

The Surprise that Binds

L

IKE A SPOUSE WHO SERVES YOU WITH PAPERS ON YOUR

anniversary, golf can surprise you with its cruelty. One day you hit every fairway, the next you need a compass to find it. It doesn’t take but a few missed putts to turn a 78 into an 87—and a blade putter into a propeller blade. I’ve sworn off golf more times than John Daly’s sworn off booze—and we all know how that’s gone. That’s because golf, like second marriages, represents the triumph of hope over experience. As masochistic as most golfers are, we also tend to be ineluctably optimistic. If a course kicks our butt today, we know we’ll kick its butt tomorrow—or, if not tomorrow, the day after. Every shot carries with it a chance at redemption and the possibility of something great. Or not. The beginning of the golf season tends to prompt this kind of cogitation. Mostly, though, I tend to think about how best to cover such an addictive and fickle game. It starts with the issue you’re holding— our annual “Best of Colorado Golf ”—in which we unveil the state’s top courses. The challenge, of course, is not to parrot its predecessor. After all, how different can the hierarchy be from year to year? Even Golf Digest, with all its resources, skips a year between its popular rankings (and yet, oddly enough, the same courses always seem to occupy the top slots). Still, somehow, we’ve been able to keep this feature fresh by using different criteria, voters and categories. This year we’ve used you. More than 8,000 of you answered our invitation to go online and rate your favorite course on coloradoavidgolfer.com. The results begin on page 70, and, to say the least, they’re surprising. As I said, golf is all about surprises. A particularly pleasant one is Colorado’s own Gary Hallberg, who came out of nowhere to shoot a Sunday 61 and win last year’s Champions Tour Ensure Classic by a stroke over Fred Couples. Hallberg surprised even himself with his performance, but, as Tom Ferrell reports on page 78, the win, which secured Hallberg an exemption, should spur a new sense of self-confidence that the former NCAA champion seems to have lost in recent years. During that same period, golf has also lost some of its popularity among adolescents. To reverse the trend, the Colorado Golf Associations, Colorado PGA Section and Colorado Open Foundation are this month announcing Golf In Schools—a program to integrate the game into physical education programs in schools across the state. This well-funded program (see page 25) portends to bring thousands of kids to a game that will, yes, surprise them with its cruelty but that can also extend hope, teach perseverance and provide a lifetime of fun. They’ll learn, as we all have, that every swing, like the beginning of every golf season and every day on earth, brings the hope of a fresh start. —JON RIZZI

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Colorado AvidGolfer | Spring 2011

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


TheGamesOfGolf PUZZLErS | QUIZZeS | trivia

1 Degree of Separation

Colorado’s connections to the world of golf are but a clue away. Can you take these hints? 2 What Arizona WGC Match-Play home course was designed by the same architect of Cherry Creek Country Club?

1 What North Carolina golf mecca shares a Denver club’s name?

3 At which venue will one of the two runner-ups at last year’s PGA Senior Championship at Colorado Golf Club captain the next U.S. Presidents Cup team?

5 What is the home course of the foreign-born runner-up at last year’s PGA Senior Championship?

6 Donald Ross designed the Colorado course on which this year’s U.S. Women’s Open will take place. What U.S. city features another Ross layout with the same name?

7 In August Wisconsin’s Erin Hills will host the oldest USGA championship. Which Colorado course will host the same event next year?

8 What current PGA Tour player graduated from Colorado State University?

ANSWERS 1. PINEHURST 2. The Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Dove Mountain in Marana, Arizona. 3. Fred Couples will lead the Yanks at ROYAL MELBOURNE. 4. BOLIVIA’s La Paz Golf Club perches at 10,800 feet. 5. STELLENBOSCH GOLF CLUB in South Africa is David Frost’s home course. 6. INDIANAPOLIS, where The Broadmoor Country Club was built in 1922. 7. CHERRY HILLS COUNTRY CLUB will host the 2012 U.S. AMATEUR. 8. MARTIN LAIRD, who finished 2010 35th on the money list.

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P h o t o g r a phs by: ( 4 ) J OAO PA D UA / A F P / G e t t y I m ages ; ( 8 ) S t ephe n n o wl a n d / Rich C l a r k s o n & Ass o C I at es

4 Colorado features North America’s highest golf courses, but what country features the world’s highest?


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t no longer just takes a good set of clubs to

beat your opponent on the course. With the latest gadgets and technology from AT&T, now you can use your smartphone to gain an advantage. Never Miss a Swing: AT&T brings you a truly unique approach to the smartphone with the new Windows Phone – a different kind of phone designed to get to everything you love easier and faster. With continuously updating Live Tiles and organized Hubs, the HTC Surround Windows Phone gives you immediate access to your latest friend updates, news, and weather right on your Start screen so you get the info you need and right back to the course. Need a quick tip before your next swing? The HTC Surround is also perfect for downloading and watching your favorite golf videos and tutorials, too—with Dolby surround sound speakers and a flip-out kickstand, you can watch how the pros do it no matter where you are. Speed Up Your Game: Don’t get stuck waiting for a download. With the nation’s fastest mobile broadband network, you can instantly update your status message and brag to your friends about sinking that last putt—before you tee off at the next hole. The Ultimate Caddie: To be successful in golf, you need to have the right gear. The same goes for the mobile device you carry in your pocket. HTC is bringing it’s “A-Game” this year with the new HTC InspireTM 4G exclusively from AT&T. The Inspire features a 4.3-inch LCD screen and runs Android 2.2 and also features the next-generation HTC Sense platform with cloud services. Drop your phone in bunker? Don’t worry, the new Sense platform can pinpoint it on a map and command a sound to alert so you can go back to the last hole and find it easily. With the latest apps and features, this is one device you’ll be sure to need in your bag. Check out the latest from AT&T and step up your game.

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TheGallery

p h o t o g r a p h by TO D D L A N G L EY

News | Notes | Names

GAME CHANGERS: Eddie Ainsworth, Robin Jervey, Kevin Laura and Ed Mate spearhead the Golf In Schools program.

Making the Grade

S

ometimes it takes a crisis to produce unity, a common sense of purpose. Even in something as

seemingly simple as golf. In 2003 the leaders of all the major golf organizations in Colorado banded together in response to a recordbreaking drought. Today’s crisis—a steep decline in participation by young people—may lack the drama of a natural disaster, but the long-term effects could be even more devastating for the game. That’s why the Colorado Open Foundation, the Colorado Section PGA and the Colorado Golf Associations—along with the Rocky Mountain Golf Course Superintendents and other bodies—have united once more, not just to take the golf to young people but also to make an extra step and take young people to the game. In a nutshell, those are the driving strategies of the Colorado Section PGA In Schools Program, presented by the Colorado Open Golf Foundation. “It’s a historic problem,” says Eddie Ainsworth, executive director of the Section. “According to the National Golf Foundation, participation among 10-to-18-year-olds is the lowest it’s ever been. Getting kids from schools to golf facilities—that is why it’s so important that we all come together.” It’s one thing to hold a free clinic or even to stage a special day at a school or youth center. It’s something entirely different to develop a series of three-year programs that introduce students to the game, some of its best teachers and, most important, the golf course. And one that provides enough “stickiness” to let the new golfers explore and feel a sense of improvement and familiarity over time. That kind of deep experience is the ultimate goal of the Golf In Schools Program. “We’ve all done countless ‘feel-good’ events,” notes Kevin Laura, CEO of the Colorado Open Foundation. “This is about touching the grass, respecting the field of play. It’s about giving kids a chance to become golfers.” Laura’s Colorado Open Foundation is headquartered at Green Valley Ranch Golf Club, which is also home to the state’s largest The First Tee Program. How will Golf In Schools differ from The First Tee? “The First Tee is great at teaching its Nine Core Values and making solid citiww w. c o l o r a d o a v i d g o l f e r. c om

Spr in g 2 0 1 1 |Colorado AvidGolfer

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TheGallery

Shanahans

SCHOOL’S COOL: PGA National Junior Golf leader Alan Abrams inspires tomorrow’s players.row’s players

zens,” Ainsworth explains. “Where The First Tee hasn’t succeeded is creating new golfers. We’re going to work with First Tee Programs all over the state and build on their success, but we’re also going to teach kids golf—a game they can play their entire life. “We’re focused on getting them hooked on the game and emphasizing retention,” he continues, noting that the groups have already established a first-year budget of $100,000 towards the initiative. The program calls for 20 PGA instructors and facilities to come online in 2011 (eight schools have already signed up), with 10 more instructors and facilities added in each of the following four years, for a total of 60 programs and 9,000 kids by 2015. “These numbers are just what are in the business plan,” Ainsworth explains. “We expect this program to erupt.” The curriculum—which ideally involves three to five P.E. classes per semester and a Saturday trip to the course—will focus on golf skills, education and experience and will also highlight the life skills and values for which the game is famous. Science will play a role, too. “You’d be surprised at how many kids don’t know putting greens are made of real grass,” notes PGA Professional Gary Davis, who helped start the pilot program last spring with Aurora Academy Charter School, which is across the street from where he works at CommonGround Golf Course. “Getting the superintendents involved is huge.” Davis credits PGA Master Professional Danny Harvanek with laying the groundwork for the program. “A lot of the techniques we learned from Danny, who’s been

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Colorado AvidGolfer |Spring 2011

teaching golf to schoolchildren forever. We start by teaching them the grip with a pencil, for example, and have them swing it as if it were a golf club. We also emphasize the importance of balance—in your swing and in your life.” Including Harvanek, the Colorado PGA Section features three winners of the national Junior Golf Leader Award: Indian Tree Golf Course’s Alan Abrams and Country Club of Colorado’s Ann Finke. “We have the best junior instructors out there,” says Ainsworth. “The game itself is the biggest selling point,” says Ed Mate, executive director of the Colorado Golf Association. “We have already seen the promise of this program by working with Aurora Academy and CommonGround Golf Course. There’s something captivating about golf. Who knows how far we can reach?” “We had students going over after school and playing the par-three course on their own—they enjoyed the program that much,” says Jon Hovan, Aurora Academy’s athletic director. “I really think this is the start of something big.” “Golf is a hard game,” admits Robin Jervey, executive director of the Colorado Women’s Golf Association. “Whether you’re a girl or a boy, it takes time and repeated exposure. To start in elementary school is a great opportunity.” Fundraising for the Colorado PGA Golf In Schools program, presented by the Colorado Open Golf Foundation is already underway. —TOM FERRELL For more information: coloradopga.com; 303681-0742. www.coloradoavidgo lf e r.c o m


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TheGallery

Play it Forward

me a much more consistent golfer and with his help, I was able to obtain a full scholarship to play golf out of high school,” says Andrews. “If you want to learn, to grow, to succeed, there is no better person than Doug to help you along that path.” jakesforgolf.org; 303-548-9159. —MIA D’ANGELO

I Golfisiti Bravi! While on vacation in Florence, Italy, CAG’s associate editor/ Web manager, Jake Kubié, stumbled upon the Ponte Vecchio Golf Challenge, an international competition where players hit from a loggia on the city’s famous medieval bridge to three targets floating in the Arno River below. Twelve professionals—including Gareth Maybin, Robert Karlsson, Catriona Matthew and winner Alejandro Canizares—participated in the eleventh annual competition, which took place on an unusually snowy weekend before Christmas. pontevecchiochallenge.it

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P H O T O G R A P H S BY JA K E KU B I É

In 1998, when PGA Professional Doug Wherry returned to Colorado from teaching golf at the Arnold Palmer Golf Academy in Florida, he realized the tremendous need for a different kind of golf school. So he founded, as it would eventually be called, Jake’s Place, a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to mentoring young golfers to become well rounded, goal oriented, successful people through passing on a passion and love for the game of golf. Named for Jake Warde—who selflessly mentored Wherry as well as such Colorado stars as Jill McGill and Brandt Jobe—Jake’s Place gauges its success not by revenue but rather by influence. The only prerequisite to becoming a student? Share Doug’s passion for golf. As Wherry puts it, they need to possess the desire to “truly understand the tradition, character, and etiquette of the game.” Unlike typical golf schools, the rate to take lessons at Jake’s Place is whatever you can pay, opening up the game to students of all ages who demonstrate a talent and dedication to the game. Located in an indoor facility adjacent to the 18th tee at The Inverness Golf Club, Jake’s Place is structured so students capable of making a greater financial contribution can sponsor those who can’t. In the minds of these golf investors, there is no better way to express their love for golf than by paying and playing to improve not only their own skills but also those of students who show tremendous potential and are the future of the game. People like Ric Buckton and Bill DeHay, current students and sponsors, are placing a great deal of faith in the passion, determination, and dedication that they witness on a daily basis because those characteristics are essential to the game they all love. “Whether or not he realizes it,” Buckton comments in regards to one student, “I will track that kid for the rest of his life.” Riley Andrews, Wherry’s first student, has gone full circle through the program. He is going to graduate from the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs this spring, and plans to return to the Inverness location to mentor other youth golfers. “Doug made

TAKEAWAY: Wherry and Gus Lundquist at Jake’s Place.


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TheGallery CommonGround’s Uncommon Achievement

we are, hosting a national championship.” Credit for this goes to Tournament Director Kathy Walker of Cherry Hills, who approached Mate last year about the possibility of having Mike Davis, the USGA’s Senior Director of Rules and Competitions, evaluate the home course of the Colorado Golf Association and Colorado Women’s Golf Association. “He was blown away,” says Mate. “He knows the work of Seth Raynor and C.B. Macdonald, who influenced Tom Doak’s design. He got it.” And so did CommonGround, which is making the announcement this February. “It really consummates what CommonGround intends—to be a place that embraces players of all levels and also can test the best of the best. We hoped someday to host a national championship and that some day came a lot quicker than we thought.” usamateur.org

Robin’s Rockin’ Robin Jervey’s career as a golf administrator is eclipsing her formidable accomplishments as an amateur player. Jervey, the Executive Director of the Colorado Women’s Golf Association, has been elected president of the International Association of Golf Administrators (IAGA). She was the first woman to represent a women’s golf association on the IAGA board and will also be the first woman representing a women’s golf association to become President. A consulting member of the USGA Rules of Golf Committee, where she’s served as a Rules official at the Masters and the U.S. Open, she is currently on the USGA Handicap Procedure Committee, Joe Dey Award Committee and Regional Associations Committee.

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www.coloradoavidgo lf e r.c o m

P h o t o g r a p h by D r i n k e r / D u r r a n c e G r a p h i c s

When Colorado hosts the country’s oldest national championship in August, 2012, the entire field will compete on the state’s newest course. The USGA has selected CommonGround Golf Course as supporting course for the 2012 U.S. Amateur Championship. Although the five rounds of match-play—

including Sunday’s final—will take place at Cherry Hills Country Club, the first two qualifying rounds of stroke play will be split between CommonGround and Cherry Hills. Half the field will play one course Monday and switch places Tuesday. “Which means the entire field will get to play our course,” says Colorado Golf Association Executive Director Ed Mate. “We just opened in 2009 and here


TheGallery

Green Giant

Joel Christensen, for 25 years the golf and grounds superintendent at The Inverness Hotel, received the Colorado Hotel and Lodging Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award in January. Christensen, who oversees the 140 acres occupied by the hotel and Press Maxwell-designed golf course, earned recognition for his thoughtful approach to water conservation, green practices and innovative landscape management techniques.

Monumental Change Financial difficulties and a potential foreclosure at Monument’s Woodmoor Pines Country Club prompted the sale last summer of the 40-year-old private club to Tri-Lakes Golf, which also owns nearby King’s Deer Golf Club as well as Pagosa Springs Golf Club. With new ownership has come a new identity: As of March 1, Woodmoor Pines will be Monument Hill Country Club. “It’s a fresh start for a great club with wonderful facilities,” says PGA General Manager/Director of Golf Jim Nodurft. “We’re re-branding everything. We want to make a big splash.” 719-481-2272.

Know It from Adams The assets of Denver’s Yes! Golf became the property of Adams Golf in January after the Texas-based company won them at a U.S. Bankruptcy Court auction. Yes! suffered a 76 percent decline in revenues during the recession, and the company, which once showed annual revenues greater than $10 million, went for $1.5 million. All of Yes! Golf ’s patented putter technology designs (including C-Groove Putters), the company’s registered trademarks and all existing inventory and capital equipment are being integrated into the Adams line.

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Spring 2011 | Colorado AvidGolfer

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The Clubhouse at Flying Horse was rated the

“BEST IN COLORADO” by Colorado Avid Golfer Magazine.

- 2008, 2009 & 2010-

Born of legend, bred for pleasure, Flying Horse is a place of extraordinary possibilities. With breathtaking vistas, beguiling recreational amenities, magnificent custom-crafted homes by the area’s most celebrated

builders, and yes—a pulse-fluttering 18-hole championship golf course designed by the legendary master, Tom Weiskopf—this storybook community reflects the absolute finest in luxury living.

1 8 8 0 W E I S K O P F P O I N T , CO LO R AD O S P R I N G S , CO LORAD O 8 0 9 2 1


           While Flying Horse is renowned for its golf, our award-winning club has been said to rival the finest resorts of Europe. If your soul yearns for offerings and services so handsome, so complete, so luxurious they defy comparison, The Club at Flying Horse is your choicest of choices.

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Ask about our new Transitional Membership! Call (719) 494-1222

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Sweeping terraces, an open-air fireplace, family and fine dining, and spectacular views of both the golf course and the mountains, make the Golf Clubhouse at Flying Horse the absolute best in high-styled entertainment.

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Built on a Solid

FOUNDATION In these unprecedented economic times, the strength of your bank and the safety of your money are more important than ever. American National Bank remains strong and secure and is well positioned to meet your financial needs: √ No TARP Funds - We have not taken any tax-payer funded government assistance, such as TARP or any other bailout. √ Well Capitalized - ANB is well capitalized, well above regulators’ requirements and is in the top 5% in capital strength among banks our size. √ Strong Liquidity - ANB maintains a very high level of cash liquidity, ensuring we have money to lend in our communities. √ Experienced Bankers - We have a team of experienced bankers to focus on serving the needs of our customers. √ Strong Independent Ownership - Through sound banking practices and managerial strength, we have worked through these times of market uncertainty and have remained a financially strong, independent bank. √ Profitable - We have remained profitable each year through these challenging times. 2010

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American National Bank - Building strong banking relationships through solid banking practices. Stop by or call us today, we would be proud to be your bank. Cherry Creek 3033 E. First Ave.

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Player’sCorner

P H O T O G R A P H BY T Y L E R S W E E N E Y

COURSES | FITNESS | GIFTS

Buffalo Run’s Thunderous Run

R

OAMING WILD ACROSS THE HIGH PLAINS, THE AVERAGE AMERICAN BISON HAS A LIFESPAN OF 15 YEARS.

Rolling wild across the grasslands southwest of Barr Lake State Park, Buffalo Run Golf Course will turn 15 this year, but the brawny 7,411-yard Keith Foster layout shows no signs of fading away. To the contrary, Commerce City’s municipal masterpiece on the E-470 Golf Gauntlet enters 2011 stronger and more mature than ever, challenging the clubwielding herds with lumpy, humpy fairways marbled by 65 bunkers and bordered by gruelingly dense rough. Risk/reward opportunities—epitomized by the water-guarded, 537-yard dogleg left 18th—abound, as do fierce prairie winds, particularly on the 260-yard par-three 13th and “White Kunckle,” the downhill, lake-fronted 207-yard 17th. The crowned putting surfaces prove only slightly easier to read than Finnegan’s Wake. Factor in a number of long, uphill par fours and water on half the holes, and it’s a small wonder, then, that Buffalo Run, which has hosted the Colorado PGA Section Championship and U.S. Open Qualifiers, will this year welcome the CGA Public Links Championship (June 13-17) and the National Pro Golf Tour (June 21-24). Thanks to the exceptional course conditioning and service, residents of Reunion and other nearby communities fill the tee sheets and the posh Bison Grille, the centerpiece of a comfortable clubhouse that exudes the ambience of private club or resort. Golf Passport members can partake three times this summer anytime Mondays through Thursdays for $39. buffalorungolfcourse.com; 303-289-1500.

w w w. c o l o r a d o a v i d g o l f er.com

Spring 2011 | Colorado AvidGolfer

35


Player’sCorner GEAR

Lighter, Faster, Longer

Tweaked-out drivers could amp up your game.|By Ted Johnson Product

New Feature

Why?

Benefit

Callaway Diablo Octane ($350)

“Forged composite” is unique material in crown for lighter overall weight but resists twisting in clubhead.

Higher swing speeds but stable = forgiving and consistent.

Straight and far to the point of boredom.

Srixon Z-Star ($400)

Move the clubhead’s interior weight and adjust face and lie angle (84 combinations) to fit your swing.

Ultimate self-fitting; tune driver for that day’s conditions.

Wind howling? Adjust for lower drives.

Cleveland Sub 300 Ultralite ($300)

Longer shaft length (45.75”), lighter shaft weight (47g), 430cc head = more yards in the air.

27 grams lighter than standard driver.

Increased swing speed = 3 to 10 yards.

Cobra Limited edition ZL ($500)

White paint makes it easier for proper face angle at address; but just 500 being sold.

Easier to return clubface to original position.

More drives starting on target.

Nike VR Pro ($480)

Longer compression channel creates more speed on downswing, more ball speed off face.

Better players get more out of draws, fades, stingers, etc.

Great control and more distance.

TaylorMade R11 ($400)

Sole plate adjustment for loft and face angle, giving 48 playing options; white paint for better alignment.

Greater fitting capability for any golfer.

Confidence in knowing driver fits your swing.

Tour Edge XCG4 ($330)

460cc head with tungsten weights, carbon crown.

Amazing stability in ultra-lite driver.

Distance. Always the distance.

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Colorado AvidGolfer | Spring 2011

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Player’sCorner

p h o t o g r a p h s c o u rt e s y o f R o b M o h r

BACKSPIN

SHANKS FOR THE MEMORIES: As a gallery of 6,000 watched at Cherry Hills, Bob Hope (above) and partner Lawson Little took on Bing Crosby (right) and Broadmoor head professional Ed Dudley. Cherry Hills pro Rip Arnold (white suit) served as emcee for the post-golf entertainment.

Golf During Wartime

Almost 70 years ago, Bob Hope and Bing Crosby gave Colorado a show to remember.| By Rob Mohr and Leslie Krupa Mohr

I

n the summer of 1942 Bob Hope and Bing Crosby were on the road traveling around the United States

promoting the sale of war bonds. They typically would play an 18-hole exhibition golf match followed by a stage show where Crosby would sing several of his hits and Hope would do a stand-up act. The two would then auction autographed copies of Crosby’s records and sell war bonds. Their usual playing companion was Lawson Little, the renowned amateur who turned professional in 1936 and won the U.S. Open in 1940. The head professional at the club where the match was held usually filled in as the fourth. Ed Dudley, the head PGA professional at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs and also the President of the PGA at the time had made arrangements for Hope, Crosby, and Little to play an exhibition at The Broadmoor on Saturday, August 15, 1942. Ralph “Rip” Arnold, the head PGA professional at Cherry Hills Country Club contacted Dudley about possibly scheduling another exhibition at Cherry Hills Country Club August 16th. The arrangements were made, although Hope and Crosby were flying out of Denver at 3:40 Sunday afternoon. The exhibition at The Broadmoor attracted 4,000 spectators and raised several thousand dollars for the recreation fund at Colorado Springs Air Base. Hope was paired with Little; Crosby with Dudley. The match ended all square after 18 holes, with both Dudley and Little shooting one-under par 69s, while Hope’s 76 bested Crosby’s 78. On the course Crosby played Hope’s straight man while his recordings boomed from the Will Rogers Shrine of the Sun high above the course on Cheyenne Mountain. Sunday morning, the foursome received a State Patrol escort to Cherry Hills. The exhibition was scheduled to start at 10:15 a.m. with

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Colorado AvidGolfer | S p ring 2011

www.colorado avidgo lf e r.c o m


Player’sCorner

introductory remarks by Colorado Governor Ralph Carr. The proceedings were delayed until after 11:00, perhaps due to a late night or early morning by Crosby, as Hope’s opening remark on the first tee suggested that Crosby should “Take his eyeballs to the blood bank.” The rest of the afternoon Hope played to the gallery with non-stop quips, wisecracks, and jokes (usually at Crosby’s expense), and feigned walking off the course after bad shots. Not to be outdone, Crosby interacted with the gallery, several times asking for advice on shot selection. On the 10th green when a youngster piped up “I bet you can’t sink it!” Crosby handed the kid his putter and bet him a dime to a dollar he couldn’t hole it. The kid missed by a yard but Crosby offered him a quarter if he could make the three-footer, which he did. ww w. c o l o r a d o a v i d g o l f e r. c om

In the Cherry Hills match, Hope teamed with Dudley while Crosby paired up with Little. Rip Arnold served as emcee and match referee. At the turn, Little had shot 33, Dudley 34, Hope 36, and Crosby 37. Due to time constraints Hope and Dudley won one up after 13 holes when Hope sunk a long birdie putt. Both The Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News reporters skeptically took the participants word of the result, as the crowd of 6,000 spectators made it impossible to see more than a shot or two per hole. Included in the crowd were 2,500 soldiers admitted for free. Admission fees for the other 3,500 attendees raised over $2,000 for the recreation funds for the four Army bases in the Denver area—Fitzsimons, Fort Logan, Buckley Field and Lowry Field. At 2:00 p.m., Hope and Crosby changed into suits and took the stage set up on the Cherry Hills driving range. Crosby sang several of his hits, interspersed with banter with Hope. Hope then auctioned autographed copies of Crosby recordings and war bonds, raising $27,500 for the United States war effort. At 3:00 p.m., Crosby and Hope hastily headed to Stapleton Field to fly back to Hollywood, where they would begin production on Road to Morocco. After the October release of the film, they went on their first overseas U.S.O. tour. Hope would continue to entertain U.S. troops for another 49 years. ag

Excerpted from Golf In Denver by Rob Mohr and Leslie Krupa Mohr ($21.95, Arcadia Publishing; arcadiapublishing.com). On sale April, 2011. Spr in g 2 0 1 1 |Colorado AvidGolfer

39


Player’sCorner

The Closure Conundrum

When a golf course closes, all kinds of windows open—some less environmentally friendly than others.|By Peter Bronski

I

t’s a simple fact of life that every year some new golf courseS OPEN AND some existing golf courses close. In this sense, the game of golf takes a page out of

the playbook of Mother Nature, who metes out both births and deaths. Call it golf ’s Circle of Life. For some two decades, from the late 1980s through the early 2000s, the balance of that circle was in the positive, with an average net growth of 200 golf courses per year in the United States, according to Greg Nathan, Senior Vice President at the National Golf Foundation. But for the last six years, the net growth has been negative. More golf courses are closing than opening. Last year, just 46 new golf courses opened for play (measured in 18 hole equiv-

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Colorado AvidGolfer | S p ring 2011

www.colorado avidgo lf e r.c o m

PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY O F ISTOCKPHOTO. COM

E L E VA T E D G R E E N

alents, or HEQ). Meanwhile, 107 18HEQ shut their doors nationwide. In Colorado, not a single new course opened for play, and one—Box Elder Creek Golf Course in Brighton—closed. Both Nathan and Ed Mate, Executive Director of the Colorado Golf Association, agree that, while some of the blame can be placed on the downturned economy, the bigger problem is an oversupply of golf courses. To borrow a term from ecology, at this moment in time, the number of golf courses—in Colorado, and across the U.S.— has exceeded the carrying capacity of the game. What we’re seeing with the recent spate of golf course closings is a “culling of the herd. There’s not enough food to keep them all healthy,” says Mate. “It’s a game of attrition and survival of the fittest.” Historically, that attrition has disproportionately affected the smaller mom-and-pop, nine-hole golf facilities in smaller markets. Witness Box Elder Creek, which opened as a nine-hole course, upgraded to 18 in 2001, but was losing money and couldn’t stay afloat. But sometimes, legacy clubs in major cities find themselves on the brink of closure as well, and when it does happen, golfers are often shocked. We can’t imagine that courses like those would face the very real prospect of closing. They are immune. Or are they? Many Denver-area golfers were startled to read a Denver Post article late last year noting that Green Gables Country Club was potentially closing and going on the auction block to be sold to a developer (the story was premature, and the deal is far from final as of this writing). It does serve, however, as a cautionary tale. “Using Cherry Hills and Castle Pines as examples of golf courses that are in the top half of one percent of nationally-recognized golf clubs in terms of prestige and quality,” says Nathan, “once you go outside of that, it’s going to be a struggle.” Even for the Green Gables of the world. When a golf course does close, there are myriad impacts. A community loses a place for recreation. Jobs vanish. And there’s also an undeniable environmental component. One of two things usually happens when golf courses get shuttered. They are abandoned, and nature slowly reclaims the land (as happened with Great Sand Dunes


Player’sCorner Golf Course at Zapata Ranch in Mosca in the San Luis Valley, tucked up against the southern end of the Sangre de Cristo mountain range). Or, they are sold off for real estate development, in which case “we’re selling paradise and putting up a parking lot,” says Mate. When that happens, both golf and the environment lose. Golf courses do all sorts of good things for the environment. Just ask Steve Sarro, the superintendent of Vail Golf Club and a member of the board of directors of the Eagle River Watershed Council. He points out that they have value for nutrient and sediment filtration (“Vail Golf Club is a filter for the highway”), trees and grass produce oxygen (“Concrete doesn’t do that”), the fact that they provide wildlife habitat (“There are thousands of elk in Colorado that spend a lot of time on golf courses”), and that they reduce heat island effects in urban areas (not to mention carbon sequestration and a likely positive effect on global climate change). To be sure, the golf course closure “problem” is hardly an epidemic. There are ap-

GREEN GABLES: Could it go away?

proximately 16,000 golf courses in the United States. Just 107 closing last year is evidence of a phenomenal success rate and “a great record in this economy,” says Nathan. But more closures are surely coming down the pipeline, including here in Colorado. “We’re not done. Stay tuned,” cautions Mate. By his own admission, some good things may come from a few golf closures. “I’d rather see 230 healthy golf courses in

Colorado than 250 hanging on by their fingernails,” he explains. That said, he continues, “It’s a shame every time a course closes.” And if just one golf course closes in Colorado this year, it will have an impact on its community, on the game…and on the environment. AG

Peter Bronski is the author of four books and a former ecologist for the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary for Golf Courses.

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Surveys, reader p anels, exp methodo ert opinio logies to ns: Over select “T Internet the year h e Best and tas s, we’ve o f ked you Colorado To get ou come up with rat G t the vo o lf with dif .” in B g u t c t o ferent a e for this urses (fr , we solic tion, and pproach e o it d m ed the h it encourag io 1 n t , o es and w 110 stars e leverag ed part e lp More tha o f ) e t a d icipation he Color n d t h n 8,100 o c e ommentin power of ado Go through f you pa g at doubt sp the lf Assoc promotion rticipate ark deba ia s t io in n d s t , h a e m t n aking this e. As wit d the P magazine free to GA Co , on our h any ele express y survey t lorado S W c h o e e t u b io r s m n you amp it , o o e p s w t in e eca io ’l in n l n d in our clusive w s at abide by le opport e n e t unity to w h h a s e le v r t e e t sults unt er. done.The vote thr il the ne results w oughout . The po x t * Rating t il o l h n e no e ll s . You don s and c golf seas will soon omments ’t have o n o p . on color e n f o to. Feel adoavid r next y golfer.com ear’s ra may ha n k ve chang in g s , giving ed since time of publicati

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Colorado AvidGolfer | Spring 2011

on. Resu lts are accura

te from January

5, 2011. All scor es are on a 1-10 scale.

www.coloradoavidgo l f e r. c o m / t r a v e l


[

BEST PUBLIC COURSE Minimum 40 votes

[

8.1 Colorado National Golf Club Erie (1,775 votes) 7.8 Riverdale Dunes Golf Course Brighton (546 votes) 7.7 The Golf Club at Bear Dance Larkspur (198 votes)

P H O T O G R A P H S BY: K E N E . M AY ( R I V E R DA L E ) ; D R I N K E R D U R R A N C E G R A P H I C S ( C O M M O N G R O U N D ) ; A I DA N B R A D E LY ( A R R O W H E A D )

7.7 The Ridge at Castle Pines North Castle Rock (143 votes) 7.7 Green Valley Ranch Golf Club Denver (130 votes) 7.7 The Heritage at Westmoor Westminster (90 votes)

Dwyersi: A challenging and diverse course. The last four holes are a great way to end a day of tight wagering. The Golf Passport makes this an affordable way to enjoy an elite course. PeterMaves: Green Valley Ranch has a great feel, with a terrific staff and a challenging course, which is particularly fun in the fall when the trees turn. It is a good value and provides a test for golfers of all levels.

7.7 Highland Meadows Golf Course Windsor (48 votes) 7.7 The Courses at Hyland Hills-Gold Course Westminster (41 votes) 7.6 CommonGround Golf Course Aurora (768 votes) 7.6 Fossil Trace Golf Club Golden (560 votes) 7.6 Riverdale Knolls Golf Course Brighton (242 votes) 7.6 Indian Peaks Golf Course Lafayette (44 votes) 7.6 Fox Hollow Golf Course–Canyon/Meadow Lakewood (40 votes) 7.5 Legacy Ridge Golf Course Westminster (43 votes) 7.4 Boomerang Golf Links Greeley (58 votes)

LizE: Fossil Trace is a beautiful and challenging course. As a woman, I find it female-friendly and a good length from the red tees. I also enjoy the “nine and dine” events.

7.0 Red Hawk Ridge Golf Course Castle Rock (44 votes) 6.5 Arrowhead Golf Club Littleton (73 votes)

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Spring 2011| Colorado AvidGolfer

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[

BEST PUBLIC COURSE MOUNTAINS/WESTERN SLOPE Minimum 20 votes

[

7.8 Redlands Mesa Golf Club Grand Junction (75 votes)

JDUB: If you don’t like Redlands Mesa then you don’t like golf. I buy the Golf Passport every year knowing I’m going west to play this and others on the Western Slope. It’s better than Fossil Trace and Sanctuary in my opinion. Don’t get me wrong, I love those too, but Redlands Mesa is all around better!

7.8 Lakota Canyon Ranch Golf Club New Castle (47 votes) 7.6 Dalton Ranch Golf Club Durango (79 votes) 7.6 Devil’s Thumb Golf Club Delta (61 votes) 7.6 Breckenridge Golf Club-Beaver/Bear Breckenridge (21 votes) 7.6 Vail Golf Club Vail (21 votes)

7.5 Headwaters Golf Club at Granby Ranch Granby (20 votes) 7.4 Raven Golf Club at Three Peaks Silverthorne (28 votes)

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Colorado AvidGolfer | Spring 2011

RonT: One great fall day, with blustery snow squalls alternating with sunlight shining through the yellow aspens, was by far the most wonderful golf experience I’ve had in Colorado.

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

P H O T O G R A P H BY: D R I N K E R D U R R A N C E G R A P H I C S ( L A KO TA C A N Y O N )

7.5 Eagle Ranch Golf Club Eagle (20 vote)

GG: Challenging and beautiful. Always in great shape. Scenery sublime. You can golf here for a lifetime and not get bored. Fabulous patio has the best view in SW Colorado. Hot summer nights with a cold beer, cocktail or fine wine makes this a wonderful 19th hole.


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[

BEST PRIVATE CLUB Minimum 20 votes

[

8.4 Ballyneal Golf & Hunt Club Holyoke (38 votes)

jr.55: The best course in Colorado by a mile! It could be in the top 20 on the planet. I love the layout. No yardage markers, tee markers, ball washers, benches or golf carts. Just put the tee in the ground and enjoy the game the way it’s meant to be played. I would happily make the seven-hour round trip several times a month.

8.3 The Club at Flying Horse Colorado Springs (115 votes) 8.3 Castle Pines Golf Club Castle Rock (57 votes) 8.2 Perry Park Country Club Larkspur (100 votes) 8.o The Country Club at Castle Pines Castle Rock (35 votes) 7.9 Cherry Hills Country Club Denver (42 votes)

7.6 Sanctuary Sedalia (21 votes) 7.5 Colorado Golf Club Parker (30 votes) 7.5 Harmony Club Timnath (22 votes) 7.5 Lakewood Country Club Lakewood (21 votes) 7.4 Aspen Glen Club Carbondale (20 votes) 7.4 Eisenhower Golf Club–Blue Course Colorado Springs (20 votes)

BR: One of the very top courses in Colorado. Dick Phelps designed this gem in Perry Park and the course superintendent maintains it like it’s his firstborn. It’s beautiful and challenging, one of those rare courses you could play every day and never tire of it. I give it all the starts I can.

Flogtops: Tee to green this is the best-maintained golf course in Colorado. The greens in October are as good as they were in July.

7.1 Valley Country Club Aurora (23 votes) 7.0 The Club at Pradera Parker (297) 6.9 Plum Creek Golf and Country Club Castle Rock (22 votes) 6.5 Blackstone Country Club Aurora (62 votes)

74 Colorado AvidGolfer | Spring 2011

www.coloradoavidg www.coloradooal fvei d r.gc o lm f e/ r. t rcaov m el

P H O T O G R A P H BY: D R I N K E R D U R R A N C E G R A P H I C S ( C A S T L E P I N E S )

7.6 Kissing Camels at Garden of the Gods Club Colorado Springs (21 votes)


the place you want to beâ&#x20AC;Ś

A top rated Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course Coveted social and golf experiences for families 25 years of sharing the Castle Pines lifestyle with members 10 minutes south of the Denver Metro area A new $4 million clubhouse renovation this year And with only a handful of memberships available, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s clear The Country Club at Castle Pines is the place you want to be.

Please call our Director of Membership & Communications for a private tour. Kim Bartuccio 303-660-6807 www.ccatcastlepines.com a 501(c) (7) non-profit private club.


[

BEST RESORT COURSES Minimum 20 votes

[

8.5 Broadmoor Golf Club-East Course

Carreview: The best course in Colorado. Period. One of the top 10 in the country. The whole facility and staff elevate the experience and the course is a gem.

Colorado Springs (37 votes) 8.4 The River Course at Keystone Keystone (44 votes) 8.2 Red Sky Golf Club-Fazio Course Wolcott (22 votes)

7.8 Broadmoor Golf Club-West Course Colorado Springs (23 votes) 7.7 Keystone Ranch Golf Course Keystone (39 votes) 7.6 Beaver Creek Golf Club Beaver Creek (22 votes) 7.5 Rollingstone Ranch Golf Club Steamboat Springs (23 votes)

Samsherstad: A great mountain course built somewhat like a Scottish links course. It has wonderful views of the surrounding mountains and generally excellent condition of greens and fairways. Service is friendly and efďŹ cient. A must play in Summit County.

7.3 Inverness Golf Club Englewood (21 votes)

MJhaggin: Some of the best greens around! The staff has a great attitude and rapport with members and guests. Bravo in this world of stuffy golf pros!

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

P H O T O G R A P H S BY: D R I N K E R D U R R A N C E G R A P H I C S ( R E D S K Y R A N C H & R O L L I N G S T O N E R A N C H ) ; S T E V E N W I L K E S ( B E AV E R C R E E K )

7.9 Broadmoor Golf Club-Mountain Course Colorado Springs (22 votes)


P H O T O G R A P H BY: G E T T Y I M AG E S

HATS OFF: A final-round 61 earned Hallberg a victory last fall at Rock Barn and a Champions Tour exemption for 2011.

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A MOMENT How Gary got his card

BY TOM FERRELL

Some might consider it almost too good a story, a sentimental reminder more suited for a greeting card than the sports pages. Gary Hallberg, a one-time canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t miss kid who played for legendary coach Jesse Haddock at Wake Forest University, blazes through a Sunday afternoon just a few miles up the road from his storied alma mater. He fires a course-record 61, shoots up the leaderboard and holds off Champions Tour superstars Fred Couples and Bernhard Langer, overcoming years of doubts and insecurities in the process.

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A Hallmark moment, no doubt. last fall at the Ensure Classic at Rock Barn Resort. Today, Gary Hallberg is done looking back. More important, he has much to look forward to: a one-year exemption on the Champions Tour, a more secure future both financially and psychologically and competing with a deeper belief that more trips to the winner’s circle are in store.

GLORY DAYS: At Wake, Hallberg was a four-time first-team All American.

before

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But that’s how it happened

That kind of view of the future is a far cry from what Hallberg was thinking just a year ago, when he was beginning to wonder if it was still worth it. He had conditional status on the Champions Tour but no real control over his schedule and no real sense of movement in his game or his career. “It was a long, hard, climb to be honest with you,” he confessed in a recent phone interview from Phoenix, where he was preparing for the start of the Champions Tour season. “I was really under-employed, and it was frustrating. You prepare and you prepare. And you know you can do it. And then you don’t get into the next tournament. That wears on you. Preparation is tough, and when the rug keeps getting snatched out from under you…” After two rounds of the Ensure Classic at Rock Barn last fall, life after golf still played a major role in his thinking. The next day, however, after a putting tip from


athlete. He played on the 1977 Walker Cup team, captured back-to-back North & South Amateur championships and won the 1979 NCAA individual title. After turning pro, he played his way onto the Tour and was named rookie of the year after posting six top-10 finishes. To this day, the renowned short-game guru Dave Pelz maintains Hallberg possesses the most natural short-game talent he’s seen or taught. Those skills would bring Hallberg three wins on the PGA Tour, but injuries affected his physical play and his mind-set. Despite

the occasional flash of brilliance, he faded from the professional golf scene during his 40s. He and his family remained in Colorado, where they have resided for some 25 years, and Gary worked through a number of golfrelated ventures. Of course, old golfers never die. They look forward to a new career at 50 on the Champions Tour, and by the time Hallberg hit the half-century in 2008, he was rarin’ to go. “I might have been at a little bit of a disadvantage because I didn’t play straight through my 40s,” he says now. “With the advances

BRIGHT FUTURE: Wake Forest AD Dr. Gene Hooks congratulated the 1979 NCAA Champion.

his friend Nick Price and with instructor and friend Mike McGetrick on his bag, Gary Hallberg made up his mind. “It was one of those wins that just kind of happens,” McGetrick said. “To tell you the truth, the goal was a top ten. We were out a couple of groups ahead of the leaders, and I think that took some of the pressure off and let Gary just ride the wave he was on. And I’ll tell you, as good as that 61 was, he left two or three shots out there.” For Hallberg, the victory earned $262,000, by far the largest payday of his 30-year career. But it meant much more than that. “It changes everything,” Hallberg says. “I was only eligible for 16 or 17 of the 25 events out here. It’s tough to make the top 30 on the money list (which carries an automatic exemption) that way. Now I know I’m going to be playing. That changes the way you prepare, the way you feel about the sacrifices your family making so you can play golf. It really does change everything.” They say that nothing shines inside a man so much as great potential. Much is expected of those who have it. And those who have it expect much of themselves. But a once-bright future can cast a long shadow of a past. Now, with his most satisfying season of professional golf behind him—at age 52—Hallberg has received the gift of living in the present. Gary Hallberg stormed onto the PGA Tour in 1980 after completing an astonishing collegiate career. For four consecutive years at Wake Forest, he earned first team All-American honors—a first for any NCAA w w w.c o l o r a d o a v i d g o l f er.com

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Colorado AvidGolfer | Spring 2011

GOOD MOVE: Having Mike McGetrick caddie at Rock Barn proved pivotal for Hallberg.

“They’ve always told me playing golf is what I ,m supposed to do.” ways told me that playing golf is what I’m supposed to do, that it’s who I am. I mean, how fortunate am I? Because of that, I’m free to approach this season with some high goals.” Those goals include tournament wins, a top-10 finish on the money list and a desire to become one of the consistent top players on the Champions Tour. “I believe I’ve got the tools,” Hallberg says, his voice rising like a young man’s as the future begins to come into clearer view. When that next victory comes, look for it on the sports pages. The greeting card moment was nice, but Hallberg is eager to push the envelope a lot farther. AG

Tom Ferrell is Colorado AvidGolfer’s editor at large. www.colorado a v i d g o l f e r. c o m

P H O T O G R A P H BY: G E T T Y I M AG E S

in equipment and physical fitness, guys can stay competitive a lot longer. So I had a little catch-up to do.” Hallberg reacquainted himself with McGetrick to work on his game and became a member at the new Colorado Golf Club, which provided him with a championship venue—the club hosted the 2010 Senior PGA Championship—and drove himself back into shape after a disappointing 2009 season. “Nobody works harder than Gary Hallberg,” says Graham Cliff, head professional at Colorado Golf Club. “There were days that winter leading up to the Senior PGA when it would be 25 degrees and completely snowed in, and Gary would be out there practicing off of a mat with a video camera set up. He’d call me over and ask me to watch him hit a few balls—like, a dozen nine-irons that landed within five feet of each other. ‘Well, he would say,’ see anything?’ Yeah, I saw something—the reason Gary Hallberg plays golf for a living.” A Senior PGA Championship victory at his home club would have meant the world to Hallberg, and he admitted to dreaming about it. Four holes into the championship, however, Hallberg stood at four-over-par. Then he caught fire for the home crowd, played the remainder of the round five-under for a 71 and went on to tie for 36th. In many ways it was a microcosm of Hallberg’s Champions Tour career. His internal debate raged on, until finally McGetrick approached him and volunteered his services as caddie for the final six events of the season. “Our goal was to go out and win a tournament and get into the top 30,” Hallberg says. “And I have to say, Mike really helped me crystallize my belief that I could get it done. We got the win and might have made the top 30, but we just ran out of tournaments.” The 2011 season began with a limitedfield event, the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai. Although he finished a disappointing 39th at 3-under par, Gary Hallberg knows his spot in this and in every other field on the 2011 Champions Tour schedule is secure. “All this time, I’ve enjoyed such great support. My wife. My son (Eric, a standout junior player in his own right). They’ve al-


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THREE-JACK: The Canyon nine at the Nicklaus-designed Westin La Paloma.

The Gallery and Ritz-Carlton aren’t the only Tucson courses to have hosted a PGA Tour event. Omni Tucson National Resort has been the site of multiple PGA Tour events dating back to 1965 when it first hosted the Chrysler Classic of Tucson and features two outstanding 18-hole layouts–Catalina and Sonoran. Designed by Robert Van Hagge and Bruce Devlin, the Catalina Course is a more traditional parkland-style layout, while the newer Tom Lehman-designed Sonoran is a modern target golf course. The resort offers just as much variety. Guests can choose from a collection of chic guest rooms and rustic Southwestern haciendas, which offer a quiet retreat after an active day of adventure on the Omni Tucson’s 650 acres. Tucson is relatively compact, so it’s an easy task to turn a Tucson Twosome and back up a Ritz-Carlton or Omni Tucson visit with another of the Old Pueblo’s select cadre of golf resorts. One of the top choices is The Westin La Paloma. An expansive resort situated on the far north side of town, La Paloma has tons of activities and amenities. With a massive pool complex right in the middle, tennis club, Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spa, kid’s club and several fine dining options–especially Janos, which specializes in fine Southwestern cuisine–there’s enough here to keep an entire family occupied for days. And that’s not mentioning the golf courses. Like The Ritz-Carlton, La Paloma boasts 27 Jack Nicklaus signature holes, where any combination of the Hill, Ridge and Canyon

nines teeters just over 7,000 yards. Nearly every hole boasts at least one of the topographic features from which each course received its name, with deep canyons separating tee boxes from fairways, holes that run along sharp ridges and tee boxes perches atop hills. Loews Ventana Canyon is another top-tier resort with an easy, comfortable manner set within a perfect desert-mountain setting that would please Frank Lloyd Wright–the decorative block façade looks straight from his design template and he’d applaud how it exists with the desert and mountains, not lording over it. Golf comes courtesy of two Tom Fazio tracks, Canyon and Mountain, played on alternate days since they are private courses. Expect typical Fazio course traits, like broad shoulders, huge but subtly contoured greens and a whole lot of eye candy. For a completely different desert experience, head due south to Tubac Golf Resort and Spa. Located smack dab between Tucson and Nogales, less than an hour from Tucson International Airport, Tubac’s Hacienda-style architecture and laidback feel reflects the area’s Spanish heritage. Each of the resort’s 98 Posadas and Casitas are adorned with an earthy décor that meshes with the red-tile roofs, wood-beamed ceilings and beehive fireplaces. Three full-service restaurants, spa, well-equipped fitness center and heated pool round out Tubac’s many amenities. While the resort exudes Spanish class, Tubac’s golf courses are pure Arizona. Kevin www.colorado avidgo lf e r.c o m


Costner fans will likely recognize the original 18 holes designed by Robert â&#x20AC;&#x153;Redâ&#x20AC;? Lawrence, where the actor played a down-on-hisluck driving range pro in Tin Cup. The course crisscrosses the Santa Cruz River through verdant stands of cottonwoods. In 2006, local designer Ken Kavanaugh (who authored Auroraâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Murphy Creek) added another nine holes, solidifying Tubac as one of southern Arizonaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s top golf resorts. No trip to Tucson is complete without a spin through the local food scene, which at its core means Mexican. Mexican food is something upon which Tucsonians justly pride themselves. All the usual suspects are on display, but the local flavor plays heavily on chile sauces, as in New Mexico, and dried, reconstituted beef that the world calls machaca and Tucson tabs carne seca. At the risk of goring a sacred ox or three, some local favorite are Mi Nidito in the South Tucson barrio, and Casa Molina on the east side. On the cuisine side of the ledger, if youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve ever wondered what Mexican food would be like had Wolfgang Puck gone that direction on his fusion map, the result is CafĂŠ Poca Cosa downtown. Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t even bother looking up the menu online. Pocaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s is written on mobile chalkboards and it changes twice each and every day.

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BackNine

Jim Engh

The award-winning golf-course architect takes your questions. Q : Having played a number of your courses, it seems, that when I hit a reasonably good approach shot, the ball rolls a lot closer to the pin than I expected. Is this by design or have I just been really lucky? Richard Friedland (via email)

and the randomness of nature. I also really admire how Pete Dye has expanded the envelope of creative thinking. And what Mike Strantz, who died a few years ago at the age of 50, did at Royal New Kent in Virginia is truly a testament to his “out of the box” genius.

Q: I read you’re designing a course in Nebraska. When is it opening? Cliff M. (via coloradoavidgolfer.com)

A:

Quite true, in some instances. But I encourage you to examine the entire picture of the design concept rather than one type of shot. Remember that your upcoming putt, although shorter than anticipated, will have additional swing to it because of that same bowled effect.

A : Creativity, adventure and variety are what make up a fun golfing experience or any human experience. For me, that’s Cypress Point, Pine Valley and Royal New Kent. Q:

I think we’ve played all of your courses. Which of your Colorado designs is your favorite? Suzan (via coloradoavidgolfer.com) A : Man, I could get in a lot of hot water with my clients if I put together a list like that. Like having children, they are different and special with a piece of my heart in each one. I suppose I have a special feeling for Four Mile Ranch in Cañon City. With a shoestring budget during difficult financial times, it is the ultimate underdog. I giggle and grin the entire time I play it.

Q : Some people have described certain holes you’ve designed as having weird or goofy (or even unfair) features. What is your response to them? G. Brown (via email) A : My response is that those people are paying attention. I love it! I believe I am in the entertainment business. My job is to create a 88

Colorado AvidGolfer | S p ring 2011

Q: Why do Irish courses fascinate you? Steve C. (via email) place that allows, or, in some instances, induces people to have fun. Within the realm of human perception are simple beliefs I have determined over the years to be the key elements of a fun experience—creativity, adventure and variety.

Q : With fewer courses in development in the states, you’ve no doubt had to look for projects overseas. How is it different building courses in Asia? Henry Osawari (via email) A:

We presently have four courses under contract in China, one in Mexico and one in the Canary Islands. I began working in Europe and had completed three courses in China and Thailand in the 1990s. This helped me understand the international business culture. The most important element to working in China is understanding relationships are made upon developing personal friendships before undertaking business. It takes a little longer, but it is very rewarding.

Q:

Which course designers–living or dead­–have influenced you the most? James Cunningham (via coloradoavidgolfer.com)

A : My biggest influence has been through my experiences with Irish links golf. Not really any designer, just a love for the wild landforms

A: One day while playing Carne, one of my pals said to me “you have been turning, spinning, looking and gazing at this place since the first tee with this huge smile on your face. You are having so much fun”. It occurred to me that the reason that I love Irish golf so much is because my brain was 100% “engaged and tuned in,” with endorphins flying freely for all 18 holes. Because it is not always possible to re-create Irish forms in the U.S., especially in the mountains, I have tried to create features and experiences that keep your brain inspired and “turned on” the entire time. Q : Do you approach the design of public and private courses differently? Manuel (via coloradoavidgolfer.com) A: The simple answer is yes, but not as much as you might expect. My ultimate goal is a to create a fun adventure of golf. That is what public and private course players deserve. Read more detailed responses from Jim Engh at coloradoavidgolfer.com. Next Up: Gunner Wiebe To ask questions of the Colorado Player of the Year, go to ColoradoAvidGolfer.com/honors

www.colorado avidgo lf e r.c o m

P h o t o g r a p h by: J i m E n g h G o l f D e s i g n

Q : What is your favorite American golf course—other than one you designed—and why? Jim Dauer (via Facebook)

A: Awarii Dunes will most likely open in May. It’s in Kearney, right on I-80, and is an easy drive from Denver.


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Spring 2011  

Colorado AvidGolfer's Spring 2011 issues featuring the Best of Colorado Golf, Champions Tour winner Gary Hallberg, golf course architect Jim...

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