Category Archives: Colorado

Golfing in the Middle of the Colorado Winter

Indian Tree Golf Club in Arvada, CO

indian wells arvada colorado
That pond looks one cold night away from being ready for some hockey

The Stats

Tee Time: January 25, 2015, 2:15, 61 F, calm

Designer: Richard M. Phelps (1970)

Playing Partners: Lisa Modglin, Nicole, Kristen

Tees: ?, Par 27 (1,038 yards)

Course Handicap: 3.5 (7.4 index)

Stats: 37; 1 hit goose

The Course

People ask, why do you want to move to Denver? Well here’s my answer. Contrary to popular belief, the weather is pretty awesome. You can even golf in the middle of January! How cool is it that you can take in a round of golf on a course in pretty good shape that still has that week’s snow piled in the shadows? It felt good to land in Denver this Saturday with the sky as overcast as a Seattle summer and the next day the sun and the sixties were out for a fun day swinging a club before the sun would set again. And the best part is you can never truly lose your ball. You just have to sit at the shore of the pond and stare it sitting on top of a sheet of ice. Despite there being about 100 Canadian geese loitering on that fresh surface, I discovered it wasn’t thick enough for a person of my weight. Luckily I only dunked one foot in the icy waters and did not succumb to frostbite.

I think I made par on this hole
I think I made par on this hole

I can’t really review the golf course I played, Indian Tree Golf Club. It’s just a fun place to get some quick swings in. Our foursome could have been done in under an hour if we didn’t get stuck behind Demaryius Thomas and family. Okay, it was actually just an obnoxious little boy in a Broncos #88 jersey.

If you look closely you can see #88 goofing off in the distance
If you look closely you can see #88 goofing off in the distance

Continue reading Golfing in the Middle of the Colorado Winter

Arrowhead Golf Club

Arrowhead Golf Club in Littleton, CO

The clubhouse
The clubhouse

The Stats

Tee Time: October 29, 2014, 8:15, 71 F, Windy (at least Category-1 hurricane-force gusts)

Designer: Robert Trent Jones, Jr. (1974)

Playing Partners: None

Tees: Black Bear, Par 70 (71.5 rating/138 slope/6,636 yards)

Course Handicap: 10 (7.8 index)

Stats: 88(39-49); 32 putts; 3/13 fairways; 6/18 greens; 8 penalty strokes

The Course

Two words that don’t exist in Arizona golf: Frost Delay. After three summers in the desert, it felt refreshing to be freezing cold again. Once the course opened at 8:15, it was still about 42 degrees with an icy wind blasting, chilling my Sonoran blood. As enjoyable as it was getting reacquainted with the feeling of shivering and clutching handwarmers like they are life-preservers, I putted out on number 1 and just about ducked into the bathroom across the cart path and hunkered down for winter. But, I fought on, like Ernest Shackelton would’ve. Mostly because I had an early-afternoon flight to catch. Once my face started to thaw out I began to appreciate how awesome Arrowhead Golf Club is. Nothing like it. All I really need to do is put up the pictures. That’s all you’re gonna notice, they’re that good. Even my little pocket Nikon captured how special this place south of Littleton is. I’ll waste no time getting to it. My fingers are still frozen. The fact I put up a front-side 39 is a miracle in these blustery Arctic conditions. The back-nine 49 is less of a surprise. Oops… Continue reading Arrowhead Golf Club

Breckenridge Golf Club

Breckenridge Golf Club in Breckenridge, CO

breckenridge golf club
Me, CJ, Greg and Brendan

The Stats

Tee Time: July 27, 2013, 12:20, 69 F, overcast

Designer: Jack Nicklaus (1987)

Playing Partners: Brendan Noonan, CJ Phelan, Greg Ryan

Tees: Beaver/Bear tournament, Par 72 (71.6 rating/139 slope/6,605 yards)

Course Handicap: 12 (9.5 index)

Stats: 85 (43-42); 33 putts; 5/14 fairways; 7/18 greens; 4 penalty strokes

The Course

High up in the Rocky Mountains, surrounded by thousands of evergreens and snow-covered peaks, sits Breckenridge Golf Club. And I do mean high. At the 8th tee of the Beaver 9, you are 9,426 feet above sea level. Which means if you really pop up a driver up in the air, you can almost launch a ball to an altitude where it would be safe to turn on portable electronics and cell phones, as long as they remain in “Airplane Mode”. The tricky thing is, though, that never on the golf course does it really seem like you’re at nearly 10,000 feet. There are some slight elevation changes, but none of the hundred-foot drops that you might expect playing atop a mountain range. It makes it even more fun, because the layout is similar to many others around the country, meaning you get to experience what it’s like to play golf like a tour pro and their drives topping 300 or 320 yards. The setting is amazing. Despite being only fifteen minutes from Main Street, it feels isolated. There is one road that has a bit of traffic on the Bear 9 and some holes are bordered by million-dollar cabins, but for the most part it is the golf course that takes center stage. There are 27 holes at the club, the Bear, Beaver and Elk. We played the Beaver/Bear circuit, and hopefully I’ll come back for the Elk. Looks are deceiving here. The golf may look simple and easy at times, but this is one tough course. Don’t even think about playing the Nicklaus tees and their 147 slope from nearly 7,600 yards. Altitude or not, that’s a lot of turf. Continue reading Breckenridge Golf Club

Eagle Vail Golf Club

Eagle Vail Golf Club in Avon, CO

eagle vail golf club
Landon N., CJ, Brendan, me, Greg and Landon W.

The Stats

Tee Time: July 26, 2013, 1:20, 87 F, light wind

Designer: Bruce Devlin/Robert von Hagge (1975)

Playing Partners: Brendan Noonan, CJ Phelan, Greg Ryan, Landon Weight, Landon Norton

Tees: Blue, Par 71 (70.7 rating/133 slope/6,538 yards)

Course Handicap: 11 (9.5 index)

Stats: 87 (41-46); 33 putts; 2/13 fairways; 5/18 greens; 2 penalty strokes

The Course

Eagle Vail Golf Club served as the opening round at the 2nd Annual Hacktus Open Invitational, which is now represented by an ugly cowboy gecko statue instead of that majestic crystal cactus. And I know I picked a good course when five contestants, of five wildly different skill levels, all agreed on how beautiful and fun it is. Eagle Vail is the perfect example of mountain golf, and peaking at 7,805 feet on the 18th tee box, it is most definitely in the mountains. There are majestic Douglas firs, flowing streams and leafy aspen trees. While they are captivating, those elements can also mess up a hole pretty badly. My last hole finished with a punch out that went into a group of four aspens, pinballing off each trunk before being spit back into the rough ten yards away. But of all the mountain courses I’ve been to, which unfortunately isn’t too many, I can tell this is one of the fairer ones. The course won’t beat good shots, although whoever places the pins will. An absurd number of flags were on some treacherous slopes where three-putts would be considered a good finish. The only real drawback at Eagle Vail is the one hole where you get a view of the Wal-Mart and Home Depot across the I-70. Continue reading Eagle Vail Golf Club

The Golf Club at Ravenna

The Golf Club at Ravenna in Littleton, CO

golf club at ravenna hole 17
The tee at the short, possibly drivable 17th

The Stats

Tee Time: July 24, 2013, 10:55, 81 F, light wind, overcast

Designer: Jay Morrish (2007)

Playing Partners: None

Tees: Gold, Par 71 (71.5 rating/140 slope/6,689 yards)

Course Handicap: 12 (9.5 index)

Stats: 94 (48-46); 43 putts; 9/13 fairways; 8/18 greens; 3 penalty strokes

The Course

A few miles south of Littleton, Colorado is The Golf Club at Ravenna in a private country club that wanders through the foothills of the Rockies. A new course that opened in 2007 and a Jay Morrish design, there is a lot to like about Ravenna. It presents a tough challenge but offers a set of tees for every skill set. The fairways are pretty hittable but sand traps are well positioned to take in any errant shots. The greens will be what you remember most about playing this course. They’re as well-maintained as any, smooth and consistent while also soft and receptive to well struck irons. But there are swales aplenty and the surfaces are as quick as Augusta’s on an Easter Sunday. And even though it’s understandable that everything will break towards Denver, which can be seen way off in the distance to the north, it’s still hard to watch a putt you swear should break off the ridge away from the valley and stubbornly refuse to. Continue reading The Golf Club at Ravenna