Golf Blog

Colorado

If you are looking for some distance gains with the driver, you may want to consider a trip to Colorado instead of forking over $500 for the latest and greatest.  With the entire state resting at least 1000 meters above sea level, you will gain at least half a club, no questions asked.

This was my first golf visit to the "Centennial State" and Colorado has some serious golf options located just outside of Denver.  First up on the agenda was Jack Nicklaus' Castle Pines.  The course opened in 1981 and from 1986 to 2006 hosted the International, a PGA Tour event.  In certain circles, Castle Pines may be even more well known for it's milkshakes.  I finally would know the feeling John Travolta expresses in the clip below from Pulp Fiction.  They are seriously that good.  After a glorious introduction to golf in Colorado at Castle Pines, a day of 36 at Cherry Hills and Colorado Golf Club was on the calendar.

It's quite possible that Travolta prepared for his role as Vincent Vega by visiting the Castle Pines shake shack.

Click on any of the images to view all of my photos from that course.

Click on any of the images to view all of my photos from that course.

The view of 18 from the clubhouse at Castle Pines

The view of 18 from the clubhouse at Castle Pines

 Cherry Hills is most well know for the 1960 US Open in which Arnold Palmer erased a 7 shot deficit to claim victory.  Being a part of Arnie's Army for as long as I can remember, I couldn't have been more excited for my visit.  If there was a single swing that earned Arnie the tile of "The King" his drive on the first hole at Cherry Hills was it.  Palmer would find the green with a persimmon driver and balata ball on the 346 yard par 4.

Would I be able to drive the green and duplicate the feat?  Would I birdie 6 of the first 7 to shoot 65?  Could I live up to the legend?  The answer would be a resounding no.  Even with superior technology, I would come up 30 yards short on #1 and only manage two birdies in the first seven holes.  I was pretty stoked about those 2 birdies with one coming on a holed out bunker shot.

A view from Arnie's tee box on #1 at Cherry Hills.

A view from Arnie's tee box on #1 at Cherry Hills.

A look down at Cherry Hills

A look down at Cherry Hills

After a fantastic morning round at Cherry Hills, I headed down the road to Colorado Golf Club.  CGC was created by the architectural duo of Coore & Crenshaw.  Having enjoyed several of their creations, I was excited for the afternoon round.  Adding some more flames to the fire was Instagram sensation Karin Hart.  Karin is a newcomer to the game, but she has picked things up nicely.  

Karin recovers from the rough looking stylish

Karin recovers from the rough looking stylish

The short 2nd hole kicks off the par 3 fun at Colorado Golf Club.

The short 2nd hole kicks off the par 3 fun at Colorado Golf Club.

Aside from the course, one of the highlights from our round at Colorado Golf Club was our forecaddie, Sadie LeCheminant.  Usually, I struggle to find serious value in a forecaddie, but Sadie brought the heat to our foursome.  A former professional snow boarder, Sadie was easily the best forecaddie I had experienced.  Book her today if you are serious about having a well informed and joyous time on the golf course.  

Sadie dials in the yardage, she would later dial in a well timed golf quip.

Sadie dials in the yardage, she would later dial in a well timed golf quip.

Next up was the 3 hour drive to Holyoke, CO and Ballyneal Golf Club.  With a population of 2,313 people, you probably have not heard of Holyoke.  However, Ballyneal is doing a great job of putting Holyoke on the map.  Even though it's in the middle of nowhere, Ballyneal has a small cozy resort feel to it.  Everything a golfer could want is right on the property.  With a large putting green course, a par 3 course, and a championship layout, you won't run out of golf to enjoy.  Left to myself, I would play until darkness covered the course, then I would play 3 more holes.

The wildly fun 6th hole is a drive-able par 4 with a uniquely shaped green.

The wildly fun 6th hole is a drive-able par 4 with a uniquely shaped green.

The 6th hole at Ballyneal

The 6th hole at Ballyneal

After a drive back to civilization, I would find myself in Colorado Springs looking at The Broadmoor Hotel.  The Broadmoor is a member of the Historic Hotels of America and it's visitors have included heads of state, celebrities, athletes, and business tycoons.  In 1986, George Bush woke up with a hangover in the Broadmoor and decided "he would drink no more."  The Broadmoor parties hard.

There are also 3 golf courses at The Broadmoor and I was scheduled to take on the East Course.  The East course was designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr and Donald Ross.  The course has hosted a number of USGA events over the years and will host the 2018 US Senior Open.

In an attempt to save up some golf karma, I would go birdie free during my round at The Broadmoor.  However, I would score with my pairing and join up with two fantastic gentlemen.  After the round, we would tour the hotel.  It's worth a visit even if you are not staying on the property.

Originally established in 1918, The Broadmoor Hotel has 779 rooms.

Originally established in 1918, The Broadmoor Hotel has 779 rooms.

The short 17th at Bear Dance

The short 17th at Bear Dance

For the final leg of my Colorado tour, I would take in a recommended local course called Bear Dance.  Despite it's name, the course was not designed by Jack Nicklaus and I would not dance with any bears.  However, I would resume my dances with birdies and get my fist pump on 4 times.

In a very anti climatic end to the trip, I would par the final hole of the trip and stop at a Taco Bell on my way out of town.  I usually prefer the birdie and Arby's exit strategy.

The astoundingly large bear paw bunker at Bear Dance was not actually left by a 15,000 pound bear.

The astoundingly large bear paw bunker at Bear Dance was not actually left by a 15,000 pound bear.

gottaGolf presents: Stadium Links at Turner Field

When Clint Jarvis over at gottaGolf invited me to join the crew for a round of golf at Turner Field, I thought he had his sports mixed up.  Clint was indeed being serious as a company called Stadium Links is transforming ball parks and football fields around the country into golf courses.  Clint had also assembled an all star crew of social media "Influencers" for our 8pm Saturday evening tee time. 

  • Karin Hart - Karin is an accomplished Instagrammer and amateur golfer.  
  • Ryan Rustand -  Better known on the internet as Coach Rusty, Ryan is a Golf Channel Academy Instructor and trick shot artist extraordinaire.
  • Fiamma Felitch -  Fiamma is an aspiring LPGA star and former Big Break standout.
  • Joshua Kelley -  Remember that video of the guy popping a champagne bottle with a chip shot?  That's Josh, he's good, real good.
  • Chelsea Pezzola -  Chelsea is riding the road to the LPGA Tour and doing some modeling along the way.
Karin and the gang would warm things up at Atlanta's Top Golf, doing whatever this is.

Karin and the gang would warm things up at Atlanta's Top Golf, doing whatever this is.

After rocking some trick shots at Top Golf, the crew would head over to Turner Field, to play some baseball with golf clubs.

gottaGolf  founder, Clint, starts things off on the 1st hole at Turner Field.

gottaGolf founder, Clint, starts things off on the 1st hole at Turner Field.

Mr.  Holein1Trickshots , Joshua Kelley would not find his hole in one, but he would find the green.

Mr. Holein1Trickshots, Joshua Kelley would not find his hole in one, but he would find the green.

Chelsea Pezzola  mixes up baseball and golf, in the classic basegolf pose.

Chelsea Pezzola mixes up baseball and golf, in the classic basegolf pose.

After a successful outing at Turner Field, we headed out to Big Canoe Golf Club for an encore round of golf on an actual golf course.  Coach Rusty and the team hammered out some trick shots and we rolled in some birdies.

Big Canoe  features a ton of drastic elevation drops. Here we see,  Justin Estes  bomb one 300+ and almost take out Karin Hart and  Coach Rusty  on the fly.

Big Canoe features a ton of drastic elevation drops. Here we see, Justin Estes bomb one 300+ and almost take out Karin Hart and Coach Rusty on the fly.

The rules for Stadium Links golf are simple.  Each hole has a specified green that you are hitting to out on the field.  If you hit it on the green, that's a par, miss the green, that's a bogey.  If you hit it within the circle around the pin, that's a birdie.  Stadium Links also gives any golfer that makes a hole in one a cool $100.

Chelsea Pezzola  and  Fiamma Felitch  do some Turner Field golf modeling.

Chelsea Pezzola and Fiamma Felitch do some Turner Field golf modeling.

That sand in the outfield is real sand.  A nice touch.

That sand in the outfield is real sand.  A nice touch.

Karin Hart  hits a ground rule double with her 9 iron.

Karin Hart hits a ground rule double with her 9 iron.

The gottaGolf boys are excited about the tee shot on the 9th hole.  Hats off to  Karin Hart  for capturing the magic.  A bigger hats off to Clint and the  gottaGolf  team for hosting a fantastic outing.

The gottaGolf boys are excited about the tee shot on the 9th hole.  Hats off to Karin Hart for capturing the magic.  A bigger hats off to Clint and the gottaGolf team for hosting a fantastic outing.

That's Karin Hart with the hand off from the golf cart, Coach Rusty proceeds to do his thing and Clint finishes things off with some tracer technology.  Be sure to visit gottaGolf and get in on the action today and make your very own tracer videos.