As I rolled into Colorado, the weather was still good and I had a chance to play golf on a bright and sunny afternoon. The first course on the Colorado agenda was Redlands Mesa Golf Club in Grand Junction. Jim Engh always delivers a fun and interesting golf course and this one is no different. Set up against the edge of Colorado National Monument, the course not only has vistas and views, but vistas of views. If you got the White Men Can’t Jump reference, give yourself 15 bonus points. Make it 25 points. This is a very obscure reference.
After the round at Mesa Redlands concluded, I headed back east to meet up with some RGV Tour hopefuls in Denver. As the journey from Grand Junction to Denver unfolded so did the snow. Was the end of my good weather luck near? I would have to wait and find out.
The good news is that I was getting out of town for a friend’s wedding in Austin, Texas. Would the snow remain when I returned? Who cares, I had some Texas heat to tend to. On a wild wedding weekend, we had time for 3 rounds of golf at Barton Creek Country Club, Jimmy Clay Golf Course, and Wolfdancer Golf Club.
On the 7th hole at Wolfdancer golf club, I hit my tee ball deep into the woods. And as I dropped a ball on the edge of the hazard to play my 3rd shot into the hole, my playing competitor, Joe says “That’s a pretty generous drop right there.” Slightly annoyed, I responded with a “Where would you like me to drop it, 10 yards back there? 15?” Joe responds, “Eh, there is fine. Just saying that’s a pretty generous drop.”
A classic Joe move. Right now, he’s 2 down, a little pissed about it, and he’s trying to get in my head with this crap. I detect this ploy but I am still irked by Joe’s move to throw me off my game. I turn to my playing partner, Joey The Cat and say, “I am going to hole this Fu$$ing shot, just to really piss off Joe.”
You know what happened next? I hit this high floater from 110 that bounced off the front of the green and trickled right into the hole for a birdie 3. Joey The Cat and I celebrated in glorious fashion as Joe begrudgingly smiled from the middle of the fairway. Instead of looking to get back to 1 down, Joe had suddenly found himself 3 down. It was a hole that he would never dig himself out of.
As for the wedding, it was easily the wedding of the century. I unveiled some serious dance moves at the reception and we all basked in the glory of true love. I even managed a couple of high kicks.
When I returned to Colorado, I was greeted with a snow storm. I managed to hang around for a day to have some fun with Kenzie O’Connell and even meet a new golf friend. Elizabeth Diane Carpenter was game for some Top Golf in Denver. In the first ever Snowdown Showdown, Elizabeth suffered a tough loss.
With the area snowed in and the temps approaching twenty degrees, it looked grim that the RGV Tour would make it to Nebraska and achieve the tour’s original goal of 48 states. The official excuse for stopping at 47 states: “My lines in the RGV could freeze and I could die.” I had pushed my luck with the Danger States and it was time to head south. New Mexico was 5 hours away and I headed out for a day on the open road. When the RGV arrived in New Mexico, I was pleasantly greeted by Black Mesa Golf Club.
There are many good things going on at Black Mesa Golf Club. What will certainly catch your attention first is the location and surrounding terrain of the golf course. It feels very much like the setting for the film “The Hills Have Eyes.” Being a big fan of horror films, I was excited to have my own adventure. The video below was so much fun to make and I am sure that Tarantino will be knocking down my door with offers shortly.
With New Mexico explored mostly on the outward trip, the tour headed quickly back into Arizona. I had not gotten a chance to fully experience Sedona 7 months ago and it was time to take on Seven Canyons. While the golf course is of high quality, the surrounding mountains and rock formations make this course one of the most visually stunning courses in the entire United States. The course is a Tom Weiskopf design and it was of my favorites in recent months.
There are quite a few great golf courses just north of Phoenix and unfortunately those in the Flagstaff area were already closed for the season. The good news is that a course called The Rim in Payson, AZ was still open and ready for an RGV Tour stop. The Rim Golf Club is another Tom Weiskopf and Jay Morrish design. The more Weiskopf courses I play, the more I enjoy his architecture.
With the snow safely in my rear view mirror, it was time to head back into one of golf’s most popular winter destinations… Scottsdale, Arizona. Keep it tuned to the RGV Tour Golf Blog, we have got all sorts of hot desert golf action coming up.