Golf for Fun and Friendship
A friend once said watching TV golf was “like watching grass grow.” Not long after that, she learned to play the game her husband loved. No more did the quote represent her feelings.No slouch when it came to sports, she embraced the game whole heartedly, took lessons from a pro as well as her husband, played several times a week, and watched her handicap improve. Now a much better-than-average player, she watches TV golf.
Many people take up the game for various reasons – social, work related, or competition. Now that basketball, football, and hockey seasons have ended, golf fills TV screens.
Colorado weather allows the golf season to stretch throughout the whole year, although leagues begin in May and end in September. Days at season beginnings and ends might still be less than perfect because of rain, wind, or early/late snows. Most May days are in the upper 60s by noon and sunny. September might turn cool or even have snow.
That said, it is time to put away the winter sports equipment and clean up the golf clubs, polish/waterproof the shoes, dust off the golf balls, and replenish golfing supplies. Once warm days arrive, courses draw crowds.
Check this website for northern Colorado courses, http://tinyurl.com/5sw9cem, from the Wyoming border to Denver and Boulder to Limon. Another website (http://www.coloradogolf.com/colorado-map.php) lists all Colorado courses by region – Western Slope, mountain, northern, and southern with a separate button to click for the Denver area.
Prices range anywhere from $10 to $18 for nine holes and $18 to $80 for eighteen holes. Carts start around $15 and go to about $26. Many courses charge for practice balls.
Be aware that few courses, public or private, allow cutoffs, short shorts, or tank tops. Denim is not always accepted either. Private courses require collared shirts, longer shorts, and none of the above.
If you are a beginner, take a lesson or two. You will learn golf etiquette, rules, and enough technique to keep you from holding up more experienced golfers. Don’t keep score. If you fall behind, pick up your ball and move forward. Most of all, relax and have fun.
An enjoyable way to play various courses involves a little travel. One summer when we lived in Seattle, WA, golf friends visited. We drove down the coast from Seattle to Oregon. Along the way, we stopped in the morning at a small, 9-hole golf course and asked if we might get a tee time. Most were not so busy that they couldn’t squeeze in a foursome. After our round, we traveled farther, stopped again, and requested a tee time at a new course before searching for a hotel. Depending on the speed of play, we spent two to two and a half hours on each course. We repeated the process until we reached our final destination. We played at least six new courses in a three day period.
Follow our example for a fun day. For best results, plan your trip during the week. Golf courses fill up quickly on weekends.
A typical trip might include three 9-hole courses. Begin in Estes Park (http://www.golfestes.com), then go to Cattail Creek in Loveland (http://www.ci.loveland.co.us/golf/catcmain.htm), and end at Longmont’s Ute Creek (http://www.ci.longmont.co.us/golf/utecreek/).
Another day, choose a Boulder course, travel to Longmont, and/or Niwot. Most of the courses are listed on the two websites above. A third trip might include Fort Collins, Windsor and/or Greeley.
For 18 holes, be sure to experience some of my favorites: - Loveland’s Mariana Butte (wonderful mountain views) or The Olde Course; Longmont’s Twin Peaks; Fort Collins’ Collindale or Southridge; and Windsor’s Pelican Lakes. Although I’ve never played it, I understand the Mad Russian in Milliken is unique, challenging, and fun.
Map your trip and enjoy a day of golf whether you play nine holes or twenty-seven.
Click here to read “Even A Novice Can Succeed At Golf.”