NCGA Golf

Summer 2019

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the senses, but the course also is nestled alongside the sparkling-blue shorelines of Lonetree, McNeil and Welch Reservoirs. Eventually, the course designed by Arthur Schaupeter will be the centerpiece of an 800-acre golf community with a residential neighborhood and a lakefront gathering locale. The course impressed from start to finish. There were risk-reward par 5s and driveable par 4s, a Biarritz green at No. 2 and the short par-4 6th pays homage to the 10th at famed Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles and is every bit as devilish. But the most memorable holes were a pair of par 3s. Dave, the amiable course ranger who welcomed my group to the course at the second tee, told me No. 8 was his favorite and when I asked why, he sim- ply answered, "You'll see." Did I ever. Tip- ping out at 194 yards, this stunner plays straight out to a green surrounded by a lake on three sides. There isn't even a place to drive your cart; you must walk to the green. It felt like all of sudden we'd gone from views of snow-capped mountains to the swampy Bayou of Louisiana. It's the most peaceful and serene spot on the course –as long as you find land with your tee shot. Frank, a local who cleaned my clubs after the round, preferred the par-5 13th hole. The land where he trained his dogs before there was a golf course here stretches to 773 yards, and is aptly named Longer Still. But Frank agreed with me that the 140-yard par-3 16th might be even scarier – with the elevated tee box located nearby the clubhouse a gallery can gather and watch you sweat bullets and take aim at a green fronted by a pot bunker, a lake be- hind it, and a backdrop of more mountains still. "That short one tortures you, too," Frank said. I expect the stacked-sod pot bunkers and fescue-lined fairways, which give the feel and character of playing in Scotland, tortured the souls of a few pros too at the inaugural TPC Colorado Championship, a Korn Ferry Tour event held in July. Back to the mile-high city of Denver, where 5,280 feet above sea level is marked with a brass disk on the 15th step of the state capitol's staircase. The city is a com- bination of urban sophistication and Western grit. There's no getting around its culinary specialty, red meat, the starring attraction at Old West-themed barbecue joints all over town. At Buckhorn Ex- change, billed as Denver's oldest restau- 48 SUMMER 2019 | NCGA.ORG VISITCOS.COM The 12th hole at CommonGround GC, a Tom Doak muni not far from downtown Denver; A paved nature trail allows visitors to tour the United States Air Force Academy, including the Cadet Chapel, an iconic part of the Academy campus. Right, Coors Field in downtown Denver is a hitter's haven and pitcher's worst nightmare.

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