NCGA Golf

Summer 2019

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a collection of the city's best food trucks curated on the west lawn of the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum. We came for the golf and we weren't disappointed. The Broadmoor is property to three championship courses, and home to 22 national championships and seven USGA championships. A classic mountain course set in the Cheyenne Mountain foothills (better known as the home of NORAD—North American Aerospace Defense Command), the East Course occupies the lower and flatter slopes on ground that laid witness to the first major championships for three players who would go onto earn spots among the greatest to play the game, including Jack Nicklaus (1959 U.S. Amateur), Juli Inkster (1982 U.S. Women's Amateur) and Annika Sorenstam (1995 U.S. Women's Open). It has also hosted the 2008 and 2018 U.S. Senior Opens, won by Eduardo Romero and David Toms, and 2011 U.S. Women's Open, won by So Yeon Ryu. It's a wondrous experience to play at around 5,200 feet or so, with Colorado Springs lying like a toy city far below. As only famed architect Donald Ross could do, the greens are tilted, surely more than most hillside courses, so golf balls that should land and just lie there quietly on the greens suddenly start inching off toward town. Hunched over a crucial putt, a golfer might be distracted by Westminster chimes from high in the hills. Up above, the Will Rogers "Shrine of the Sun," a commemorative tower and chapel on Cheyenne Mountain, sounds every 15 minutes and you can hear anything from Mozart to what my wife correctly identified as a song from The Sound of Music. My wife's caddie advised looking for the shrine to help read the greens since putts typically break away from the mountain and mini- mize the treachery on the speedy, undulat- ing and often oversized greens. I needed all the help I could get. Ross' trademarks— elevated greens, well-placed bunkering, doglegs built into the natural curvature of the land—are still present 100 years after opening. This course alone is worth the drive to get here. There are some places that simply make you want to throw the bag over your shoulder and go play. Broad- moor's East Course is one of those. It's great golf in a majestic setting. And here's the thing: the West Course is no weak sister. The Robert Trent Jones Sr. design is a tad shorter and tighter with narrow fairways wandering between thickets of junipers, pinons, scrub oaks and rocky outcroppings that look suspiciously like mountain lion lairs. It may look like a postcard but it is every bit as formidable. Arnold Palmer designed the third course, The Mountain Course, in 1976, and Nicklaus gave it a recent facelift. Just 25 miles north of the Broadmoor is the U.S. Air Force Academy. The Blue Course of the academy's Eisenhower Golf Club was built by Jones in 1959, and is considered one of his finest creations. Colorado Springs is also home to the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame and Museum of the American Cowboy. From any part of town, one can't help but notice the 14,110-foot summit of Pikes Peak on the horizon. Ambitious climbers can ascend the peak along the Barr Trail. To our ut- most dismay, there wasn't enough time to zip line through Cheyenne Canyon (if you go, I'm told to try the Fins Course, which has the more spectacular views) or experi- ence Garden of the Gods and its red rock towers and spires that rise strikingly against a mountainous backdrop on the outskirts of the city. Climbers are lured by the large red faces and over 400 permanent routes. The golf season may be short here but when the weather warms, there's plenty of competition for a golfer's time. Summer- time in the Rockies is consumed with fish- ing, biking, hiking, kayaking, whitewater rafting, camping, climbing and whatever else you can pack into a day before running out of sunlight. After all, when you're in the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains, the sky is truly the limit. NCGA.ORG | SUMMER 2019 51 The view from the par-3, fourth green at The Broadmoor's East Course looks back at the main building bathed in terra cotta. DICK DURRANCE II.

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