Feature

Find Your Swing

Never picked up a golf club before? Feel like it’s time to learn? Congratulations—you’re in the right place. Colorado is full of gorgeous, world-renowned courses (read: crazy difficult!), but our state is also home to a long roster of well-regarded instructors and plenty of options for playing while you’re still learning.

May 2011

Practice

They say practice makes perfect. OK, you may never be perfect, but getting out to hit a bucket on your lunch hour certainly will help your game. Here, a few places to knock it around.

  • City Park Golf Course
    The course has two putting greens and two chipping-pitching greens available for free. The driving range has 20 hitting stations where $4 will get you 35 balls. The range is open dawn to dusk on most days. cityofdenvergolf.com/citypark.htm
  • Park Hill Golf Club
    One of the bigger driving ranges around, Park Hill offers 80 grass stations, three pitching-chipping areas, and a large putting green. parkhillgc.com $3 for 25 to 30 balls // $6 for 60 to 65 balls $10 for 90 to 100 balls // $7.50 for indoor turf hitting for 30 minutes
  • Meridian Golf Club
    This is a private Jack Nicklaus Signature course, but it offers a pretty good deal on range memberships, which allow unlimited access to all of the club’s practice facilities, including two putting greens, four bunkers, chipping-pitching areas, three regulation-length practice holes (two par 3s and a par 4) and unlimited range balls. $525 annually; additional family members are $250 apiece. meridiangolfclub.com
  • Colorado National Golf Club
    One of the more scenic practice facilities along the Front Range, Colorado National Golf Club, located in Erie, has three separate tee boxes, a short-game area, a large putting green, and even a fairway practice bunker to help you get ready for the real thing. Small bucket, $5; large bucket, $9. coloradonationalgolfclub.com
  • Green Valley Ranch Golf Club
    This killer course has great indoor facilities with large garage doors that allow you to hit “outside” while standing inside (under heaters) so you can see your true ball flight. In-season, the course has 25 driving range stations and areas for putting and chipping. Green Valley Ranch offers range memberships for $350. gvrgolf.com

Mile High Municipals: Everyone knows about City Park Golf Course, but did you know the city of Denver operates six other public courses? Check out www.denvergov.org to learn more about the Overland, Wellshire, Kennedy, Willis Case, Evergreen, and Harvard Gulch courses. Hover over the “Living in Denver” tab, then “Recreation and Culture,” then scroll down to golf courses.

Steals & Deals

  • Raven Golf Club at Three Peaks, Silverthorne
    This Summit County course offers 9 & Dine Fridays—a series of evenings that combines golf with cuisine from around the world. The events (starting at $45) will be held at 4 p.m. every other Friday, June through September. A nine-hole, shotgun-start golf outing will be followed by dinner at the Raven Grille. ravenatthreepeaks.com
  • The Courses at Hyland Hills
    Kids 10 and older play free from Monday through Thursday after 5 p.m. on the Blue Course, while kids of any age can play the North or South par 3 courses when accompanied by a paying adult. golfhylandhills.com
  • The Inverness Golf Club, Englewood
    The Twilight Emerald Fairways package, starting at $329, includes a deluxe hotel room, breakfast in bed, and golf for two with tee times after 2:30 p.m. The Go Pro package ($409) includes a stay in a deluxe room, a 60-minute golf lesson for two with a golf professional, lunch for two in the Golf Grille, and two rounds of golf after 2:30 p.m. invernesshotel.com
  • Park Hill Golf Club
    This close-to-downtown course offers a five-holes-for-$5 special for the first hour after sunrise. It’s a great way to get in a few holes—minus the wind and mosquitoes—before heading straight down Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard to work. parkhillgc.com
  • Fossil Trace, Golden
    This course offers killer e-specials. Create a username and password to access printable custom coupons. The discounts constantly change, but look for deals like nine holes for $16 before sunset. fossiltrace.com
  • Vail Golf Club, Vail
    Each summer this public course hosts a monthly Ladies’ Night Out, which includes a shotgun tournament, greens fees, carts, drink specials, and a light dinner at Happy Valley Grill. Plus, the course offers a weekly Ladies’ Clinic ($25), where 12 women are instructed on both their short and long games, equipment needs, and course management. vailrec.com/golf.cfm

Hitting the Hills

Mountain courses aren’t generally kind to beginning golfers—the difficult terrain has a tendency to eat golf balls by the dozen. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t partake. After all, Colorado’s mountains provide some of the most gorgeous golfing scenery in the country. We recommend making a tee time, getting your ego in check, and playing “no sweat” rules—which means you should pick up your ball when you need to because you’re not playing for par anyway. With input from local pros, we’ve selected a short list of courses that, while they might not be easy, are good bets for newer players.

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