Friday, February 8, 2008


Journal Entry: Sixteen, Golf

For the avid golfer, Colorado is heaven. Pristine, non-humid atmosphere, breath taking scenery and crystal clear streams. At the foot of every hole transcends a white, snow capped mountain that catches your eye as your golf ball soars before you. It has been stated that a golf ball travels fifteen per cent farther in the mountains due to the non-ozone, clear and clean air. Also the fact that one is thousands of feet higher in altitude makes for the fact that the air is thinner and less dense. Deer and new born babies, whose fur is dark red with a smattering of white dots, scamper across the fairways. The babies always stop inquiringly to glance at the human species in their habitat, while the mature mother gently scolds them to keep moving into the dense thicket security between the holes. Usually flocks of ducks and geese litter the sidelines of the greens with tiny flotillas of babies as well. The summer weather is optimal for the fairway grasses to show lush green foliage. There is a marvelous contrast of colors to entertain your eyes and mind.

There are three, nine hole golf courses open in the summer. The most northern one is in Leadville. Mt. Massive golf club sits at the base of Mt. Massive, a 14er. Golf magazines come from around the world to take pictures of this picturesque experience. This course boasts that it is the highest elevation course in North America and sits at 9,680 ft. This course was originally established in 1939. Golfers have been enjoying scenic rounds here for over sixty-five years.

Buena Vista, right in the middle of the valley, also has a nine hole golf course. You are invited to do eighteen holes at each of these facilities, but somehow the back nine looks a lot like the front nine. The Buena Vista course meanders around Cottonwood Creek and also has magnificent views of Mt. Princeton, Mt. Yale, and Mt. Columbia. It seems regal to always say “Mt.” Princeton, like the formal name is Mountain Princeton, in case, when looking at it, you don’t realize this huge 14,200 ft. rocky protuberance is actually labeled a mountain. Why not just say Princeton, Yale, and Columbia?

The third golf course to be found is in the most southern town of the valley, Salida.

This golf course gives a panoramic view of Mt. Shavano. This mountain has a large rocky crevice that can be seen for miles. In the winter this crevice, very cleverly, fills with snow in just a way that resembles the outline of a large angel with wings spread out.. Thus, in the winter, the “Angel of Shavano” showers her comforting blessing on the whole valley. The golf club in Salida was started in 1926 when a golf professional from Colorado Springs, Emmitt Killian, was asked to lay out a golf course on the mesa. The original routing and green sites remain to this day, with the only changes being tee boxes, bunkers, trees and an irrigation system that was installed in the 1980’s.

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