During our trip to Palm Springs in May, M and I played both Tahquitz courses, the Legends and the Resort course. I put together a video of the front nine on the Resort course, using the photos that I took while we played. This course is pretty fun. For the high handicapper, it’s challenging though not discouraging. For the low handicapper, strategic placement of the ball can avoid the desert areas and the water that comes into play on several holes.
The front nine doesn’t have as many bunkers in play as the back. This is a Ted Robinson design, and allows for those of us who can’t drive the greens or place the ball easily. The water comes into play on the front, particularly on #7 and #8. Good luck!
Time to dream of getting out of this winter wonderland and enjoying some sunshine. For those close to Nevada or Arizona, there is hope. Remarkable Travel has packages to Laughlin, Nevada. Four players spend three nights at the Colorado Belle (double occupancy) and play four different courses:
The package starts at $465 for weekdays and $489 for weekends, and the four players split the mini-van rental. Package includes golf, lodging, and car taxes. Visit Remarkable Travel Group for more information and other packages available.
I’ve never used this travel service, though they have several packages available focused on women’s golf travel. I’m always happy to promote folks that encourage traveling with my husband and girlfriends to play golf!
For those who prefer Arizona, Golfzoo.com has a special in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area. Four players stay at the Scottsdale Resort and Conference Center and play
Golf Club at Eagle Mountain
The Raven Phoenix
Longbow Golf Club
The package includes lodging and golf with a cart. The prices start at $219 per player per day. Contact Chris Parcell (888.867.6911) or Lori Greene (888.867.6921) in our Phoenix/Scottsdale office for details, and a customized itinerary.
The practice rounds started at the Solheim Cup in Parker, Colorado. We headed down to the course this afternoon hoping to catch some of the players practicing on the course. The crowds seemed light when we got there about 1:30 p.m. We started at the driving range where Brittney Lincicome, Angela Stamford, and Gerina Piller were hitting balls. We didn’t see any of the European team at the driving range or chipping green.
We walked down along hole #15 and #16. The course looks like it’s in excellent shape. As we walked over to putting green, a couple of the European players were practicing their putting. Working our way around to the 1st tee, we headed up into the deserted grandstand to look at the course from above. Looking over the #9 hole, we noticed a player heading up the fairway and decided to go check it out.
Standing by the green, we watched as Morgan Pressel worked her way up the fairway. She stopped about 120 yards out and hit a couple shots to the green. The first one landed about 5 feet from the hole. Her other shots hit the green, but the second and third weren’t nearly as close. She came up to the green and hit a few chip shots, then a few pitches. The caddy through out a couple of marks and Morgan hit a few puts. While putting she hit a long put across the green that directly hit the mark. The small crowd applauded and Morgan said, “Ahh, you guys can do that!” You could hear the laughter.
As she finished, she thanked the gallery that had followed her and headed in to the clubhouse. It’s fun watching her play.
I’ll be heading back to the course tomorrow. Hopefully I’ll see a few more players and get some autographs. I’d also like to see the opening ceremonies. Until tomorrow!
From the east side of the city, we drove through two separate rain showers before we pulled up to the Applewood Golf Course with the sun shining and the clouds moving off. To the west of Denver and nestled in a Golden neighborhood, Applewood Golf Course is providing golfers with a great budget alternative.
The pro shop is down the hill and round the corner. The staff is pleasant and helpful as they made our tee time, took our money and returned our receipt. We took the code and the advice to wait for the ball machine at the driving range as it pauses between drops. Hitting a few balls on the driving range got us limbered up and ready for the first tee.
The course is a fairly short, 6188 yards from the back tees and 5386 from the fronts. The longest hole is 529 from those back tees, which means lower handicappers may be able to reach the green in two.
The first hole is a short, straight par four with the driving range along the right side. The second hole is set up behind the green for the first hole and is a par 3. There’s a lake to the right, but it’s not in play. On the third hole, the back tees are set so that player shoot over a swamp onto the fairway. The view through the scrub was intimidating, but our group managed to get over with no problem. Once out on fairway, be aware of stray shots from the other fairways. This hole played slow for us as we waited for folks to retrieve or hit their shots to other fairways.
Hole #4 is one of the par fives on this course at 458 from the back tees. It’s pretty straight with long rough on the right and hard pack on the left. The fairway went from patchy to soggy on this hole, but there aren’t any other hazards to avoid. Hole #5 is a sharp dogleg right. There’s a large pond on the right that is fenced off and doesn’t belong to the course. There’s also a large tree that sits in the middle of the fairway. Once around the corner, the green is slightly elevated and tend to move left to right.
Hole number 6 is a short par 4 and dogleg left. There’s a bunker guarding the left side of the green, so stay right on the approach. Number 7 is the short par 5 and with a dogleg right around a pond. There’s a lot of tall rough around the pond, so hit towards the tree on the right to avoid the hazard. Once you get a view of the green, notice the small water hazard guarding the green on the left. You’ll want to keep your approach shot to the right.
Number eight was a fun hole. It’s a short par 4 with a sharp dogleg left that goes uphill after the turn. Low handicappers may be able to hit over the corner and get close to the large green. For those of us that play the fairway, on the way up the hill be aware of the large bunkers guarding the front of the green. The green is also a challenge, moving distinctly down the hill.
Hole #9 is a par 3 over a pond, 203 yards from the back tees and 99 from the fronts. There’s a bit of room to overshoot, but the green is large. Two of the four of us hit the green and were able to par the hole.
We only had time to play nine on this course. The back nine looks similar to the front, with number 14 another par 3 over a pond. Overall this is a nice course to play. It’s not too difficult and there aren’t a lot of hazards to worry about. For the high handicapper, this course is a good choice. For the long shooter, there are several chances to drive the green and eagle, though play might be a bit slow. The course looked a bit stressed, though the greens were in reasonable shape. It looked like the grounds team was working on replacing some tee boxes around holes 4, 11, and 12. We enjoyed the round enough that we’ll be back to play again.
Applewood Golf Course, 14001 W. 32nd Avenue, Golden, CO 80401. (303) 279-3003, www.applewoodgc.com
It’s been busy here in the Rocky Mountain west. Fall has arrived, and with it, the first snowstorm. Golf is on hold for us here on the Front Range for awhile, but not further south.
I spent last week in Puerto Vallarta with some girlfriends. It was a pleasure to lounge by the pool and generally not do anything too difficult. We also played golf twice while we were there. We played the El Tigre course, which is actually in Nuevo Vallarta. We rented nearly new TaylorMade clubs at the course. On our way there, our driver mentioned that we may not be able to play the back nine because of the torrential rains the night before. Several of the holes were flooded.
By the time we got to the course, we were told “cart path only” for the entire front nine. Even though we play pretty well, it’s still a major pain to stay on the cart path on the long holes. Drive, get out and look, nope, walk back to the cart, drive, walk out to the fairway, look, walk back to the cart, get a club. Yuck!
By the time we got to the back nine, we were set to play those holes, and we could actually get in the fairway with the carts. That made the game go a bit faster.
We also had a chance to play the Vidanta course, which is associated with the Grand Mayan properties. The cost? One hour in timeshare hell, with breakfast and two hours touring amazing properties. It was worth it! This course requires a cart and a caddie. My friend and I had never played with a caddie before, but we wouldn’t mind doing it again! It sure makes the game go faster when you’re not running back and forth to the cart for clubs.
I’m still working on the photos from the trip. Do you play golf when you vacation?
M and I played Plum Creek Golf Course in Castle Rock today. We found a tee time on Golf Now and motored on over there for a 1:20 start. They started us on the 10th hole – which was fine but certainly different.
I know this club has had some hard times with boosting membership – at least that’s the rumor. The course is very nice but pretty hard in some places. There are a lot of forced carries, particularly for the back tees. The front tees get some relief, but it would be a hard course for a beginner.
The staff were very accommodating and welcomed us to the course. I didn’t feel any stuffy Golf Club atmosphere. I’m glad they’re inviting non-members to play.
It seemed a bit beat up, particularly on some of the fairways. It’s not a long course – I think the longest par 5 was a bit over 500 yards. We’d play it again – now that we know some of the quirks of the course.
Do you like to play courses several times, or do you prefer new courses? Let us know!
When the email came across offering a “Nine and Dine” at the Fossil Trace Golf Club, we quickly made our reservations. When we arrived, the 50 or so folks that were part of the group were hitting balls on the driving range, laughing and obviously enjoying themselves. We went in, claimed our cart key and chatted with the clerk behind the desk. The course was laid out behind the clubhouse, looking very inviting.
Fossil Trace Golf Club is in Golden, Colorado. It’s a links-style course designed by Jim Engh. Opened in July 2003, it’s nestled in the foothills just outside of Denver.
It was a shotgun start without a shotgun. The ranger led us down to the first hole and we got ready to tee off. The first hole is a dogleg left, downhill, with a surprise around the corner. It’s 575 yards from the back tees and 447 from the front tees with the bend at about the half-way point. Looking down the fairway towards the hole at the turn, a brick chimney stands in the middle of the fairway. It should be easy to miss, but for some of us it’s a magnet for our ball.
The second hole is also downhill. It’s a shorter par 4 with the tee box at the top of the hill. Hit the ball to the crest of the hill, and the ball rolls down to the green. The 3rd hole is an intimidating par 3. Long prairie grass fronts the first 5 yards, then sand traps guard the green on the left and right. If an inaccurate shot doesn’t land in the sand, it lands on the side of a hill, making the second shot much harder.
The 4th hole is long and straight with water in play near the green. Number 5 is a par 3, with wetlands in front and a slightly elevated green.
Number 7 is very interesting. It’s a short par 4 with a deep cleft of sand leading into the elevated green. Hit to the right to avoid the sand.
Hole #8 is a straight par 4 and finishing the front nine is a long par 5 that is 659 yards from the back tees and 458 from the front tees. It was a long way back and we were glad to finish and go in for a great dinner.
Fossil Trace is an interesting course to play. For the high handicapper, it can be a challenge to manage some of the forced carries on the short holes. For the low handicap player, thoughtful course management and the ability to place shots could insure a low score. We really liked this course and look forward to going back and playing the back nine.