By Brennan Dolan –
As the baseball season kicks off and the weather starts to warm up, it’s hard not to enjoy the hopeful optimism that comes with spring and this time of year. March Madness is in full swing and right around the corner is one of my favorite events of the year – The Masters. Founded by the legendary Bobby Jones and held at iconic Augusta National, the tournament holds a prestigious place in the game of golf and is the first “Major” competition of the year.
Going beyond what takes place on the course however; The Masters is truly a symbolic weekend and annually reminds me of why I play the game. The “Drive Down Magnolia Lane” and grounds at Augusta National are unbelievably beautiful and just seeing the place on TV leaves me in awe every year (Thank you HD television). Having played competitively for nearly my whole life, this first week in April is an annual reminder of the pristine natural beauty, tradition, and camaraderie that make the game so special.
With these ideals in mind, I thought it would be fitting to make these my overarching themes for the coming golf season in hopes of emphasizing that once simple enjoyment I had for the game. To do this a couple buddies and I have decided to get together every month or two and play a totally new course somewhere off the beaten path. Since the three of us live in Boulder, Phoenix, and LA, there’ll be a fair amount of traveling but the experiences well worth the time and money. If planning a golf retreat isn’t in your near future, there are still plenty of great courses around the Front Range that can easily fit into a Saturday or Sunday afternoon. I’ve put together a list of some of my area favorites, and if you need any more encouragement turn on Sunday at The Masters (April 14th) and then go look at tee times.
Ballyneal Golf Club –Holyoke, CO — This course is absolutely unique. One of the most original links style courses in America and routinely ranked nationally. If you enjoy a challenge, this is a must play.
Golf Club at Bear Dance – Larkspur, CO — Admittedly, this is one course I haven’t played but is at the top of my list for this summer.
The Ridge at Castle Pines North – Castle Pines, CO — Most golfers associate Colorado and Castle Pines as one of its top courses, but it can be tough to get an “in” to play at the private club. The Ridge is a perfect alternative right next door that offers a very similar golf experience.
Rollingstone Ranch – Steamboat Springs, CO — Having grown up in Colorado, I absolutely love mountain golf during the summer. (The ball goes farther… How could you not?) Rollingstone is a great option.