Clubhouse and spa
Provisional SFG rating: Senior: SFG-7.52, Men: SFG-6.52, Championship: 5.52, Ladies: SFG-8.52. There are three courses: The West, East and the nine hole Mountain, which is open to the public. Master golf course architect Donald Ross designed the West course, which originally opened in 1918. Robert Trent Jones designed the East course later and Ed Seay, of the Arnold Palmer Organization, designed the Mountain course of executive design, which opened in 1976. All golf course amenities are available in including a spa and fitness center as well as The Grill and Strattas Restaurant. There is a tennis shop and courts as well.
The staff includes golf interns from New Mexico State University and the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, which will be starting the United States' 14th PGA/PGM business marketing degree program in the fall of 2003. (See the Archives to find out more)
Laura, Summer, Eric, Chelsea, and Tina
Shawn, Laura again, Charley
You will find a friendly staff in the Pro-Shop. These young people are from colleges and schools around the state and are delightful and ready to serve you.
About the golf course. When you tee off on number one, you will notice the fairway is like hitting off of a plush, but finely cut, carpet. In fact, at times you might think you are hitting off a spongy green. Most fairways allow a bit of a fade or pull…on the front nine. The back nine is another story. Those fairways begin to squeeze down to demand more accuracy. There are 11 hazards of which seven come directly into play, but watch out for the others. Sixty-five bunkers await you, of which 18 are going to challenge you. There are plenty of trees too, and they do get thick on the backside. Number five demands a true shot from the tee but fans out well after the first 50 yards.
Number nine is well guarded by water and bunkers
The three par number nine is best played hitting over the green if you can't insure yourself of a straight shot to the green over the water pond. The green is guarded on either side by bunkers, but there are none on the back of the green.
Number 11, the most challenging three par
Number 11 is a thrill. You approach from an elevation about 50 feet above the green. There is water in front, sand on the sides, nothing behind, but no room back there to really drive past the green. Number 11 will take a pinpoint 180 to 190 straight drive. That's tough on any three par. However, if you just can't make it, lay up in the rough in front of the water and take your chances. Number 13, a four par, will challenge you with two bunkers to the left out about 140 yards just waiting for a, pardon the term, hooker. As you approach the green, there is a water pond on the right and a bunker on the left with only a narrow lane of fairway between them to the green. The green itself is well slanted to test the best putters.
Mary and Brenda
On the backside of the course you are likely to meet up with Mary or Brenda who man, oops, woman, the golf beverage snack shop and carts. They too are friendly and helpful just as the young folks in the pro-shop are.
There are lots of ups and downs on the fairways, especially the backside of the course. The rough is tolerable on the front nine but can put you away on the back. There are various elevations, mostly on three pars. Thick pine trees line many of the holes on the backside.
Greens are of medium size with not too much undulation. However, remember that when putting your ball will break to the east because you are on the side of Cheyenne Mountain. Golf balls have a second sense about mountains you know. They always break away.
No doubt about the food and beverage. After all, you are golfing at a five star hotel and resort. I did not get to try the Margaritas. I couldn't afford them anyway.
Course reviewed by John K. Darling, Founder of SeniorFriendlyGolf.com on May 27, 2003.
If you have not checked John's Journal Lately, click on Archives and catch up.