Colorado may not be what pops into your mind when you think of hot spots to go golfing but the new kid on the block, TPC Colorado, will quickly change your mind.
The course’s nearly 8,000 yards will undoubtedly challenge you, but will have you walking off with a smile on your face. Add to that the surrounding towns that offer up some off-the-course fun, and you’ll find yourself making this trip to Colorado a regular occurrence.
As the first TPC property in Colorado, this course really pulled out all the stops. With catchy hole names such as “Center Stage” and “Heaven’s Gate,” you’ll quickly see why each hole is worthy of its grand name.
The No. 1 tee has you taking in stunning views of Twin Peaks, and every hole thereafter offers awe-inspiring sights that will motivate you to keep going despite the challenges that lie at many turns (we’re looking at you, No. 15 -- the longest par-5 in the United States).
The team at TPC Colorado has done nothing short of dedicating their all to make this course a top choice for professionals, but for amateurs as well. General Manager John Buser says of the course, “TPC Colorado features an exceptional golf course that is a test for professional golfers and is also very playable for all skill levels due to seven sets of tees.”
The course’s Head Golf Pro, Stephen J. Arendt, loves that TPC Colorado is a course where “a golfer can literally hit ground balls all day and still enjoy the golf.” And this is evident in the vision golf course architect Art Schaupeter kept in mind throughout the project was that of “putting the golf in the golfer’s hands.”
And they have had screaming success in doing just that.
When you're not hitting your ball down the fairway (we are assuming that’s where it will be the whole time), there are some fabulous places you’ll want to make your way to here in the Denver area.
Nuance Chocolate | Fort Collins, CO
Chances are good you’ve had some great chocolate in your life, but a trip to Fort Collins’ Nuance Chocolate will have you rethinking your idea of “good chocolate.” This small batch, bean-to-bar spot is sure to make all your chocolate dreams come true.
Ginger and Baker Teaching Kitchen | Fort Collins, CO
Make cooking fun thanks to the Teaching Kitchen at Fort Collins’ Ginger and Baker. With a calendar full of public class offerings, you’ll find something here that suits your fancy. The community feel of this place is its main selling point, but if you prefer a private class, there is the option for that as well.
‘Mo Betta Gumbo | Loveland, CO
You haven’t lived life until you’ve taken a Katrina shot at Loveland, Colorado’s ‘Mo Betta Gumbo. “What is that?” you ask. Just your average 190-proof shot of moonshine that’ll go straight to your head. Be sure to follow it up with some of the eatery’s delicious (and heavy) shrimp etouffee and some hush puppies, and you will leave happy as a clam.
The Elizabeth Hotel | Fort Collins, CO
In the heart of the city’s arts district sits a swanky boutique hotel that pays some serious homage to the art of music. The hotel’s 4-stars come at no surprise once you step foot inside and see not only the decor that pays more attention to detail than we thought possible, but also learn about all the offerings inside.
Things such as music and record rentals to rock out in your room, a rooftop jazz bar, and dog-friendly amenities are just a few reasons you’ll be happy to call this place home during your visit.
Leslie is an L.A.-based travel and golf writer for whom traveling is not just a passion, but a way of life. She loves that her travels and writing allow her to share the magic and beauty of the world with others. lesliekhughes.com
It’s just about time to tee off on another season of collegiate women’s golf. With that in mind, we’ve got our eyes on some of the brightest talent in the nation. Did we mention they’re home grown? Read on to meet some of the top collegiate players who hail from Southern California as well as some fresh faces that are breaking onto the college scene this year. They play the same courses as you, grew up in the same towns as you and hey, maybe they even play for your alma mater.
Andrea Lee, Senior, Stanford
To say that the Hermosa Beach native has had a busy year would be an understatement. Coming into the season, Lee’s most recent accolade is being named the McCormack Medal winner, given to the top female amateur golfer in the world.
“To receive the McCormack Medal is such a great honor, and is one of the most rewarding achievements of my amateur career,” said Lee. “It goes to show that all of my hard work throughout this past year has really paid off, and to be at the top of the rankings is a very surreal feeling. This will only serve as further motivation to continue to work towards my goals in this game.”
Prior to the announcement, Lee was a semifinalist in the U.S. Women’s Amateur and a participant in the Augusta National Women’s Amateur. Closer to home, Lee has made her mark on the SoCal circuit, taking home two of the first three SCGA Women’s Amateur Championships in 2015 and 2017. She has also been named to the Annika Award Watch List heading into the season
Alyaa Abdulghany, Junior, USC
After taking home the SCGA Women’s Amateur this summer at her home course, Newport Beach CC, Abdulghany is ready to build on a hot summer in her third season as a Trojan.
Last season she earned one victory and notched three top-10 finishes in collegiate play. In both her freshman and sophomore season, Abdulghany has earned Pac-12 Honorable Mention.
An SCGA scholar, Abdulghany has remained a very active volunteer with the SCGA Junior Golf Foundation, most recently speaking at a college prep seminar about her experience through the recruiting process and as a collegiate golfer.
Alexa Melton, Freshman, Pepperdine
Melton was crowned the 2018 SCGA Women’s Amateur champion, and since then has finished in the top-5 in four tournaments including notching a victory in the Thunderbird International Junior. She has been an active SCGA Junior member and has volunteered for various events throughout her junior career.
Kailie Vongsaga, Freshman, University of Arizona
Vongsaga enters her freshman season after a busy summer in which she finished fifth in the SCGA Women’s Amateur Championship. Prior to that event, she won the ClubCorp Mission Hills Desert Junior and finished fourth in the Enagic Junior Championship.
As a junior, Vongsaga, who hails from Diamond Bar, has been highly involved with SCGA Junior. She is currently a member of the Girls Golf of Southeast LA girls golf leadership team, helping develop programming and serving as a mentor for local girls.
Brooke Seay, Freshman, Stanford
A member of the 2018 USA World Junior Girls team, Seay has been preparing for her collegiate debut this year with a stacked summer schedule. Seay has finished in the top-10 in her past four tournaments including eighth in the Roles Girls Junior Championship, fifth in the U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship, second in the SCGA Women’s Amateur Championship and ninth in the U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship. Seay was also a participant in the Augusta National Women’s Amateur.
She will join Lee and SCGA scholar Calista Reyes on a SoCal-heavy Stanford team this year.
Briana Chacon, Freshman, University of Oregon
Chacon was the 2018 SoCal Junior Amateur Championship, following up on her previous victory in 2016. As she prepped to take her talents north for the Ducks, Chacon had two top-10 finishes this summer at the Enagic Junior Championship and the U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship, seventh and fifth, respectively. She was also a participant in the U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship.
Rozanne Englehart’s journey from a career in media to yoga studio owner
We know Rozanne as a long time SCGA member and regular in our SCGA Member Outings. She can also be found playing at her local club at Yorba Linda CC or her old stomping grounds at Porter Valley CC. But when she’s not playing golf, you’ll find her busy at work at Yoga Sol, a warm and cozy local Orange County yoga studio where pain, stress and shoes are left at the door.
Englehart had a special golf-focused class exclusively for my visit to Yoga Sol, and by the attendance seen that day, it’s no secret that the two go hand-in-hand.
How many years did you work in media?
For 32 years I worked in public relations, and the demanding nature of the industry just didn’t work for me anymore. I was in need of a change. When I worked at FOX I would drive to 6 a.m. yoga class to relieve stress – and then before I knew it I was teaching classes one night a week after work.
How did you go from a nine to fiver in Los Angeles to a business owner in Orange County?
I couldn’t have done it without my [late] husband. He told me one day, “If you ever wanted to change careers, the time to do it is now.” He supported me through that change through and through. Before he passed away, he did a golf yoga workshop with me and put golf grips on brooms for an exercise I created… I should do that again as a matter of fact!
But, after meeting with many studios in L.A., the rent was too competitive and that’s when we found Yorba Linda. I did a lot of research, and found that people here have a lot of time and money. That demographic requires the personal attention I wanted to present through my yoga studio.
What makes your yoga studio stand out from others?
I’ve actually taken a lot from my work in PR – I like to call myself buttoned-up, yet warm – I keep the professionalism from the corporate world close by, but we keep it personal as well. We’re proud of keeping it old school – we send welcome letters to new members and perform check-in calls to ask about their experience.
While a lot of our members are retired— a lot of golfers, in fact – we also have a lot of young athletes – including a 15-year-old baseball player that comes every week!
Why do you have a passion for yoga?
Yoga is a game-changer for everyone’s overall health. Women, men, young or old, we get it all and they all have unique reasons of why they come, and we make sure to have personalized classes for every need. We have people with chronic stress, preexisting conditions, sport-related injuries and yoga has a solution for every issue. Doctors frequently send in new clients as a form of alternative treatment. It’s a beautiful feeling when people tell us how they are no longer on medication because of our classes, or that they are no longer in pain thanks to yoga. This community is so interconnected as well – we have cancer survivors who take classes to connect with and mentor other survivors or those who are currently still fighting the battle.
For more information, visit https://www.yogasolstudio.com/
Growing up in San Diego I hadn’t ventured up to the Lake Tahoe area until I was in my 30’s, but that was to ski. Fast forward another decade to when I got married to my husband, who is from the San Francisco Bay area, and I made my ﬁrst summer trip to the lake. I was immediately blown away by the stunning beauty, millions of pine trees and the variety of outdoor activities available. The region feels like a combination national park and Disneyland to me.
When ﬁrst developed, Lake Tahoe was known for its winter sports, and even hosted the 1960 Winter Olympics. Over time, golf has grown in popularity and today Tahoe offers one of the better recognized golf experiences in Northern California. Here is some of why I so highly recommend spending a few days of your summer in Lake Tahoe.
By 9:30 a.m. we're usually cruising along the shoreline in a speedboat. It’s a great way to see the amazing lake-front homes and watch the paddle boarders and kayakers pass by. By noon we’re hungry and we pull up to the dock at either Gar Woods, Jake’s or West Shore Cafe, each with delicious menus and full bar options. If we have out-of-town guests with us we’ll make a point to dine at Gar Woods to sip on their famous Wet Woody slushy cocktails (with very risqué names).
All of these restaurants have outdoor deck seating, so even if you pull up in a car the old fashioned way, you’ll still get to enjoy the beautiful lake. There are also numerous places that reasonably rent boats so you can get the full experience.
FLOATING DOWN THE RIVER
If you want some “veg time” you must try this! At Truckee River Rafting, simply grab an oar and climb aboard one of their small rafts with your friends. We bring a few canned drinks and tie them up to our raft so they can ﬂoat down the river with us. It takes two to four hours to make your way down the river where there are shuttles waiting to bring you back to your car.
One of the most challenging hikes I’ve done in the area is the Shirley Lake Trail at Squaw Valley. It’s 1800 vertical feet and we have to scramble up some boulders during part of it, but the views up top are worth it. 99 percent of hikers take the tram back down, which also offers an amazing view. If you’re not quite up for that big hike yet, you can take the tram up to the top and back down. Be sure and visit the Olympic Museum if you can peel your eyes away from the stunning views.
A more gentle alternative is the 400 foot elevation change Vikingsholm Trail overlooking Emerald Bay. Vikingsholm Castle is an authentic replica of a viking castle and part of an underwater California state park and tours of the castle are offered seven days a week! Dozens more hikes of all levels can be found on LakeTahoe.com
Keep in mind that after hiking the trails your shoes, socks and ankles will be covered in dust, so it’s a good idea to bring a second pair of walking or tennis shoes and keep the dirty ones in a bag for repeated use until you can get them into a washing machine!
WHERE TO STAY
The Hyatt Regency is my top pick due to the lake-front location, proximity to great hikes (including the 10,778 foot peak at Mount Rose, which you can grab a free shuttle to) golf courses, and one of the best restaurants in the area, the Lone Eagle Grille. The water sports and various children’s activities are a great way to keep the kids happy while you tee it up or relax on their private beach with a good book and refreshing cocktail.
EXPECTING YOUR BALL TO GO FARTHER?
When friends come up to play for the ﬁrst time they ask if the rumors of the golf ball going farther are true. Many of my male friends happily conﬁrm this fun beneﬁt of the thin mountain air, but since I wasn’t seeing those same results, I asked Ashley Wood, PGA head golf professional at Incline Village Mountain GC (the highest elevation course in the area) to clear it up.
She said you can expect to gain about two yards per 1,000 feet above sea level. However, “The ball has to be high in the air and going about 80 mph for the thin effect.” Tony Neadeau, head golf professional at Martis Camp told me that players with a high trajectory can expect to see 10-12 percent more distance on their drives.
One of the reasons I feel Lake Tahoe is the eighth wonder of the world is that it’s truly a golf mecca. There are dozens of beautiful and challenging courses within a one hour drive, and all have something special to offer the golf enthusiast.
One of my favorite affordable spots to play is Incline Village, right on the lake. The Championship Course is a par-72, and the Mountain Course is similar to an executive course, being a par-58 complete with elevation changes. They have great happy hour events, 9 & Dines and an excellent golf ﬁtness class every Wednesday.
I recently taught my Golf Rules Experience at Gray’s Crossing, which is another favorite, in the North Lake Tahoe area. It’s located in a beautiful mountain meadow. They have a terriﬁc golf academy and PJ’s Restaurant offers delicious food with a beautiful view after your round.
There is truly no better place to enjoy outdoor summer concerts than the Lake Tahoe area. Tahoe City hosts some great free concerts and historic downtown Truckee holds their fun Truckee Thursdays, which feature great bands, artisan vendors, a beer garden, food court and tons of children’s activities. And don’t forget that the casinos on the Nevada side of the lake have some pretty big headliners all summer long.
Whether you’re golﬁng, hiking or boating, the summer temperatures in Lake Tahoe can go from 50 at 7 a.m. to 85 at 3 p.m., so be sure you have layers to add and subtract as needed. And I highly recommend a great sunscreen, wide-brimmed hat and some bug spray. I keep some organic bug repellent in my golf bag and backpack. I ﬁnd that TerraShield by DoTerra mixed with some lavender essential oil works just as well as any of the commercial versions on the market.
It’s important to keep in mind that if you live at sea level, you could get altitude sickness easier than you’d imagine, even if you’re not doing any strenuous activities. Be sure to drink plenty of water on your travel day getting to the area, and at least one glass of water for every glass of wine or beer you drink.
I am sure that if you decide to spend some time in Tahoe, you will come away not only amazed at the beauty of the lake and the surroundings but also impressed by the many experiences (including world class golf) that are available in the region.
Known as the Rules Diva, Marcela found that most recreational players aren’t interested in reading the entire Rules of Golf book, and prefer learning by “doing.” Marcela provides On-Course Rules Experiences where participants learn golf rules and strategies in real life scenarios, which helps them gain more confidence, lower their scores and have more fun. Marcela blogs on all things golf at GirlfriendsGuideToGolf.com