MacLeod: Taking a swing at Pole Creek Golf Club
June 22, 2016
I've never considered myself much of a golfer. In fact, I even struggle to beat my girlfriend at Mario Golf on Nintendo-64 (all excuses aside, she whoops most of my friends' butts in pretty much any video game anyway).
Growing up in Maryland, I had a few close friends who worked at courses, meaning we would casually hit balls at the driving range and maybe play a couple holes here and there. Unfortunately, the courses were private – making our tee times few and far between – and often times, the Mid-Atlantic humidity was just too much to bear.
Long story short, it's been about 10 years since I last visited a golf course, and it certainly wasn't anywhere in beautiful Grand County.
But that hasn't stopped a number of my colleagues within the Fraser Valley Metropolitan Recreation District from trying to coax me into a round. I've made countless excuses, mostly out of fear of the embarrassment that would surely ensue, but after being approached to write up a little profile on our very own Pole Creek Golf Club. I realized that I was going out there whether I liked it or not.
And boy, am I glad I did. While my golf game surely hasn't improved since 10 years ago, my enthusiasm for the sport certainly has – all thanks to Pole Creek.
Shortly after arriving, I was greeted by resident golf pro, JT Thompson. If you haven't met JT, I urge you to call up Pole Creek immediately and book a lesson with him. Aside from being an incredible golfer – with extreme patience, I might add – he's one heck of a good guy. His wittiness, coupled with his love for the sport, was contagious, and he swiftly corrected a number of my poor habits and bad techniques.
So, with JT at the wheel of the cart, we coasted around the awe inspiring 27-holes Pole Creek has to offer, taking in the sprawling landscape with perfectly framed views of the Continental Divide and the trails of Winter Park Resort. As we played a couple holes on the Ridge – a 9-hole beauty that was laid out by renowned designer Denis Griffiths – I soon understood why Pole Creek has earned the plethora of awards it has, including that of "Best Mountain Golf Course" by Colorado Avid Golfer. The place is just plain gorgeous.
And for those who haven't been there yet, I can assure you that this is no snooty, private club. Sure, it has all the amenities and luxuries of a world-class golf course (it is one, after all), but it's still a public course, and the atmosphere is exactly what you'd expect to find in Grand County – laid back, full of friendly people and sure to be a worthwhile experience.
While I'm still miles away from being any sort of competitive golfer, I'm certainly anxious to get back there and work on my game. After all, real golf turns out to be a bit more fun than the Nintendo sorts, and I think that maybe – just maybe – I could even give my girlfriend a run for her money.
See you next month!