Snowmass Club: Highly recommended for Colorado golf lovers and outdoor enthusiasts
SNOWMASS VILLAGE, Colo. -- So what if I played possibly the worst game of golf in my life? So what if I hit, what seemed like, every sand trap, every tree and every home lining the course? This was one of the best days spent golfing I have ever had.
The Snowmass Club golf course is renowned for -- well, there isn't much of a legend accompanying this course. It is sometimes overshadowed by the likes of Aspen-area courses such as Maroon Creek or Aspen Glen. But, although there may not be as much fanfare surrounding this course as others, those who have had the opportunity to play Snowmass know that it is just as challenging and technical of a course as any in the Roaring Fork Valley.
The difference is that when you leave this course you still want to play the game. This is a course with greens and people that you want to return to again and again.
Nestled in the small valley of Snowmass Village, Colo., the Snowmass Club is a private club and course, but it does, luckily for me, offer its local residents various times to experience these exclusive greens.
It is not intended for those golfers who curse, make death treats or whimper endlessly to to those players around them (no matter how much money they have). This course was made for people who love golf, love the outdoors and appreciate that just having time to play golf is one of the finer things in life.
Teeing off on hole no. 1, I looked out towards my destination 349 feet away. "Tough shot," I thought to myself. And the anxiety of making a perfect drive began to pour over me. As I glanced from the tee to the hole again, I took a moment to notice what was around me. Surrounded by the two 14,000-foot peaks, Snowmass and Capitol, I realized the key word often not associated with golf, "game." Looming over my hole stood Mt. Daly and suddenly I realized that what the Snowmass Club offers its players is more that golf, it is the pleasure in golf. The beautiful outdoors, the people and challenge.
The Snowmass Club course, designed by Arnold Palmer and Ed Seay, is fairly tight in spots, especially on the first five where you are lucky not to hit water or the houses that line the course.
But if you work through it you are rewarded as the back nine opens up and players have the freedom to gamble on a few shots without the fear of hitting the player on the next tee.
By the third hole, I new what the day would hold for me in terms of a "good day of golf." Great scores? No. Great time? Yes!
I found the experience of the Snowmass Club was more than winning money or bragging rights, it was experiencing the perfectly manicured greens, the people in the pro shop, the caddies and even the maintenence crew, and being able to enjoy the simple reason why we all play the game itself. It's the challenge and the fun of the sport. That is what the Snowmass Club tries to remind all of its members and players.
By the time I reached the third hole, I had come to the realization that it was not a day to break records. As my partner missed yet another putt, I waved down the beverage cart and ordered two beers. My parter strolled over to me with a shot of 8 on a par of 4, grabbed a beer and sat down beside me.
"So this is the good life?" I asked.
He smiled, watched a nearby friend fire another ball into a small lake and responded, "Yup."
May 29, 2003