Snowmass Golf Club: Golf & Ski Heaven All In One Package

By David R. Holland, Senior Writer

SNOWMASS VILLAGE, CO -- Picture it. An early-season snow has blanketed Snowmass Mountain. The lifts are open and you are itching to traverse the morning hours on untouched, virgin-fluffy powder.

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Just below, through the golden quaking aspen, a crisp day with amazing Rocky Mountain azure skies is unfolding at Snowmass Golf Club. By afternoon it is warm and sunny.

Ski in the morning, play golf in the afternoon.

At the first tee you pull out your Taylor Made Firesole driver and rocket one down a plush green carpet. Because you are at 8,000 feet, the ball zooms out 10 to 15 percent farther. When you reach your ball in the fairway, a striking view opens of Mount Daly, white as a Titleist just out of the box.

Snowmass Club can make this vision a reality.

Of course, this scenario doesn't come to pass every year because Mother Nature is involved, but when it does, head pro Pat Cerjan says it is spectacular. The course is open early May through late October, weather permitting.

And playing golf on a perfect, cool summer day is heaven, too. Over-heated Texans come here to cool off after sweltering in the summer heat of Dallas, Houston and San Antonio.

Snowmass Golf Club has been open 20 years and hosts about 50,000 rounds for its short season. Designed by Ed Seay and Arnold Palmer, this Audubon-registered course has water on 13 holes and 64 sand traps, with impressive views of the Elk Mountain Range.

It's only 6,662 from the back tees, a par-71, but don't think it's easy. First-time players will face some of the trickiest greens in Colorado. Three-putts are easy.

"When we really cut the greens down close the middle of June they become really tough," said Cerjan, of the bent/poa greens. "You have to figure out very soon in your round that you don't want to leave your approach in a bad place or above the hole. Most putts break down valley, but if the pin is in the middle and you hit to the back of the green you are in trouble."

The hardest thing is just seeing the break even when you are on the correct tier of these multi-tiered surfaces.

Cerjan says a swirling wind can also drive you crazy on No. 13, a par-3, 222 from the tips. "You can stand on the tee and feel the wind in your face and look at the pin and it's blowing the opposite way. You just have to be patient and make the right decision," he said.

No. 1 handicap hole is No. 9, a 435-yard par-4, with water guarding the approach on the left side. The fairway curves right and the ground slants left with an O.B. down the right.

No. 4, a par-4 424-yarder, is a big dogleg left with O.B. and jungle on the left. If you position it correctly you still have to clear the creek on the second shot and any mis-hit can plop in the water.

No. 10 is a short one, only 320 yards, but the second shot requires pin-point accuracy to a three-tiered green flanked by punishing bunkers.

Your final six holes are filled with water in play. It is here, coming down the stretch, that will tell if you score well or go brain dead and limp home.

Snowmass Club, founded in 1968, is the heart and soul of life in Snowmass Village. It has year-round residents and folks from all over who own a second home here to enjoy the culture, golf, health and tennis club, restaurant and ski valet.

The Snowmass Club Private Residence Resort offers sports enthusiasts all the comforts of home plus a world-class resort. It can serve as a fine hotel or shared ownership of a luxurious residence.

Snowmass Golf Club
P.O. Box G-2
Snowmass Village, CO 81615

Telephones: Tee Times 970-923-5600. Lodging and golf packages 800-525-0710.

Green Fees: Prime: June 23 to September 18. Villa Guests $85 with cart. Public $98 with cart. Early- and late-season rates are available, call for current prices. Season passes for cart and golf are $2,350. Member 10-punch cards are $540 for golf and cart. Twilight rates also available.

Internet: http://www.snowmassclub.com

Where to Eat: The Sage Restaurant at Snowmass Club serves Colorado ranch-style entrées, pizza and pasta in a casual bistro atmosphere. Located on Snowmass Club Circle. Phone 970-923-0923.

Snowmass Villa Rentals:
http://www.snowmassclub.com/villas.shtm

Snowmass Private Residence Club: Call 800-525-0710 toll free or 970-923-5600 for more information. Or e-mail them at snowmassclub@skiaspen.com.

Skiing: There are four world-class mountains to pick from -- Snowmass, Aspen Mountain, Highlands and Buttermilk. They offer more than 4,775 acres of terrain to challenge everyone from beginners to experts. Snowboarders are welcome at Snowmass, Highlands and Buttermilk.

Tennis: Snowmass Club offers nine outdoor courts and two indoor courts, and you can compete in year-round events, clinics, camps and tournaments. There is a fully-equipped pro shop, ball machines and professional instruction available. Snowmass Club was named one of Top 10 Tennis Resorts in the U.S. by Tennis Magazine. Tennis Pro Shop, information and bookings: 970-923-0818. Fees per hour: Villa guests $16, public $20. Indoor courts $24 for Villa guests only. Non-prime fees (1 p.m. to 7 p.m.) $12.

Athletic Club: Snowmass Club is a full-service health and fitness facility. You can have a personal trainer on state-of-the-art weight machines and exercise equipment. There is also a staff of physical therapists to help with any injuries or trouble spots. And, if you're interested in just plain pampering, you can book a relaxing massage or take a yoga class.

Nordic Ski Center: The Snowmass Nordic Ski Center offers 65 km of groomed trails for both classic and skating techniques. Depending on your ability, you can slide around the Snowmass Golf Course, or venture off through the trees or over hill and dale. A complete rental and retail shop will get you outfitted with the equipment you need. Snowshoes are available, too.

More Summer Fun: Hiking, biking, horseback riding, rodeos, four-wheeling, rafting, balloon rides and fly-fishing in Gold Medal waters are just a few of the many ways you can wear yourself out in Snowmass and Aspen. There are three outdoor pools and a coed hot tub, which gives you a view of Mount Daily. The Daly Beach Club is open for drinks and snacks at the pool.

David R. HollandDavid R. Holland, Senior Writer

David R. Holland is an award-winning former sportswriter for The Dallas Morning News, football magazine publisher, and author of The Colorado Golf Bible. Before launching a career as a travel/golf writer, he achieved the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Air Force reserve, serving during the Vietnam and Desert Storm eras. Follow Dave on Twitter at @David_R_Holland.


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