On the course: Aspen’s 18-hole bargain | AspenTimes.com

On the course: Aspen’s 18-hole bargain

Carolyn Sackariason
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN – Aspen golf officials found a direct link to the past when they summoned Frank Hummel to town last week.

Hummel was the original architect of the 7,156-yard muni course. In 1979, he transformed what was once a nine-hole track into a championship course. And he did it for $800,000.

“You got a bargain,” he joked outside of City Hall last week before addressing the Aspen City Council.

After taking a tour, the 83-year-old Greeley resident said he was struck by the course’s impeccable condition and improvements that have been made over the years.

“Beautiful water features, fantastic condition … it’s too good,” he said. ” What I see here is a team of men working together on an absolute common goal better than I’ve seen before.

“The people I deal with normally aren’t at this level.”

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Hummel has designed and built more than 100 golf courses around the country, and two of them are in the top 50 – Aspen and Buffalo Dunes in Kansas.

The Aspen Golf Course was recently ranked 17th on Golfweek Magazine’s 50 best municipal courses for 2008-09. It also earned the top spot in the state.

When Hummel started his work here, there was only the cottonwood trees that stand there today. Hummel left the city with a landscape plan, and the course has been filled in over the years.

He had to get creative when laying out the tight space – the golf course is 111 acres, and a standard size is about 150 acres. Hummel said 125 acres is typically the mini mum.

A notable design by Hummel is the elevated tee boxes on the 11th and 13th holes. Good use of spaces was on the forefront of his mind, clearly.

Thanks for designing a stellar course, Frank. Now at least I know who to swear at when I shank it.

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