Aspen Golf Club – more than golf |

Aspen Golf Club – more than golf

ASPEN – There are few things that make the start of my day better than playing golf in the early morning when the air is cool and crisp, and I’ve got the to course nearly all to myself.

I used to squeeze in nine holes before 9 a.m. a couple of times a week in recent summers but for some reason this year, there has been a lot of play in the evenings and weekends.

I ventured out last week for a 7 a.m. tee time, though. We were the only ones on the course for quite a while, which makes sense since we made an illegal move by teeing off before the clubhouse opened. We received a scolding from the golf shop pros, to whom we profusely apologized. I’m sorry, again.

The Aspen Golf Club is in amazing shape and there is still plenty of opportunities to play even though it’s already September. Green fees will likely go down toward the middle of the month, which is a huge incentive to get out there.

The golf course is scheduled to close Oct. 31. After that, the course won’t be maintained, but the pins will stay up and people can play for free until the snow prevents them from doing so.

A couple of tournaments are still coming up – the Mayor’s Cup on Sept. 20; the Stirling Cup benefiting the Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club on Sept. 27 and the Elks Tournament on Oct. 10.

The city has really focused on the golf course as a community asset and open space for all to enjoy. As a result, there is so much more to do there than golf.

The community picnic will be held at the golf course Sept. 13. People are welcome to throw the Frisbee, enjoy a barbecue, watch a couple goofy races and participate in other activities.

There’s plenty of fishing to be had at the course, as well. Steve Aitken, director of golf, said he just put more than 250 trout in the pond near the roundabout and a few dozen more in the pond near the 18th green. That’s on top of the 250 that were put in at the golf course last fall.

Anglers are welcome to catch ’em, take ’em and eat ’em. The trout come from the Crystal Springs Trout Farm.

Aitken said he also needs help with geese control, so people are welcome to bring their dogs out to run the course in the mornings and evenings after the golfers are done.

While I am a huge fan of golf, and encourage people to get out there and swing the club, our municipal course gives you plenty of reasons to go enjoy the links no matter where your interests lie.

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