Aspen golf passes available to locals first; pre-qualification process ends on Jan. 31 |

Aspen golf passes available to locals first; pre-qualification process ends on Jan. 31

Pre-qualification required before Feb. 1; passes go on sale for valley residents Feb. 14

City officials are calling all locals who plan to play golf on the Aspen municipal course this summer to get their proof of residency on file by the end of the month and be prepared to buy a season pass by mid-February.

The Aspen Golf Club is deviating significantly from how it has offered access to the course in the past, due to high demand and pressure from the local community that they get access over nonresidents.

In response, a task committee comprising staff, members of the golf community and the city’s golf advisory board refined the 2022 season golf pass qualification structure and policies to create a process to offer advance sales to local golfers, according to Steve Aitken, the city’s director of golf.

Golf advisory board members said during their Jan. 11 meeting that they’ve received negative feedback from second-home owners who say it’s unfair, and they feel disenfranchised.

Don Wrigley, chairman of the advisory board, said he’s empathetic to those who may get shut out.

“This is a rock and a hard place for everybody,” he said. “We all were expecting a can of worms, and we knew that when we did what we did.”

Aspen head golf pro Jim Pratt said a lot of time and effort was made into changing the qualification process, and the group believes this is the most equitable way to give access to a publicly owned course.

“I think this plan that we’ve come up with is our best option and our best protocol for validating who should have priority,” he said.

Golf passes were capped in 2021 with 43 fewer available than in 2020 because getting tee times in that year was difficult, if not impossible.

While capping the number gave passholders more access to the course, 130 local residents, some of whom have been playing the municipal course for decades, were shut out after passes were sold out in less than 20 minutes.

To ensure they get a chance this year, local residents are being given priority and must pre-qualify by the end of the month.

The golf course is accepting proof of residency with a driver’s license that has a ZIP code for either Aspen, Snowmass Village, Old Snowmass, Woody Creek, Basalt, Meredith, Marble, Redstone and Carbondale, or a military driver’s license with a local utility bill with that individual’s name.

To get on the pre-qualified list, people are asked to present their driver’s licenses in person from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Red Brick recreation center office or text a picture of it to the golf pro shop phone number at 970-429-1949.

Email addresses also are being requested, and can be texted to the pro shop phone number or given in person at the Red Brick.

The pre-qualification process began Jan. 12 and will end Jan. 31.

Local pass sales will occur from Feb. 14 until Feb. 18, with staff after that verifying to ensure all sales went to pre-qualified individuals before the online public sale for remaining passes on March 1.

A total of 865 passes will be available, with each type capped at a certain number (see information box).

Pre-qualified customers will be sent an email in February in advance of the early sale date.

Pratt said just over 300 people have pre-qualified as of Monday.

Rates for golf passes in 2022 will be similar to 2021 with inflationary increases:

Platinum Pass: $2,250, capped at 95

Gold Pass: $1,330, capped at 180

Silver Pass: $920, capped at 205

Twilight Pass: $630, capped at 130

10 18-hole Punch Pass: $690, capped at 130

College Pass: $445, capped at 35

Junior Pass: $210, capped at 90

New passes:

Individual person all season carts pass: $750

Individual person all season range pass $350 (limited to two buckets per day)