On the Course: Learning on the local links

Wyatt Haupt, Jr.
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN – The thing about playing a golf course for the first time is that you never really know what to expect given the unfamiliarity with the venue. That is part of the beauty of playing the course.

Another aspect is finding out whether you like the course. And on that note Aspen Golf Club scores nicely.

The first hole seems pretty straightforward although the fairway bunker can pose some problems for those who hit their tee shots left.

The next four holes have a left to right bent with a premium on accuracy. So a driver is not always the best play on the three par 4s ” surprise!

The sixth hole is a sweet driving hole. Draw a ball out about 275 yards and it is a wedge into the green.

The seventh hole also sets up for a draw particularly if you play from the upper tees. The eighth hole is a brute of a par 3 if you play it from the tips (about 230 yards, and into the wind that day). Needless to say ” I came up short. Not a surprise.

The ninth hole offered the biggest of all surprises on the front. A big draw up and over the hill on a hole that clearly calls for a fade. Yes, it is possible to boomerang one and, more importantly get away with the shot.

Tried the same thing on the left leaning 10th hole. But hit it straight (oops) and deep into the trees. There went a buck fifty. Not even a nearby dog and his owner could help find that ball, although they tried.

Followed that up with back-to-back pars on the 13th and 14th holes. The tee shot on the 15th hole was the longest drive of the day ” 305 yards. A few beers cured the bogey after the round.

Tried to hit an 8-iron from 176 yards on the par-3, 17th hole. Should have gone with a little (or a lot) more club ” so much for the benefit of playing at 7,900 feet.

Wrapped it up with a wickedly bad tee shot on the 18th hole. A few shots later the round was finished and so was the player. But it was worth the walk and the money to play the course.

There will be a next time. The green fee is $49, walking or riding, through the end of the month.