Steppin Out Magazine Article
March 08, 2007
By Tom Treser, RMGWA Member Contributing Writer From a duffer's prospective, if you don't have a sense of humor, stop here.
So there I was in my favorite little watering hole, peacefully enjoying a nice cold beverage, when suddenly my cell phone brings all my tranquility crashing down.
"Tom," says the voice on the other end, it's Steve, my editor, "hey, they are opening a new Nicholas Design course in Trinidad called Cougar Canyon Golf Resort, and we've been invited to play a round prior to their opening. Wanna go?" he asks.
Well, I'm not the smoothest ball mark on the putting surface, but I've seen "new" courses before and have not been impressed. "Sure, Steve," I said. "Lets do, I can't think of anything I would rather do than get my raggedy ole behind out of my warm little basket at 4:00 in the morning, drive half a day to Trinidad, where, if you make a wrong turn, you come back singing soprano, play a course that is at least a year away from being ready for play. I'm sure that we'll have to hit from the back tees so that I'll look like more of a putz than I already am. Not to mention having to dodge wild animals all day.
"Good," he says. "I'll call and tell them we'll be there; see ya later" Click.
Now I don't know if you could feel it, but I was sure that absolutely every word out of my mouth was sarcastic. You'd think he would've picked up on a couple of things anyway! So, the big day arrives and off we go on our golf outing. I'm all ready to go, I washed off almost all the rust off my clubs and packed my bag with as many golf balls as it would hold (and hoped he had a good supply in case I ran out).
The fellas I play with call me a scratch golfer. I think that is because on most of my shots, as we watch my ball sail off into the rough, one of them will inevitably say, "Scratch that one." But I did take a lesson once, a few years ago. After the pro watched me swing for a while, he said to me, "about the only thing you do right is pay the green fees!"
Our tee times are after 11:00, so we didn't leave the Springs until 9:00. This is beginning better than I imagined it would. It's a nice little drive to Trinidad, which seems like a nice little town (I was kidd'in about that soprano thing). It took us about an hour and a half, and we found the course right away!
When we checked in, all the folks in the pro shop greeted us like we just won the lottery. There were writers from all over Colorado, and all were pretty cool!
I was paired off with two guys from Denver, and of course the Course Superintendent, (who else?) Now I'm thinking "Has somebody seen me play and ratted me out to the pro?"
Time came for some golf, so they drove us down to the driving range. When we see It, we both couldn't believe our eyes.
"This thing is gorgeous," Steve says. "I hope the course is in half as good a shape as the range."
After I flail away at a few range balls, it's off to the course we go. We get to the first tee box, and I look over the first hole, expecting the worst; I'm amazed at what I'm looking at. An absolutely pristine, beautiful golf course.
I stroll over to the Course Superintendent and ask, "How in the world did you guys get this thing in this kind of shape in such a short time?"
"We didn't," was his reply. "We seeded the course over two years ago. The owners were bound and determined that we wouldn't open until it was ready for play."
Boy did they wait! All of a sudden, I felt like I was ready to play this links course that the Nicholas family has designed and the ownership has nurtured to perfection. The two other writers tee up and get off a pretty good drive, and I jump up there and plug one just over the rough right in front of us. Oh well, it'll get better, and hey, I'm in the short stuff, ha.!!
The course super, who stands about 5' 7", tees one up and strikes an arrow straight down the middle, about 340 yards away. Smart alec!
My second shot is straight and true, (well at least I think so ‘cause I'm following this huge chunk of grass that I just lifted out of the divot I just took). This would make a backhoe operator proud, and I hardly felt it. I go pick it up; and I'm standing there thinking, "I could start a backyard with this thing!" Of course the Super is eye-ballin' me, so I gotta put it back.
In the interest of space, I'm just going to cover a half a dozen holes, but believe me, they are all worth writing about.
Hole #1 - Par 4
Hole #3 - Par 5
Hole #6 - Par 5
Hole #12 - Par 5
Hole #16 - Par 3
Hole #18 - Par 4
Wow! what a course. I can't wait to go back. I did my best not to mess it up with all my flailing around, but all turned out well, and they didn't make me play from the back tees, and somehow I came home with most of my golf balls (and at least an inkling of pride).
You gotta play this course, and take your camera with you. Some of the views are awe -inspiring.
For only $59.00 a round, plus cart, it's more than worth the trip.For More Information: http://www.steppinoutmag.com/oct07cougar.htm