One Of The Great Public Venues In The Cherry Creek Valley Is CommonGround Golf Course
by Mark Smiley
Now that summer is in the rear-view mirror, it is time to winterize the lawn mower, make sure the snow blower starts, and put away the golf clubs. Not so fast on the golf clubs. Autumn is a great time of year to golf. The courses are less crowded, the green fees are less expensive, and the fall colors in Colorado are spectacular.
The Colorado Golf Association (CGA) has many courses in its directory that feature fall golf. The CGA’s purpose is to represent, promote, and serve the best interests of golf in the state of Colorado, and has been throughout its history. The organization is the official representative of the United States Golf Association (USGA) for the state of Colorado.
The Colorado Golf Association (CGA) was established in August 1915. The CGA’s first official function was to formally take over the administration of the state’s amateur match play championship, which started in 1901. This tournament is still conducted by the Colorado Golf Association, making it the oldest golf tournament in the state of Colorado.
Today, over 43,000 men and 17,000 women are members of the CGA and the Colorado Women’s Golf Association (CWGA). Those that have a handicap are eligible to be members of the CGA or CWGA and those that do not can set one up at a course that is owned by the CGA, CommonGround.
CommonGround, located in Aurora and in proximity to Glendale, is an affordable championship course that opened in 2009 and was designed by world renowned golf course architect Tom Doak. Doak has four courses ranked among the top 100 in the world according to the “Top 100 Courses in the World” list compiled by Golf Magazine. Ballyneal Golf Course in Holyoke, Colorado, is one of those four courses.
Members of the CGA get 25 percent off their green fees at CommonGround and becoming a member is $55 annually. In addition to its 18-hole course, CommonGround also features a 9-hole Par 3 course. This is designed for juniors or seniors who want to get a fast game in and practice. CommonGround allows anyone 18 years of age or younger to golf the 9-hole Par 3 course at no cost. Adults are $10.
CommonGround is not only a championship course at an affordable rate but will serve as the stroke play co-host course for the 2019 Mid-Amateur.
Golfing in the fall is often overlooked but the fact of the matter is that fall has the least precipitation of the non-winter months, has cooler temperatures, and is the most scenic time of the year. “Fall is the most beautiful time of the year in Colorado,” said Aaron Kellough, Director of Communications for the CGA. “If you want to get up in the mountains in late September or early October when the aspens start changing, it’s unbelievable.”
Some of the more technical reasons why golf in the fall works well is the ground is harder and drives go further. It gives golfers better chances to score. Courses are also less crowded which can make for a more enjoyable experience.
“This fall is an opportunity to play three courses that you won’t play again in the same way,” said Ryan Smith, Director of Development for the CGA. “Now is the time to go see City Park before the new design and for those who love the history and the past, get over to Fitzsimons and get over to Park Hill because the future is changing for them.”
Fall is also the time of year that smaller charities will host golf tournaments due to the prices being lower. It’s a good time to work on one’s game and have fun without a lot of the pressure that exists in the summer. Members of the CGA can post scores even if they retreat for the warmer temperatures of Arizona or Florida in the fall and winter.
To learn more about the Colorado Golf Association or to join, visit www.colora dogolf.org. A list of all 240 Colorado courses to play in the fall can be found on the website.