Collindale Golf Academy's PGA Director of Instruction Vince Buelk calls upon 18 years of experience to shore up the pin-hunting panache of golfers of all abilities. The passionate pedagogue develops the academy's club-flailing curriculum and puts it into practice at its stately facilities, which include a full-length driving range, an oversize putting green, and a practice bunker ideal for wedging balls out of sunken lies and replacing them with incriminating scorecards. The academy's thriving junior program strives to develop an affinity for the game at a young age, and club-fitting services pair each unique swing with its crooked-stick soul mates. Though the academy's kempt lawns, mountainside vistas, and lush pines affect a sense of old-time rusticity, its instructors utilize the latest in technological teaching aides, including V1 video-swing-analysis software and pitching wedges that double as prosthetic hooks for grabbing cookies on the high shelves.
The nine holes of Mountain Vista Golf Course present a charming, 3,500-yard challenge set against a dramatic backdrop of the Rocky Mountains. Box Elder Creek weaves through the middle of the course and into play, and mature pine trees frame spacious fairways. Golfers are immediately thrown into risk-reward scenarios on the first and sixth holes, two lengthy par 5s that extend to 536 yards and 579 yards from the back tees and challenge shots with two large ponds. At Bentley’s, the grill located just off the course, two covered patios welcome those looking to grab a bite to eat as they transition from a round of golf to a round of beer or a round of boxing against a disgruntled caddie.
Course at a Glance:
As garage doors slowly open, the spartan practice room is revealed; an indoor golf studio with a green carpet floor specked with square golf hitting mats that transforms into a covered driving range. Located inside a stately, sandstone-brick clubhouse, the practice area serves as the practice grounds of Colorado State University golf teams and ground zero for the Golf Academy at Harmony Club, where golfers consult PGA-certified instructors about their golf swing rather than waiting in vain for Jack Nicklaus’s spirit animal to appear in their dreams. Outside, players take advantage of a practice facility featuring tee box training as well as a short game area.
A rundown wooden wagon sits alone in the rough at Grand Elk Golf Club, a historic reminder of the forebears who once forged through the basin now home to the club’s 18-hole course. Though electric golf carts have since replaced Conestoga wagons as the predominant means of transportation, the site’s natural, rustic surroundings remain, treating golfers to a 360-degree panorama that showcases the Continental Divide and Rocky Mountain State Park. As players notch divots into lush fairways and putt on the soft greens with modified pool cues, they’ll follow a 7,144-yard layout drawn up by 13-time PGA Tour champion Craig Stadler and Tripp Davis. Taking inspiration from the inland courses of the British Isles, the design duo strung fairways through meadows and natural wetlands that form the headwaters of the Colorado River, all the while incorporating unique playing scenarios that challenge each golfer’s shot-making abilities.
Course at a Glance:
Stretching across 6,609 yards of verdant, tree-lined grounds, Eagle Trace Golf Club offers a challenging but fair course for links-loopers of all abilities. Tickle the sweet-spot of your driver to send dimpled spheroids into the stratosphere and through the grassy midsection of the course’s kempt fairways, evading on-course impediments including five lakes, 65 sand traps, and 12 disoriented jurors known for claiming wayward orbs. With majestic, native cottonwood trees peppered against a peeper-pleasing backdrop of Rocky Mountain vistas, the par 72 course’s scenic surrounds temper more trying elements such as the slick bent-grass greens that make for hard-to-read putts and fine-print chips. An obedient golf cart is included to help duos track down slices and snap-hooks while preserving their energy for tearing divots and smashing wedges.
During her 19-year career, Tonja Hadley—or “Coach T” as her students call her—has motivated athletes to victory at the NCAA’s Division I and Division II levels. Now leading boot-camp classes at The Edge Sports Center, the registered strength and conditioning coach applies her wealth of fitness expertise to students looking to get in shape. Her workouts combine the benefits of cardio and strength training into a single rigorous routine. Students rapidly move from exercises on body balls to floor routines and lifting weights, keeping pulses pounding and muscles guessing. Classes are sometimes held on The Edge Sports Center's 22,000 square foot indoor field so students can eschew drawn-out stints on the treadmill.