Falling for Golf Again

ballyneal colorado golf

Holyoke’s famed Ballyneal

Forethoughts: 2017 Fall Issue

By Jon Rizzi


Golf, that cruel and fickle mistress, severely tested me this year. After a summer of pushes, pulls, chili-dips, slices, yanks, yips and just plain yuck, I began to think she had jilted me for someone younger, a guy with a more ductile spine, firmer core and greater ball speed, the kind of guy who can play her game, not just write about it, who romances her with workouts, lessons and practice—her version of flowers, sweet talk and foreplay—instead of just taking a couple of hacks on the range before jumping on the first tee.

Golf got fed up with my cynical, middle-aged attitude. Even though her flame-keepers perpetually refer to her as “The Game of Golf,” she evidently resented me taking that literally, treating her like an activity akin to cornhole rather than as a sport of skill like baseball or basketball.

So I felt her wrath. She turned my swing into something so steep, I should have been holding a woodchopper’s ax or wearing an executioner’s hood. When I managed to drive the ball in the fairway, I swore I could hear it land—and not because I have such good ears.

Admittedly, all this made the job of writing about Golf a bit like sending valentines to an ex-wife. I even took exception when one playing partner spouted the cliché about a bad day on the golf course being better than a good day at the office.

Hmm, I thought. Would I rather go out and shoot the same score as the temperature on a 99-degree day or sit in air-conditioned comfort writing about the many ways Golf enriches the people and places of Colorado?

But I’m loyal to Golf. She has enriched me to the point where I could never quit her over my own performance issues. It’s not you, Golf; it’s me. So as summer turned to fall and our magazine’s frequency converted from monthly to bimonthly, Golf started seducing me anew.

A foray east to Ballyneal Golf and Hunt Club in Holyoke and Awarii Dunes Golf Club in Nebraska during the weekend of The Great American Eclipse rekindled my attraction. So did September peregrinations to the new Mountain Course at Glacier in Durango and to The Club at Cordillera during the Colorado Land Rover Dealers Cordillera Golf Experience, an event Colorado AvidGolfer puts on every year.

The beauty and novelty of the courses and their concomitant experiences provided the catalyst my relationship with Golf needed.

It also helps that I’ve sought professional counseling through experts like Elena King, and get to assign and edit compelling profiles such as the ones about rookie Broncos coach Vance Joseph and golf course architect Gil Hanse, as well as introductions to the exciting new destinations of Silvies Ranch and Sand Valley.

Spending more quality time with Golf at the range, on the course and on the road has also put a new spark in our relationship. I plan on hooking up with her in Utah and Arizona this fall and winter. The best part is, my wife will join us and fully approves. —JON RIZZI


This piece appears in the Fall Issue 2017 of Colorado AvidGolfer, the state’s leading resource for the sport and the lifestyle that surrounds it, publishing eight issues annually and proudly delivering daily content via coloradoavidgolfer.com.

For more articles, the 2017 Travel Guide, and full issue, please visit coloradoavidgolfer.com/digital-issue.

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