Going Back to Golf at the Highest Course in North America
The title of this blog post may be misleading as I am not entirely sure that I am in fact “going back to golf.” Some of you may be surprised to learn that at one time I was a competent golfer. Of course, you probably won’t be surprised to learn that it was a very long time ago.
During high school I worked at Avalon Golf Club (now Avalon Golf Links), which was down the street from my house in Western Washington. I worked in the clubhouse and after work I’d often go and play a round in the twilight hours.
Last month, on a trip to Leadville, Colorado, I was invited to play at Mount Massive Golf Course. There were two reasons I couldn’t say no. First, at 9,680 feet above sea level, this is the highest golf course in North America. Second, it was established in 1939, which means it has to be one of the oldest courses in Colorado.
I was booked for a late afternoon tee time after a busy day, and as I drove to the golf course, just nine minutes outside of Leadville, I was buzzing with anxiety.
It had been at least three years since I’d touched a golf club and I felt very sorry for the poor souls who were going to get stuck golfing with me.
I shouldn’t have worried because my golfing partners, Bruce & Mary Lee Hix of Twin Lakes, are the nicest folks in Lake County.
I borrowed clubs from the clubhouse because I’d forgotten to pack mine, and we hit the greens in two carts. I walked most of my years playing golf so having a cart is a real luxury.
As I teed up on the first hole, the sun was warm and a soft breeze was blowing, and as I looked around I suddenly felt very calm. My back swing could use a lot of work, but I connected with the ball and it sailed away – not far – but at least I hadn’t whiffed the ball.
The next nine holes were delightful and Bruce and Mary Lee were great company. I didn’t keep score, but instead celebrated the good holes and disregarded the bad ones. If everyone golfed this way I wouldn’t be so intimidated to start playing again.
The best part about playing golf at Mount Massive are the incredible views. Giant white peaks and tall pines make for many photo opportunities around the course.
The biggest compliment I can give this golf course is that I can’t wait to play it again, and playing at Mount Massive made me miss the sport. Of course, it helps to play with nice, laid back people. I’ll have to find a few more chill golf courses around Colorado this summer and some enjoyable golfing partners. Any suggestions?
Thank you to Visit Leadville for hosting me on this trip. And thank you to Bruce & Mary Lee Hix for golfing with me – I’d love to do it again one day!