I used to avoid Denver because I didn’t want to fly to, or especially through, a place that had blizzards and one of the world’s busiest airports. Now, I live there and I love it. The city is booming and bustling with the kind of energy I thought only existed in cities like New York and San Francisco. And the bonus surprise for me: In and around the Mile-High City, I can play golf in any month of the year.
How, you ask, can a place have blizzards and year-round golf? Well, we don’t really have blizzards. Maybe we’ll have one again, someday, but the weather has changed. And, the sun that we’re a mile closer to than most melts the snow almost as fast as it accumulates, while the wind blows it off the fairways. The only time we can’t play is when the snow hangs around, or we get a rare cold snap that might last two weeks.
Supposedly, the altitude lengthens our shots. Then there’s roll on the dry fairways, which are like bowling alleys in winter. The courses rate most of their tees for women, and usually there are two reasonable options for the average woman. The women’s golf community here feels vibrant and sisterly.
There’s so much to enjoy downtown: renovated Union Station, full of shops and restaurants; Coors Field, a destination ballpark for any baseball fan; and more museums, theaters and music halls than you could visit in a monthlong vacation there.
I won’t steer women toward the 16th Street Mall, an uncomfortable place to shop because of the loiterers and lost characters in the vicinity. And there are still some golf courses in the area that are not welcoming to women, but, don’t worry, I won’t send you to those either.
If you stay long enough, please do head west to tour Rocky Mountain National Park; take on Copper Creek, home of the highest tee box in North America, No. 14, at 9,863 feet; or play my favorite high-altitude golf destination, Pole Creek Golf Course, where my husband proposed atop the last tee on the Ridge nine.
Any lover of golf lore and history will want to make time for a jaunt to Colorado Springs and the Broadmoor, which opened in 1918 and today covers 3,000 acres and has more than 700 rooms, a private lake, spa, gardens, and two golf courses. The famed East Course, where Annika Sorenstam won her first U.S. Women’s Open, plays too long even at altitude for the average woman golfer, so be sure to read the greens carefully and remember that putts are supposed to break away from the Will Rogers Shrine, source of the chimes you’ll hear on the quarter-hour.