Friday, September 7, 2012

Beat Me Up – Spit Me Out – And Make Me Want To Come Back For More!!

Colorado Springs.  Why??   Because E has always wanted to see the Broadmoor and play one of its golf courses.   (SHOOT ME!!)

The Broadmoor Hotel facility and grounds are beautiful and the service is impeccable with great attention to every detail.  The resort dates from 1891, when it began as a small hotel and casino. The current resort was built in 1918 by Spencer Penrose, a Philadelphia entrepreneur nicknamed "Spec" for his skill at speculation. Penrose amassed a fortune from mining claims at nearby Cripple Creek (remember this for a future trip and blog posting), and after a grand tour through Europe's finest hostelries, decided to build a hotel, with no expense spared. The hotel attracted a wealthy clientele in the early 20th century, drawn to the beauty of Pikes Peak, as well as to the mountain air, which aided recuperation from tuberculosis (remember Stanley from Estes Park??).  Today it provided a needed respite after our round of golf with a very nice lunch.

The Hotel now has three golf courses.  We decided to play the East Course thinking that we read somewhere that it was a ‘woman friendly’ course.  HA – HA!!!

The East Course was originally designed by Donald Ross in 1917 and when completed in 1918 was the highest golf course in the United States at 6,400’.  Today the course is a combination of the original Donald Ross design mixed with holes designed in 1964 by Robert Trent Jones.  However, a recent restoration process has brought the East Course back to its original bunker and mounding features from 1917!!  This course is one of only 12 North American and Caribbean golf courses to receive a five-star rating by Golf Digest – and it comes with beautiful views of the surrounding mountains and the Hotel. 

The Broadmoor East..a beautiful setting...a very challenging (UGH) 18 holes.
Glad we had the opportunity to play it...once!

The Broadmoor East Course has been home to many major tournaments including the 1959 US Amateur, which was Jack Nicklaus’ first major win; the 1995 US Women’s Open, which was Annika Sorenstam’s first major title; the 2008 US Senior Open and the 2011 US Women’s Open.  AND LET ME TELL YOU – THE GREENS ARE STILL IN THE SAME CONDITION AS THEY MUST HAVE BEEN FOR THAT 2011 OPEN;-)!!!!!!!!   New respect for the Pros playing today at the BMW – we could NOT get our balls to stop on these greens.  THEY BEAT US UP AND SPIT US OUT!! 
(By the way – for the golfers reading this – the ‘slope’ from the forward tees was 144!!!)

Elizabeth sank this 87 foot putt for PAR on the par 5 #9 hole-the hardest handicapped hole on the course.  Go Figure?!?!?

After this beating, a little ‘easy’ sightseeing was in order – so, off to the Air Force Academy.  First stop – more of those planes Gary had to guard during his tour of duty –

Many, many years ago Gary used to guard these aircraft on Okinawa.  

Then the iconic Cadet Chapel.  Built in 1954 in a very contemporary manner raised a lot of eyebrows and garnered much criticism.  But, today it is the ‘landmark’ of the Academy.  It is constructed of aluminum as a nod to the aluminum skins of the planes flown by the Air Force in that day. 

The Cadet's Chapel at the US Air Force Academy.

The construction design makes the effects inside is as striking as the outside – 

Awesome lighting effects from the stained glass windows.  
(A wedding rehearsal taking place inside.)

The organ and its pipes fill the rear balcony of the chapel.

Well – after being beat up on the golf course, that one incredible lucky putt makes me want to play another day.  BUT, NOT at that course – and NOT tomorrow!!

Giddy with a lucky putt – Elizabeth
Beat up at the Broadmoor  - Gary

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