A GOOD DAY
While golfing may be experiencing somewhat of a decline nationwide, that doesn’t seem to be the case in the Grand Valley, according to golfers and golf-course workers.
Nationally, participation and equipment sales have been in decline in recent years, particularly since the start of the recent recession, according to the Sports & Fitness Industry Association.
But in the past year, sales have started to pick up — growing by nearly 3 percent — with golf fourth on the list of leading sales, behind firearms, fishing and camping, respectively, the association reported just this spring.
In the Grand Valley, golf industry workers report the sport is doing just fine, thank you very much.
Western Colorado golf courses sport plenty of tees with a view, some of the best of which are located at the base of Colorado National Monument’s winding canyons and stark monoliths.
Adobe Creek National Golf Course, 876 18 1/2 Road, in Fruita and Tiara Rado Golf Course, 2057 S. Broadway, in Grand Junction both play in and out of the shadow of the monument, as does Redlands Mesa Golf Club on top of The Ridges.
Tiara Rado offers a tight challenge between home on the front nine, and a more forgiving back with open fairways and ponds, even if they seem to act as ball magnets.
Adobe Creek has 27 holes with some tee shots seemingly headed right up Monument Canyon.
Redlands Mesa leads golfers in and out of red rocks and arroyos on an award-winning challenge. The driving range at The Golf Club at Redlands Mesa, 2325 W. Ridges Blvd., is perched high above the Grand Valley, offering distinctive views of the Book Cliffs to the north and the red rocks of the monument to the south and west.
There are stunning views to the east as well, where golfers can practice their game hitting shots into the backdrop of Grand Mesa, whose flattop sits at 10,000 feet above sea level, about 4,300 feet above the range. From the practice tee, golfers can see their shots take off against the aspen forest halfway up Grand Mesa, over the volcanic cap and into the clear, blue sky of Western Colorado.
For golfers who have time for a full 18, set up a tee time by calling 970-263-9270 or 866-863-9270, or going to redlandsmesa.com.
Adobe Creek tee times are available at 970-858-0521 and at Tiara Rado, 970-254-3830. The two city courses, Tiara Rado and Lincoln Park, now allow golfers to set times online or on newly created app, which also offer GPS distances on each hole and lets golfers track their rounds over time and post their handicapped scores.
Golfers can even sign up for some discounts and a free birthday round. Just go to golfgrandjunction. net for more details.
For golfers who want a simple round, or perhaps are golfing with less experienced players who don’t feel comfortable on a fullfledged course, they should go to the city’s south side and try Chipeta Golf Course, 222 29 Road, on Orchard Mesa.
Golfers there can use just about every club in their bags, working on their short games as well as hitting longer shots at this quaint par 59 executive track. Call 970-245-7177 for tee times.
Not far south of there — about 40 miles — is Delta’s more challenging course at Devil’s Thumb Golf Club, 9900 Devil’s Thumb Road, near the county’s airport.
The course runs through arroyos at the southern base of Grand Mesa and offers views not only of the Devil’s Thumb, a monolith that looks like a big thumbs-up, but also the Uncompahgre Plateau and San Juan Mountains farther south.
If that course isn’t challenging enough, the high-elevation course at Cedaredge’s Deer Creek Village Golf Course (970-856-7781), has a greener setting on the shoulder of Grand Mesa and plays along Surface Creek.
Sign up for the course’s email alerts because it often offers special deals.
Other courses worth trying outside of the Grand Valley include:
g Battlement Mesa Golf Course near Parachute about 45 miles east of Grand Junction. (970-285-7274, 888-285-7274, battlementmesagolf.com).
g Lakota Canyon Golf Course (970-984-9700) outside New Castle, which works its way up and down the arroyos.
g Ridges Golf Course in Rangely, about 75 miles north of Grand Junction on Colorado Highway 139.
g Meeker Course (970-878-5642), which winds through pasture above the White River.
g Black Canyon Golf Course
(970-249-4653), The Links at Cobble Creek (970-240-9542) and The Bridges, all in Montrose.