Day three of the big Colorado trip with my golf blog buddy Jay Flemma found he and I and Eddie Peck (owner of Black Mesa GC in New Mexico) at Fossil Trace.
Fossil Trace GC is another Jim Engh designed course, located in Golden Colorado. Golden is a suburb of Denver. No, I didn’t run into Mr Coors.
Since Jay had been out with our buddies from Bowling For Soup singing Karaoke until the wee hours of the morning, he missed the tee time. So Eddie and I teed off without him.
Fossil Trace is a very neat course with 3 distinct and unique characteristics. The first relates to the course’s name. There are many fossils that were found on the course. Most of the fossils are either plant fossils or dinosaur footprints. Most of the footprints were from Triceratops which roamed the area millions of years prior.
The 2nd neat characteristic of the course is the terrain. There are lots of hills and elevation changes and the “routing” of the course winds up, down, in out of some very cool terrain features.
The 3rd neat feature is the remnants of the old mining operation. There are old tractors and even an old incinerator chimney that Jim Engh left right in the middle of #1 fairway.
We had a great time at Fossil and Jay caught up with us on about the 5th or 6th hole. I didn’t post my best round ever, carding a 9 on the par 4 #10. #10 is a risk/reward and I failed miserably by taking the risk option and failing over and over.
Red Hawk Ridge
After Fossil we decided we had enough time to head back to Red Hawk Ridge and make up for the rain out we had on day 1.
We got to RHR and managed to get out just in time to get a complete round of 18 in before sunset. RHR is another Jim Engh design. RHR also took advantage of many great terrain features and elevation changes. I played my most solid round of the trip, carding a 75 on this very difficult track from the back tees which I’d never played before.
The highlight of my round was when I birdied the #1 handicap 16th hole, a 568 yard par 5 with a huge uphill elevation change. My drive ended up in the right fairway bunker and I did my best Chi Chi Rodriguez imitation by smoking a 3-wood out of it. A laser beamed gap wedge ended up about 2 feet for an easy tap in birdie.
I reached the 533 yard par 5 18th in two with an 8 iron for my 2nd shot and 2 putted for a birdie to lock in my 75.
After a late night of rock & roll and then 36 holes, we then drove about 3 hours Northeast of Denver to Sterling Colorado where we crashed for the night. First we had to get some grub and the only restaurant open in Sterling at midnight was Denny’s. A note to the Denny’s in Sterling Colorado, turn the freaking air conditioning down. It’s not in the interests of good customer service to have your customers freeze to death.
After dinner it was off to bed to get rest for Ballyneal the next day.