- Kingham Prairie View Golf Course – Cheyenne, WY
- Fossil Island Golf Club – Kemmerer, WY
- Fairway Village Golf Club – Vancouver, WA
- Falcon Crest Golf Club (Robin Hood Course) – Kuna, ID
- Desert Peaks Golf Club – Madras, OR
- Highlands Golf Club – Gearhart, OR
- Forest Hills Country Club – Reedsport, OR
- Bandon Dunes Golf Resort (Bandon Preserve) – Bandon, OR
- Cedar Bend Golf Club – Gold Beach, OR
- Seaside Golf Club – Seaside, OR
Nevada/California/Oregon: Golfing with the Cartwrights and dining with the Donner Party!
This was definitely a strange pairing. We played two courses that have a connection to the TV show Bonanza and the Ponderosa Ranch. That explains the Cartwright family connection. But dining with the Donner Party? One of our Always Time for 9 staff members has the last name Donner. He is a big man with a hearty appetite. As we traveled over Donner Pass from Nevada to California and eventually to Oregon, we made sure to stop at every rest area and restaurant to make sure his stomach was full. You just never know…
Old Brockway Golf Course, Kings Beach, CA
Ponderosa Golf Course, Truckee, CA
The Links at Kiley Ranch, Sparks, NV
Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, Bandon, OR
Tucker Oaks Golf Course, Redding, CA
Old Back Nine, Bend, OR
Wyoming: 80 on 80
If you have ever driven on I-80 through Wyoming, you understand. The speed limit in the western part of the state is 80 mph; the wind is always blowing at 80 mph; there are always 80 semis to every 1 car along the route; you will see 80 herd of antelope grazing along the highway; Little America Resorts have 80 billboard signs littering the landscape; bathrooms are always at least 80 miles apart; and my golf scores are almost always in the 80’s. For all those semi drivers who need a break and want to get in a quick 9, here are a few suggestions:
Southern/Central Oregon: Back to the Future, Part 2.
The year was 1982. Karen and I had just gotten married and our honeymoon took us down the coasts of Washington, Oregon, and Northern California. 36 years later, we decided to recreate the Oregon portion of that trip.
Back in 1982, Bandon Dunes wasn’t even on the map. Coos Bay hadn’t changed much in 36 years. In Gold Beach, we could now afford a better hotel. Also at Gold Beach, we were able to recreate a photo of me sitting on the same piece of driftwood at the beach. Of course, I am now an old man instead of a young, vibrant lover. Karen somehow has not changed much.
After a quick stop in Grants Pass and Crater Lake National Park, we arrived in Bend…and decided to stay. We sold our house in Colorado and moved to Bend. I guess you can go Back to the Future.
Hidden Valley Golf Course, Cottage Grove, OR
Forest Hills Country Club, Reedsport, OR
Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, Bandon, OR
Cedar Bend Golf Club, Gold Beach, OR
Applegate River Golf Club, Grants Pass, OR
Old Back Nine, Bend, OR (now my home course)
Northern California: Playing through the Redwoods, while sampling fine wine.
The main focus of this buddy trip was to become one with nature in the Redwood forests and to climb El Capitan in Yosemite National Park. Or was it photo El Capitan and play golf in Yosemite? I know we did one of the two!
The trip started in San Francisco, as we sailed under the Golden Gate Bridge, sampled Irish coffee and even had time to play a 9-hole round. It was decided that we play golf (at our 2018 Course of the Year) before we started to sample wine in Sonoma. Cruising along the coast on Hwy. 1, our destination was Little River Inn, North Coast Brewery and Humboldt Redwood State Park. Our trip was complete with golf and hiking in Yosemite National Park.
Southern California (San Diego): It’s January; it’s warm; it’s not Colorado; I’m wearing shorts; it’s the desert; and it’s snowing?
A trip to Southern California in winter is always a treat if you live in Colorado. The San Diego trip started in the rain; turned into snow as I made my way to Borrego Springs; and ended in glorious sunshine.
Besides playing golf, I was able to attend the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines; explore Balboa Park; visit La Jolla Cove; and reunite with an old childhood friend.
So many fun places to visit but so little time.
Pacific Northwest/CO: 2020 – The Year of COVID-19
I never thought a year could be crazier than 1968. That was the summer between my senior year in high school and freshman year in college. On our way to Aurora College in Aurora, IL, we drove through Chicago as the protests were happening at the Democratic National Convention. As Bob Dylan would say…the times they are a changin’!
Fast forward 52 years…and it did get worse. Just to highlight: COVID-19; I turned 70; we missed golf trips to Scotland and the New England states; protests; devastating fires; unemployment; business hardships; and political accusations of lies, fake news, hoaxes and conspiracy theories.
But in spite of all this, we were still able to golf the fairways less traveled! We stayed close to home and concentrated most of our playing to the Pacific Northwest. During this time we felt it necessary to help support the small town, family-owned golf courses that may have struggled due to COVID restrictions.
Let’s continue to support these small town courses that can mean so much to their communities. As we move to 2021, think…Support Small Business!
Old Back Nine – Bend, OR
Sunriver Resort (Caldera Links) – Sunriver, OR
Orcas Island Golf Course – Eastsound, WA
Ellensburg Golf Club – Ellensburg, WA
Hidden Valley Golf Course – Cottage Grove, OR
River Ridge Golf Complex – Eugene, OR
The Greg Mastriona Golf Courses at Hyland Hills (Blue Course) – Westminster, CO
Pelican Lakes Golf and Country Club (Falls Course) – Windsor, CO
Colorado/Wyoming: The Border War – Who wins the Golden Golf Shoe?
This is the Always Time for 9 take on the classic Border War Football Game between Colorado State University and the University of Wyoming. the winner holds the coveted Bronze Boot for the year. I will try to be objective in my decisions but loyalty is a strong motivator. Mrs. Always Time for 9, my mother-in-law and father-in-law, one brother-in-law, and Always Time for 9 team member, Armchair Piper (Ed) are all alumni of CSU.
Let the competition begin and please forgive me if I am a little biased toward Colorado!
Colorado vs. Wyoming: Winner – Colorado. They have the Broncos; Rockies; Avalanche; Nuggets; Vail; The Broadmoor; Castle Pines. Wyoming has wind.
Fort Collins vs. Laramie: Winner – Fort Collins. No contest – I met and married Mrs. Always Time for 9 there many years ago!
Colorado State University vs. University of Wyoming: Winner- CSU. Please refer to the first paragraph. I need to live to see another day.
Green/Gold vs. Brown/Yellow: Winner – Tie. I’m more partial to the Blue/White of Aurora University.
Rams vs. Cowboys: Winner – Cowboys. Karen asked me how I could vote against that little cutie, “Cam, the Ram”? This comes from a Ft. Collins High graduate who’s mascot is a “Lambkin”. A mighty “Lambkin”?
Enough of this foolishness, it’s time for golf and the real challenge. Following are a few 9-hole courses from which to choose when traveling in Northern Colorado and/or Southern Wyoming.
Fox Run GC (Laramie) vs. City Park 9 (Ft. Collins): Winner – City Park 9
Little America GC (Cheyenne) vs. Mountain Vista GC (Ft. Collins): Winner: Little America
Kingham Prairie View GC (Cheyenne) vs. Pelican Lakes Golf Club – Falls Course (Windsor, CO): Winner – Pelican Lakes (Falls). Our 2015 Course of the Year.
Leaning Rock GC (Pine Bluffs, WY) vs. Mt. Meadows GC (Red Feather Lakes, CO): Winner – Tie (Neither deserves to win!)
You can read more about all these courses on the following links…
Fox Run Golf Course – Laramie, WY
City Park 9 – Fort Collins, CO
Little America Golf Course – Cheyenne, WY
Mountain Vista Golf Course – Fort Collins, CO
Kingham Prarie View Golf Course – Cheyenne, WY
Pelican Lakes Golf and Country Club – Windsor, CO
Leaning Rock Golf Course – Pine Bluffs, WY
Mt. Meadows Golf Course – Red Feather Lakes, CO