Penny Parker On The Town: Joe knows Colorado golf destinations for traveling duffers

June 26, 2013

You could say that Golf Magazine’s Joe “The Traveling Golfer” Passov gets around.

The architecture and course rankings senior editor “has written more than 750 articles for nearly 60 publications since 1987. He is also the author of ‘The Unofficial Guide to Golf Vacations in the Eastern U.S.’ He has been a staff editor at four different golf publications and was formerly editor-in-chief of ‘Links Magazine.’ He has played more than 1,200 courses in 46 states and 21 countries,” according to his biography posted on

In the mag’s current July issue, Passov, whose column is a Q&A from avid golfers looking for their next best destination for hitting the links, fields a question from Dean Blank in Twin Falls, Idaho, who said he had one day to play in Denver.

“I’m a 20-handicap but would like to play the best course in the area,” Blank’s note says. “Cost is not a problem.” (Lucky him!)

Travelin’ Joe’s answer: “The Mile High City has lots of value layouts but if money’s no issue, Richie Rich, play the trophy tracks.

“Start with The Ridge at Castle Pines North ($69-$145; 303-688-4301;, which serves up a quality Tom Weiskopf design and Pikes Peak views with Troon Golf service and conditioning.

“I also like Fossil Trace (one of my personal faves) ($58-$85; 303-277-8750,, a Jim Engh creation that features the remnants of brick and sandstone pillars in the fairways and a view of the Coors Brewery from the 13th tee.

“Finally, there may be better courses in the Denver area, but none are more memorable than Arrowhead (breathtaking!) ($70-$140; 303-973-9614,, a 41-year-old Robert Trent Jones Jr. design that sits among huge, jagged plumes of red sandstone, most notably at the downhill par-3 13th.”

While I have no quibble with Passov’s picks, he would have done Blank a favor by recommending Green Valley Ranch, the Perry Dye course closest to Denver International Airport. The course is in tip-top shape (yes, I’m a member), the pro shop staff – largely because of the charming assistant pro Steve Thomas – knows quality customer service, and there’s an outdoor patio space for private parties just off the monster 18th hole.

Check it out at; 303-371-3131; semi-private course with greens fees from $50-$65 during peak season. Note: No denim allowed and collared shirts required.

Golf for good

Tee it up for a great cause during The Frontier Club’s second annual Golf Tournament at Heather Ridge Golf Club in Aurora on Saturday.

A portion of the registration fee and 100 percent of proceeds from mulligans and door-prize tickets will be donated to Sense of Security, the only Colorado charity that gives financial assistance to patients going through breast cancer treatments. Funds raised ensure that patients can stay secure in their homes, and have enough good food to nourish themselves and their families.

While I was lucky enough to have good insurance when I was going through treatment while I worked at the Rocky Mountain News and didn’t need Sense of Security’s services, I became attached to the charity and have helped raise thousands of dollars for this worthy organization.

Registration for the golf tournament begins at 12:30 p.m. with a 1:30 p.m. shotgun start. An after party follows at the nearby Frontier Club. The $120 entry fee includes the golf, goodie bag and range balls, team prizes and refreshments. Guests may attend the after party only for $25 per person.

More details and registration info at

Sweet soiree

Enstrom Candies (really, is there anything better than the World Famous Almond Toffee?) is celebrating the grand opening of the new Arvada location, 6770 W. 52nd Ave., Suite C (just north of I-70 and East of Wadsworth Boulevard) from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday.

The party includes free samples of Enstrom World Famous Almond Toffee, Enstrom Premium Ice Cream, Seattle Roasted Gourmet Coffees, Wi-Fi and indoor and outdoor seating.

“We are very excited about the new store,” said Linda Enstrom, Denver area manager. “We can now offer our customers a pleasant environment that is convenient for those quick morning meetings or the quiet pick-me-up coffee break.”

The new store is situated just a few doors down from the previous space. More information at

Soiree at Sunset

The Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce is hosting Soiree at Sunset, a food, wine, music and networking event, from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday at the Denver Botanic Gardens, 1028 York St.

The second annual Soiree at Sunset features an opportunity for chamber members and guests to enjoy the early summer beauty of the Botanic Gardens.

Sponsored by VectraBank Colorado and featuring an up-close cooking demonstration by James Beard Award winner chef Jennifer Jasinski of Rioja, Bistro Vendome and Euclid Hall, the networking event will help the CWCC further its vision of providing opportunities and visibility for women in business through relationship development, education, mentorship, partnership and alliances.

Participating caterers – including Bistro Boys Catering, Elk Creek Catering & Promotions, Larimer Catering, Wystone’s World Teas and Panera Bread – will showcase their culinary creations.

Tickets are $55 for CWCC members; $65 for non members. Registration at

Beer here

The Epic Beer Festival is holding its first event in the Denver area on Friday and Saturday at The Colorado Convention Center, Hall F.

Beers from more than 160 breweries across the country will provide samples of more than 350 craft beers. The Epic Beer Festival also has a designated driver program that offers refunds for non-drinking attendees that serve as designated drivers.

There are three sessions from 7 to 10 p.m. Friday, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday or 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $40 and include Epic Beer Festival tasting cup and 2-ounce samples of festival beers.

For tickets and more information, go to

Eavesdropping on a woman at Valley Country Club during the Colorado Restaurant Association’s 13th annual golf tournament when a member of her foursome gave her a goodie bag filled with beauty products: “What is this? Olavie Chardonnay wine therapy antioxidant hand cream. I think I’d rather drink it than rub it on my hands.”

Did you hear that I have a new column, “Mile High Life,” in Colorado Community Media’s 17 weekly newspapers circling Denver? Be sure to like my Facebook page! Also, here’s where you go to get my column emailed to you Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. I’m now the social-media liaison for the Mile High Chapter of the Colorado Restaurant Association, so read my latest restaurant news there. My email:

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