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Pac-12 Road Trip


The spectacular Rocky Mountains provide a grand setting for Colorado football games.


University S of Utah


alt Lake City


University of Colorado Boulder


Recently ranked as the No. 1 Party School in the country, Colorado is no stranger to fun. Colorado hasn’t produced a winning season since 2005, but between one of the best microbrew scenes in the country, the spectacular setting of the surrounding Rocky Mountains, and the famous running of Ralphie the Buffalo, Folsom Field still deliv- ers a memorable game-day experience. A super-sized Colorado National in nearby Erie houses the men’s and women’s


golf teams, and can play as long as 7,676 yards in the Mile-High thin air. It features a 696-yard par 5, a drivable par 4 and dramatic changes in eleva- tion. Just southeast of Denver is Colorado GC, a Bill Coore- Ben Crenshaw design that hosted the 2010 Senior PGA, and most recently this year’s Solheim Cup. Colorado boasts three courses ranked in Golf Digest’s


Top 100 Courses, including No. 33 Castle Pines (50 miles from Boulder), the 21-year host of the PGA Tour’s now defunct International. No. 64 Cherry Hills (just 35 miles


from Boulder) has hosted three U.S. Opens and two PGA Championships, and will stage the 2014 BMW Champion- ship. The Tom Doak-designed Ballyneal is a trek (in the north-


east corner of the state, 200 miles from Boulder), but has been compared to Sand Hills in Nebraska. Ballyneal rose from No. 95 to 78 in the latest rankings.


FALL 2013 / NCGA.ORG / 45


Rice-Eccles Stadium was on the world stage in 2002 as the host of the Winter Olympics Opening Ceremonies. A compact stadium with just 45,017 seats, a usually sold-out crowd can rev up the decibels and make Salt Lake City an intimidating home environment. Utah has been a deceptively strong football pro- gram, owning a 13-4 bowl record (best winning percentage in the NCAA out of schools with 10-plus appearances), and is 2-0 in BCS games, including a 31-17 win over Alabama in the Sugar Bowl during an undefeated 2008 season. If you catch a game in Septem-


ber or early October, a 45-minute drive east to Soldier Hollow GC in Midway is worth the trip. Originally the biathlon course for the 2002 Winter Olympics, the 36-hole Soldier Hollow hosted Utah’s only USGA event, the 2012 U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship. Soldier Hollow is also a frequent host of the Utah State Amateur. Since Midway is at nearly


5,600 feet, other lower-elevation options to consider in the fall include Bonneville (host of the Salt Lake City Amateur) and Stonebridge GC (a design by BYU grad Johnny Miller).


PHOTO: ALEX BENISON, WWW.AMBIMAGES.COM


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