At Castle Pines, Jack Nicklaus built a challenging course with elevation changes, mountain ponds, and babbling brooks strategically placed to gobble up your ball. Golf balls fly about 10 percent farther in the thin Colorado air. Number 10 is a 485-yard par 4 and almost as many yards down. Number 18 features another of Nicklaus’ signature concepts: the double fairway, with a riskier route for longer hitters and a safer route for shorter hitters. I didn’t do well on the back nine [we played the back nine first], but the front nine was another story.
Number 1 is a breathtaking downhill par 5 of 644 yards, then the longest hole on the PGA Tour. You could stand on that tee box all day just to drink in the fantastic vista. I hit a long sweeping drive that had a hang time over these mountains that would have made even an NFL punter proud. My 3-wood was equally well struck, and there I was 130 yards from the green and still more downhill to go. I hit a 9-iron to 20 feet and drained that 20-footer for birdie. “Yes! I birdied the longest hole on the PGA Tour. Take that Jack Nicklaus.” My partner joked, “Where were those shots on the other nine?” Larry Berle.
Date: September 28, 2014