April 1, 2022
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – After a year-long environmental study, the City of Colorado Springs will break ground on the nation’s first PGA-certified golf course to be built at over 14,000 feet. The nine-hole course, which features genetically-engineered grass appropriate for the altitude, is expected to open in April of 2023. Because of extreme weather conditions, the course will operate only in spring and summer, and springtime golfers will be issued weighted golf balls in neon colors to account for both wind and snow.
Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers was enthusiastic about the new course. “This is just another example of how tourists and residents alike can experience our purple mountain majesty,” he said. “I plan to play a round just as soon as the snow melts.”
The new Pikes Peak Summit Complex, completed in 2021, will be utilized as the club house. “It’s a state of the art building, and with 12,000 square feet to fill, we were really looking to get a bang for our buck,” said Mayor John Suthers, an avid golfer.
The City worked extensively with experts on oxygenation and altitude in planning the course. “Our experts recommend that those not accustomed to high altitude don’t stay too long, so an 18-hole golf course was not considered to be prudent,” said Jason Marks, associate director of high altitude for the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Training Center.
The city will grind up to 36 tons of Pikes Peak granite to create the “world’s highest” sand traps. Low-water turf is being developed to ensure survivability in extreme weather.
PGA Colorado is developing customized handicaps for the course, noting extreme terrain, altitude, thin air and wildlife as challenges that are not covered by the official handicapping system. Because of the difficulty, golfers who achieve a hole in one will have their name enshrined on the western wall of the Summit House.