Aspen Lakes committed to making golf fun for all

Aspen No 10

Community Fun League, Sip and Chip are just two examples of ways Aspen Lakes is trying to make golf even more enjoyable

After a four-putt or shanked tee shot, it can be so easy to forget that golf is supposed to be fun.

This game can be a frustrating one, no doubt. But we should never lose sight of the fact that golf is meant to be enjoyed by all who venture to play this ancient game.

Still, a simple Google search will reveal an almost endless effort to make golf more fun. Heck, the Golf Channel launched an ongoing Relaxed Rules series aimed at helping golfers to take it easy and have a better time while on the golf course.

Aspen Lakes wants to do its part, too.

“Without question, we want to broaden the appeal of golf,” says Rob Malone, director of golf at Aspen Lakes. “We want folks to not think of an old stodgy golfer when they think of the game. We want them to think of golf as it should be thought of: a fun game for nearly all to enjoy.”

Up first is Aspen Lakes’ Community Fun League, which will be back for its second year after an incredibly successful inaugural run.

What is it? Well, every Wednesday at 5 p.m. from June 8 through Aug. 24, everyone is invited to share nine holes of golf in a pressure-free, four-person scramble. (Nobody will be turned away, even if they have a smaller or larger team!)

What makes the league special is in its rather loose interpretation of the rules.

“It’s OK to do whatever you want,” said Howie Pruitt, Aspen Lakes’ director of player development. “If you don’t want to hit out of the woods, kick it out. If you hit in the bunker and don’t want to hit it out of the bunker, throw it out. For people who come out, particularly beginners, I want them to enjoy the game and not be intimidated by the rules.”

The success of the first year is hard to ignore. Every Wednesday evening last summer the course would fill with fun-loving golfers who would just as soon not worry about the formalities of the game. It was golf for golf’s sake, and it was undeniably fun.

This is precisely why Aspen Lakes wants to do it again.

“We were really encouraged by it last year, and I think this year will be even better,” Pruitt said. “There is no doubt that this a fun way to play golf.”

Best of all, the tournaments are inexpensive. The cost is just $20 per player to join a team, and each player pays a reduced green fee of $25 (including cart!). Sign up at Sisters Park and Recreation District.

Chip and Sip, Better Golf/Better Beer

Aspen Lakes has other ideas, too. New this year will be two regular events combining two of Central Oregon favorites: golf and an adult beverage.

The first is an instructional event with Howie named Better Golf/Better Beer. On five Mondays this summer (June 13 and 27, July 11 and 25, and Aug. 15) from 5:30 p.m. to 6:15 p.m., Howie will offer a 45-minute instructional clinic. The clinic will then be followed by a beer tasting.

What better way to learn the game?

On June 30, July 28, and Aug. 25, Aspen Lakes will host a nine-hole scramble for couples named the Chip and Sip. Couples will tee off on each hole from tees placed 40 to 50 yards from the green. That’s the chip. The sip comes after in the grill with libations and prizes.

Each event tees off at 4:30 p.m. and costs $30 per couple, including cart.

Sign up for the Chip and Sip and Better Golf/Better Beer at Sisters Park and Recreation District.

A fun hole at a great tournament for an even better cause

The annual Golfing for the Guard Tournament is set to tee off on Friday, May 27. And this is no ordinary golf tournament.

One hole will be a bit special. Golfers can play a hole using anything they want — hockey stick, football or foot wedge — so long as they don’t use a golf club. More than that, there will be complimentary tastes of North Rim Brewing, breakfast from Brewed Awakenings and lunch from newly opened Our Place.

The cost is just $89. Register as a team or individual at www.GolfingfortheGuard.us.

It’s all in great fun.

Call the Aspen Lakes pro shop at 541-549-4653 for more information. To book a tee time call the golf shop or book online.

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