SPORTS & RECREATION

Best Boxer
Jerome Hill, middleweight
At the recent Holyfield/Moorer title fight in Las Vegas, this Aurora native fought substantial middleweight Joe Lipsey on the undercard and was clearly leading on points before getting head-butted in the eighth round and KO'd in the aftermath. Hill is just 16-5-1 (4 KOs) as a pro, but since he has slimmed down from cruiserweight (185 pounds) to the middleweight (160) and super-middleweight (168) ranks, his superior punching power and artistic boxing skills have come to the fore. There might be a top-ten contender fight in the near future, but Hill needs to hurry: He's 32 years old.

Best Swordswoman
Elaine Cheris
Proprietor of East Colfax's Cheyenne Fencing Society (no, they don't receive stolen goods, goofball, they teach you to duel!), Cheris is a national champion and a worthy opponent of the world's best artists of epee. She has a great shot at competing in the Atlanta Olympics, but for now she gets herself to Hamburg and Paris at her own expense--sans her coach. The unkindest cut of all is the way Americans ignore her ancient and beautiful sport.

Best Race Driver
Michael Pettiford
Okay, so former Indy 500 winner Danny Sullivan and a couple of other leadfoots claim Aspen as their mailing address. Our choice is still Michael Pettiford of Louisville, a grassroots kind of guy who drives his Camaro to the front pretty regularly in local and regional races and usually finishes mid-pack in pro events. A versatile competitor, he drives in several classes and teaches 'em too: Periodically, he runs a race-driving school for newcomers at Second Creek Raceway.

Best Private Golf Course
Castle Pines Golf Club
Castle Rock

Home since 1986 to the International, Colorado's only annual PGA Tour event, the par-72, 7,559-yard layout at Castle Pines Golf Club, lined with thousands of ponderosa pines, is daunting enough for the pros each August, though the jury remains out on the tournament's controversial Modified Stableford scoring system. But the 350 club members are impressed every day by hole No. 9, a 425-yard par four featuring an elevated, pond-clearing tee shot, four waterfalls and holding ponds down the right side of the fairway and a narrow, sloping green. Then there's No. 18, the course's signature hole, a long (450-yard) par four that doglegs left from the tee and is lined with eleven pothole bunkers. Three more traps surround it. Good luck.

Readers' choice: Hiwan Golf Club, Evergreen

Best Public Golf Course
Fox Hollow at Lakewood
13410 W. Morrison Rd., Lakewood

An inventive gem that opened August 1, 1993, Fox Hollow is actually three nine-hole courses. The Links is a hilly, wide-open, Scottish-style layout. The Canyon is a scenic, tree-lined round, and the Meadow is a flat, tree-laden nine that meanders along a creek. Everywhere, the native grasses have been preserved, and the resident wildlife--deer and coyotes, foxes and skunks--still wander about as they please. Eighteen holes of glorious golfing variety costs $22 if you're a Jeffco resident, $27 if you're not.

Readers' choice: Wellshire Golf Course

Best Place to Hit a Bucket of Balls in the Middle of Nowhere
Adventure Mountain Driving Range
18000 E. Colfax Ave., Aurora

Out past Buckley Road, where the Colorado landscape flattens way out, you'll see a big pink cement lump surrounded by bright green stripes of Astroturf--this is Adventure Mountain. There are two miniature golf courses; $4 gets you 18 holes, and $7 gets you all 36. The driving range (temporarily closed for repairs and set to reopen in midsummer) is a short-shot range; you pay $5 for a large bucket of balls. The folks at Adventure Mountain are looking to expand the range for long shot--as soon as the City of Aurora will allow it.

Best Golf Hole
No. 13
Arrowhead Golf Club
10850 W. Sundown Tr., Littleton

The dramatic par three at Arrowhead requires little more than a chip shot from the elevated tee--but what a chip shot. The postage-stamp green lies far below, protected by a water fountain and pond. Before you ever get there, the fairway is flanked by the course's photogenic red-rock cliffs. Scrub pine and additional rocks present other challenges to nerve and concentration.

Best Golf Shot
Dave Holman
No. 11, Park Hill Golf Club

No one can quite place the date or time that Holman, a grizzled veteran campaigner of both the links and the 19th hole, aced the long par-three 11th, except to say it was a month or so ago. Nobody seems to know what club he used or what the foursome was playing for. We haven't been able to track down our old pal Dave of late, either, to extract the details. But we do know this: Holman's recent feat on No. 11 was not the first hole-in-one of his fifty-year golfing career, nor the second. It was, by all accounts, the seventh. Anyway, he's not a man to sweat the details. Guess if you've seen one one, you've seen 'em all.

Best Place to Meet an Eagle
Rocky Mountain Arsenal Wildlife Area Eagle Watch
Access at 56th Ave. and Buckley Rd.

The Rocky Mountain Arsenal has many claims to fame, most of them unpleasant, but if it's good enough for bald eagles, then check it out. The all-American birds roost there all winter--it's one of the reasons part of this godforsaken place has been transmuted into a national wildlife area. Between November and March, early birders can test their eagle eyes from 6:30 to 8 a.m. daily--the regal raptors can be seen up close from an eagle watch equipped with powerful spotting scopes.

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