Shreveport, Louisiana's David Toms, one of the best-kept secrets on the PGA Tour, led last summer's Sprint International at Castle Pines the entire way -- until the sixteenth hole of the final round. There, Toms scored an egregious triple bogey and gave up the lead to hard-charging David Duval. But Toms wasn't done. On seventeen, the long-hitting pro pulled himself together, rolled a delicate chip shot down a nerve-shattering greenside hill and left his ball within a few feet of the cup. Toms coolly sank his birdie putt and put the tournament in his pocket right there, joining such better-known international winners as Greg Norman, Davis Love III, Phil Mickelson and Vijay Singh.
The city of Denver owns dozens of park tennis courts that you can play on for free, but if you have a couple bucks burning a hole in your pocket it's more than worth the price of admission to stop by the Gates Tennis Center in the Cherry Creek neighborhood. For $4 an hour per court (that's $1.25 each for a doubles match), you get your choice of twenty hard-surface courts (resurfaced this year), seven of which are well-lit for night play. Gates's center court, sunken for better viewing, is one of the best venues in the city, public or private. The tennis center also has six teaching pros on staff, and can string rackets on site.
Gates Tennis Center
The city of Denver owns dozens of park tennis courts that you can play on for free, but if you have a couple bucks burning a hole in your pocket it's more than worth the price of admission to stop by the Gates Tennis Center in the Cherry Creek neighborhood. For $4 an hour per court (that's $1.25 each for a doubles match), you get your choice of twenty hard-surface courts (resurfaced this year), seven of which are well-lit for night play. Gates's center court, sunken for better viewing, is one of the best venues in the city, public or private. The tennis center also has six teaching pros on staff, and can string rackets on site.
This well-appointed club south of Denver has five outdoor courts that are open year-round, but the real draw is the seven scrupulously maintained indoor clay courts. Naturally, such luxury doesn't come cheap; initiation is $300 ($350 for a couple), with additional monthly dues of $107 ($161). That's more than $1,500 per year to swat around a tennis ball, but if you love the high bounces and sliding style of clay, it's well worth the cost.
Greenwood Athletic Club
This well-appointed club south of Denver has five outdoor courts that are open year-round, but the real draw is the seven scrupulously maintained indoor clay courts. Naturally, such luxury doesn't come cheap; initiation is $300 ($350 for a couple), with additional monthly dues of $107 ($161). That's more than $1,500 per year to swat around a tennis ball, but if you love the high bounces and sliding style of clay, it's well worth the cost.
With amateur tennis, any player can beat another of similar ability on a given day. But Loehr has shown amazing consistency on the Denver club tennis scene. Last year he won both the Denver Open Tournament and the Colorado State Open, an unusual enough accomplishment on its own. But he also won the state tournament in 1998, as well. That means that this July, Loehr will be aiming for his third consecutive state championship -- a feat that, according to the Colorado Tennis Association, has never before been accomplished.
With amateur tennis, any player can beat another of similar ability on a given day. But Loehr has shown amazing consistency on the Denver club tennis scene. Last year he won both the Denver Open Tournament and the Colorado State Open, an unusual enough accomplishment on its own. But he also won the state tournament in 1998, as well. That means that this July, Loehr will be aiming for his third consecutive state championship -- a feat that, according to the Colorado Tennis Association, has never before been accomplished.
Recent breakthroughs in swimming-pool technologies almost dictate that the best swimming pool be the newest. Standing at the recently opened Wheat Ridge Community Center pool, surrounded by so much aquatic flash and dazzle, it's hard to imagine what people did in the six-lane cement ponds of yesteryear. But this is a fitness center, and quite a workout can be had by running from one aquatic attraction to the next. First hit the inner tubes by the lazy river for some paddling exercises, then try a cool-down on the water-fountain spray features, followed by a brisk wallowing in the baby pool and a series of reps in the Jacuzzi. And just off the interior sunbathing courtyard, a curious six-lane cement pond has been built where old-timers and history buffs can try their hands at "swimming."
Recent breakthroughs in swimming-pool technologies almost dictate that the best swimming pool be the newest. Standing at the recently opened Wheat Ridge Community Center pool, surrounded by so much aquatic flash and dazzle, it's hard to imagine what people did in the six-lane cement ponds of yesteryear. But this is a fitness center, and quite a workout can be had by running from one aquatic attraction to the next. First hit the inner tubes by the lazy river for some paddling exercises, then try a cool-down on the water-fountain spray features, followed by a brisk wallowing in the baby pool and a series of reps in the Jacuzzi. And just off the interior sunbathing courtyard, a curious six-lane cement pond has been built where old-timers and history buffs can try their hands at "swimming."
Climbing walls have become a hip form of exercise, and there are a growing number of them in Denver on which you can test your perpendicular prowess. (Not included in this list: the wall at the new downtown REI store, more display than challenge.) Yet there's something about scaling an indoor face that violates the spirit of rock climbing. So save your money and head west to the sheer walls off of Route 8 just a few yards east of downtown Morrison. The rocks face south, so handholds are warm most of the year. The routes are short enough that you don't need to haul around ropes and protection (an alert spotter will do), and there are an infinite number of moves to try, from simple to ridiculous. Best of all, you'll get a tan at the same time.

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