Longform

SPORTS & RECREATION

Page 4 of 5

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.

Best Public Tennis Courts
Washington Park
Fresh resurfacing, new divider fences and the high quality of challenge-court play make former hellhole Washington Park our 1994 choice over perennial winners Congress Park and the Gates Tennis Center (where they nick you for a couple of bucks). Wash Park netters are generally a congenial bunch, too, which means something in a world that gave us John McEnroe and Goran Ivanisevic.

Best Ski Run for Aging Knees
Heavenly Days
Steamboat Springs

The terrain at Heavenly Days is beautiful and has its challenges, but the real attraction here is that at exactly 1 p.m. on most days of the season, former U.S. Olympic medalist Billy Kidd--feather-banded cowboy hat and all--meets at the top of the run with ordinary skiers, then imparts a mini-lesson to them on the way down. Kidd, Steamboat's director of skiing, couldn't have chosen a more appealing publicity tool. And you could hardly choose a finer ski partner. Just be sure to check the sign at the gondola loading station to see if Bill's on the hill that day.

Readers' choice: Cranmer, Winter Park

Best Shredder Run
Floral Park
Berthoud Pass

Floral Park provides boundless excitement for snowboarders--and naturally, it's out of bounds. The area is super-steep and seemingly bottomless, an endless run of untracked powder broken only by some challenging stands of trees. It's perfect for new-schoolers--lots of banking and tweaking. And avalanche danger is an added bonus. Super dope!

Readers' choice: East Wall, A-Basin

Best Bump Run
Outhouse
Winter Park

Fasten your seat belt--it's going to be a very bumpy ride. From the top of the Zephyr lift, the black-diamond Outhouse plunges like a spill of giant marbles to the bottom of the mountain. If you can ski Outhouse without stopping--let alone falling--you'll be talking about it for quite a while (most likely to your orthoscopic surgeon, who'll have to repair the damage to your knees).

Readers' choice: Outhouse

Best Ski Runs for Beginners
Discovery Park
Winter Park

A newly opened novice area, Discovery Park features three or four gentle, linked runs, completely fenced off from the rest of the mountain but bathed in the same sunshine. They're manicured, confidence-building breezers for parents and children alike.

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