U.S. Senior Open: Impressive Field Set to Wow Spectators at The Broadmoor
by Kim D. McHugh
Fred Couples, 13 PGA Tour Champions victories, 5-time Ryder Cup member and 1992 victor in The Masters. Bernhard Langer, 36 PGA Tour Champions W’s, 10-time Ryder Cup member and two-time champ at The Masters (1985, 1993). Davis Love III, PGA Tour champ 21 times, winner of the PGA Championship (1997), six-time member of the Ryder Cup. Tom Watson, 14 PGA Tour Champions victories, 4-time Ryder Cup member, 5-time champ at the British Open, 1987 and 1981 green jacket recipient in The Masters and two-time winner of the U.S. Senior Open (2003, 2005).
That’s just a sampling of the stellar line up of golfers planning to tee up at The Broadmoor for the 39th U.S. Senior Open in hopes of winning a share of the $4 million purse and the Francis D. Ouimet Trophy.
If you’ve never seen players of this caliber compete, add a trip to Colorado this summer when 156 qualifiers take on the East Course, whose history of hosting tourneys is impressive: two U.S. Amateur Championships (1959, 1967), a Curtis Cup Championship (1962) a U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship (1982), the U.S. Senior Open (2008) and two U.S. Women’s Opens (1995, 2011). What is also cool is that the United States Golf Association event coincides with the 100th anniversary of the resort, which opened in June 1918.
Over the four-day tournament qualifiers 50 years old and up will be tested on a formidable course conceived in 1917 by Scottish designer Donald Ross. When it opened July 4, 1918, the course, located at 6,230 feet above sea level, made it America’s highest golf course. Though known for its wide, tree-lined fairways and large greens, the 7,355-yard layout won’t simply hand over a low score.
“In my opinion Ross was the greatest golf course architect of all time,” says Russ Miller, The Broadmoor’s Director of Golf. “Even today, 100 years later, this course still stands up against any modern golf course.”
Regardless of your level of interest in the sport (longtime or newly minted fan), The Broadmoor has made watching the rounds in person very user friendly.
“For spectators that want to enjoy watching the championship, but don’t necessarily want to walk the entire course, there are three key viewing locations,” Miller explains. “The tee box at hole number one will be surrounded by a grandstand where the gallery can watch competitors.”
Behind the green on number four, a par-3 with the most treacherous green on the course, a large grandstand Miller spoke of provides great viewing of the green on number three and the approach shots to 18.
“The granddaddy grandstand of them all is located behind the green on 18, seating approximately 2,000 people and allowing standing room for an additional several thousand. There is no better place in golf to watch player’s hit their approach shots to the final green in hopes of winning the Francis D. Ouimet Memorial Trophy.”
Miller suggests spectators only able to attend one round to walk the entire course in hole-by-hole order.
“This allows viewing of the challenging holes the players face and to better appreciate the incredible layout from 1918,” adds Miller. “It also introduces varied and delicious dining opportunities amid the concession stands located throughout the course.”
Whether coming to enjoy the tournament, or you decide on alternate travel dates, note that the resort has numerous non-golf activities for guests. The Spa at The Broadmoor has copious ways to get rejuvenated. Tennis and pickleball courts join a fitness center, two pools, three outdoor hot tubs and a lap pool in giving guests ways to stay fit and refreshed. Twenty restaurants, cafés and lounges offer dining options from the casual Pool Café, Golden Bee and Espresso News, to the more formal Penrose Room, Summit and La Taverne.
The Broadmoor Fly Fishing Camp treats guide-led anglers of all abilities to over five miles of private waters along Tarryall Creek. An Orvis endorsed fly-fishing lodge serves as a private dining space for up to 20 people, and seven cabins await guests looking to ‘rough it’. Miller, a longtime fly-fishing enthusiast, points out the similarities of golf and fishing.
“Fly-fishing, like golf, is a mental and physical experience,” says Miller. “Mentally, the fisherman must concentrate on each cast, similar to a golfer concentrating on each swing. A smooth transition in the back cast and forward cast is a must,” Miller adds. “If the cast is bad, the fish can be spooked. Similar to a bad shot in golf, once it’s made, there is no do-over.”
Whatever inspires your trip—watching competitors at the U.S. Senior Open, you teeing up on the resort’s courses or you catching brown, rainbow and brook trout—having a visit to The Broadmoor on your calendar is a fine plan.
If You Go:
WHEN: June 28 – July 1.
TIXS: 2018ussenioropen.com/tickets; 719-471-6493
HOTEL: The Broadmoor has earned the Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Awards a record 57 consecutive years, the AAA Five-Diamond for 41 years, is on Condé Nast Traveler’s Gold List and was named the #1 Golf Resort of North America by Golf Magazine 2014 – 2015. broadmoor.com; (855) 634-7711.
GALLERY TIPS: Cameras aren’t allowed on tourney days; it’s OK to take pics with your mobile phone (it must be on silent). Wear tennis shoes or comfortable footwear. Ladies, leave the heels at home; they are hard to walk in around the course. Be prepared for late afternoon rain (lightweight jacket, small umbrellas only). Apply sunscreen even on cloudy days. Stay hydrated and limit alcohol intake.
The Broadmoor by Callaway Golf
Kim D. McHugh has written about travel, snow sports, hotels, local restaurants and chefs, architecture and interesting people since 1986. A former associate editor at Rocky Mountain Golf magazine, the Lowell Thomas award-winning freelance writer is a member of the Golf Writers Association of America. Based in Colorado, he enjoys sharing those “I-didn’t-know-that” revelations with readers in articles that have appeared in the San Francisco Examiner, the Denver Post, SKI, Hemispheres, 5280, Luxury Golf & Travel, Colorado Expression, Tastes of Italia, Vail/Beaver Creek and Colorado AvidGolfer.