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June 27, 2012
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Battlement Mesa golf course offers serenity, challenges

Serenity is a special thing at Battlement Mesa Golf Club. A special thing, that is, to the golfers who make their second home there.

"I like the fact there's not much of a crowd," said Orlan Dove, 55, who has played at the golf course constantly for the past 15 years. "It's like you go out there in the afternoon, and it's like you have the whole golf course to yourself."

Then again, it's not like Battlement Mesa is some desert oasis that avid golfers from around the region have trouble finding. The course has more than 100 full-time members, yet it's quaint enough to make the regular players feel like they have their own golf course.

Granted, the dry heat and hot winds that prevail during most afternoons in Battlement Mesa take a toll on the number of people who come out to the course late in the day. But that's just fine for the regulars, who feel the course layout and its challenges are worth coming out every day and teeing off.

"I never get tired of playing here," said John Santos, 64, who moved from Los Angeles to Battlement Mesa to retire. "Back in L.A., there were a lot of courses to choose from and if you played one course all the time, you'd get tired of playing it. Here, you never get tired even though this is really isolated."

The course itself isn't very old - it was built in 1982 - and has it's fair share of obstacles, just like any other course. The Colorado River flows right next to holes 12 through 14 and, although they don't have a tremendous amount of hazards, span close to 1,600 yards combined. They're nicknamed "the gauntlet" on the golf course's web site.

Head golf pro Jason Franke said his advice to golfers new to the course is not to miss the greens to the left.

"You'll get into the most trouble that way," Franke said. "We think it's one of the most challenging courses on the West Slope, but fair. And we keep it in really good shape."

It's the variety - along with the occasional serenity - that keeps Battlement Mesa's regulars coming back.

"It plays fair at all levels," said Frank Ladd, 52, who has been playing the course since 1994. "It's challenging, especially with the wind. But it's a course that will definitely reward you for a good shot and will definitely penalize you if you take a bad shot."

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The Post Independent Updated Jun 27, 2012 05:50PM Published Jun 27, 2012 05:48PM Copyright 2012 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.