Amateur golf tour formed in Aspen |

Amateur golf tour formed in Aspen

Keith Bryant of Carbondale takes advantage of a blue sky day to work on his swing at the Aspen Golf Club driving range Monday afternoon, Oct 4, 2004. Aspen Times photo/Mark Fox

Two Aspen golfers have organized a regional amateur golf tour complete with prize money, order of merit and opportunities to move to a year-end national championship.

Aspen-based financial planner Trent Powell, 38, and Aspen attorney Adam Gillespie, 32, have opened a local chapter of the Michelob Ultra Golf Tour, a national organization comprised of over 5,000 amateur golfers. The Aspen chapter will run from spring until early September. Each weekend, a new golf course in the valley will host a tour stop.

Battlement Mesa, Lakota Canyon, River Valley Ranch, Cotton Ranch, Eagle Ranch, Rifle Creek, Aspen and Eagle-Vail Golf clubs have all volunteered to host the tour.

Powell and Gillespie, both competitive low-handicap golfers, said they met on the golf course and became fast friends ” both through a love of the game and a sense of frustration over the lack amateur tournaments on the Western Slope.

“We were grouped together in the Aspen City championship and we were both complaining about the drive to Denver for Colorado Golf Association tournaments. So the idea came to us, why not bring the tournaments to Aspen?” Gillespie said.

Membership for the tour costs $135. Each weekly 18-hole event costs between $89 and $115. The tournaments will be divided into six handicap flights, ranging from under 3.9 to over 20. The top finishers in each flight, per event, receive gift-certificate prizes, the amount of which will depend on the number of contestants.

An order of merit will also be established in each flight, with the top finishers earning a spot in the fall’s national tour championship on the Funai Classic PGA Tour golf course in Orlando, Fla.

Powell said he hopes to bring the feel of the PGA tour to local golf courses. A hospitality tent will be set up on the first tee at each event, and results will be posted on a national Web site.

“It’s meant to be fun and laid-back for local golfers, but we also want to give it a real tournament feel,” Powell said. “It doesn’t matter if your a scratch golfer or a 25 handicap, it’s still fun to play in official tournaments.”

So far, Powell and Gillespie have signed up around 30 golfers, but they hope that number will swell to closer to 75 as the season gets under full swing.

“There’s so many golf courses in the valley now,” Gillespie said. ” Everyone’s spread out and it’s hard to meet other golfers. It’s a sport that has much to do with camaraderie. These events will really bring golfers together.”

For more information about joining the Michelob Ultra Golf Tour call Adam Gillespie at 963-8891 or e-mail

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