Vidakovich column: The Old Course

I have played golf in Glenwood Springs on “The Hill” since I was a boy taking lessons from course professional John Benzel and participating in the yearly junior tournament called the Soda Pop Open. I’ve walked those sloped fairways and tried to putt the tilted greens for years, and I have enjoyed every uphill and downhill step of the way.

Lately, I have taken up a new nickname for the West Glenwood nine. I call it “The Old Course,” knowing full well that the name has already been given to St. Andrews in Scotland, the birthplace of golf.

My reasoning is simple: The GSGC is the only place left in this town of Glenwood that I grew up in where I still feel like I’m in the old Glenwood Springs. There are several new faces and young players who have been a pleasure to get to know, but on the average men’s club Tuesday, when I play, I look around and there are more conversations to be had with people that I have known for ages than I can keep up with.

I think many of the players there feel the same way I do about being at a home away from home, and along with the quality of the course, it’s the reason they keep coming back.

So, it’s no longer “The Hill” for me but instead “The Old Course.” This must mean that I am old, too, but that’s OK.

For those of you interested in some serious golf against a highly competitive field, the GSGC will host the annual Glenwood Open the weekend of July 10 and 11. There are flights for all ability levels based on the golfer’s USGA handicap.

A Firekracker and a Shortcut

Two popular Glenwood races will be back after a year’s hiatus due to COVID-19. The Lion’s Club Firekracker 4K (2.5 miles) will be run on Sunday, July 4, at Two Rivers Park in Glenwood, and though there is no Strawberry Days celebration this year, there will be a return of the Shortcut runs. Race directors Mike Kishimoto and Abbey Ehlers will offer an end-of-summer version of the popular 5K and 10K run on Saturday, Aug. 28. At this point, it is looking like both courses will be new, with a planned start and finish taking place under the Grand Avenue Bridge along the riverfront.

Some other local races that are making a comeback this summer include the New Castle Hogback Hustle 5K on Saturday, July 11. The popular Cheatin’ Woodchuck Chase 5-miler will be back on Saturday, Aug. 7, at Rifle Mountain Park. One of my favorites is the Pyro’s Push it Up Trail Run up on the Flat Tops Wilderness area on Saturday, Aug. 14. The race, run in memory of Capt. William “Pyro” DuBois, has distances of 2.3, 5 and 8 miles for runners of all ability levels.

Tennis Anyone?

After a long dry spell, the Glenwood Springs Community Center will host an adult tennis tournament the week of July 5-12. Matches will be played after 4 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. The tournament will continue all day on Saturday and Sunday. Play will feature divisions for all ability levels and have singles, doubles and mixed doubles divisions to choose from. Contact tournament director Sue Geist at the Community Center for tournament details.

Glenwood Springs native Mike Vidakovich is a freelance sports writer and youth sports coach. His column appears on occasion in the Post Independent and at

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.