How to Pull off the 9-9-9 Challenge

It’s Spring, and that means it’s 9-9-9 Season!

By Jim Bebbington

April and May are the months when the fabled Colorado 9-9-9 challenge becomes possible. Ski nine runs. Golf nine holes. Watch nine innings at a Rockies game. All in the same day. The 9-9-9 season starts with the Rockie’s home opener – April 5 this year. It ends when the last ski run shuts down. That’s usually Arapahoe Basin; in 2023 that was June 4.

Why do it? According to 9-9-9 veterans, because it’s a blast, and because you are young. “We started at 6 a.m. and kept it going until 10 p.m. and after… and I can’t keep up with that anymore,” said Tyler Stanley, a 31-year-old Chicago transplant who did the 9-9-9 three years in a row. He did it once alone, meeting different friends and his wife for different stops.



Then he organized a fundraiser around it for two years, getting upwards of 30 people. They even added a ‘9’ – beginning the day with a nine-mile run. “You have to start at 6 a.m. because you have to get done with that (run) and get out to the mountain,” he said. “ For a lot of folks, you do it once and you’re done.” The hardest part? Staying awake for the end of the Rockies game, he said. Some groups add other ‘9’s: – drink nine beers, eat nine hotdogs, take nine shots.


SKI: Eldora Mountain or Arapahoe Basin give you either the closest option or the latest season. Eldora lifts begin at either 8:30 a.m. or 9 a.m.; it closed for the season last year on April 16. A-Basin lifts start turning at 9 a.m.

GOLF: The closest golf course to Coors Field is the city of Denver’s City Park Golf Course. The Hale-Irwin redesigned course is one of the most popular courses in the state – a good test, and very affordable. To get tee times it is best to pay $50 to join the city of Denver’s golf access program; you can book tee times 14 days in advance. Other close options include CommonGround Golf Course in Aurora.



Coming back from Eldora you can hit Boulder’s Flatirons Golf Course or Westminster’s Walnut Creek Golf Preserve. En route from A-Basin, there are options all along the I-70 corridor including Fossil Trace Golf Club, Applewood Golf Course or Willis Case Golf Course.

ROCKIES: The Rockies give you two possibilities for your 9-9-9. Go to a day game and finish your day with twilight golf, or else play in the afternoons and end the day at Coors Field. The team has 1:10 p.m. starts on April 7,10,21 and 25 this month. There are seven 6:40 p.m. starts during April’s two home stands, April 5 -12 and April 19-25. In May and early June, as daylight lengthens, more options become available.


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Jim Bebbington is the Director of Content at Colorado AvidGolfer. Contact him at [email protected]