ACCORDING TO manager Bud Black, there’s a debate raging through the Colorado Rockies’ clubhouse this spring. It has nothing to do with whom the team’s fifth starter should be, or whether long-time phenom Brendan Rodgers is ready to take over at second base—it’s not even…heavy sigh…what was the best play Nolan Arenado ever made while wearing the purple pinstripes.
Nope, this one, as is so often the case when it comes to matters of civil discourse, is about golf—right up there with Arnie or Jack and Tiger or Phil.
Who’s the best golfer on the Colorado Rockies?
In one corner, you’ve got Kyle Freeland, the Denver native (and former Colorado AvidGolfer cover boy) who is part of an ongoing baseball legacy of pitchers—see Smoltz, John,
who qualified for the U.S. Senior Open a few years back—who are equally adept at twirling a 5-iron after a well-struck shot as a 12-6 curveball.
In the other, there’s Trevor Story, who, had he not decided to become an all-star short- stop, might have tried emulating a fellow Texan, Ben Hogan, and pursued a career in golf. “It’s always Freeland or Story, Story or Freeland—that’s it,” says Black. “Let me put
it this way: I’d love to see that match.”
As it turns out, the two titans squared off recently at the Troon North Golf Club in
Scottsdale, Arizona, going toe-to-toe into the setting sun following a full day of work at the Rockies’ spring training facility. While the day’s winner was clearly teammate Ryan McMahon’s skill as a hustler, Story found himself in a familiar position—answering questions about his future. On page 78, he shares how he’s dealing with the pressures that come with becoming the new face of the franchise—for however long that may last.
Arizona, as folks from around these here parts are well aware, is part of the Four Corners, the geographical configuration that merges that state with Colorado, New Mexico and Utah. With his typically-unfailing wit, Jon Rizzi calls it the “most famous quadripoint in the United States.” On page 84, Colorado AvidGolfer’s Founding Editor hits the road on a quest to find the best golf in each and every corner…I suspect his scores weren’t as depressed as the one’s that accompanied Dean Smith’s famous slowdown offense.
Then again, when it comes to equipment, well, let’s just say that Rizzi may be more familiar with mashies and niblicks than Maverick drivers and Vokey wedges. If you’re also in a position where you could possibly use an upgrade, you’re in luck—on page 25 you’ll find our annual Gear Guide, which not only gives you the lowdown on the latest products out on the market, but why—or why not— they’ll become your new best friend.
And now that you’re all geared up, both in terms of your equipment and newfound confidence, perhaps you want to go all in and take your golf experience to the next level. Or maybe, in the wake of the golf boom that Colorado rode in 2020, you found yourself stuck on far too many waiting lists last season. In either case, the answer might be joining a club. On page 49, we present our annual Private Club Guide. These days, there are a myriad of options, whether in terms of amenities, or price, that will appeal to any avid golfer.
And who knows? One day you may find yourself walking up to the first tee and meeting your playing partners for the day—Kyle Freeland and Trevor Story. —ANTHONY COTTON
This article was also featured in the April Issue of Colorado AvidGolfer.