Off the Tee: Native Rough

What about the 143 United States courses with “Indian” in their names?

With football season about to kick off, controversy continues to swirl around the nickname of the NFL’s Washington franchise. After the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office revoked the Washington Redskins trademark in June, a number of newspapers banned use of the word “Redskins” in reference to the team.

Could golf course names suffer the same fate? While it’s highly improbable that such legendary golf clubs as Shinnecock Hills and Seminole—both of which feature a left-facing Native American in their logos—would ever encounter censure, what of the 143 United States courses with “Indian” in their names?

Right here in Colorado we have Indian Peaks, Indian Tree and the Sleeping Indian nine at West Woods. Indian Tree’s logo profiles a Native American in the leaves, while Pueblo Country Club’s sports a right-facing profile of a Ute.

If any of the above warrants a Native American protest, shouldn’t devout Christians object to Devil’s Thumb Golf Course in Delta? Should they refuse an invitation to play Pine Valley Golf Club, the top-rated course in the world, because the bunker on number 10 is famously known as the Devil’s Asshole?

And although it’s far-fetched, were we back in the McCarthy era 1950s, true-blue patriots wouldn’t be caught dead at a place called Red Sky, Red Rocks, Redlands Mesa or Tiara Rado.

Even the Country Club at Castle Pines would find itself under HUAC scrutiny. Why? Its initials—CCCP—are identical to those of the former Soviet Union.

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