Green Renovations at Fossil Trace Improve TURF Sustainbility and Play
The Newly Renovated 15th Green at Fossil Trace Golf Club
Courtesy Fossil Trace Golf CLub
Few courses in the entire country have as much history or as much character as the Fossil Trace Golf Club in Golden, Colorado.
Tracing its history back some 64 million years – when dinosaurs still inhabited the area and left their fossilized claw marks in the surrounding clay – visitors to the 12th green can view triceratops footprints and fossilized fauna as they play one of the most scenic and unique courses in the country.
All along the beautiful course at Fossil Trace golfers are greeted with a curious blend of ancient and modern – no more so then on the 15th green.
There perched high above the pin – like a hulking yellow metal dinosaur in its own right – is a 1954 Army surplus Bay City half ton yard shovel – a reminder of when this area was still mined for clay.
Below the shovel is the green itself – fresh, modern and newly renovated.
Last spring Fossil Trace overhauled its greens on the second, third and fifteenth holes. Now visitors will encounter more challenging designs and – in the case of the third hole – more potential pin locations on their approach.
Since its opening in July of 2003, Fossil Trace has gained a reputation as being one of the top courses for women in the country.
“We believe there are a number of reasons for our popularity with women,” explained Fossil Trace’s Head Golf Professional Jim Hajek earlier this month.
The reasons for the course’s popularity with women he explained are the same as for all types of golfers.
“For us it does not matter who you are, your age, your ability. All are welcomed to experience the beauty, challenge and service provided at Fossil Trace,” he said.
Time and again Fossil Trace hears from its guests how much fun they have had while playing the course and how well they were treated by course staff.
“This is a game. Games are played for the purpose of fun. Anyone can provide a simple round of golf, we are looking to create great experiences and memories,” he said.
Few courses exceed either the natural or manmade beauty of the course at Fossil Trace – which has only been enhanced by the recent renovations to its second, third and fifteenth holes.
Renovation work began in March of 2020. During construction a temporary green was built at the fifteenth hole, 30 yards short of the original green so play could take place.
On the second hole a temporary green was also built – 20 yards short of the original – while the third hole was completely closed during construction.
Melting and refreezing during the cold Colorado winters and runoff from surrounding turf, that drained down towards the greens, was endangering the health of the greens on these holes. In the winter of 2017 repeated freezing and thawing led to significant turf loss at several greens on the course according to Fossil Trace’s blog.
“For both holes two and fifteen, the green complexes where completely changed,” Hajek explained. “Hole two’s green was reshaped and repositioned more left. In doing so, it pulls the large ash tree located in front of the green more into play,” he said.
Changes were also made further down course. “Hole fifteen was not only moved to the left but also raised up 10’ from its ‘lowly state’ leaving the deep depression from which to pitch if one now misses the green to the right,” he explained.
Changes to the third hole were less complicated. “Hole three was a simple topography change to the green which played a bit too severe offering limited pinable positions,” he said.
All three holes were fully reopened for play in the spring of 2020.
Since the holes were reopened visitors have been excited about the changes.
“The response has been nothing but positive from all levels of players – albeit both holes are a bit more challenging,” explained Hajek. “What were very good holes have now been made great holes only adding to the adventure.”
Those interested in trying out the newly renovated second, third and fifteenth or finding out more about the course are encouraged to visit fossiltrace.com
-By Shawn R. Dagle Women's Pro Golf Editor/Reporter
May 12, 2021