Getting To Know: Fossil Trace Golf Club
An Insightful Interview With Jim Hajek, PGA, Head Golf Professional
By Brian Weis
Whether you have played a course 20+ times a year or looking to play the course for the first time, insights from an insider can help enhance your golf experience. Below is an interview with Jim Hajek, PGA who shares some valuable tidbits about the course, memorable holes and must eats and treats at the 19th.
Give Our Readers An Overview of the Golf Course/Property
Fossil Trace is honestly 18 holes of extraordinary and unforgettable golf set in the foothills of the Rockies. Fossil Trace guests are treated to a truly unique golf experience; gorgeous views, unparalleled course conditions, a high level of service and a character-laden golf course designed by architect Jim Engh - the best part, all of this with a mountain course feel less than 1/2 hour west of the Mile High City.
If Someone Was Looking To Golf In The Area, Why Should They Play Your Course?
Fossil Trace Golf Club is one of Denver Colorado's premier public golf courses designed by renowned golf course architect Jim Engh. Located in Golden, Colorado - Fossil Trace Golf Club is nestled adjacent to the foothills of the Rocky Mountain Front Range and only 25-minutes from downtown Denver, Colorado. In its short history, the golf course has enjoyed tremendous success and is considered one the finest golf courses and golf experiences available in Denver and all of Colorado. Most recently, Colorado Avid Golfer named it as the "Best Denver/Front Range Course" providing the "Best Service", "Best Food", "Best Charity Tournament Venue", "Best Bet-Settler (18th hole) as well as top 3 in 5 OTHER categories.
The golf course opened in July of 2003, approximately 64-million years after the first dinosaurs walked where holes 11 through 15 now sit. Triceratops footprints, as well as other prehistoric creatures' fossils can be viewed adjacent to the golf courses 12th green. Also, located just inside the main doors of the golf course clubhouse is an exhibit that details the rich history of the property and shares information about the dinosaur tracks and other impressive fossils uncovered on the golf course.
In addition to the prehistoric relics at Fossil Trace Golf Club, several massive remnants of clay mining equipment can be seen throughout the golf courses layout. Each piece serves as a reminder of the rich history of the property and adds to the award winning golf experience.
What Tips or Local Knowledge Would You Provide To Help Them Score Better At Your Course? Jim Engh does a masterful design job of combining risk and reward with character and playability. The golf course temps you from hole to hole to "go for it" but awaiting you are deep bunkers and undulating riddled greens for those shots that go astray. But do not fret as each hole allows for a "safer" play or for lack of a better phrase, "bail out" area. The challenge to score is based on balancing the risk at hand with one's desire to simply fire at the pin. Pull off the shot and be rewarded, failure to do so may result in big numbers which are hiding in the wait on each hole.
Recent Awards or What You Are Most Proud About The Course?
Colorado Avid Golfer named it as:
Best Denver/Front Range Course
Best Charity Tournament Venue
Best Bet-Settler (18th hole)
GolfDigest Magazine has named Fossil Trace a 4 ½ Star "Places to Play" from 2006-12.
GolfDigest Magazine has named Fossil Trace a Top 50 Course for Women in 2011.
GolfDigest Magazine has designated Hole #12 as one of the "18 Most Fun Holes in America, January, 2011
What Is The Signature, Most Talked About, or Most Photographed Hole?
Hole #12 is considered a masterpiece and is without question on of the most photographed holes in the U.S.A Sandstone monoliths emerge from the fairway as reminders of the rich history of the property. The 12th green is surrounded by additional sandstone cliffs with one of the adjacent sandstone walls containing 64 million year old "trace fossils" of triceratops footprints and palm fronds. Guests have a love/hate relationship with #12. If you maneuver around the monoliths without incident, you love it. Find yourself caught behind one, you hate it as you play out sideways losing a shot to the course.
What Is Your Favorite Hole? Any Tips to Play It?
It may be a toss up of #1 or #18. Both are par 5s which either starts the round off on a good foot or ends the round with a possible eagle. #1 has been voted the "Best Starting Hole in Colorado" numerous times as you fire a 2nd shot toward Table Mountain, over an incinerator left from the mid 1900s, to a green well protected by a deep bunker left and huge cottonwood trees right. Much risk, limited reward.
#18 is a reachable par 5 where eagle is a distinct possibility, but so is triple. The 2nd shot is played entirely over water with 9ft deep bunker awaiting shots straying right and 6 ft deep bunker for those left. Playing deep is a better option as missing anywhere else will end your day drowning your sorrows in the pub.
Must Have Dish or Drink after the round at the 19th Hole?
We are honored to have Three Tomatoes provide our dining experience as Three Tomatoes Steakhouse and Club. Although a steak and fine bottle of wine is a wonderful way to end the day - so too is a "Fossil Burger" and one of our craft beers! The views from the deck are second to none as you overlook 5 holes located 100 feet below you promoting many non golf guests to join us for lunch and dinner. During the summers, we smoke our own bison and pork ribs just outside the golf shop with prime rib also available each weekend. This is NOT your typical golf course restaurant but instead a quality dining experience for all.
Who Holds Course Record and What Was Their Score?
The course record fired in 2012 is held by Tristan Sanders. Along the way he carded 4 eagles but also 3 bogies which speaks to the ability to score as well as the danger that lurks with each shot. The prior course record was 64. Coincidentally, one of Tristan's playing partners fired 67, 5 under par meaning he lost to Tristan by 5 shots but still 5 under. Ouch.
Back Tee Stats
Fossil Trace Golf Club
3050 Illinois Street
Golden, Colorado, 80401
Revised: 04/24/2013 - Article Viewed 39,569 Times
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About: Brian Weis
Brian Weis is the Publisher of GolfTrips.com, a network of golf travel and directory sites including GolfWisconsin.com, GolfMichigan.com, ArizonaGolfer.com, GolfAlabama.com, etc. Professionally, Brian is a member of the Golf Writers Association of America (GWAA), International Network of Golf (ING), Golf Travel Writers of America (GTWA), International Golf Travel Writers Association (IGTWA) and The Society of Hickory Golfers (SoHG). In 2016, Brian won The Shaheen Cup, an award given to a golf travel writer by his peers.
All of his life, Brian has been around the game of golf. As a youngster, Brian competed at all levels in junior and high school golf. Brian had a zero chance for a college golf scholarship, so he worked on the grounds crew at West Bend Country Club to pay for his University of Wisconsin education. In his adult years, his passion for the game collided with his entrepreneurial spirit and in 2004 launched GolfWisconsin.com. In 2007, the idea for a network of local golf directory sites formed and GolfTrips.com was born. Today, the network consists of a site in all 50 states supported by national sites like GolfTrips.com, GolfGuide.com and GolfPackages.com. It is an understatement to say, Brian is passionate about promoting golf and golf travel on a local, regional, national and international level.
On the golf course, Brian is known as a fierce weekend warrior that fluctuates between a 5-9 handicap. With a soft fade, known as "The Weis Slice", and booming 300+ drives, he can blast it out of bounds with the best of them.
Contact Brian Weis:
GolfTrips.com - Publisher and Golf Traveler