There is something unique, distinct and honorable about a golf course named after a person. One of my all-time favorites is Patty Jewett Golf Course located in the heart of Colorado Springs, Colorado. Built in 1898, Patty Jewett is the third oldest public golf course west of the Mississippi. It’s also believed to be the oldest golf course named after a woman.
In October, I ventured to Colorado Springs to play Patty Jewett GC with a group of friends. Let me say, Patty Jewett isn’t just another round of golf. I like to call it a “golf experience”. There’s so much to appreciate – the timeless history, challenging golf course, stunning mountain views, grand entrance, historic clubhouse and great food in the grill room.
Here’s what I like about Patty Jewett GC… first, a bit of history.
How Patty Jewett Golf Course Got Its Name
1898 – Patty Jewett GC was designed by Willie Campbell in 1898 as the Town and Gown Golf Club.
1900 – William Jewett, an astute businessman was elected president of the course. That same year he won the club championship. William Jewett owned the New London Gold Mine in Alma, Colorado. He was vice president of the Colorado Springs National Bank and he formed the Suburban Land and Water Company.
1910 – William Jewett purchased the Town and Gown Club’s property and changed the name of the course to Colorado Springs Golf Club.
1919 – four years after his wife Patty died, Jewett gained full ownership of the Suburban Land and Water Company and deeded the course to the city with a few important stipulations:
“The gift shall be known as the Patty Stuart Jewett Memorial Field and maintained in perpetuity by the city for park purposes devoted primarily to golf … and the grounds shall be open to all persons over the age of 10.”
During this era, it was common for places such as neighborhoods and streets and in this case – a golf course, to be named after wives and daughters of influential businessmen and community leaders. What a sweet gift William Jewett gave to his wife. The golf course bears her name to this day.
Patty Jewett GC – A City Resource for All to Enjoy
The gift of Patty Jewett GC to the City of Colorado Springs has made for an awesome city resource for all to enjoy. Every time I play Patty Jewett I am reminded of the rich golf history, companionship, and community that has evolved on this property over generations. Here’s what stands out –
One enters the property through an elegant, black, wrought-iron gate that opens onto a narrow entrance road lined with a canopy of 100-year-old trees. The road ends atop a small rise where the clubhouse sits.
The clubhouse, built in 1910, is a hub of activity that has a wonderful time-honored charm to it. Many original trophies are on display that chronicle the great competitions played on the course over the years. A classic portrait of Patty Jewett hangs in the Great Room over the fireplace. There are cozy places to sit and relax and take in the surroundings.
Stunning Views of Pikes Peak
Both the clubhouse and the adjoining patio have the most beautiful views of Pikes Peak and the golf course. Pikes Peak referred to as America’s Mountain is the highest summit of the southern Front Range of the Rocky Mountains. It’s the most visited mountain in North America and the second most visited mountain in the world behind Japan’s Mount Fuji. The views from the Patty Jewett property are magnificent.
The golf course consists of three 9 hole courses named Peak, Plains, and Prairie. Each course offers challenging play for golfers at every skill level. The courses are well maintained, easy to walk and fun to play. The green to tee walks are a golfer’s delight, meaning they are in close proximity – typical architectural design for early courses. Several fairways spotlight the picturesque Pikes Peak in the background. When hitting tee shots and approaches to the West – towards Pikes Peak, it is best just to grip it and rip it and watch the ball soar.
The tremendous views of Pikes Peak are also visible from the grill room and the outdoor patio areas. The grill room is just the place to visit with friends after golf. But it isn’t just for golfers. The locals come for breakfast and lunch, even if they aren’t playing golf. The food is very good and there’s a sense of camaraderie that extends to everyone.
I like that Patty Jewett GC looks out for its patrons as well as the community. The golf course does this through its support of breast cancer awareness. During the month of October pink flagsticks, pink flags, and pink hole liners are used throughout the course. This is a great show of support by Jeff Wichman, Golf Course Superintendent and the City of Colorado Springs.
Patty Jewett herself wasn’t a legendary golfer or an Olympic athlete like Babe Didrikson Zaharias who has two golf courses in the United States named after her. In fact, it’s unknown if Patty Jewett even played golf. Her name, however, adds to the charm of this wonderful city resource.
I suspect William and Patty Jewett are quite pleased with how this golf experience has turned out for golfers and non-golfers alike. I love being a part of this living golf history. You can too if you have the chance to play or stop in for lunch. This year Patty Jewett GC is 118-years old and counting. And she’s a gem!
Ann Guiberson is a golf administrator with more than 20-years of experience working with state and regional amateur golf associations and the United States Golf Association (USGA). She served as a USGA Regional Affairs Director for 14-years and USGA Championship Director for 9-years.
Ann attended the University of Nebraska on a golf scholarship. She has a Masters Degree in Athletic Administration.