City Park Nine, a nine-hole public golf course, offers players challenging terrain combined with a relaxed atmosphere.
The course, located at 411 S. Bryan Ave., was built in 1940 and is Fort Collins' oldest. Because of age, the course features large trees and mature landscapes that many newer courses cannot offer.
David McCleave, City Park Nine's head golf professional, believes the course's maturity makes it challenging and a favorite among veteran players.
"That's what this style of golf course is, when you have the smaller greens and big trees," McCleave said. "Its tree line is pretty tight. It's pretty challenging for big players."
But McCleave also feels like the course offers a lot for beginners and one of the major draws is the relaxed atmosphere.
"Atmosphere-wise it's a lot more laid back than most other big eighteen-hole courses," McCleave said. "We have a lot of beginners and we teach a lot of lessons."
This is the best time of year to golf, particularly for beginners, McCleave said. From September to the end of October, the course is not as busy as summer months; the grass is still in good shape and the temperature outside is comfortable.
The difficulty of the sport, although frustrating at times, is the major appeal for many golfers, including McCleave.
"It's not a game that you can come right out and be great at," McCleave said. "To see if I can actually obtain perfection – that, for me, is the allure. It's never the same and athleticism can only get you so far here."
Rick Ferreri, a computer engineer and golfer, agrees that golf is a very challenging sport and believes that is one of its major attractions.
"Very challenging, also very frustrating," Ferreri said. "It's pretty satisfying when you are hitting well and to see that you can work through when you are not hitting so well. I think I like the challenge of it more than anything."
Bud Stanley, an avid golfer, also believes the major appeal of golf is its difficult nature. Stanley prefers playing the City Park Nine over other courses in Fort Collins because of the relaxed pace.
"Here it's nice, other places you play it's not nice. They are in too big of a hurry. They're rude, crude and nasty," Stanley said. "I know a number of guys that quit golf because of that."
Another major attraction to the City Park Nine is that playing nine holes of golf is fairly inexpensive compared to the cost of other courses. The cost of a round is $14 during the week and $16 on the weekends. Students are given a discount of $2 off the weekend or weekday rate.
"It's cheap here, but most other places it's pretty expensive," Stanley said. "I just got back from Lake Tahoe, and most of those are $80 to $200 to play."
The course is open year-round, as long as there is no snow on the ground. Anyone who is interested in playing but does not have their own clubs can rent clubs from the City Park Nine golf shop for $12. Other amenities at the course include a driving range, chipping and putting greens for practicing skill shots and a clubhouse with food and drinks.