From tee to green: Walsenburg teacher makes golf dream a reality

Digital Now

HUERFANO COUNTY — High School AP English teacher, Carey Jones, has been perfecting his short game on his new golf course.

“Back when my father was living, we bought this property and we both walked down to this area and my father said, ‘Hey, that’d be a great place a hole,” said Jones.

For at least 15 years, Jones has been bringing his father’s vision to life.

“During the COVID break, during the last five months, I’ve found myself with a lot of time being an English teacher and you know, in the midst of grading some papers, I knew I needed to stay busy. And so, I put the top green in and that’s been kind of my obsession for the past five months, ever since early March when we were told we couldn’t teach in person anymore,” Jones said.

Now, in the foothills of the Spanish Peaks, covering nearly five acres, the Choctaw Links at Navajo Ranch is complete with nine tee boxes and 18 holes ranging from 70 to 150 yards.

“It’s definitely helped my short game,” Jones said.

Jones also made sure to include features you’d find in a real golf course.

“We have a sand trap, or actually two sand traps. I have a ball washer over there in case your clubs get dirty. You know, I’ve got places to hold your clubs. I’ve tried to incorporate the landscape of this, kind of this low desert feel and leaving the tree stumps out. Although it’s an artificial turf, I’ve tried to make it as realistic as I can. In Navajo Ranch, they won’t allow watering, so I think I want to stay on their good side and just do an artificial green,” Jones said.

But how challenging is it?

“Typically, when you see a course that’s a shorter course like a par 3, you would have a par 3,” Jones said.

Jones says no experience is needed to enjoy the golf course.

“But it’s going to take you two or three puts to get it in, so I’ve made it a par 4. So, I would say out of 10, it would be a seven or eight in terms of challenging,” Jones added.

Jones said he doesn’t mind if people in the community come out to play once we’re out of the pandemic.

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