Soaring high above the ordinary is an amazing place that combines unrivaled comfort and luxury along with a sense of adventure. A member of the Historic Hotels of America, The Broadmoor is set amidst the whispering pines and aspens of the Rocky Mountains. This authentic Colorado icon instantly transports its guests to a distinct world of Western hospitality and European-inspired grandeur.
The Broadmoor Hotel’s founders, Spencer and Julie Penrose, traveled the world to create an oasis of culture in Colorado Springs ever since it opened in the summer of 1918. And it shows to this day, as their gem in The Rockies is still one of the most glamorous and grand spots to vacation in the West.
“The Broadmoor’s all-in-one experience draws guests within the entire estate. We have a golf club, tennis and pickleball courts, spa, fitness center, indoor pool, boat rental, a playground, fly fishing, chapel and shopping plaza. It’s a small city within Colorado Springs,” explained Krista Heinicke, The Broadmoor’s Director of Public Relations. “As for accommodations, there’s the 784 guest rooms, suites, cottages, brownstones, and Estate House at The Broadmoor and every one features the elegant touches and thoughtful amenities that have enchanted guests for over 100 years.”
The property’s current owner, Philip Anschutz, ‘really channels everything Mr. Penrose had a vision for and is seeing it through.’
“Mr. Anschutz is inspired about the hotel’s western ambiance including artwork in the lobbies, furnishings, as well as outdoor adventure activities, by a poem.,” reveals Heinicke, “It’s entitled, ‘Out Where the West Begins’. Written by Arthur Chapman in 1917, its framed and featured on the premises.”
Framed against Cheyenne Mountain, the premises also feature two championship golf layouts – The East and West Courses. Both combining challenge and beauty.
The original Broadmoor Golf Club’s 18-hole course was designed by esteemed architect Donald Ross in 1916 who also created the famous Pinehurst No. 2 in North Carolina.
At the time it opened, in 1918, the Broadmoor East, was the highest golf course in the United States at 6,400 feet in elevation. Thirty years later, another brilliant architect, Robert Trent Jones, Sr. was hired to design an additional nine-hole course. Jones’ new nine-hole course joined with nine of Ross’ original holes, and then opened in 1952 as the new East Course. The first nine holes of the original Ross 18 became known as the “Back Nine.”
Then in 1964, Robert Trent Jones, Sr. was asked to come back and design nine new holes in addition to redesigning nine holes of the original course, forming the West Course.
Russ Miller, Director of Golf at The Broadmoor for nearly a quarter-century, explains how to take on each course’s nuances.
“The West is a bit tighter and more doglegged. Lot more elevation change. But having said that, I think the West is a bit easier to score on. The East is big and wide and long. I mean it is a US Open course. The wind blows here quite a bit. You can face a 400-yard par 4 which can play three clubs longer just because of the elements,” explained Miller, who grew up near Pinehurst. “There are a lot of uphill shots. So it is full carry to the green. If it is 180 yards, it plays 180 yards. It is not a bump and run like a lot of golf courses. “
But the real secret to success here is to follow that adage “hit for show, but putt for dough.”
“Both golf courses, because of the green speeds, and their difficulty, remember these were built in 1918, so they were probably rolling 7, 7 ½ back then. Now they roll 11 to 13. So the green speeds from Mid-May to the Fall are going to be fast and challenging,” warned Miller who adds, “And it is not just hitting the green, it is where you hit the green. You always want to keep the flagstick between your ball and the mountains, so you always have an uphill putt. If your ball is between the mountains and the flagstick, you’re always putting downhill. It is difficult.”
Difficult enough to challenge the very best in the sport, as The Broadmoor has hosted many major tournaments through the years and will be hosting the US Senior Open in 2025.
1959 U.S. Amateur (East): Jack Nicklaus
1962 Curtis Cup Match (East): USA def. Great Britain and Ireland
1967 U.S. Amateur (West): Robert B. Dickson
1982 U.S. Women’s Amateur (South): Juli Simpson Inkster
1995 U.S. Women’s Open (East): Annika Sorenstam
2008 U.S. Senior Open (East): Eduardo Romero
2011 U.S. Women’s Open (East): So Yeon Ryu
2018 U.S. Senior Open (East): David Toms
“To just walk down the (clubhouse) hallway the history just pours out,” said Miller, “The people who have played here and the championships held here is just incredible. Annika (Sorenstam) is a member here. John Elway is a member here. Hale Irwin. You don’t attract those kinds of people unless it is special because they can go anywhere they want to in the world.”
Presidents, politicians, celebrities, athletes, and some of the greatest names in golf have all played at The Broadmoor. These courses have challenged even the touring pros.
To perfectly illustrate this, Miller tells the story about one of the world’s all-time great players.
“A couple years ago we were standing on the green at #4 East and Jack Nicklaus turns to me and says, ‘Russ, Augusta National’s greens are the second toughest in the world. I’m standing on the toughest.’ That was a compliment because he won the US Amateur here in 1959.”
“So, we tell our guests, ’it’s not that hard to get to the green. Once you get there, that’s when the fun starts,’ ” noted Miller with a grin.
Well, if you come off of 18 and have lost your grin after you’ve grappled with those tricky greens, it will soon return after you’ve enjoyed any one of the myriad dining options this resort offers.
“Ever since the day The Broadmoor first opened 104 years ago, our founder Spencer Penrose set out to create a dining experience that celebrates modern innovation while honoring the culinary traditions of the American West,” said Heinicke, “We proudly showcase 17 restaurants, cafes and lounges with a wide-ranging menu. For example, The Summit offers cuisine of The Americas. Ristorante Del Lago our Italian Restaurant features home-made pastas. We have the comfortable casual Golden Bee, which is great for lunch and dinner and is our British Pub sing along with piano player, fish&chips, shepherd’s pie. And everything you experience on our property is made in-house. From pastries to our own butcher shop. Our chefs order from our butchers everyday so meat and fish are as fresh as possible.”
To keep oneself as fresh as possible for their next round of golf, you’re in good hands because The Spa at The Broadmoor is known internationally for their innovative services and integrated approach to health and relaxation in working out your kinks.
In addition to many different types of massage therapies, you can also relax in the Spa’s dry saunas, which are infused with Pink Himalayan Salt Walls, steam rooms, fireplace lounges and oxygen rooms.
However, there’s one thing most visiting male golfers tend to forget and that is taking care of their… mug!
“You know we’re closer to the sun (here), so our elevation is something to be mindful of. We’re at 6,200 feet, and I think people often forget that,” explains Heinicke, “So, I think for example, that a facial is not just a splurge, it’s kind of a necessity because it’s also dry here being a semi-arid climate. So I think taking care and while sunscreen is important really those other services like massages, the oxygen room, the steam room and saunas it seems like luxury until you get here and see that it really helps get the muscles worked out especially after playing such a challenging course as The East.”
Now if you’ve met the challenge of “The East” and are looking to take on more outdoor adventures, there’s perhaps no other golf resort than The Broadmoor that offers more in that realm in terms of options.
“I think The Broadmoor is one of those true gateways to the West,” said Heinicke. “From zip lining, wild west experiences (tomahawk throwing, bow&arrows and pellet guns), falconry, mountain biking, hiking, horseback riding, fishing, rock climbing and of course golf. We offer a whole catalog of adventures and activities that families have been enjoying for many, many years.”
One happening the whole family will be talking about for many years to come regarding their visit here is the absolute must-experience endeavor that even the die-hard golfer needs to take an afternoon off from the links to enjoy and appreciate.
Ever since 1891, the Broadmoor Manitou and Pikes Peak Cog Railway, the highest of its kind in the world, have been taking riders to “America’s Mountain”, to the breathtaking views at 14,115 feet. After all, the awesome vistas from the summit of Pikes Peak is where “America the Beautiful” was penned.
With a trip that includes a fully accessible and environmentally sustainable visitor center at the summit of Pikes Peak, viewing Bristlecone pines, which are some of the oldest living things on earth (it is estimated that some Bristlecone pines on Pikes Peak are over 2,000 years old), this is simply an important part of the heritage of the Western United States. Taking this nine-mile, 3.5 hour round trip journey is like walking the footsteps of history, and is something you will never forget.
The same could be said for your stay at The Broadmoor.