11/23/11

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Great Equipment and Advice for Golfing in Cold Weather

TaylorMade Ladies' Golf Ball

Get more distance during cold winter days by using a ladies' ball like this one from TaylorMade

Winter weather in Colorado can be so indecisive; one day it is 60 degrees outside, and the next day it is 30 degrees and snowing.  So how can we, as golfers, be prepared to play in these conditions with the proper equipment? Below are a few simple steps to help you dress properly for winter golf and make sure you have the proper equipment to enjoy the great sport year-round.

  1. The first thing you want to do is make sure you’re wearing the proper gear. It’s always a good idea to bring more clothing than less so that you can add layers as needed. We will start by highlighting the most important areas that can get cold the fastest: your head, hands, and feet. So with that being said, it would be a great idea to bring a stocking cap to keep the head warm.  In addition, bring some golf winter gloves, which can be purchased at any golf shop.  Finally, take care of your feet by wearing thicker socks (even two pair of socks, if possible).  When playing golf during the winter in Colorado, it’s also a good idea to dress in long underwear with a rain suit, if possible.  By following these steps, you’ll be able to keep the lower and upper body warm.
  2. Next is the body. It is critical to take the time to stretch in cold weather because your golf swing needs a full turn. Try to stretch the back muscles as much as possible so that when you are making a turn, you will feel limber instead of being in pain. In cold weather, your swing will be shorter due to the layers of clothing you’re wearing, which is why the back stretch is so important.
  3. Being properly equipped is the final key to playing well in cold weather. The most important aspects of playing in cold weather are using the correct golf ball and using the correct club.  Golf balls are very important in the winter because the colder the ball gets, the less the ball compresses. You shouldn’t use the same ball you use in the summer; instead, you should go with a lower-compression golf ball so that you can maximize distance. If at all possible, store your golf balls in the winter in a place that is warm instead of the garage or trunk. Try to put your ego in check and even play a lower-compression ball or even a ladies’ ball in the winter so that you can hit the ball long and straight. Another hint for reducing your golf score when playing in wintertime conditions is to use more club.  Go a club or two up from your norm when hitting approach shots to the green. Again, while it’s sometimes tough to put the ego in check, if the end result puts you near the pin, that’s all that matters!

I hope that my tips and equipment suggestions for playing golf during the Colorado winter will help you play better and stay warmer this season.  If you play at Kissing Camels, please stop by our golf shop and say hello.  Happy golfing!

Cory

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11/22/11

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My Advice for Surviving Black Friday: Stay Home!

Black Friday Shopping

Black Friday shopping

To be honest (actually, I hate when people say that because shouldn’t one always be honest?), all of the Black Friday hysteria confuses me.  Black Friday used to mean stores opening earlier than usual on the Friday after Thanksgiving and providing their best deals of the year.  Now, however, some stores are opening on Thanksgiving night, forcing employees to cut their time with families short so that they can go to work to sell electronics and other items to bargain hunters.  Just typing about it makes me tired!

Online shopping

Shopping from the comfort of home

Want to know my advice for surviving Black Friday?  It’s simple–stay home!  We’re fortunate to live in an age during which we don’t have to leave the house to get a jump on our holiday shopping.  You can grab a cup of hot cocoa or tea, jump on your computer (many retailers now offer free shipping!), and avoid being trampled by others as Christmas carolers stand by singing about peace on earth and good will towards men.  I have also read that better deals may actually be available a week or two AFTER Black Friday.  Did I mention that I was confused?

Pie

Mmm... Pie

Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks for the non-material things in our lives:  our family, our friends, our health, our freedom.  If you still want to go out on this holiday (and believe me, I understand the art of the deal), then I ask that you please do one favor for me:   do not leave the house until it’s actually Friday!  Stay home on Thanksgiving night and fall asleep in front of the television with a half a piece of pecan pie in front of you.  The deals will still be waiting for you at 4 am on Friday.

Happy Thanksgiving to one and all!

Tom

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11/21/11

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Thanksgiving Day Recipes From Our Executive Chef

“No thing purchased can come close to the renewed sense

of gratitude for having family and friends.”

-Courtland Milloy, journalist

Though a perfectly cooked turkey on Thanksgiving Day draws much attention, it’s the attention that we pay to our loved ones that makes Thanksgiving truly memorable. To help you put some fresh flavor into your turkey day, Garden of the Gods Club Executive Chef Nicholas Arnold has provided a couple of recipes that will surely delight your friends and family.

Showcase our delicious recipes as you give thanks with friends and family!

Caramelized Endive, “Baraboo Blue” Cheese, and Walnut Risotto

For the endive:
4 Belgian endives
2 Tbsp. grapeseed oil
2 tsp. granulated sugar
1/3 cup chicken stock

For the risotto:
4 cups chicken stock
6 Tbsp. olive oil
4 shallots, finely peeled and finely diced
2 cups Arborio rice
2 cups dry white wine
1/2 cup Carr Valley Grand Carnaria, grated
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup Carr Valley Baraboo Blue Cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup walnut halves, toasted
1/2 bunch watercress

To prepare:
Remove outer leaves of the Belgian endive and discard. Cut each endive in half lengthwise and remove the core. Heat grapeseed oil in a large sautè pan over medium heat. Sear endives on both sides until light brown. Add sugar and cook until golden brown and caramelized. Decrease heat to low and add vegetable stock; cover. Cook for 10-12 minutes or until endive is tender enough to be pieced with a fork.

To prepare the risotto, place stock in a saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer; keep hot. In another saucepan, heat olive oil on medium heat. Sweat shallots. Add rice and cook for three to five minutes, stirring so that the grains are well coated with oil. Add wine and stir gently, cooking until the liquid is absorbed.

Adding 1/2 cup of hot stock at a time, bring to a simmer and stir constantly; add another 1/2 cup after the first has been absorbed. Continue this process until the risotto is almost tender.

To complete, gently stir in the Grand Carnaria and butter. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Divide risotto into four portions and garnish with Baraboo Blue Cheese, endive, watercress, and toasted walnuts.

Sweet Potato Waffles

For the waffles:
2 cups flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3 eggs, separated
1 1/2 cups cooked and purèed sweet potatoes
1 1/4 cups milk
1/4 cup brown sugar, frmly packed
1/4 cup melted butter
2 Tbsp. grated orange zest

For the orange butter:
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 Tbsp. Curaçao liquor
1 Tbsp. grated orange zest

To prepare:
Sift the first four ingredients into a large bowl and set the bowl aside. In another bowl, combine the egg yolks, sweet potatoes, milk, sugar, and butter. Stir this mixture into the flour mixture. Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form and fold the whites into the batter. Spoon the batter into a hot waffle iron and bake until the waffles are golden brown and no steam appears.

To prepare the butter:
In a small bowl, whip together the butter, curaçao, and orange zest until the mixture is light and fluffy. Garnish with powdered sugar and freshly sliced oranges.

We hope that these delicious recipes become a part of precious memories with your loved ones!  On behalf of the entire team at Garden of the Gods Club, happy Thanksgiving!

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11/18/11

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Step Inside The Spa & Salon at GGC: A Video Tour

This time of year is notorious for being hectic. As schedules get cluttered with long holiday to-do lists, many of us often forget to take care of ourselves and be mindful of the present moment. To inspire you to make time for some rest and relaxation, we’ve provided a video tour of what The Spa & Salon at Garden of the Gods Club can offer you. “True beauty encompasses the full use of mind, body, and soul,” Spa Director Amanda Rigby said. If you have any questions about our products or services, or the steps you can begin taking immediately to pursue a lifestyle of health and wellness, we encourage you to call us at 719.520.4988. We look forward to helping you relax and rejuvenate!

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11/17/11

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Things to Do in Colorado Springs This Weekend: Nov. 18-20, 2011

If planning for next week’s Thanksgiving Day celebration and starting your holiday shopping won’t keep you busy enough, here are a few ideas for some fun ways to spend your weekend right here in Colorado Springs.  Enjoy!

  • Mannheim Steamroller — Sunday, 4 pm, Pikes Peak Center.  Get into the holiday spirit by enjoying the famous Christmas music of Mannheim Steamroller.  Tickets are $30-75.
  • 4th Annual Festival of Trees:  Festive Family Fun Days — Saturday, 9 am to 5 pm, and Sunday, 10 am to 3 pm, Doubletree Hotel World Arena.  Get the whole family involved and in the right spirit for the holiday season! Shop for your Christmas decor, enjoy fresh baked goodies, listen to live entertainment from local musical groups, and visit with Santa!  Tickets are just $5 per person (age 13+); children 12 & under will be admitted for free.  To view photos from last year’s festival, click here.  I attended the Jingle Bell Gala portion of last year’s festival, and it was a blast.  The trees are gorgeous and whimsical!
  • CC Tigers hockey
    CC Tigers photo by Casey B. Gibson
  • Hockey:  Colorado College Tigers vs. Wisconsin Badgers — Friday, 7:37 pm, and Saturday, 7:07 pm, World Arena.  Tickets are $14-40 each and available at www.worldarena.com
  • Wild Turkey Trivia & Hike — Saturday, 10-11:30 am, Bear Creek Nature Center.  With Thanksgiving just around the corner, this Saturday is the perfect time to learn about turkeys, both tame and wild, via fun activities such as a trivia game, slideshow, craft for kids, and a short hike in search of wild turkey habitat.  Admission is $4 per member or $5 per non-member.  Reservations are required; call 719-520-6387 for more information.
  • Skate With the Tigers — Sunday, 11:30 am, Sertich Ice Center (1705 Pikes Peak Ave.).  Take advantage of an open skate with the entire hockey team. Take pictures and get autographs. Free admission. Skate rentals available.

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