John F. Kennedy GC, Denver. Babe Lind (Fmr. East) Nine by Henry Hughes, 1963.

There are a few holes I like on the East Nine—in particular the drive and pitch fourth where you need to challenge the fairway bunker on the right to have a clear look at the green, and the long par-5 seventh, whose green is a tiny dish benched into a hill—but really what always comes to mind is the the awful sixth hole. Not only a bad design that beats up lesser players, it’s also parallel to the interstate (not in play, happily) so the aesthetics are consistent with the experience.

They’ve renamed the East Nine for Charles “Babe” Lind and it’s worth spending a few words on the man still generally considered the best amateur player in Colorado history. He remains the only Colorado-born amateur to ever compete in The Masters and he once shot a 59 with two 3-putts. An absolute legend.

Babe Lind #7 (Credit: City of Denver)

John F. Kennedy GC. Creek Nine by Dick Phelps, 1994.

I grew up just down the road a bit from Kennedy and the course then was just the Babe Lind and West nines, so even though the Creek has been around for 25+ years now, this is still the “new” nine to me.

It offers some of the best holes at the complex, like the third, fourth, and fifth that play along and around Cherry Creek. But the ninth has way too much going on (it’s a slightly less bad version of #6 on Babe Lind with a pond on the left side of the fairway instead of a tree) and the severe double dogleg par-5 sixth is not a good hole at all. And the course is a difficult walk due to crossing a major street after the third and then back again following the seventh.

Creek #9 (Credit: Golf Advisor)

John F. Kennedy GC. West Nine by Henry Hughes, 1963.

Finally there’s the west nine, which frankly doesn’t really offer any holes of note, good or bad. It was probably one of the first regulation nines I played to end with a par 3, though in the original Kennedy configuration the West always played as the front nine so it likely wasn’t the first par 3 finisher I played.

Credit: Golf Advisor

Colorado 8th Decile [2001]

John F. Kennedy GC. Par 3 Course by Henry Hughes, 1967.

The nine hole par 3 course plays up and back down one of the hills on the property, which gives at least a tiny bit of character to otherwise entirely plain holes with no bunkers and circular greens. An OK spot to learn the basics of the game, but not recommended otherwise.


Credit: City of Denver