Field Notes: Windsor’s winter wonderland

Developer Martin Lind opened the longest golf course in North America in the summer of 2022, and just recently on New Year’s Day he laid claim to the longest snow tubing track in the nation at 1,200 feet.

Talk about bragging rights for RainDance Resort in Windsor, Colorado, where golf and tubing co-exist heading into 2024.

Hoedown Hill logo

The inspiration for Hoedown Hill came from Lind’s childhood, when he used to get dropped off by his parents 3 miles away at a place called The Shark’s Tooth, a snow hill an elder gentleman crafted for the local kids. 

“We all grew up in this area and the only entertainment that us little blue collar farmer kids had in the wintertime was that slope. There was a little rope to tow us back to the top,” Lind recalls. “We were frozen in 10 minutes, wearing jeans and cotton gloves but we didn’t care.” 

Things have certainly changed as Hoedown Hill is full of high-tech operations under the inspiration, direction and guidance of Lind. “I always wanted to cook that Shark’s Tooth hill into RainDance one day.”

There is a sophisticated system of underground piping and utilities that help with wireless service and music on the slope, along with, of course, snow making capabilities if needed.  

Lind doesn’t know how much crossover there will be with golfers and winter enthusiasts since the venture is so new, but golfers certainly get a firsthand look at the tubing facility while on the course. 

“It is literally adjacent to the No. 10 tee box,” Lind says. 

The weather has been seasonably warm in Windsor, reaching temperatures in the mid-60s on Jan. 1 — weather golfers love, but maybe not tubers. 

However, Lind says the next 10 days the temperature won’t get above 40. 

“We’ll have four nozzles going all week,” he says. “This colder weather will really get us the bait we need.”

A two-hour adult tubing ticket costs $40, and there is a shorter slope called the Greenhorn for the smaller kids.   

Lind says he recently discovered the meaning of the word hoedown, and had to laugh.  

“It actually means for the farmers to put their work away,” he says. “And relax and celebrate.” 

Mission accomplished at Hoedown Hill.

Grand Reserve Golf Club
Grand Reserve Golf Club :: [Photo courtesy of Grand Reserve Golf Club]


Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Eduardito Figueroa has seen the rise of golf on the Caribbean island firsthand, to where there are now 20 layouts and two more on the way. 

The 50-year-old golf pro credits World Golf Hall of Famer Chi Chi Rodriguez for creating awareness decades ago, but also points to the PGA Tour, which will host the 16th Puerto Rico Open in March, for providing a TV view of first-class golf offerings to the United States audience. A bilingual American territory where no passport is required for U.S. citizens to travel, the tropical island has a plethora of top resorts, where there are stay-and-play packages available to suit all. 

And while Figueroa wants golfers to enjoy his Grand Reserve Golf Club — one of the top-ranked courses on the island and host to the PGA Tour event — he also wants guests to spoil themselves off the courses. 

“Go to the beaches man. We have so many beautiful beaches,” he says. “And the most important thing in Puerto Rico obviously is the weather. It’s always sunny and it’s always in the 80s, so nobody from the states needs to worry about the weather because it’s the same the whole year.” 

St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort’s Robert Trent Jones Jr.-designed course and the East Course at TPC Dorado Beach often battle Grand Reserve for the island’s top golf offering. The Links at Royal Isabela, El Conquistador Resort’s Arthur Hills course, Wyndham Grand Rio MarCosta Caribe Golf and Country Club and Palmas Del Mar are the other options that won’t disappoint. 

One side note. If you make the trip and have a chance to play Grand Reserve, ask Figueroa to relay a few stories about his uncle Ed, who played for the New York Yankees (1976-80) and is the only pitcher from Puerto Rico to win 20 games (1978) in a major league season. 


Scottsdale enjoys more than 330 sunny days each year, which makes the Arizona location particularly inviting for golfers in the Northeast or Midwest regions who are in knee-deep snow this time of year. Golfers may want to book a trip in early February, log a few rounds in the 75-degree sunshine and then take in “The Greatest Show on Grass,” the PGA Tour’s WM Phoenix Open (Feb. 8-11) played at TPC Scottsdale’s Stadium Course. 

The desert locale has more than 200 courses to play and is easily accessible via Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX), which is located just 15 minutes from Old Town Scottsdale, home to a unique collection of shops, restaurants, art galleries, museums and Old West charm. Sky Harbor, which in 2021 had the ninth-most boarding passengers of any airport in the U.S., serves as a hub for American Airlines, along with being a focus city for Frontier and Southwest airlines.




Gamble Sands will open The Barn, the Brewster, Washington, resort’s second dining option, in April. The Barn, which features large doors that open to views of the Cascade Mountains and Columbia River Valley., will include indoor seating for 125 and patio seating for 75, and will offer lounge seating, multiple televisions, family-style dining tables, a fireplace and late-night games. The resort, which opened its first course in 2014, is in the process of a multimillion expansion with the building of 40 additional rooms at the Inn at Gamble Sands that will complement the opening of its second David McLay Kidd-designed course. Both are scheduled to open in spring and summer 2025, respectively. … Did you know that Ship Sticks, the industry leader in turn key shipping of golf clubs around the world, also has a ski service called Ship Skis, which helps winter travelers avoid airline luggage experiences? Ship Sticks was founded in 2011, while Ship Skis was launched two years later. … Patriot Golf Club in Owasso, Oklahoma, designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr., plans a spring 2024 opening. When completed in a few months, golfers will experience Oklahoma’s lowland marshes, mature woodlands, upland parries and dramatic limestone canyons. … The rolling fairways of The Golf Club of Amelia Island will give up a few holes again this year to host The Amelia, the 29th anniversary of the classic car competition outside of Jacksonville, Florida. The Feb. 29-March 3 event is packed with seminars, films, parties, auctions, free Ride & Drives and the renowned Concours d’Elegance, where you’ll get an up-close look at hundreds of vehicles you won’t see anywhere else. And maybe patrons can stay after for a round of golf or two on Florida’s northeast coast. … Nemacolin reopens The Grand Lodge after a series of renovations. “The original Nemacolin lodge (built in 1968) was a wonderful accommodation and a great representation of the historic property my father and I fell in love with and began to build together. The Grand Lodge marks an evolution in Nemacolin’s history,” says Nemacolin owner and CEO Maggie Hardy. Nemacolin, which opened in 1987, began “The Grand Reimagination” after its 35th anniversary and looked to the future. The Grand Lodge — with its 56 suites, Fawn & Fable farm-to-table steakhouse and two bars (Circle Bar and The Study — was one of the first steps.