TPC Colorado at Heron Lakes
Larry Collins named general manager at TPC Colorado
By Dan Karpiel
The next major step in the process of opening the TPC Colorado Golf Course at Heron Lakes in Berthoud has been completed. The club announced the appointment of Larry Collins to serve as general manager.
“We’re excited to have someone leading TPC Colorado who brings such quality experience and reputation to the table,” John Hugghins, senior vice president of TPC Network Operations said in a press release. “It’s a highly anticipated opening both in the local community, as well as nationally, and we know Larry is the right man for the job.”
Collins, a Class A-4 PGA member and Southern California native, brings his more than three decades of experience to the TPC Colorado. Collins had previous stints at Omni Interlocken in Broomfield, Colo., the Boulder Country Club, TPC Southwind, and TPC Sawgrass, the latter home to the PGA Tour’s annual Players Championship. In appointing someone with Collins’ resume and stature in the world of golf as the club’s leader, TPC Colorado is demonstrating how seriously the organization is treating this venture, the first ground-up construction of a golf course in the entire state of Colorado in more than 10 years.
“I’m proud to be returning to the TPC family in the state I’ve called home for the past 25 years,” said Collins. “The TPC Network is well respected within the industry for its caliber of properties and standard of excellence. My family and I are truly looking forward to becoming ingrained in the Berthoud community.”
Collins explained the chance to return to the PGA Tour was a major factor in his decision to except the GM position at TPC Colorado, but he and his wife also quickly fell in love with the Berthoud community and plan to make their home here. Said Collins, “For me professionally, it was returning to the PGA Tour family, having opened two facilities for them before, having worked at tour headquarters, having worked 13 tournaments on the PGA and Senior PGA Tours, at this point in my life it is about returning to the standards of the tour family.”
TPC Colorado will be the fifth course Collins has opened in his career, and he stated he has learned a great deal about the process. He explained the most important aspect is having a strong team, top to bottom and, “this team is as good as any I’ve ever worked with.”
The course itself will really be something to behold. Designed with the intention of hosting a PGA Tour event, the course can play as long as 7,962 yards from the professional tees. For comparison, Loveland’s Mariana Butte plays at a maximum length of 6,745 yards, and Highland Meadows in Windsor plays at 7,011 yards from the tips.
However, the course will be able to be played and enjoyed by golfers of all ages and ability levels. From the forward tees the course will measure only 4,110 yards. Each hole will have seven possible tee locations to give golfers, from beginners to professionals, a challenging and enjoyable golf experience. TPC Colorado will be designated as a semi-private club where individuals can purchase memberships and get priority on tee times but also can be played by the public as daily-fee players.
As Collins explained, “The course is going to have 18 identifiable golf holes, every hole has a unique strategy,” and two of the course’s par-three holes have him particularly excited. The eighth hole, which can range from 70 to 192 yards in length depending upon the players’ tee selection, extends out on a narrow peninsula to the shores of Lonetree Reservoir, which is adjacent to the green. A shot hit left or right off the tee will almost certainly find water or end up in the large grove of mature trees that line both sides of the hole.
The par-three 16th hole will be located directly behind the clubhouse’s large patio, with a backdrop of Longs Peak and the shores of McNeil Reservoir. When players are hitting their tee shots they are likely to have a large crowd, possibly in excess of 100 people, sitting only a few yards behind them.
The course follows the shores of the three reservoirs – McNeil, Welch and Lonetree – and will be a links style with undulating fairways, deep stacked-sod pot bunkers and limited trees. The greens are large; most approach shots will require players to avoid the greenside bunkers, water hazards, or both. Collins explained the course will be mentally challenging, requiring players to make a risk-versus-reward calculation on both tee shots and approach shots.
While the golf course is the central attraction of the TPC Colorado project, Collins explained, “The wedding venue, the food and beverage aspects, it’s going to be second to none. The attractions around Lonetree Reservoir with boating, with McNeil Reservoir with beach activities, the potential of a tennis club … it’s going to have a real cool feeling where the whole community can come and have an incredible experience,” Collins said.
TPC Colorado is scheduled to open in the spring of 2018.
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