Picture Red Rocks, where U2 recorded one of the sweetest live albums ever. Got it? The incredible red rocks jutting 250 feet into the sky? The crisp Colorado air? The binoc-busting views? Now pretend the stage is a green, and the back row is a tee box, and the whole thing is a par-3. That's just one hole--the 13th--at Arrowhead Golf Club in Littleton (11 miles south of Denver), one of the most photographed courses in the U.S. (And public to boot!) Now pretend there are 17 more eye-catching holes like it, such as the 424-yard par-4 10th (below), many framed by preposterously beautiful red sandstone formations that make it nearly impossible to lose a hook or a slice. Your Titleist just ricochets off 300-million-year-old rock and back onto the green. Very considerate of God, we think. -- Rick Reilly
For seaside public golf, try the "poor man's Pebble Beach," Pacific Grove ( Calif.) Golf Links (www.ci.pg.ca.us).
It was a crazy idea, given life during the '70s running boom. Cape Cod runner-bartender Tommy Leonard watched Frank Shorter's 1972 Olympic marathon triumph and imagined a race from a bar called The Captain Kidd in Woods Hole to his place, The Brothers Four in Falmouth Heights. It would snake along the scenic coves and inlets of Nantucket Sound, and it would be 7.1 miles long because that was the distance between the bars. The Falmouth Road Race was born a year later, when 92 intrepid runners completed the course and then partied into the night. For this year's race, on Aug. 14, more than 10,000 runners will be urged on by the 60,000 people watching them. (Registration for runners closed in May.) Recently, with more than $100,000 in prize money on the line, top-class African racers have dominated. Entrants must be ready for the Cape's sometimes powerful heat: In 1978 Alberto Salazar collapsed at the finish from heat exhaustion. (Still, he made three return trips and won twice.) Most runners, of course, survive the race and then settle in for a picnic that lasts all day and all night. Some have called Falmouth the best nonmarathon in the world, and while there are other superb summer road races-- Atlanta's Peachtree 10K (which took place on July 4) and the 15-kilometer Boilermaker (July 10) in Utica, N.Y., come to mind--none combine the effort of running a challenging course with the joy of spending a summer's day on the New England coast. --T.L.