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New indoor golf simulator facility in RiNo rolls out the green carpet

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New indoor golf simulator facility in RiNo rolls out the green carpet

Winter is coming.

But that’s all the more reason Kyle McGee wanted to get his second Denver indoor golf facility open this week. Golfers will need a place to keep playing when the fairways go dormant and the greens freeze over.

“With the boom in golf, there’s no shortage of golfers. But there is a shortage of tee times,” said McGee, who opened Optimum Golf in North Park Hill in 2019.

He is getting ready to open a second location in RiNo at 3563 Walnut St. Tuesday.

McGee first opened Optimum Golf at 5059 E. 38th Ave. with his business partners Brad Alston and Mike Tomasi.

The original location features six simulator bays, which McGee said are usually booked out one to two weeks in advance, a putting green and a retail area. There’s no bar.

“I understand that a lot of people like to drink while they play golf. But when you go to the course in a traditional setting, they happen to have a bar,” McGee said. “We’re golf professionals, teaching professionals and business professionals, and I see this like a golf course.”

Optimum Golf rents simulator bays out for $15 for 30 minutes or $30 for an hour. McGee and Alston, both members of the Professional Golf Association, also offer private lessons starting at $150. Lessons with the four other certified golf coaches start at $100. Tomasi is a club fitter and builder in the retail area. The indoor golf club has 250 students at its original location.

McGee, 42, began golfing at 26 years old.

“I used to play hockey, got hurt and couldn’t play, so my buddy suggested we go to the driving range,” McGee said. “I hit one good 3-iron, and took my entire hockey bag the next day and swapped it for a golf bag and driver. One swing, and I was hooked.”

Lily O’Neill, BusinessDen

Optimum Golf is opening its second Denver location this week.

So, he began working in food and beverage at golf courses to play golf. He was the tournament director and event coordinator at Park Hill Golf Course for seven years, where he met Tomasi, who ran the course’s own indoor golf simulator, and Alston, who ran the PGA Learning Center.

After getting into the PGA program, McGee was an assistant professional at Overland, as well as a sales rep for a couple of different golf club companies.

Andrew Feinstein, CEO of EXDO Development Group, owns the 3,500-square-foot space Optimum Golf RiNo will open in across the street from Reelworks, previously known as EXDO Event Center. After taking lessons at the North Park Hill location with McGee for a year, he noticed the increasing demand and offered up the additional space for lease.

MADEwkshp previously occupied the RiNo space before it exited for its now-closed location in LoHi at 2900 Zuni St.

“As both a student and landlord, I am thrilled to have Optimum Golf in RiNo,” Feinstein said. “We have 2,500 units either just completed or under construction within walking distance, and almost 1.5 million square feet of new office building either here or on its way. Where are they going to go play golf and get their lessons in? Right here.”

Optimum Golf RiNo features five Uneekor golf simulators, a putting green simulator and a retail shop with wedges, golf balls, gloves, hats, bags and other apparel. Rental prices are the same across both locations.

“These simulators are specifically designed to be used in an indoor setting,” McGee said. “They’re infrared and photometric. Basically, because the sensor unit is above you and in front of you, it doesn’t make any mistakes in regard to ball-tracking. It takes images and uses infrared information, so every time you take a swing you can look back at the monitor and it will show you stop motion photos of your golf club coming through impact from the front of it.”

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Ravens’ Week 15 game vs. Packers pushed back to late-afternoon kickoff

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Ravens’ Week 15 game vs. Packers pushed back to late-afternoon kickoff

The Ravens’ Week 15 home game against the Green Bay Packers has been pushed back to a 4:25 p.m. kickoff, the NFL announced Tuesday. Fox’s telecast of the game had been scheduled to start at 1 p.m. on Dec. 19.

The NFL uses “flexible scheduling” in Weeks 11-18, meaning that, after consultation with its broadcast partners, it can move games into prime-time or late-afternoon slots. The announcements are made no later than 12 days before the game.

The Ravens are 3-0 against NFC North teams this season, edging the Detroit Lions, Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears, but Green Bay should be the division’s stiffest test. The 9-3 Packers, led by reigning NFL Most Valuable Player Aaron Rodgers, have the NFC’s second-best record. On Sunday, they knocked off the Los Angeles Rams, 36-28, in Green Bay.

The Ravens’ Week 15 game will be second of three late-afternoon kickoffs in a five-week span. On Sunday and in Week 17, they face the Pittsburgh Steelers and Los Angeles Rams at 4:25 p.m.

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Denver’s homelessness response includes permanent cleanup zone in Five Points, safe outdoor space in Clayton

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Denver’s homelessness response includes permanent cleanup zone in Five Points, safe outdoor space in Clayton

The city of Denver has quietly stepped up its efforts to prevent encampments of homeless people from forming in one downtown neighborhood while also working to provide city land for a sanctioned camping site a few miles away.

City crews are now clearing unhoused people and their belongings from sidewalks and other public rights of way at least three times a week in a roughly 10-block area in the Five Points neighborhood, officials said.

“Permanent, regular cleanups are needed in this area to consistently promote the health and safety of everyone in the area, including those experiencing homelessness … ” Nancy Kuhn, spokeswoman for the city’s Department of Transportation and Infrastructure, said in an emailed statement.

The area identified by officials in late September is bounded by Broadway, Park Avenue, Welton and 20th streets. It’s dotted with signs that mark it a permanent zone for what opponents to the camping ban refer to as sweeps. The permanent cleanup zone was first reported by Westword.

Kuhn said the cleanup actions make the sidewalk accessible so people don’t have to walk in the street and help to mitigate public health risks created by trash, decomposing food, discarded needles, human waste and flammable materials such as propane and gasoline.

RJ Sangosti, The Denver Post

The city of Denver has posted signs marking a new permanent no-camping zone in a portion of Five Points in Denver on Nov. 22, 2021.

Unlike in most encampments cleanups, the city does not provide notice to people camping in the area seven days in advance. The notice rule was established by a federal injunction earlier this year.

“It’s an attempted end-run around the requirements of the preliminary injunction,” Andy McNulty, the attorney who filed the federal lawsuit against the city’s camping ban, said last week. “They are putting up a zone that essentially says you can’t exist here if you’re an unhoused person.”

McNulty and Assistant City Attorney Conor Farley delivered arguments in a hearing with a panel of judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit last week about the merits of the preliminary injunction. The city’s goal was to have the restrictions on its camping ban enforcement powers lifted.

Farley noted in his comments there is a process through which the city can speed up enforcement actions to a 48-hour timetable if an emergency public health risk exists in an encampment but said that is still not soon enough. He also acknowledged the public record is thin on examples of public health emergencies that require a speedier response.

A representative for the City Attorney’s Office declined to comment on the arguments which are still being considered by the judges on the panel. McNulty said the hearing was a demonstration that the city has been disingenuous about its motives for clearing encampments.

“They just want the power to do whatever they want whenever they want with no consequences and they are not happy that someone is actually holding them accountable for once,” he said.

The permanent cleanup area the city marked out in September is the second of its kind, Kuhn said. Another area, roughly outlined by Larimer, Arapahoe, 22nd and 24th streets, is also subject to regular enforcement, she said.

In her emailed statement, Kuhn encouraged people who are homeless to embrace the city services available to them rather than stay on the streets.

“Our shelters have capacity; they are open 24/7, many do not require sobriety, they are safe and clean, and provide essential services to exit homelessness, including case management and rehousing,” she wrote.

Kuhn emailed The Denver Post her statement before a Denver Rescue Mission employee was fatally stabbed at the organization’s shelter for men at 4600 E. 48th Ave. Saturday night.

The potential for violent episodes is just one thing that can keep unhoused people from using the city’s shelter network. Cathy Alderman, chief public policy officer for the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless, noted that sleeping in a large, open room with other people is not ideal for everyone and the environment can be triggering for people struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder.

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Tiger Woods has little to offer on past accident or future in golf

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Tiger Woods has little to offer on past accident or future in golf

NASSAU, Bahamas — Tiger Woods had nothing to say about the February car crash that shattered his right leg and even less of an idea what his future in golf holds for him except that he’s a long way from deciding whether he can compete against the best.

“I can show up here and I can host an event, I can play a par-3 course, I can hit a few shots, I can chip and putt,” he said Tuesday. “But we’re talking about going out there and playing against the world’s best on the most difficult golf courses under the most difficult conditions.

“I’m so far from that.”

Woods addressed the media for the first time since his Feb. 23 crash on a winding road in the Los Angeles coastal suburbs. Police said he was driving at least 84 mph when he crossed a median and his SUV tumbled down a hill.

Asked his recollection of the accident, Woods said curtly, “All those answers have been answered in the investigation, so you can read about all that there in the police report.” When asked if he had any flashbacks to the trauma, he replied: “I don’t, no. Very lucky in that way.”

He also felt lucky to be alive and to still have his right leg, and to be able to walk into the press center at Albany Golf Club without a noticeable limp.

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