The closest Clark Cleverly had ever come to a professional golfer was watching one on television. Then the freshman-to-be joined 11 high school golfers on a trip to The International golf tournament at the Castle Pines Golf Course in Castle Rock.
"(The golfers) were all really close to us," he said. "It was cool because I think they didn't ignore us at all."
Now Cleverly has not only watched pro golfers he has the autographs of Ernie Els, Kevin Stadler and Brad Faxon.
"Watching live is a lot more exciting," he said.
The trip to Castle Pines has become an annual end-of-the summer trek organized by Yampa Valley Golf Course pro Tom Dockstader.
"The trip is geared as a reward for the kids I see out here a lot in the summer," he said. "The numbers for the trip continue to grow so the interest is there to see the top level of golf."
The growing numbers that interest Dockstader the most are on the girls side. The girls high school golf coach said he took five girls on the trip.
Dockstader and his chaperones, C.J. Rugh and Cody DeGuelle, loaded up Wednesday and spent a day hanging out in the Denver area. Then Thursday they went to the opening round of the tournament.
"The course was really nice and it had some huge houses on it," Cleverly said.
The only expenses the golfers had on the trip were meals and spending money. The practically free trip was made possible by donations from YVGC members and their businesses.
"We're looking at taking two vans next year," Dockstader said. "It had become a nice thing for everybody at the end of the summer."
David Pressgrove can be reached at 824-7031 or firstname.lastname@example.org..