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The Official Publication of the Colorado PGA November 2017

Give Back on ColoradoGivesDay PGA Professional

Nominations Open for 2018 Awards!

Colorado PGA Pro Peaks Digital Magazine

The Official Magazine of the Colorado PGA Pro Peaks is produced by the Colorado PGA

Colorado PGA Officers

West Chapter Officers

Ben Welsh, PGA Vice-President | 2017-2018 Frost Creek Golf Club

Jeff Boyer, PGA Secretary | 2017-2018 Eagle Ranch Golf Course

Jim Hajek, PGA Secretary | 2017-2018 Fossil Trace Golf Club

Brett Gagnon, PGA | 2017-2018 Red Sky Golf Club

Tom Bauerle Owner Colorado Golf and Turf

Mike Mendelson, PGA Honorary President | 2017-2019 City of Grand Junction

Brad Dombaugh CEO PSA Worldwide Corp., INC.

Board of Directors

Walter Glover Former Chief Financial Officer USOC

Ty Thompson, PGA President | 2017-2018 TT Operations Consulting

Leslie Core-Drevecky, PGA Honorary President | 2017-2018 Murphy Creek Golf Course

Board of Directors

Andy Benson, PGA | 2017-2019 Highlands Ranch Golf Club Kyle Heyen, PGA | District 9 Dir. Hiwan Golf Club Charles ‘Vic’ Kline, PGA | Past District 9 Director Indian Tree Golf Club

Ed Marzec, PGA President | 2017-2018 Country Club of the Rockies

Luke Brosterhous | 2017-2019 Catamount Ranch and Club Jacques Deyoe, PGA | 2017-2019 Aspen Glen Club Joe Kamby, PGA | 2016-2018 Country Club of the Rockies Alice Plain, PGA | 2018 - 2020 Vail Golf Club

Cathy Matthews-Kane, PGA | 2016-2018 Country Club of Colorado

CJ Rhyne, PGA | 2016-2018 GJ Golf

Jim Miller, PGA | 2018-2020 Sonnenalp Golf Club

Steve VanDyke, PGA | 2018-2020 Aspen Glen Club

Josh Miller, PGA | 2016-2018 GolfTEC Dennis Murray, PGA | 2018-2020 Valley Country Club Mike O’Donnell, PGA | 2018-2020 Fort Carson Bobby Quaratino, PGA | 2017-2019 West Woods Golf Course Chris Swinhart, PGA | 2017-2019 Thorncreek Golf Course Dave Troyer, PGA | 2016-2018 CommonGround Golf Course

Colorado PGA REACH Trustees Spencer Zinn Chairman

Anne Broholm CEO AHEAD

Theo Gregory Senior Vice President - El Pomar Foundation Bob Lally Chief of Staff YMCA of the Pikes Peak Region George Lee Managing Director – Investments Wells Fargo Scott McGraw Cherry Creek Insurance Group Vice President of Employee Benefits Honarable Sue Payton President SCI Aerospace Inc.


Executive Director/CEO Eddie Ainsworth, PGA eainsworth@pgahq.com P (303) 996-1593 C (719) 761-6125 Assistant Executive Director Patrick Salva psalva@pgahq.com P (303) 996-1597 C (303) 246-1007 Tournament Director Justin Limon, PGA jlimon@pgahq.com P (303) 996-1588 C (720) 390-1160 Junior Golf Director Holly Champion, PGA hchampion@pgahq.com P (303) 996-1591 C (217) 232-1790 Executive Assistant Annie O’Donnell adonnell@pgahq.com P (303) 996-1595 Marketing and Communications Coordinator July Malone jmalone@pgahq.com P (303) 996-1594 Employment Consultant Keith Soriano, PGA ksoriano@pgahq.com C (720) 841-1006

Lisa Potvin Captain United States Navy LTG Ed Soriano, US Army (Ret) Director, Business Development Global Land Forces - Northrop Grumman Corporation Bill Vogeney Chief Revenue Officer Ent Credit Union

Independent Directors Theo Gregory Spencer Zinn

Colorado PGA 6630 Bear Dance Drive | Larkspur, CO 80118 P | (303) 681-0742 www.coloradopga.com

Pro Peaks is distributed free to members and affiliates of the Colorado PGA twelve times per year. The articles and other information contained within this publication are informational and do not necessarily represent the view or opinions of the Colorado PGA. The Colorado PGA assumes no responsibility or liability for claims made for or by any product in this publication whether reported or advertised. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission of the Colorado PGA is prohibited.


President’s Report 5 Planning Season is Right Around the Corner! Exec. Director’s Report 6 “We’re Very Good at Being Welcoming, How About Actually Inviting…. District Director Report 7 Gus Andreone, Global Youth & Golf Family Summit and more! PGA of America News 8 Ron Rawls Elected to PGA of America Board of Directors 9 PGA REACH Celebrates Inaugural PGA National Day of HOPE on Nov. 11 Membership News 12 Member Update Colorado PGA News 13 2018 Awards Nominations Now Being Accepted 14 Pfingston Receives National Public Merchandiser of the Year Award

November 2017

What’s Inside

16 Worthy Honorees - Colorado Golf Hall of Fame to Honor Harvanek, Pfingston 18 Sergeant Hardesty Settling in to New Home in Colorado 22 Noble Chalfant Inductees Honored 24 28 30 31

Keffer Named Player of the Year for Fourth Consecutive Year Junior Golf News PGA Junior League Growth Continues All in the Family The Next Level




Colorado PGA Pro Peaks Digital Magazine

President’s Message

By Ty Thompson, PGA

The role of the PGA Professional has certainly grown over the past two decades. PGA members are running multiple departments and in some cases they are serving in the role of General Manager and/ or COO. Have you ever had interest in expanding your leadership into other parts of the business? Currently we have over 50 members serving in these roles and many of them hold dual membership in the PGA and the CMAA. Why is this important? If you have interest in growing your skills in general management or club operations you may consider learning opportunities from holding a dual membership.

Ty Thompson, PGA President Colorado PGA

I have had numerous conversations, over the past two years, with our national leadership in regards to the CMAA giving credits and work experience to our PGA professionals interested in this educational opportunity. The CMAA recently ruled that PGA professionals with approved “experience” can reduce the time

needed, as a CMAA member, to sit for the Certified Club Manager exam from 6 years to 3 years. In addition, PGA professionals earn 50 of the 300 credits needed for certification from their MSR education credits. As we are seeing more and more collaboration between associations we are seeing these kinds of changes that encourage education and opportunity for advancement. Whether it is working towards a master’s degree, PGA Master Professional or a certification such as the CMAA, I would encourage each of you to find areas of education and personal development that intrigue you and make you more qualified for your next position.

November 2017

Do You Want to Expand Your Leadership?

My Best,

Ty Thompson, PGA President - Colorado Section PGA ty.thompson@pga.com | P | (303) 918-9270



Colorado PGA Pro Peaks Digital Magazine

Executive Director’s Message

We’re Very Good at Being Welcoming, How About Actually Inviting…. By Eddie Ainsworth, PGA

My Fellow Colorado PGA Professionals, Coming off the past several weeks, I took a little time over the last few days to reflect on how privileged I am to serve as your Executive Director. Being a part of the Colorado PGA is something I do not take for granted. This has been a busy but very rewarding time as we saw record attendance at our Fall Membership Meeting, followed by our Annual Awards Banquet honoring the Best of the Best in Colorado and finally rounding out this time period by joining our officers in attending the PGA Annual Meeting in Austin where we witnessed Colorado PGA Professional Mark Pfingston receive his PGA of America National Award. Hopefully I say it often, but I truly want to thank you for the opportunity to serve each and every one of you as your Executive Director.

As a Member of the Colorado PGA, you are part of our group. You are one of us! Please know that you do not have to wait for an invitation to get involved, but if you are looking for one, here it is. Come join us. Get involved. We invite you to meet with us over the next several months as we host education and training sessions, round tables and the like. This is my personal invitation for you to join me along with our Section Officers for lunch during the next several months. We want to hear from you, as you are who we serve and you are important!

It is better to eat Twinkies with good friends than to eat broccoli alone.

As we head into the “off-season” and the Holiday Season, I always reflect on how blessed I am with a wonderful family. I often think about those among us who are not as fortunate as many of us and hope that someone will welcome them into their home. As PGA Members, it is inbreed in us to be welcoming when people come into our facilities. It is a way of life for us. This year, I would like to encourage each and every one of us to not only be welcoming but to actually invite one of our fellow PGA Members or Apprentices into our home to enjoy the Holidays with us. If you attended the Fall Membership Meeting, you probably remember me stating that it is better to eat Twinkies with good friends than to eat broccoli alone. One of the most thorough research projects on relationships is called the “Alameda County Study.” Headed by Harvard social scientist George Kaplan, PhD, it tracked the lives of 7,000 people over nine years. Researchers found that the most isolated people were three times more likely to die than those with strong relational connections. People who had bad habits (such as smoking, poor eating habits, obesity, bad sleep habits, no exercise or excessive alcohol use) but strong social ties lived significantly longer than people who had great health habits but were isolated. In other words, it is better to eat Twinkies with good friends than to eat broccoli alone. Harvard researcher


Robert Putnam noted that if you belong to no groups but decide to join one, “you cut your risk of dying over the next year in half.”

I wish all of you a safe and happy Holiday Season and when you’re out celebrating, be sure to have your Wingman along. Thank You for all you do to grow this great game we all play and thank you for making a positive difference in the lives of others. You are simply the best!!! Very Respectfully,

Eddie Ainsworth, PGA Executive Director/CEO Colorado PGA 6630 Bear Dance Drive Larkspur, CO 80118 eainsworth@pgahq.com O – 303-996-1593 M – 719-761-6125

District 9 Director Report

Gus Andreone, Global Youth & Golf Family Summit and much more! By Kyle Heyen, PGA A continual inspiration to us all, the oldest member of the PGA of America at 106, Andreone was welcomed by the country of France into one of the world’s most distinguished “clubs” – the Order of the Legion of Honor. Andreone, a resident of Sarasota, Florida, who served as a U.S. Army Staff Sergeant during World War II, was awarded the Chevalier (Knight) medal by Clement Leclerc, the Consulate General of France in Miami.

November 2017

November Update

The ceremony was conducted at the Tampa Bay Automobile Museum. Established in 1802 by Napoléon Bonaparte as the highest French order of merit for military and civil achievements, the Legion d’honneur has an estimated million members. What a great story to tell, especially in the Colorado Section, given our commitment to supporting the miltary.

SPRINGFIELD, NJ - JULY 26: PGA of America COO, Darrell Crall, PGA Board of Director, PGA Board of Director, Kyle Heyen and PGA Board of Director, Glenn Lee during the Champion’s Dinner for the the 98th PGA Championship held at the Baltusrol Golf Club on July 26, 2016 in Springfield, New Jersey. (Photo by Montana Pritchard/The PGA of America)

You can check out at PGA.org for the full story. 2018 Global Youth & Golf Family Summit Learn from the game’s leading advocates for youth & family golf at the 2018 Global Youth & Family Summit, Jan. 21-22, in Orlando, Fla. The Summit will be held at the Orange County Convention Center. Kyle Heyen, PGA District 9 Director PGA of America Head Professional Hiwan Golf Club

By attending the Summit, you will obtain information to assist you in your junior golf programs at your club, along with receiving 16 PGA Required MSR credits when you attend both days. (Reminder the current MSR cycle is up June 30, 2017. • Increase family golf activity at your facility • Drive rounds and revenue from youth and family golfers •


insights on programming for all abilities •

Youth development strategies from around the globe

• New research at the forefront of youth athletic development •

Discover which youth results employers value most

You can go to PGA.org to register for the Summit.

District Director My 3 year term as District 9 Director ends on the last day of the Annual Meeting on November 3. My replacement will be Ron Rawls from the Rocky Mountain Section. Ron is from Crane Creek in Boise, Idaho. Ron has served as Section Officer in the Rocky Mountain Section, qualified for this past PGA Professional Championship along with numerous other contributions to the game of golf and his Section. Over the last year, I have spent considerable time with Ron to bring him up to speed on the happenings in the District and specifically Colorado Section and am confident we will all be proud to know he is our representative. As my term winds down, a few highlights for me are: 1. Being part of 3 Sections of the PGA of America, Colorado, Rocky Mountain and Utah and seeing how their governance works and programs benefit their


continued on page 8


Colorado PGA Pro Peaks Digital Magazine

PGA of America News continued from page 7

members and grow the game of golf. 2. The lines of communication between the Directors, National Officers and Staff that we have. We always had great discussions and information was shared with us to make the correct decisions whether it was in the Boardroom or on a special Committee. 3. The time and effort our Championship department puts into each national event, from the PGA Professional Championship to the Ryder Cup. 4. Taking ownership of PGA Junior League which has grown to over 42,000 participants from 30,000 participants in 2015. This is a program where our PGA Members can truly make a difference in growing the game of golf and impact the game’s future. 5. Being in a position to support the allowance of PGA Members to earn MSR’s in Career Specific Education that falls into the PGA required bucket.

But what I will remember the most is the dedication to the game of golf I have witnessed of you, the PGA Member. We are very fortunate to be an Association of over 28,000 that are willing to share ideas and help their fellow golf professionals, especially in challenging times. You are the guardians of the game. I wish you all the best and I thank you for your support. Sincerely,

Kyle Heyen, PGA National PGA Director, District 9 Head Professional, Hiwan Golf Club kyle@hiwan.com

Ron Rawls Elected to PGA Board of Directors

New District 9 Director to Represent the Colorado, Rocky Mountain and Utah PGA Sections From rockymountainpga.com/

Ron Rawls, PGA Head Golf Professional at Crane Creek Country Club in Boise, Idaho, has joined the PGA Board of Directors as District 9 Director. He was elected to the Board of Directors on November 3rd, 2017 at the 101st PGA Annual Meeting, in Austin, Texas. Rawls will serve a three-year term, representing the Colorado, Rocky Mountain and Utah PGA Sections. A PGA Member since 1989, Rawls has served as PGA Head Golf Professional of Crane Creek Country Club since 2004, overseeing daily operations for the facility. Previously, he served as PGA Director of Golf at Kauai Lagoons Resort in Lihue, Hawaii (1989-1996); and Illahe Hills Country Club in Salem, Oregon (1996-2004). Backed by a passion for governance and a commitment to volunteering, Rawls has served on the Board of Directors in the Aloha, Pacific Northwest and Rocky Mountain PGA Sections. “It’s an honor to have served on the Board of Directors at the Section level and now on the National Board as the new District 9 Director,” said Rawls. “The PGA of America has made a huge leap in recent years in its role as a main player in the golf industry. It’s an exciting time to be involved.”


In any of the decisions I made it went back to the Long Term Strategic Plan and the two-fold mission of Serving the Member and Growing the Game.

An accomplished player, Rawls has enjoyed signature victories throughout his playing career, highlighted by the 1991 Aloha Section PGA Championship, 2004 Rocky Mountain Section PGA Championship and the 2016 Rocky Mountain Section Senior PGA Professional Championship. Rawls is also a three-time qualifier for the Senior PGA Professional Championship. Rawls is a two-time PGA Section Golf Professional of the Year; four-time Section Bill Strausbaugh Award Winner; and two-time Section Merchandiser of the Year. Born and raised in Idaho, Rawls graduated from Boise State University in 1983, with a degree in Accounting and Computer Sciences. He has been married for 24 years to Pam, a merchandise buyer for eight golf courses in Idaho. Rawls has two grown children, Nicole and Zach. The PGA Board of Directors is composed of the Association’s President, Vice President, Secretary, Honorary President and 17 Directors. The Directors include representatives from each of the PGA’s 14 Districts, two Independent Directors and a member of the PGA Tour. New District Directors are elected by their local PGA Sections.

PGA of America News

PGA HOPE (Helping Our Patriots Everywhere) Golf Programs Continue to Expand Nationwide; Inspiring ‘Hero’ Video Featuring Jack Nicklaus Highlights Impact of PGA HOPE on Military Veterans

November 2017

PGA REACH Celebrates Inaugural PGA National Day of HOPE on Nov. 11 PGA REACH, the 501(c) (3) charitable foundation of the PGA of America, has announced that Saturday, Nov. 11—Veterans Day— will serve as the inaugural PGA National Day of HOPE. PGA National Day of HOPE has two goals: Celebrate our nation’s heroes who protect our freedom; and raise awareness and support for the PGA HOPE (Helping Our Patriots Everywhere) program, so that it can continue to grow.

To support PGA National Day of HOPE, an inspirational “Hero” video featuring Jack Nicklaus that highlights the positive impact of PGA HOPE Click the link above to watch the PGA HOPE Video programming will be released is making a difference in the lives of thousands of in advance of Veteran’s Day. Additionally, Chris Nowak, veterans,” said Ryan Cannon, Senior Director, PGA PGA HOPE Military and Veteran Liaison, will share his REACH. “PGA HOPE programming takes place yearinspirational story during a segment on Golf Channel’s round, but on Veterans Day, we invite the entire golf Morning Drive on Nov. 11. As a U.S. Marine corporal, community to join us in honoring our country’s heroes, Nowak was medically retired after losing his leg from a and raising awareness for PGA HOPE, so that it can friendly fire accident during training. continue to expand and serve even more veterans.” PGA HOPE introduces golf to veterans with disabilities Prior to 2017, there were 68 HOPE chapters impacting to enhance their physical, mental, social and emotional 3,500 veterans to date. The goal for 2017 is to serve 80 well-being. The program features a six-to-eight week locations and an additional 1,200 veterans across the instructional golf clinic, followed by a graduation United States. ceremony and on-course golfing opportunities. Fully funded by PGA REACH, PGA HOPE is offered at NO For more information on PGA HOPE or to make a COST to military veterans. Led by PGA Professionals, donation, please visit PGAREACH.org. PGA HOPE has helped thousands of veterans assimilate back into their communities through the social interaction the game of golf provides. “Golf can be an extremely effective part of the therapeutic rehabilitation process, and PGA HOPE



Colorado PGA Pro Peaks Digital Magazine

PGA of America News

101st PGA Annual Meeting Focused on the PGA Member and Growing the Game T

he PGA of America’s 101st Annual Meeting, Nov. 1-3, focused on the PGA Member and the benefits of growing the game of golf to diverse audiences. A total of 427 delegates gathered at the Hilton Austin, as they furthered the path for the Association’s future on a global scale, while emphasizing the two key pillars of employment and education. “We hope you’ll be inspired by a wealth of information that you can apply to your business back home, share with your Sections, companies and friends to continue to position PGA Professionals as the leaders of this industry,” PGA President Paul Levy told the delegates. “When we come together to collaborate, the future of this game wins.” The meeting was accentuated by presentations of the PGA National Awards, PGA of America Hall of Fame, PGA Distinguished Service Award and a special fireside chat with six U.S. Ryder Cup Captains, five of which call Texas home. After the meeting, the PGA of


America Board of Directors announced that CEO Pete Bevacqua’s contract was extended through the end of 2024. Bevacqua has served as CEO since November 2012. “With tremendous leadership and professionalism, Pete Bevacqua has furthered the PGA’s mission and guided our vision for the future,” said Levy. “Pete is highly respected throughout the golf industry and the business world. The PGA of America is proud to call him our CEO, as he is devoted to our Members and ensuring that the game of golf extends its reach to everyone.” “It should be our goal to be the most influential body in the game,” stated Bevacqua. The meeting’s Opening Session on Nov. 2 featured YUM! Brands Executive Chair David Novak as the keynote speaker. Novak stressed the importance continued on page 11

of developing a recognition system to honor your team’s hard work, as he stressed that bosses win by acting more like coaches who motivate and inspire their employees for success. “If you take the time to acknowledge the things people do to make your team better and make your club better, it says what they do really matters. The power of recognition is your secret weapon.” This was followed by a Leadership Session given by Asuka Nakahara, Partner for Triton Atlantic Partners and a Director for Comcast Corporation, who spoke to the importance of governance and an effective Board of Directors, whether it is on the national level, a PGA Section or a local golf operation. In response to the recent series of tragic weather events, the PGA of America announced the formation of the Golf Relief and Assistance Fund to help provide relief to individuals in the golf industry who have suffered as a result of a current or future qualified disaster. The Golf Relief and Assistance Fund was created so the PGA of America and other industry participants can support PGA Members and other golf industry personnel in qualified disaster situations. The PGA launched this fund with a contribution of $250,000. The fund will be administered by the largest community foundation in the world, Silicon Valley Community Foundation, of Mountain View, California. “We view the Golf Relief and Assistance Fund as a model of how the PGA Member can help show the positive role the PGA plays in the golf industry,” said Levy. “We look to our Members to help spread the word about the availability of this fund to their fellow PGA Members and to others in golf industry communities who may be in need.” To either make a tax-deductible contribution to the Golf Relief and Assistance Fund or to apply for assistance, please visit GolfReliefFund.org. With the 101st PGA Annual Meeting being held in Austin, Texas, the PGA utilized the location to invite and honor several of the United States Ryder Cup Captains who live in Texas including: Lee Trevino, Lanny Wadkins, Tom Kite, Ben Crenshaw and Hal Sutton. They were joined in a fireside chat by special guest 2018 U.S. Ryder Cup Captain Jim Furyk. The entertaining discussion was hosted by David Marr III, whose late father was the 1981 U.S. Captain and the 1965 PGA Champion. “What’s going on with the Ryder Cup right now is really exciting,” said Kite. “The current players want us to be involved. It makes us feel good.”

of America Board of Directors: • District 4: Steven Aloi, PGA, Bellevue Country Club, in Cortland, New York (Central New York, TriState, Western New York PGA Sections) • District 8: David Schneider, PGA/CCM, Wakonda Club in Des Moines, Iowa (Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska PGA Sections) • District 9: Ron Rawls, PGA, Crane Creek Country Club, in Boise, Idaho (Colorado, Rocky Mountain, Utah PGA Sections) They replace outgoing Board Members Tim Fries (District 4), Jeff Drimel (District 8) and Kyle Heyen (District 9), who fulfilled their three-year terms of Board service.

November 2017

continued from page 10

PGA of America News

A special Folds of Honor presentation was given on Nov. 2, by its Founder Maj. Dan Rooney, PGA and followed by a moving discussion about PGA HOPE (Helping Our Patriots Everywhere) presented by PGA HOPE Coordinator Chris Nowak, a disabled United States Marines Corps veteran. Nowak debuted a new “Hero” video narrated by Jack Nicklaus on the impact PGA HOPE has made in teaching golf to those who have served our country. The PGA of America recognized its 2017 National Awards winners on Nov. 1. Complete story Seven new inductees into the PGA of America Hall of Fame were honored in a ceremony hosted by NBC/ Golf Channel’s Jimmy Roberts. Read more In addition, Mark and Debi Rolfing received the PGA Distinguished Service Award for their leadership and humanitarian qualities in a moving Hawaiian-themed ceremony that paid tribute to their long-time devotion to finding permanent homes for foster children. Complete story In a separate ceremony, PGA Past President M.G. Orender, was presented the 2017 Legend of the PGA award for his contributions to growing the game of golf. Orender is President of Hampton Golf in Jacksonville, Florida. The following resolutions passed: Resolution 1: Constitution and Bylaws Restructure; Resolution 2: Realignment of District Director Class Sizes; and Resolution 3: Mandatory Member Assistance Program. The following resolutions failed: Resolution 4: Eligibility for Life Member; and Resolution 5: Awarding Education Credits toward PGA Membership.

Three new District Directors were sworn-in to the PGA



Colorado PGA Pro Peaks Digital Magazine

Membership News

Route 411

An update on our Colorado PGA Members

Happy Birthday! 11/2 11/3

Ron Vlosich, PGA Ken Sanchez, PGA Joe Glasser, PGA Meghan Hunter, PGA Josh Troyer, PGA


Steve VanDyke, PGA Bruce Johnston, PGA


Jordan LeBlanc


Alice Plain, PGA Robbins Manley, PGA PJ Irwin, PGA Joseph Carlton, PGA James MacDougall, PGA Thomas Young


Ken Kettler, PGA


Greg Gortsema, PGA Paul Ransom, PGA


Randy Bregar, PGA


Ed Kujalowicz, PGA Ty Hamer, PGA


Bill Hancock, PGA David Duval, PGA Trent Wearner, PGA Ryan Williams, PGA

11/24 John Hanrahan, PGA Erin Hinderliter, PGA DJ Poland, PGA


Chris Carroll Kimmy Bean, PGA


Tony Principato, PGA Walter Schlomer Jacob Anderson, PGA

11/12 11/12

Winston Howe, PGA Ken Limes, PGA Todd Laxson, PGA Luke Skattum, PGA


Tommy Wiles


David Dame, PGA Brett Winder, PGA Kevin Cohrs, PGA


Lew Lepore, PGA Daniel Costenbader

New Members Alicia D. Bolam | B-8 | Eaton Country Club Kristyn N. Crippen | B-8 | Cherry Hills Country Club



Michael Mendelson, PGA Chris Bowry, PGA


Sam Chapman, PGA Wilbur Derby, PGA Charles Perry, PGA Nathan Mead, PGA

11/20 David DiMartino, PGA Chris Wilson

11/25 11/25

Tom Gibbs, PGA Ian Bruce, PGA Richard Urso, PGA Ryan Husted

11/26 Mike Swan, PGA Daniel Reabe, PGA Tyler Finn, PGA 11/27

Kevin Bolles, PGA Rudy Zupetz, PGA Bobby Quaratino, PGA Will Panella, PGA Mark Bacheldor, PGA Austin Logan

11/29 Mark Miller, PGA Jeff Mayhall, PGA 11/30 Brandon Bucci

November 2017



Colorado PGA Pro Peaks Digital Magazine

PGA of America News

Pfingston Receives National Public Merchandiser of the Year Award PGA

Golf Professional of the Year Darrell Kestner and PGA Teacher of the Year David Leadbetter led a contingent of 11 PGA Professionals who were honored during the PGA of America’s 2017 National Awards celebration at the Hilton Austin on Wednesday, Nov. 1, in conjunction with the 101st PGA Annual Meeting in Austin, Texas. The recipients of the 2017 PGA of America National Awards included: PGA Golf Professional of the Year: Darrell Kestner, PGA, Deepdale G.C. - Manhasset, New York PGA Teacher of the Year: David Leadbetter, PGA, David Leadbetter Golf Academy - ChampionsGate, Florida PGA Youth Player Development Award: Brendon Elliott, PGA, Little Linksters LLC - Deltona, Florida Bill Strausbaugh Award: John Kennedy, PGA Life Member, formerly Westchester C.C. - Rye, New York Horton Smith Award: Jeff Adkerson, PGA, Mississippi State University - Starkville, Mississippi PGA Player Development Award: Tom Morton, PGA, Haggin Oaks Golf Complex - Sacramento, California Patriot Award:  Kevin McKinley, PGA, Treetops Resort - Gaylord, Michigan Deacon Palmer Award:  Sam Depe III, PGA,  Hickory Heights G.C. - Bridgeville, Pennsylvania PGA Merchandiser of the Year–Private Facilities: Mike Strlekar, PGA, Montclair G.C. - West Orange, NJ PGA Merchandiser of the Year –Public Facilities: Mark Pfingston, PGA - Bear Dance G.C. - Denver PGA Merchandiser of the Year–Resort Facilities: Zack Chapin, PGA, - Arcadia Bluffs G.C. - Arcadia, Michigan Herb Graffis Award: Gateway PGA Section (parts of Missouri and Illinois) “The 2017 class of national award recipients were all truly deserving of this recognition, having distinguished themselves as inspirational leaders, mentors, and pioneers among their peers,” said PGA President Paul Levy. “The PGA of America proudly recognizes them for their unwavering commitment to represent the PGA Professional and the game of golf at the highest of levels.” For more information on the individual award winners, click here.


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November 2017


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Colorado PGA Pro Peaks Digital Magazine

Colorado PGA News

Worthy Honorees

Bunch, Harvanek voted into Colorado Golf Hall of Fame; CWGA, Pfingston, Billings, Bryant, Schalk earn awards By Gary Baines


wo Coloradans whose service in golf has made an indelible impact were voted into the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame on Wednesday. Jim Bunch of Denver and Danny Harvanek of Littleton will make up the 46th class of the Hall of Fame and will be inducted on May 20 at Sanctuary golf course in Sedalia. Bunch has served in high-powered volunteer roles at the USGA and with the Western Golf Association, including as the chairman of the USGA Rules of Golf Committee, of the WGA and of the Evans Scholars Foundation that awards full tuition and housing college scholarships to high-achieving caddies with limited financial means. “Considering who’s been inducted (into the Hall of Fame), it’s a great honor,” Bunch said on Wednesday. “It’s quite a surprise -- and still sinking in. It wasn’t something I was expecting.” Harvanek, a longtime PGA Master Professional in Colorado, has long been touted for his highly-effective instruction work with junior golfers, which helped lay the groundwork for the Colorado PGA Golf in Schools program. “To be recognized by the collective body of golf in Colorado is pretty humbling,” Havanek said. “It’s hard to put into words.” Bunch and Harvanek will become the 140th and 141st inductees into the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame, an organization which honored its first class in 1973, when Babe Zaharias, Dave Hill and Babe Lind were inducted. In addition to Bunch and Harvanek being voted into the Hall of Fame on Wednesday, several people/ organizations were selected to receive CGHOF awards at the banquet in May: the CWGA (Distinguished Service Award), Mark Pfingston (Golf Person of the Year), Rich Billings (Lifetime Achievement Award), and Davis Bryant and Hailey Schalk (Future Famers). See details about those honorees below. Bunch was a member of the USGA’s Executive Committee, one of the most powerful ruling bodies in golf, from 2003-10. At various times during that span, he chaired the USGA’s Rules of Golf, Finance, Grants


and Bob Jones Award Committees. During his time chairing the Rules of Golf Committee, Bunch spent more than 150 nights on the road on USGA-related business -- often largely at his own expense. Two years after leaving the USGA Executive Committee, Bunch became the first chairman of the WGA from Colorado during a time when Western Golf was awarding more Evans Scholarships than ever before. Then in 2014, he moved on to be chairman of the board of trustees for the Evans Scholars Foundation. In both cases, it was a labor of love for Bunch, who caddied as a 12-year-old in the Chicago area. The WGA administers the Evans Scholarship for caddies, including the chapter at the University of Colorado, and oversees the PGA Tour’s BMW Championship, which benefits the Evans Scholarship. Bunch first joined the WGA board of directors in 1992, and still serves as an Evans Scholars Foundation trustee. (Bunch is pictured in a WGA photo alongside TV broadcaster Dottie Pepper.) “The Evans Scholars program is one of the great things golf has done,” said Bunch, a Denver resident since 1970. “It changes lives for families. When you’re touching lives, I can’t think of anything more worthwhile as a golfer. “As for the USGA, it has international scope, so to be involved with such an organization is an honor. And as chair of the Rules Committee, I had the privilege of walking with the final groups at national and

Colorado PGA News

November 2017

international championships. “When you’re dealing with non-profits, you might think about what you’re putting into it (as a volunteer), but you never think what you get out of it. And you get a lot more out of it than you put it. And the people you meet working for these organizations, they’re very good people and many become friends.” Bunch, who will soon turn 75, is a member at Denver Country Club and The Club at Cordillera in Colorado, as well as at The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews and Prestwick in Scotland. Like Bunch, Harvanek has been a longtime fixture in Colorado. After growing up in western Kansas where he took up the game at age 15 and won a state high school title as a senior, Harvanek moved to the Centennial State in 1979 to take a job on Warren Smith’s staff at Cherry Hills Country Club. Then in 1984, he became the first PGA head professional at Bear Creek Golf Club, remaining in that position through ‘92. Three consecutive years beginning in 1990, Harvanek received the Colorado PGA’s top honor as Golf Professional of the Year. In 1990, he was also given an award from the CGA for outstanding contributions to amateur golf. But it was as an instructor -- particularly working with junior golfers (pictured) -- that Harvanek particularly made an impact in the new millennium. Using a concise, simple way of communicating while teaching paid off for him. After being the Colorado PGA’s Teacher of the Year in 2003 and the Junior Golf Leader in 2006, Harvanek earned a very prestigious PGA of America award in 2007 as the national Junior Golf Leader. In the early 2000s, Harvanek wrote eight golf books, many particularly effective in teaching the game to youngsters.

taught over 13,000 kids. “It started growing legs,” he noted. “I created a model so I could pass it on.” That and similar seedlings planted by others in the Colorado golf community led to the Colorado PGA Golf in Schools Program, which has reached roughly 70,000 students over the last seven years. “Because of Danny’s leadership in our Section, many of us have had a roadmap to follow in our own junior programming,” instructor Ann Finke, another national PGA Junior Golf Leader award winner, noted in supporting Harvanek’s induction into the Hall of Fame.

“I’ve always had strong passion for kids and the growth and development of children,” said Harvanek, the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame’s 2008 Golf Person of the Year. “I want them to have a positive energy in their life to pursue their hopes and dreams.”

“Danny Harvanek has done more for junior golf in Colorado than anyone I know,” added Clayton Cole, like Finke a member of the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame.

While working as an instructor at Broken Tee Golf Course and The Golf Club at Bear Dance, Harvanek developed a program for exposing kids to golf through their P.E. classes at school. When he approached Denver Public Schools officials with the idea, the result was 22 schools signing up in just two days.

As for the CGHOF award winners:

Over a period of about 10 years working at schools in the Denver metro area, Harvanek said he personally

Harvanek, 68, now resides in Littleton.

-- The CWGA will be given the Distinguished Service Award for its long history of serving female golfers in Colorado and promoting the game. The CWGA, a non-profit which celebrated its 100th anniversary last year, long has been viewed as one of the most highly regarded women’s golf associations in the


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Colorado PGA News

Sergeant Hardesty Settling in to New Home in Colorado S ince the end of June, former U.S. Army Sergeant Chris Hardesty’s life has been moving at a very rapid pace. It was on June 26, during the 2017 Colorado PGA REACH Invitational, that Hardesty was handed the keys of his yet unseen mortgage-free home in Pueblo, Colo.

“The house is a huge blessing for me and my fiancé,” acknowledges Hardesty. “Being the recipient of a mortgagefree home is a tremendous luxury for us. We know that if anything were to happen to us financially, we would most certainly be okay until we were able to get back on our feet.” Hardesty has since packed up his belongings in Hemet, Calif., and relocated to the Centennial State. His fiancé will be following once she completes some obligations in California. Besides the cluttered feeling of the remaining boxes in his living room, he is enjoying everything the new home has to offer.


Colorado PGA News region. Currently, it’s in the process of joining forces with the CGA in an effort to better serve all golfers in the Centennial State. The unified association, which will move forward with volunteer and staff leadership from both the CGA and CWGA, will be known as the Colorado Golf Association. Current presidents Joe McCleary from the CGA and Juliet Miner from the CWGA will serve as co-presidents in 2018. The CWGA currently features a membership of almost 17,000 from approximately 250 member clubs. -- Mark Pfingston, the PGA head professional at The Golf Club at Bear Dance in Larkspur, was named Golf Person of the Year after earning the PGA of America’s national 2017 Merchandiser of the Year Award for public facilities. Pfingston. the head pro at Bear Dance since 2006 after previously being an assistant for three years at the club where the Colorado PGA is based, is scheduled to receive the national award next week in Austin, Texas at the PGA of America’s annual meeting. Pfingston was the Colorado PGA’s Public Merchandiser of the Year in 2005, ’15 and ‘16. This marks the sixth time a Colorado PGA professional has received a PGA of America national honor for merchandising -- and the fourth time since 2012. Overall, CPGA members or the Section itself have received national PGA of America awards nine times in the last 11 years.

the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame, will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award. Billings once served on the CGHOF board of directors and has heartily backed the Hall of Fame’s endeavors over the years, both in spirit and financially. -- And Davis Bryant of Aurora and Hailey Schalk of Erie earned “Future Famer” honors, given to Colorado players under 20 who have had particularly outstanding years. Bryant and Schalk recently were named the Junior Golf Alliance of Colorado’s 2017 Players of the Year. Bryant won three of the four boys JGAC major championships in 2017 -- every one in which he competed. The 17-year-old future Colorado State University golfer also captured the 5A boys state high school title. On a larger scale, Bryant finished ninth individually while playing for Colorado at the Junior America’s Cup and 14th at the national Boys Junior PGA Championship. He also advanced to the match play round of 64 at his second U.S. Junior Amateur.

November 2017

continued on from page 17

Schalk became the first Coloradan to claim a girls or boys title at the AJGA Hale Irwin Colorado Junior. The 15-year-old won both of the JGAC majors in which she participated. With her victory in the 3A girls state high school tournament, she became the first freshman to win a girls state prep title since 2002. Schalk also finished 14th individually while competing for Colorado at the Girls Junior America’s Cup.

-- Rich Billings, who has a long history of supporting continued on from page 18

“The house is amazing and the location is definitely a huge step up from being in California,” said an elated Hardesty. “My life has improved dramatically and for the first time in a long time, we have our own space.” The crisp Colorado mornings are ideal to Hardesty. He has been exploring all that the state and the area have to offer. He does admit that finding the discipline to sit down to do his school work has been challenging with such a variety of outdoor activities calling his name. He is also excited about having the space to set up his woodworking shop in the garage. “My first wood working project will be to make a key rack to hang by the front door to hold the keys to our new home,” says Hardesty. “We want to thank everyone at the Colorado PGA REACH Foundation for your generosity. Words don’t begin to express our gratitude to you for this act of kindness we have received from you and your members,” concluded Hardesty. “This is a life changing event for us and we really love our new home!” Through the support of one of the three pillars of the Colorado PGA REACH Foundation – Supporting Our Military – the foundation partnered with the Military Warriors Support Foundation’s Home 4 Wounded Heroes Program to provide a mortgage-free home to a deserving veteran. The goal of the Military Pillar, which seeks to improve the physical, mental and social rehabilitation of military heroes, closely matches that of the Homes 4 Wounded Heroes Program, making the single-focused collaboration a win-win for all involved.



Colorado PGA Pro Peaks Digital Magazine

Colorado PGA News

Kenealy’s Dedication to REACH Leads to President’s Award T

he 2017 Colorado PGA President’s Award is being presented to Eric Kenealy, entrepreneur. This is an annual award given to an individual who, through their efforts and contributions, has promoted and enhanced the PGA Professional, the Section and the game of golf and contributed to the betterment of the golf professional vocation. “I am honored to be the recipient of this award,” says Kenealy. “It has been a blessing for us to be associated with the Colorado PGA and the REACH Foundation.”

Kenealy lived most of his life in the Chicago area. In 2000, he accepted an opportunity in Colorado and moved his family west. He and his wife, Laurie, both entrepreneurs at heart, tapped into these traits in 2005 and created their own management company. Their primary enterprise is being owner and operator of 15 of the 28 Colorado Massage Envy businesses located up and down the Front Range from Loveland to Colorado Springs. Kenealy took up golf in his 20s and is a self-proclaimed avid golfer who loves all things golf. Besides simply enjoying golf, he values the integrity of the game, the comradery of playing with other golfers and the ups-and-downs of each round. As he began exploring local organizations and charities to support, he came to be introduced to Eddie Ainsworth and the PGA REACH Program. The more he learned about the comprehensive and broad reaching goals of the Foundation and how it impacts lives through golf, the more he felt like this was a cause he wanted to support whether it is Youth Development, Diversity and Inclusion or Supporting Our Military.


“The focus and the scope of the Foundation naturally fit our own philanthropic goals,” explains Kenealy. “We especially connected with the work that is being done for our military heroes and their families. Helping them assimilate back into their community through the social and physical aspects of the game reached out to us.” For the last two year, the Supporting our Military Pillar of the Colorado PGA REACH Foundation partnered with the Military Warriors Support Foundation’s Home 4-Wounded Heroes Program to provide a mortgagefree home to a deserving veteran. Kenealy has been a major factor in the success of this collaboration. “We felt compelled to assist in buying a house for a military hero,” comments Kenealy. “There is nothing like the look in the eyes of a veteran who is holding the keys to his first home.” “We will continue to support this program and would encourage others with the ability and the heart to give to include the PGA REACH Program and their activities as a part of their charitable giving. It is a local charity where 100 percent of contributions go directly to support the people in our community who need them the most,” concluded Kenealy. “Laurie and I have been blessed with business success and it is our philosophy to share our good fortune with others. We are only on this planet for a short time and if we can help others, we feel that is what we should be doing.”

November 2017



Colorado PGA Pro Peaks Digital Magazine

Colorado PGA News

Noble Chalfant Inductee Lew Lepore, PGA - Cheyenne Airport Golf Club-Retired


he Colorado PGA is proud to announce that Lew Lepore, PGA, has been recognized as a 2017 Noble Chalfant Inductee for his distinguished service to the Colorado Section. “This is definitely a surprise and an honor to me to receive this acknowledgment,” says Lepore. “I am flattered that what I did for golf and for the game is being recognized and that my service to the Section has been an influence to other Professionals.” Lepore hails from Pennsylvania, the Keystone State. His entry into the game of golf was defined by shagging balls and cleaning clubs for the pros at the Fox Hill Country Club in Exeter, Penn. He was caddying by the age of 10, the same year he started playing the game. His first taste of victory on the course was winning a big caddy tournament in 1944 when he was just 14. His enlistment into the U.S. Air Force brought young Lepore out west where he was stationed at Warren Air Force Base. His play in the service qualified him to compete at the Worldwide Air Force Golf Tournament in Florida. “Playing in the Worldwide Tournament was special in its own right but even more so was that I had the opportunity to meet Dow Finsterwald for the first time,” remembers Lepore. Lepore took advantage of a golf scholarship at the University of Wyoming upon leaving the Air Force. His tournament success was highlighted by a double win at the Wyoming State Amateur Golf Tournament in 1953 and 1962, as well as a top finish in the 1961 Wyoming Open-Amateur Division. In 1963, he played in the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championships in Buffalo, N.Y., a national competition for public-course golfers, as a member of the Colorado team.

was a driving force behind the establishment of high school golf in Wyoming, of which he coached for 19 years. He was also instrumental in starting a strong junior golf program that included more than 150 kids each year. He started the Airport Golf Club Scholarship Fund and still sits on two scholarship committees that disburse awards to graduating high school students.

Lepore became the golf professional at the Cheyenne Airport Golf Club in 1965 and was elected into PGA Membership in 1972. Although his son, also a PGA Professional, has since taken over the reins of the Cheyenne Airport course, Lepore still spends much of his time during the season assisting Michael at the club.

Lepore was always a gracious host when Cheyenne Airport Golf Club held the annual Wyoming Open. He took the Wyoming Open from a $500 tournament to a $50,000 tournament and, 61 years later, he continues to spend his time raising money for the event. The course remains the host for the Wyoming Open.

“Michael and I have been running the golf courses for the City of Cheyenne for a very long time,” comments Lepore. “I have been fortunate to have this course be a memorable part of my life for the past 52 years.”

“I think my most important achievement to the game of golf was working to secure a high school golf program in the state,” considers Lepore. “Working with high-school golfers has been a passion of mine and knowing there is a solid program in place for future players in Wyoming is important to me.”

His teaching and passion for golf have been passed on to several generations in the State of Wyoming. Lepore


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Colorado PGA News

Don Fox, PGA - The Olde Course at Loveland - Retired


he Colorado PGA is proud to announce that Don Fox, PGA, is being recognized as a 2017 Noble Chalfant Inductee for his distinguished service to the Colorado Section. Born, raised and employed in Colorado for the majority of his life, it is easy to understand the loyalty and dedication Fox emulates for the Colorado PGA and for the golf professionals in the Section. By his own admission, “I bleed PGA. Golf has come a long way and I am very proud of the accomplishments of the Colorado Section. I thought my days of receiving awards were over but I am honored to be recognized once again by the section for the work I was a part of during my time as a golf Professional. I am privileged to have called Noble Chalfant a friend and am even more delighted to have my name connected to his through this award.”

November 2017

Noble Chalfant Inductee

Fox grew up on the family farm, which was located just off the 15th hole of the Cherry Hills Country Club. Early in life, he would collect golf balls from the many creeks that ran through the course and sell them back to the golfers for 25 to 50 cents a ball. By the age of nine, he was caddying at Cherry Hills and Lakewood Country Clubs for the likes of Chalfant and Warren Smith who he remembers as being true examples of how golf professionals should be. After spending a year as an assistant professional in Saratoga, Wyo., and a year in Phoenix, Ariz., Fox returned to Colorado where he spent a year in La Junta before landing at the Loveland Golf Course – now The Olde Course at Loveland – in 1959 where he was hired as the club’s first golf professional. He proceeded to spend his entire career, the next 31 years, as the Head Professional at The Olde Course. Fox helped build the course during his first year at The Olde Course where the front nine opening for play in 1960. It would take another five years before the back nine was completed and open. “It was a crazy time,” admits Fox. “We built the back nine for only $44,000 with sprinklers and all and it is now has a value of many millions of dollars.” A PGA Member since 1964, two things came quickly to mind for Fox when asked what he felt his biggest contributions to the game of golf and to the Colorado Section were. First was helping junior golfers. He started a program at The Olde Course where junior golfers could play golf and hit range balls for free between noon and 2 p.m. “Junior golfers were my passion and I never had a bad junior golfer,” continues Fox. “I didn’t see a reason why money should keep them from enjoying the game if

they behaved themselves at the course.” Creating a Colorado PGA building fund was another memorable accomplishment for Fox. In 1980, the officers asked each active Colorado PGA Member to contribute $500 toward the building fund, a fee that would be returned upon retirement, if requested. Within a year of the program’s implementation, the section was able to purchase its own office complex. The message Fox would like to leave to current PGA members is to stop worrying about what the PGA can do for you and worry instead about what you can do for the PGA. “A lesson Warren Smith and Nobel Chalfant taught me by their example was that to have a great association it was important to be active,” concludes Fox. “I challenge each member to step up and become involved with the Colorado Section and experience the difference your involvement can make to this great organization.” Fox served 13 years on the board of directors of the Colorado Section, as president in 1981 and two terms as vice president. He became the first PGA Master Professional in Colorado and just the 49th in the nation. He was the first recipient of the Warren Smith Award,


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Colorado PGA Pro Peaks Digital Magazine

Colorado PGA News

Keffer Named Player of the Year for Fourth Consecutive Year G

eoff Keffer, PGA, co-owner and Assistant Professional at the Greater Golf Development Center, earned the 2017 OMEGA Dow Finsterwald Player of the Year title. Keffer is no stranger to receiving a player of the year award with this being his fourth consecutive year to win this award; his fifth time since 2012. He is also a three-time winner of the Apprentice Player of the Year Award granting him a player award in eight of the last 11 years. This award makes Keffer the most highly decorated Player of the Year in the Colorado Section.

“I am honored to again be the recipient of the OMEGA Dow Finsterwald Player of the Year Award,” comments Keffer. “Even though I have won this award in the past, each year the competition gets more difficult. That is a tribute to the high-level of talent that is present in the Colorado Section.” Born and raised in Colorado, Keffer started playing golf the summer he turned 6-years-old when his dad took him to play at the Lakewood Country Club. From the first hole of his first round, he was hooked on the sport. That first weekend at the course, he and his dad walked 18 holes the first day, 18 holes the next day and 18 holed the day after that. Keffer played in high school and was affiliated with the pros for a handful of years before becoming a PGA member. Keffer had another strong year on the golf course accumulating six first place finishes. Competing in 27 tournaments throughout the season, only once did he finish outside the top 10. When the points for the Dow Finsterwald Player were tallied, Keffer led the next closest contender by more than 2,000 points. Always working to better his game, Keffer continues to make an effort to convert his weaknesses into strengths. Even though he doesn’t consider this year to be one of his best driving years, he does still consider his driving and his short game to be two of his strongest assets on the course.


top three spots in half of the events he competed in. “I must have a mental aversion to Blackstone Country Club and Green Valley Ranch, chuckles Keffer. “I never score well at either of these courses. The only opportunity I will have of winning the Colorado Open is if the event gets moved away from Green Valley.” Being a goal oriented professional, Keffer set out at the beginning of the season to score below 70 in each event he competed in, to return to the National Car Rental Assistant Professional Championship, the PGA Professional Championship and to again win the OMEGA Dow Finsterwald Player of the Year Award. As they say, three out of four is not bad. “Although I wasn’t able to consistently shoot under 70, I was able to play consistent golf,” says Keffer. “I challenged myself by seeing how many times I could finish in the top five or top 10 at each contest and that kept me motivated. Qualifying for the National Car Rental Championship, the PGA Professional Championship and winning the OMEGA Dow Finsterwald Player of the Year title mean a lot to me.”

“I can usually get up or down from almost anywhere,” confides Keffer. “I believe I am still one of the top drivers in the Colorado Section.”

For Keffer, golf reminds him of his father and is attested by his comment: “As some may know, my dad always liked the classic look of knickers on the golf course. When he passed away, I started wearing them to have him out there with me when I golf.”

When asked about his season, Keffer admitted it didn’t start out too great. However, he quickly turned that around when he played in the Valley Country Club Pro-Am where he tied for the top position. He remained a strong competitor, finishing in one of the

The Colorado PGA could not be more proud to have Geoff Keffer, PGA, win the 2017 Dow Finsterwald OMEGA Player of the Year Award for his exceptional play throughout the past year and in representing PGA Professionals with distinction in competition.

Colorado PGA News

November 2017

Cole More Than Deserving of OMEGA Senior Player of the Year R

ick Cole, PGA, Head Golf Professional at the Eaton Country Club, earned the 2017 OMEGA Senior Player of the Year Award. This recognition is given annually to a PGA Professional, 50 years of age or older, for outstanding play throughout the past year and in representing PGA Professionals with distinction in competition.

played consistent golf. Of the 25 events he played, only four times did he place lower than ninth place. To date, he has amassed a third more points in the 2017 season than he has in any of the previous 10 seasons. In fact, for the last 10 years and maybe longer, Cole has placed within the top-eight slots in the run for the Senior Player of the Year Award.

Cole, a Colorado native, was introduced to the game of golf by his parents when he was just 11. That same year, he began working at Littleton’s Southglenn Country Club and has loved the game ever since. He qualified for a golf scholarship to Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, Calif., and from there spent the first five years of his career working as an assistant professional for Tony Novitsky at Columbine Country Club.

“I have been in the race for this honor in the past but always fell short,” says Cole. “This was a really fun year, the kind of year where you keep riding the train and hope to continue to play well. It was the snowball effect where things kept getting better and better all year.”

For the last 32 years, Cole has hung his hat at the Eaton Country Club where he has instructed over 7,000 students and led numerous golf schools and clinics across the western United States. His passion is to see players of all abilities reach their full potential in enjoying the great game of golf. From the beginning of the season to the end, Cole

When asked about his season, Cole explained that he was fortunate to play in four majors this season beginning with the Colorado Senior Open, where he was the low Colorado finisher and also won the “Super Senior” portion of the event. From there he competed at Valley Country Club in the Colorado Senior PGA Professional Championship, placing fifth, which qualified him for the 29th Senior PGA Professional National Championship held Sept. 28


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Colorado PGA News continued from page 25

at Desert Mountain in Scottsdale, Ariz. Realizing that he might be in close contention for the 2017 Colorado PGA OMEGA Senior Player of the Year Award, Cole registered for the Colorado PGA Professional Championship. He had never played the Red Sky Golf Course and with no practice rounds, Cole put himself in prime position to capture his first Colorado Professional Championship. He shot a 2-under 70, 75 and 5-under 67 in his three rounds to tie John Ogden, PGA Professional at Cherry Hills, for the tournament championship. However, after an 18th-hole playoff, he relinquished the title to Ogden; however, he is among the eight Colorado golfers to qualify for the 51st PGA Professional Championship to be played in California in June 2018. “I feel good about my performances in the four majors,” comments Cole. “I shot 8 under for the four, which set up everything else for the summer.” According to Cole, he also had a good Pro-Am season averaging 68 in the four contests that he won. In the Pro-Lady Tournament where he placed second, he recalls, “I shot a low round of 65 at Indian Peaks only to spend the day watching Dan O’Shaughnessy, Meadow Hills, shoot birdies all day and come in 7-under 64.” “My game has changed and evolved over the years,” continues Cole. “This year my putting was probably the best part of my game. I have the USGA to thank for changing the anchoring rule. The new rule actually helped me knock a shot and a half off my putting continued from page 23

other than Smith himself, the same year that he was awarded the Horton Smith Award. He was inducted into the Colorado Hall of Fame in 2009. Fox was PGA Section Professional of the Year in 1980. He finished 32nd in the 1988 USGA Seniors, qualified four times for the national PGA Seniors, won the Colorado PGA Seniors once and twice finished second, won the Wyoming Senior twice, played in 25 of the continued from page 22

When asked what message he would like to leave other PGA Members, Lepore said, “I think it is important as a PGA Professional that you devote your time and your energy to your membership. Give them a lot of opportunities to play and to share their love of the game. Make their experience at the club something that is easy for them where they can relax and enjoy the game.”


average.” “I want to thank the Eaton Country Club members and staff who have been supportive of me and who have covered for me when I have been away,” concluded Cole. “I would be remiss if I didn’t recognize my family who has been a tremendous support to me throughout the years. My wife Jan and mom Bea are two of my biggest fans, as well our children and my sister and their families.” “Thank you all for everything you have done to support and encourage me throughout the years and for giving me the opportunity to participate at this level of play. God has truly blessed me!” The Colorado PGA could not be more proud to have Rick Cole, PGA, win the 2017 Colorado PGA Senior Player of the Year Award for his exceptional play throughout the past year and in representing PGA Professionals with distinction in competition. 30 Governor’s Cup Matches and had numerous top-10 finishes in the Colorado and Wyoming Opens. Fox was so revered in Loveland that when the new Mariana Butte Golf Course was built in the subdivision, they named a street after him – Don Fox Circle.

Lepore has many honors associated with his name. In 2005, he was honored by the Wyoming Sports Hall of Fame as a recipient of the Hall’s Lifetime Achievement Awards. He was elected into the Wyoming State Golf Association Hall of Fame in 2007 and was awarded the Colorado PGA Section Warren Smith Award in 1992. We also served as a member of the Colorado Section Board of Directors.

Colorado PGA News


ryan Hackenberg, PGA, Assistant Golf Professional at the Riverdale Golf Club, earned the 2017 Apprentice Player of the Year Award. He participated in 25 events this season, amassing a total of 3,371.19 points. This recognition is given annually to an apprentice based on their performance in select Colorado PGA sanctioned and approved golf events.

Hackenberg is a Thornton, Colo., native who, since he was 12, has been a part of the Riverdale Golf Club team; however, his father and grandfather had him swinging clubs long before that. At the age of three, Hackenberg could be found in the backyard taking lessons from these two mentors, one of whom can usually be found caddying for him at most events. Progressing from cart kid and ball retriever to helping with tournaments, Hackenberg moved on to play college golf at the University of Kansas. “I am very appreciative of receiving this award,” says Hackenberg. “Some buddies encouraged me to get more involved in the section and the section’s events so I started participating in the Monday tournaments. It was fun for me as I had the opportunity to play with some of the same guys in many of the Pro-Ams. I thank them for encouraging me to get more involved.” The pursuit for this award was tight with the top three contenders being within 500 points of each other. Hackenberg enjoyed the opportunity to play many of the country club courses that he had not previously played. It took some time to get comfortable with the greens and to start scoring but he was able to adjust and his game continued to improve throughout the season. He shared a few of his memorable events. The very first Pro-Pro at Columbine Country Club was one such event because he shot an 86. “It was boggling to me that I shot that high [of a score] in my very first event,” remembers Hackenberg. “I figured that my score could only go down from there. I really needed to battle back from a start like that.” The Pro-Am at Blackstone Country Club was another. He played a better game than at Columbine but it was the landscaping that caught his eye. Over the winter, Hackenberg had worked with a landscaping crew that completed much of the design work at the homes on the course.

November 2017

Hackenberg Earns Apprentice Player of the Year

play so many of them this year,” confides Hackenberg. “However, getting to see the results of our work at Blackstone was something special.” The Greeley Country Club Pro-Am was another remarkable event in that it was his inaugural first place result, albeit a tie for first. It was also the day of the lunar eclipse. He is thrilled to have these memories linked together. When asked what he considered to be the best aspect of his game, Hackenberg responded that accuracy and ball striking are by far his best traits. He has a consistent swing and above average precision in making the ball go where he wants it to go. “It has been a remarkable season for me,” concludes Hackenberg. “I was impressed by how all the other golfers welcomed me in and truly wanted me to succeed. I formed a lot of really good friendships on and off the course and look forward to interacting and competing with all of them again. “I want to thank the Riverdale staff for allowing me the flexible schedule to practice and to play in the events I did this year. Because of them, I am getting this award. I also want to thank the Colorado PGA for always putting on an awesome event and for everything the staff does to grow the game.” The Colorado PGA could not be more proud to announce Bryan Hackenberg, PGA, as the recipient of the 2017 Colorado PGA Apprentice Player of the Year Award for his exceptional play throughout the past year.

“All the country club courses were absolutely beautiful and it was unbelievable to me to get the opportunity to



Colorado PGA Pro Peaks Digital Magazine

Junior Golf News

PGA Junior League Growth Continues New slate of National, Regional League Managers will work closely with PGA Professional Captains


ast month, the PGA of America announced the hiring of two National League Managers (NLMs) and 12 Regional League Managers (RLMs) to build upon the explosive growth of PGA Junior League, a team-oriented approach to youth golf.

The Regional League Managers will help PGA Professionals in their respective markets build successful PGA Junior League programs based on their facilities’ needs and goals. They will also work closely with the 41 PGA Sections to ensure close alignment and integration between PGA Junior League and the Section’s junior golf initiatives, while also providing training and education seminars in conjunction with Section meetings. Ultimately, Regional League Managers will provide resources and tools needed to recruit, retain and engage kids, families and communities in PGA Junior League. “PGA Junior League has a fun and engaging team format that has proven to be enjoyable at golf facilities of all types nationwide,” says Steve Tanner, Director of League Golf for the PGA of America. “The Regional League Managers will provide valuable support and guidance to our PGA Professionals, who are at the forefront of executing the program while bringing in the next generation of golfers.” Boys and girls learn and play the game with expert coaching and guidance from PGA and LPGA Professional Captains, wear numbered jerseys and compete in a supportive, two-person scramble format that encourages mentorship and builds confidence. The program has grown exponentially since its inception in 2013, with a record 42,000 boys and girls participating in 2017, which surpassed the 36,000 participants last year. More than 2,200 PGA and LPGA Professionals serve as Captains for PGA Junior League teams. Rory McIlroy, Michelle Wie, Rickie Fowler and Lexi Thompson are Official Ambassadors for PGA Junior League. The RLMs represent 12 regions of the country. Each National League Manager will coordinate six regions, divided by the East and West corridors. Above is a map of each region, as well as a list of the newly named National and Regional League Managers and the PGA Sections they represent.


November 2017

Dear Fellow PGA Professionals, As PGA Members, you are at the forefront of PGA Jr. League and its tremendous growth. You are creating communities at your facilities through the network of families that participate in this program, and in doing so, you are providing boys and girls the opportunity to learn, play and love an activity that can become their lifetime sport. The lifelong impact you can have on any one family is powerful. To better support the growth of the program, the section staff, and your work as Captains, the PGA has hired 12 Regional League Managers to provide expert coaching and resources to help you recruit, retain and engage kids, families and communities through PGA Jr. League at your facilities. I would like to introduce myself as the Regional League Manager for the Colorado, Sun Country, Southwest, and Utah Sections. In the Colorado Section, Holly Champion is your Section League Manager who will be administrating PGA Jr. League. It will be my role to assist Holly and the Section facilitate a program that I have become very passionate about during my 3 years as a prior captain. In support of Holly, I will strive to develop and grow a PGA Jr. League program that brings value to you as a PGA Member. We will both be available to provide guidance and tools to help engagement with customers through PGA Jr. League. Ultimately, I want to be a supportive resource to Holly, the Colorado PGA and to all PGA Jr. League Captains. I look forward to connecting with each of you. A few questions to think about as we head into the new season... feel free to email or call me with your responses: If you participated in the program last year, how do you see it growing and expanding at your facility? Are there any issues, roadblocks or challenges you had in the past year that can be addressed? What are some of your best practices that others can replicate? If you haven't been a Captain, what's holding you back? What are your concerns about implementing PGA Jr. League at your facility? Captain registration for 2018 will open in mid-November, and I'll be in touch before registration opens. You can find my contact information below, and please know that I'm only a text, phone call, e-mail or video chat away. As a member of the Colorado Section and past Jr. League Captain, I am excited to work closely with many of the facilities and professionals that I have grown to know for the last 5 years. Anthony Vitale, PGA Englewood, CO 561-267-1208 avitale@pgahq.com



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Junior Golf News

All in the Family

Charlotte, Jim Hillary finish Colorado season on high note with win in JGAC Parent/Child; Weissers, Houskas prevail in younger divisions By Gary Baines

Like many parents of talented junior golfers, Jim Hillary often finds himself on the golf course in a passive role, largely limited to providing moral support as a spectator. But this weekend, for a change, Hillary had the chance to play an active role while still cheering on daughter Charlotte, one of the top girls players in the state. The result was a win-win for the Hillarys. Besides father and daughter getting to enjoy each other’s company on a glorious late-October day at Indian Tree Golf Club in Arvada, the Englewood residents got the bonus of winning the 14-18 division of the inaugural Junior Golf Alliance of Colorado’s Parent/Child Tournaments on Sunday. Jim Hillary and Charlotte Hillary won the inaugural JGAC Parent/Child Tournament at

“It was great,” Jim Hillary said. “It’s Indian Tree Golf Club always fun to play with Charlotte. I The Shehees were the runners-up in two age divisions spend most of my time watching her, at Indian Tree as Timbre Shehee teamed with dad Tray, not playing. It was good to play. And it’s always better a PGA instructor at Ute Creek, to place second on to win,” he added with a smile. Saturday in the 11-13 tournament. A day before on the same course, getting the same The Bryants were also among the families to enter two experience as the Hillarys were Max and Dan Weisser teams at Indian Tree as 2017 Colorado Junior Match of Denver (winners of the 11-13 division), and Landon Play winner Emma Bryant and dad Matt, PGA general and Shane Houska of Fort Collins (10 and under). (For manager at Green Valley Ranch, shot a 73 and tied for more on their victories, see below.) 11th on Sunday. As for the Hillarys (above), on Sunday in the season All told, on Saturday and Sunday combined, 154 players finale for the JGAC tournament schedule, they shot showed up to compete in the JGAC Parent/Child. a 3-under-par 67 to win by two in the 6, 6, 6 format (holes 1-6 alternate shot, 7-12 scramble and 13-18 best On Sunday, the Hillarys had just one blemish on their ball). scorecard as they bogeyed the 18th hole (their 13th of the day). They also made four birdies, one in the Two 2017 U.S. Junior Amateur qualifiers paired with a scramble and three in a row (14-15-16) in the best ball. parent to share second place at 69: JGAC boys Player of the Year Davis Bryant of Aurora and mom Julie (below), who works for the CoBank Colorado Open Championships and The First Tee of Green Valley Ranch; and TJ Shehee of Mead and mom Terra, the PGA head professional at Boulder Country Club. The Shehees finished with six birdies on Sunday, but went 5 over par in the six alternate-shot holes.


“I sank a 50-footer on No. 9 for birdie,” Charlotte said. “Dad made birdie on 14; he really pulled through on that hole because I was having some issues. But on the next hole I hit it to 1 foot and tapped it in for birdie. Then on 16 I birdied also. We had some action going on.”

The Next Level

At least 11 Colorado/JGAC golfers from Class of 2018 headed to NCAA Div. I programs by Gary Baines

When it comes to top high school athletes often choosing to stay close to home to play college sports, a couple of reasons are among those often cited. The athletes usually enjoy staying in the area where they grew up, and family and friends have more opportunity to watch their loved ones compete when college is nearby.

November 2017

Junior Golf News

And it doesn’t hurt when some local college programs are highly regarded and competitive. With that as a backdrop, some of the best junior golfers from Colorado and/or members of the Junior Golf Alliance of Colorado are making their college choices official during the National Letter of Intent early-signing period, which started on Wednesday and continues for eight days. At least 11 Coloradans or JGAC members are expected to play college golf for NCAA Division Davis Bryant, JGAC Player of the Year, recently signed his National Letter of I programs starting next fall. Eight of those 11 are Intent with Colorado State University. heading to Colorado-based programs, with another bound for the nearby University of Wyoming in Laramie. Here’s the rundown of the Colorado/JGAC Class of 2018 commitments (the list of signees/commitments here will be updated through the coming week. Additions to the list can be emailed to golfjournal@coloradogolf.org): Boys • Davis Bryant (Eaglecrest HS) -- Colorado State • Jack Castiglia (Lakewood HS) -- Northern Colorado • Oliver Jack (Kent Denver HS) -- University of Colorado • Barrett Jones (Eagle Valley HS) -- Northern Colorado • Brayden Lambrecht (Sterling HS) -- Colorado Mesa • Cal McCoy (Regis Jesuit HS) -- University of Denver • Micah Ramirez (Resurrection Christian HS) -- Doane University in Nebraska • Kailer Rundiks (Denver East HS) -- Western New Mexico • Tyler Severin (Roosevelt HS) -- Wyoming • Ian Thorpe (Peak to Peak HS) -- Iona College in New Rochelle, N.Y. • Luke Trujillo (Discovery Canyon HS) -- Air Force Academy Girls • Kayla Elder (Fossil Ridge HS) -- Chadron State in Nebraska • Arielle Keating (former Colorado Springs resident) -- Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton • Shelby Poynter (JGAC member from Scottsbluff, Neb.) -- Northern Colorado • Kelsey Webster (Fairview HS) -- University of Colorado Bryant (CSU; pictured above) was the 2017 boys JGAC Player of the Year, and Jack (CU) and Trujillo (Air Force Academy) join him in having won state high school individual titles. Bryant and McCoy (DU) were both members of Colorado’s Junior America’s Cup team this year.



Colorado PGA Pro Peaks Digital Magazine

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Junior Golf News

Charlotte Hillary, a 15-year-old sophomore at Kent Denver, has had a strong year in the junior ranks. She finished second in both the AJGA Hale Irwin Colorado Junior and in the 3A girls state high school tournament, and third in the Colorado Junior PGA Championship. The 2016 JGAC Tour Championship winner also qualified for the U.S. Girls’ Junior and was part of a four-person Colorado squad that finished sixth out of 17 teams in the Girls Junior America’s Cup. And she placed 43rd at the IMG Academy Junior World Championships. Jim, who carries a 3.7 handicap index at Cherry Hills Country Club, joked that Charlotte did most of the heavy lifting in Sunday’s round. “Charlotte doesn’t like to carry her father because I’m just too heavy, too much of a load,” he said with a laugh. “But it was lots of fun. We got so lucky with the weather. It was great turnout and we got to meet some new people. It was really delightful.” For Charlotte, playing in the 6, 6, 6 format was a welcome change of pace, particularly as a cap to the season in Colorado.

Meanwhile, in Saturday’s tournaments at Indian Tree: -- Weissers Prevail by 4 in 11-13 Event: Max and Dan Weisser of Denver posted a comfortable four-stroke victory in the 11-13 age division. They recorded the only sub-par total in their event, carding a 2-under-par 68, making four birdies and two bogeys on the day. Timbre and Tray Shehee of Mead placed second at 72. Tying for third at 73 were JT and Jeff Timmers of Littleton, and Jack and Andy Dannewitz of Highlands Ranch. -- Houskas Tops in 10 and Under Tourney: Landon and Shane Houska of Fort Collins were winners in the 10 and under age division tournament. They made five birdies, offset by three bogeys and a double bogey, to shoot an even-par 70, good for a two-stroke victory. (The Houskas are pictured at right, along with the Weissers.) Sharing second place at 2-over 72 were Campbell and Michael McFadden of Denver, and Collen and Chris Todd of Golden.

continued from page 31

On the girls side, Webster (left) was the 2016 girls JGAC Most Improved Player and she won the girls AJGA Preview title this year in Wisconsin. She’s headed to CU -- her dad’s alma mater -- in her hometown of Boulder. Keating (Florida Atlantic) moved from Colorado Springs to Stuart, Fla., shortly after winning the girls Colorado Junior Amateur championship this year. And Poynter (UNC) qualified for this year’s U.S. Girls’ Junior. In addition, here are the players -- both from in-state and elsewhere -- who have signed or committed to play at Colorado-based NCAA Division I schools from the Class of 2018: University of Colorado Women Malak Bouraeda, Southlake, Texas Kelsey Webster, Fairview HS in Boulder Colorado State University Women Sydney Smith, Las Vegas, Nev. Saga Traustadottir, Iceland Air Force Academy Men Jonathan Farmer, San Diego Luke Trujillo, Discovery Canyon HS in Colorado Springs


“I thought it was super cool how they did best-ball and alternate shot and scramble,” she said. “It was a bunch of different things, and you never get to do that in one (two-person team) tournament. It was really fun.”

University of Colorado Men Oliver Jack, Kent Denver HS Adam Matteson, San Diego Kristoffer Max, Denmark Colorado State University Men Davis Bryant, Eaglecrest HS in Aurora Akedanai Ponghathaikul, Thailand Oscar Teiffel, Sweden University of Denver Men Carson Griggs, Sand Springs, Okla. Cal McCoy, Regis Jesuit HS in Aurora University of Northern Colorado Men Jack Castiglia, Lakewood HS Barrett Jones, Eagle Valley HS in Gypsum And FYI, looking ahead to next year’s signings, CU has garnered a commitment from Canon Olkowski of Grand Junction as part of the Class of 2019. Olkowski is the brother of current CU player Trevor Olkowski.

November 2017

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2017 November Pro Peaks Digital Magazine  

2017 November Pro Peaks Digital Magazine