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The SUMMIT is the official digital magazine of the Colorado PGA - May 2020


Getting it Right

What’s Inside: Guidelines for Recalling Workers West Chapter Elects Plain and VanDyke to Board Five Colorado Members Achieve Quarter Century Status Explore New Learning Opportunites Photo Courtesy of Valley Country Club

The Official Magazine of the Colorado PGA The SUMMIT is produced by the Colorado PGA

Colorado PGA Officers Ben Welsh, PGA President | 2019-2020 Frost Creek Club

Jim Hajek, PGA Vice-President | 2019-2020 Fossil Trace Golf Club Cathy Matthews-Kane, PGA Secretary | 2019-2020 Country Club of Colorado Ty Thompson, PGA President | 2019-2020 Crosshairs Consulting

Board of Directors

Mark Bacheldor, PGA | 2020-2022 UCCS PGA Golf Management Program Jeff Boyer, PGA | 2019-2020 Eagle Ranch Golf Course Bob Doyle, PGA Past District 9 Director Life Member

West Chapter Officers Jeff Boyer, PGA President | 2019-2020 Eagle Ranch Golf Course

Luke Brosterhous, PGA Secretary | 2019-2020 Catamount Ranch and Club Ed Marzec, PGA Honorary President | 2019-2020 Red Sky Golf Club

West Chapter Board of Directors

Tom Apple, PGA | 2019-2021 Country Club of the Rockies Alice Plain, PGA | 2018 - 2020 Vail Golf Club Todd Schafersman, PGA | 2020-2022 The Bridges Golf & CC Kenny Thayer, PGA | 2019-2021 Beavercreek Golf Club

Kyle Heyen, PGA Past District 9 Director Hiwan Golf Club

Max Twarjan, PGA | 2020-2022 Maroon Creek Club

Charles ‘Vic’ Kline, PGA Past District 9 Director

Steve VanDyke, PGA | 2018-2020 River Valley Ranch GC

Ed Marzec, PGA | 2019-2021 Red Sky Golf Club Jim Miller, PGA | 2018-2020 Sonnenalp Golf Club Josh Miller, PGA | 2019-2021 GOLFTEC Dennis Murray, PGA | 2018-2020 Valley Country Club Mike O’Donnell, PGA | 2018-2020 Fort Carson

Colorado PGA REACH Trustees

Walter Glover EVP/COO - U.S. Olympic Endowment Theo Gregory Senior Vice President - El Pomar Tom Gunnerson VP Investments, Wells Fargo Dominic Karaba President - Specialty Lending and Business Banking - UMB Bill Keller Lieutenant Colonel USAF, Retired Eric Kenealy Chairman - Mackinaw Holding Corp. Sandy King Entrepreneur/Songwriter Bob Lally Navy Captain, Retired George Lee VP - Ameriprise Financial Services Adam McDiarmid Regional Manager - UMB

John Andrew Brigadier General USAF - Retired

Scott McGraw VP of Employee Benefits Cherry Creek Insurance Group

Tom Bauerle Owner - Colorado Golf and Turf Dan Bennett Investor/Partner, Southwest Greens Management

CJ Perry, PGA | 2020-2022 West Woods Golf Course Keith Stilwell, PGA | 2020-2022 Cheyenne Shadows Golf Course

Anne Broholm CEO | AHEAD

Dave Troyer, PGA | 2019-2021 CommonGround Golf Course

Dr. Phil Brown President/Founder, Six Points Consulting

Theo Gregory Spencer Zinn

Maj. Gen. Barbara Faulkenberry, USAF, Retired - Corporate Director: Callon Petroleum; USA Truck

Spencer Zinn Chairman

John Bond VP Sales & Marketing, Golf Division of Garb

Independent Directors

Brad Dombaugh CEO - PSA Worldwide Corp.

Dr. Stephen Davis Cheyenne Mountain Dental Group


Executive Director/CEO Eddie Ainsworth, PGA P (303) 996-1593 C (719) 761-6125 Operations Coordinator/ Tournament Director Justin Limon, PGA P (303) 996-1588 C (720) 390-1160 Education Director Holly Champion, PGA P (303) 996-1591 C (217) 232-1790 Junior Golf Director Scott Minta P (303) 996-1590 C (630) 532-3230 Junior Golf Coordinator Samantha Crawford p (303) 966C (720) 884-6130 Finance Specialist Annie O’Donnell P (303) 996-1595 Marketing/Comms. Director Judy Malone P (303) 996-1594 C (720) 490-0333

Honorable Sue Payton President - SCI Aerospace Inc.

Marketing/Comms. Associate Cathy Thompson P (303) 996-1589

LTG Ed Soriano, US Army (Ret) Director, Bus. Dev. Global Land Forces - Northrop Grumman Corporation

Field Staff

Mike Talaga Credit Analyst - Janus Hendeson Bill Vogeney Chief Revenue Officer Ent Credit Union

Career Consultant Keith Soriano, PGA C (720) 841-1006 PGA Jr. League Regional Manager Anthony Vitale, PGA C (561) 267-1208

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

The SUMMIT is distributed free to members and affiliates of the Colorado PGA eight 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.



What’s Inside

4 5

President’s Report Commendation to PGA Members for Wearing “Many Hats” Colorado Membership Steps Up to the Dues Challenge

6 8

Executive Director’s Report Let’s Get This Right! Guidelines for Recalling Workers

District Director Report/PGA of America News 10 All States Experiencing Phased-In Re-Opening of Golf Career Development News 12 Hollywood, Holes & Hope Colorado PGA News 14 Back2Golf Feature Membership News 17 Membership Update 20 21

Colorado PGA REACH Foundation News Both from Out-of-State, Johnson and Bardezbanian, Depent on Mentors to Push Them to New Experiences Quarter Century Club Inductees

Jim Hajek, PGA Doug Montgomery, PGA Mitch Nielsen, PGA Nicholas Perry, PGA Robert Stong, PGA

27 West Chapter Elects Plain and VanDyke to Serve on Board; Lynch Fills Vacant Seat 28 Explore New Learning Opportunites 30 32 33

Junior Golf News 2020: An Exercise in Adaptability 2020 National Junior PGA Championships Cancelled Familiar Host for JGAC Third Major of the Year

May 2020


President’s Message

Commendation to PGA Members for Your Ability to Effectively Wear “Many Hats” T

he 2020 golf season has certainly been an interesting journey thus far and likely will continue as we move into the summer months. We are happy to celebrate the reopening of golf across the Colorado PGA Section. We are fortunate that our game is well suited for physical distancing, while still offering the social interaction that we all crave during these circumstances. That said, we are all still challenged by the “gathering nature” of the pre- and post-round festivities that we have become accustomed to offering. We will continue to adjust, as needed, to keep ourselves, our staff and our patrons safe while we work toward some normalcy and successful business later in the season. I have been encouraged by our industry’s ability to be creative with online merchandise offerings from vendors, online video offerings for instruction and the general ability to engage our customers throughout the past few months. If you haven’t yet, please reference the Back2Golf Guidelines provided by the PGA of America to ensure that we offer a consistent and safe environment for golf. I want to commend our Professionals on your leadership. The “many hats” that are referred to often in our profession – the PGA Members’ innate ability to lead, problem solve and collaborate – are not celebrated enough. The information sharing among the Sections and National PGA of America has relied heavily on all of our Members coming together, sharing challenges and creating best practices. The solid foundation of PGA Members has prepared us all to act swiftly together in times like this, whereas many other industries are just now forming special interest groups to disseminate information and create operational procedures. I thank you for your involvement, your leadership and your friendship! We are all MUCH stronger together!

Ben Welsh, PGA President Colorado PGA Head Professional Frost Creek P | (970) 328-2326 C | (970) 688-0115

As you see featured on the cover this month, we are excited to return to playing the game professionally on June 1. Valley Country Club, the host of this year’s Section Championship has stepped up to offer the first tournament of the season. This much-anticipated return to competition offers a great golf course to start on and a chance at a practice round for our fall championship. Thank you to Barry Milstead, PGA, and his team for hosting. I wish you good health and success, Ben Welsh, PGA Head Golf Professional President, Colorado PGA Section 970-328-2326 (Shop) 970-688-0115 (Cell)

Back2Golf Guidelines Click on the graphic of the Operations Playbook or on the Back2Golf Guidelines for Opening Up Golf to access these documents!



Colorado PGA News

Colorado Membership Steps Up to the Dues Challenge E

ach and every one of us has been challenged in one way or another as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. For some, it may be social isolation or the loss of a job, while for others, it may be as simple as the challenge of finding toilet paper. We are all affected differently. Like your facilities, the business of the Section has not gone without its challenges. While the Section is financially stable, it was important to develop a cash flow budget during this time of limited revenue due to the cancellation of events and tournaments. In an effort to be as fiscally responsible as possible and to manage the Section’s Operations without dipping into the reserve funds, steps have already been taken to reduce the Section’s Operations budget by more than 20 percent. Additionally, the Finance Committee, along with the Colorado Board of Directors, set the following goal.

As of Thursday, May 18, 128 Colorado PGA Members have stepped up and paid their 2020 dues in full!!

SECTION GOAL: The Board of Directors in working with our Finance Committee, has developed a Cash Flow Budget where we will need 150 Colorado PGA Members to pay their Section dues by July 31 to assist in maintaining Section Operations without having to dip into the Section's Reserve Funds. Effective Monday, May 18, we can report that 111 of our Colorado PGA Members have stepped up and paid their 2020 dues in full. Colorado claims the highest percentage of Paid Members of all 41 Sections. We have made great strides to meet our goal, but your assistance is still needed! Meeting this goal provides the minimum cash flow needed for Section Operations; exceeding this goal, with your help, allows for a little breathing room as we continue to navigate this unprecedented time. “I want to express my gratitude to each of these Members and say Thank You for your efforts to make a difference in the Colorado Section,” voiced Eddie Ainsworth, PGA, Colorado Section CEO. “We are aware that not everyone has the financial stability to fulfill your dues obligation at this time and that’s okay. We are all in this together and as a collective body, we will make this work.” A collaboration between the PGA Headquarters Team and the 41 Sections has given the Colorado Section the ability to extend to our Members two payment options to pay your PGA Dues without incurring penalties or late fees.

The Two Payment Options Are:

OPTION 1: Pay your Full Dues amount any time beginning now through October 31, 2020, without penalty or late fees. As a reminder, we are encouraging at least 150 Colorado PGA Members to pay their Section dues by July 31, 2020. OPTION 2: Pay your Dues in Two Installments. • Make one payment for the Section amount only any time beginning now through October 31, 2020, without penalty or late fees. • Make a second payment for the National, Life, Liability and MAP amount any time beginning now through October 31, 2020, without penalty or late fees.

“The bottom line for our Membership is that we are hopeful to have enough Colorado PGA Members fortunate enough to assist our Section by paying their dues by July 31,” concludes Ainsworth. “For the rest of our Members, allowing you time to pay your dues in full by October 31 will, hopefully, help to ease the financial burden you may be experiencing during this time. Be well and know that we are here for you.”

May 2020


Executive Director’s Message

Let’s Get This Right! My Fellow Colorado PGA Members, I trust that you and your family are all doing well and managing through these very difficult times. For some of us, life may have changed just ever so slightly, and for others, our world may have been turned upside down. Please know that you are all in my thoughts and prayers, and if we can offer any type of assistance through these times, please do not hesitate to call me anytime at 719-761-6125. Golf here in Colorado has had the wonderful opportunity to be an outlet for many during this time when just about every other place has been ordered to remain closed. With just about every golf course in Colorado now open, and just about every one of them producing all-time record rounds for April and May, I’m concerned that we (All of Golf) need to get this right as we move forward into the summer. The eyes of the world are focused on golf, especially with this past weekend’s golf match at Seminole, and the PGA Tour starting back up in June. We as Golf Course Owners and Operators need to do our part to comply with our state and county officials, to ensure that if COVID-19 cases heat back up this winter, golf is not seen as a potential cause. We need to make certain that golf is continued to be viewed as a safe option for people to recreate outside, so we’re able to stay open or re-open in early Spring once again.

Eddie Ainsworth, PGA CEO/Executive Director Colorado PGA

To do our part, I cannot encourage you enough to follow the BACK2GOLF Operations Playbook. This Playbook has been developed by all the Allied Golf Organizations to build a comprehensive and medically approved plan that allows golf to be played as a social distancing compatible recreational activity in the United States as we begin to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. This three-phased approach to golf aligns with the White House and CDC “Guidelines Opening Up America Again.” In no way are these intended to usurp any state or county orders, but to assist you with implementing a strategy with guidelines to follow. BACK2GOLF is designed around three simple-to-follow phases. Be certain to read all the guidelines for each phase, but I’ll simplify these for brevity sake: Phase 1: Individual Golf – Players will practice social distancing while walking or riding in a cart alone. Gatherings of more than 10 people will not be allowed, and especially vulnerable groups as defined by the CDC will be discouraged from playing. NO SHOTGUN STARTS. Phase 2: Restricted Programming – The second phase is similar to the first in terms of social distancing practices and the exclusion of vulnerable groups. However, “normal” groups of golfers may play together, and the number of people permitted to socialize in the same area increases to 50. NO SHOTGUN STARTS. Phase 3: The New Normal - In Phase 3, many social distancing restrictions will be lifted for most people, though they will be encouraged to minimize time spent in crowded places. Vulnerable groups will no longer be discouraged from playing, but at-risk individuals will have to follow stricter social distancing guidelines. Course setup tweaks like keeping the flagstick in will also be removed, and all golf and clubhouse operations may resume as normal “including unrestricted staffing of worksites.” SHOTGUN STARTS ALLOWED. Currently, according to the Governor’s Safer at Home Executive Order of no social gathering of no more than 10 people, we are currently in Phase 1 here in Colorado. Hopefully by June 1, we will be able to move into Phase 2.



Executive Director’s Message Please know that these BACK2GOLF Guidelines are being shared with our Government Officials so they can see that golf in Colorado is doing our part to operate as a social distancing compatible recreational activity, and to strengthen golf’s relationships at the State Capital. These guidelines will be what we use in conducting our Colorado PGA events, so if you are playing in a Section event, be sure to read and follow all the information that we send out prior to the event. We need each player to follow what we have in place to ensure the safety of everyone. We will not make any exceptions for anyone not following the Tournament Rules and Regulations we have put into place during these times. We appreciate your support. I’m very excited to see those of you who will be playing in our first event of the year at Valley Country Club on June 1, and I look forward to hopefully seeing the rest of you in the very near future. Please know that we will do everything we possibly can to provide you a safe environment to play and compete! If you have any questions on BACK2GOLF, anything concerning COVID-19 or anything else, please do not hesitate to ask because we are here to serve you!!! Stay Safe & Stay Healthy. All the Best.

Eddie Ainsworth, PGA Executive Director/CEO Colorado PGA 6630 Bear Dance Drive Larkspur, CO 80118 C (719) 761-6125

May 2020


Colorado PGA News

Guidelines for Recalling Workers Is fear a valid reason to not return to work?


ore than 33 million Americans are out-of-work as a result of the coronavirus-induced lockdown throughout the nation, including workers who were furloughed but remain employees with their company, and workers who had their hours cut and qualified for partial unemployment. In Colorado, more than 450,000 unemployment claims have been filed in the past eight weeks. The conundrum now is that even as states try to reopen their economies, the sweetened unemployment benefits are hampering some businesses’ efforts to recall workers. In order for employees to be eligible for the extra $600, workers must be unable to do their job as a direct result of the virus outbreak — like being directed to quarantine by a health authority; being part of a group more vulnerable to COVID-19; work offered involves an “unreasonable” reduction in pay or is substantially different; or providing care for a sick family member. If an employee refuses to return to work, employers should ask the worker why they are refusing. If the reason is not one of the justifications provided for in the CARES Act, the Colorado Department of Labor asks employers to report that the worker has been given the opportunity to return to work and has refused the offer on the website. When businesses do reopen, they must follow guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that were designed to protect employees from COVID-19. Employers have the baseline responsibility of providing proper hand-washing stations, additional sanitation, personal protective equipment such as masks or gloves and following social distancing recommendations. Additional local guidelines may be in effect in specific areas. If businesses adhere to the federal, state and local guidelines, employees cannot refuse the work and still remain on unemployment, experts say. According to the Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration, a general fear of virus exposure is not a valid reason to not return to work or quit your job and to secure unemployment benefits. Generally, if you reject an employer’s call to return to work, then you have quit your job. And if you quit your job, you are no longer eligible for unemployment compensation. The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment has a webpage that contains information for Returning to Work: Employer Guidance, for assistance on workers that have been laid off or had hours reduced due to COVID-19. The site contains helpful advice for recalling workers to suitable work, layoff assistance and workforce reductions, layoff alternatives, employee retention tax credits, hiring and small business loan assistance.



May 2020


PGA of America News

All States Experiencing Phased-in Re-opening of Golf Member Friendly Accomodations Introduced


s we navigate through the current times, it seems we have all encountered personal and professional challenges that we have never experienced before. Our focus has been forced to change, and things that were once very important in our lives may have taken a back seat for now. The health and well-being of you and your family is of utmost importance. Please continue to be diligent about safe practices for your own health and the health of others.

Ron Rawls, PGA District 9 Director PGA of America Head Professional Crane Creek CC

The phased-in reopening of many states is in full swing. At last report, golf was being played in all 50 states. As we re-open golf course operations, it is important that we do this in a safe and responsible manner. As a means to assist golf operators during the re-opening phases, the PGA of America has collaborated with allied associations and the Center for Disease Control to develop guidelines for reopening golf. Back2Golf is a blueprint, if you will, to assist golf course operators in developing a plan to re-open golf at their respective facilities. It is a three-phased approach, which can be useful in developing your own guidelines at your facility, while incorporating and following local guidelines, as well. Think globally, act locally. I encourage all of you to visit and read Back2Golf. Speaking of, there are many important COVID-19 links available here to assist you. You will find additional information, including some member-friendly accommodations in response to the difficulties caused by COVID-19. Some of those include: PGA Dues – Member and Associates dues invoices have been sent out. There are options available to pay your dues in full any time between now and October 31. You can also pay the Section and National portions separately between now and October 31. If your dues are not paid by October 31, 2020, you will become inactive and have until June 20, 2021, to pay the dues without penalty. MSR Cycle – The current MSR cycle has been extended one year to June 30, 2022. Lifelong Learning Library – Several online education modules are available free of charge through the month of June. Golf Emergency Relief Fund – Grants are available to help golf industry workers financially impacted by COVID-19. Please refer to for more information on these topics, and for more resources and information. The Golf Emergency Relief Fund mentioned above was created with an initial $5 million pledge from the PGA of America. That initial pledge was to provide grants for Phase 1 of the program, which is wrapping up. Over 3,700 individuals working in the golf industry received some form of grant that provided short-term relief in the form of financial assistance. The PGA’s initial contribution includes the executive-leadership team voluntarily reducing their compensation, and personal donations from our Board of Directors. Phase 2 of the relief fund will start soon. For this second phase, the PGA of America is pledging a $2.5 million matching fund for donations from third parties. This phase will again provide grants for individuals working in the golf industry. It will be a longer application process



PGA of America News and distribute grants of up to $3,500. Individuals receiving grants through the first phase will be eligible to apply for grants in the second phase, but the maximum amount an individual can receive in aggregate from the first and second phase is $3,500. Please refer to for more information on the Golf Emergency Relief Fund. In closing, I want to wish you all the best in dealing with these unsettling times. As you re-open your golf operations, do so in a safe and responsible manner. Utilize Back2Golf to assist you in designing a plan that fits your facility while following local guidelines. If I can be a resource for you or be of any assistance whatsoever, please contact me ( Stay healthy and be safe. Sincerely, Ron Rawls, PGA District 9 Director PGA of America Head Professional Crane Creek CC

Golf Emergency Relief Fund 3,700 received short-term relief from Phase 1 funding


he Golf Emergency Relief Fund was established to provide short-term financial assistance to certain individuals facing significant financial hardship with an initial focus on those impacted by COVID-19. This relief effort was initiated through a lead pledge by the PGA of America and supported by other industry organizations. Managed by E4E Relief, the fund provides grants to industry professionals, inclusive of golf association members, employees of local/state golf associations, caddies and certain professionals playing on developmental tours to help offset financial hardships, such as living and medical expenses. Phase 1 of the Golf Emergency Relief Fund has closed. Over 3,700 individuals working in the golf industry received a grant that provided short-term relief in the form of financial assistance.

It is understood that information on the second phase of the relief fund will be available in a few weeks. Phase 2 will have a longer application process and will distribute grants of up to $3,500 as reviewed and approved by E4E. Individuals receiving grants through the first phase will be eligible to apply for grants in the second phase but the maximum amount an individual can receive in aggregate from the first and second phase is $3,500. The approval and disbursement process in Phase 2 will take approximately 6-8 weeks upon submission and approval of all materials. Details on Phase 2 of the Golf Emergency Relief Fund will be shared as they become available from E4E. For questions or assistance, please call 833-386-0338, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-8 p.m. ET or contact E4E will be the sole group reviewing and approving or disapproving all applications.

May 2020


Career Services Update

Hollywood, Holes & Hope H

ollywood and Wolfman never stood a chance. Viper took them down and left them wondering where the threat came from (and where it went). And in true “life mimics art” fashion, Covid-19 caught some of us looking in one direction while it hit us from the other. Individuals, families, groups, and organizations were all impacted in their own way, and likely have learned a lot about themselves during this time. While the memory of the past 60+ days will be with us for the foreseeable future, this feels like the perfect “Thirty Seconds. opportunity We went like this, he went like that. to reflect I said to Hollywood, ‘Where’d he go?!’ on both the Hollywood says, ‘Where’d who go?!’” challenges Wolfman | Top Gun we have faced and the creative ways we solved them. I start that reflection today as I look back at the lessons learned, and my next post will look forward towards my hope for the “New Normal.” Keith Soriano, PGA is a PGA Career Services Consultant serving the Colorado, Utah and Nebraska Sections. He can be reached at (720) 841-1006 or ksoriano@


In this role, I’ve spent the last two months speaking to hundreds of people about their experiences, challenges, and responses to those challenges. It didn’t matter if they were leaders or subordinates, employed or unemployed, “essential” “workers” or sheltering at home...they had all been impacted by coronavirus in some way. While no two stories were the same, there were some underlying themes that revealed holes and blindspots for them both personally and professionally. •

They were unprepared to operate in any way other than a traditional environment - Emergency planning doesn’t seem important when there is no emergency, but a well thought out playbook for coping with disruptions to personal, professional, and business operations is essential.

They lacked efficient communication strategies - Close physical proximity as an effective substitute for actual communication and information sharing turned out to be flawed in many cases. Groups, businesses, and organizations quickly realized their strategies were ineffective and outdated.

They lacked ways to stay connected - At our core, humans are social beings who require some degree of connection. With close, in-person connections limited by stay at home orders and social distancing, groups, businesses, and organizations initially struggled to continue engaging their stakeholders, customers, members, and employees in a meaningful way.


Career Services Update But at the same time, those same people shared some things that gave me hope, specifically in ways that addressed those items that initially blindsided them. •

“Necessity is the Mother of Invention” - Although unprepared for the challenges, people, businesses, and organizations innovated, shared ideas, and created acceptable and safe solutions. Kids are still learning from teachers, hungry diners can still get food from their favorite restaurants, and I can still serve PGA members and associates across the country. It hasn’t been easy, but we have all figured out a way.

“Communication works for those who work at it” - Without close physical proximity, groups, businesses, and organizations learned to share information in consistent, effective ways through a regular cadence of communication that was open and efficient. Technology has helped, but the decision to become intentional about communication made the difference.

“Happiness is only real when shared” - Embracing available technology allowed the world to create shared experiences. Yoga studios are offering virtual classes, friends are gathering for virtual happy hours, and people are sharing their skills and talents online in amazing ways (enjoy the links). We have proved that although we may be physically separated, we will not be apart.

I’d like to hear from you and learn what blindsided you and what you have seen in the past 60 days that gives you Hope. Please CLICK HERE if you would like to share, and my wish is that you identify more things that give you Hope. Hoping for more hope,

Keith Soriano, PGA, ARWC PGA of America Career Consultant Serving the Colorado, Utah, and Nebraska PGA Sections 720.841.1006

Fill Out Your Job Preferences ~ CareerLinks Is Going Away


he PGA Career Services team has collaborated with the Technology Department to update the systems used by both employers and job seekers. As part of that update, we are beginning the transition away from the CareerLinks system and will use the Job Board located on for the posting of all management level positions. As part of a multi-step process, we are asking all PGA Members & Associates to provide their “Job Preferences” on By answering 5 simple questions relative to your job search preferences, you will begin to see positions that align with your preferences highlighted on your home page. We are asking all PGA Members and Associates to complete their profile by clicking here, even if you are not an active job seeker. The Career Services team sees this change as a necessary evolution which creates a member focused system by allowing all members to see every position posted by the Career Services team. During a short transition time, the Career Services team will continue to use the CareerLinks notification system to make you aware of positions posted on the PGA Job Board. If you have any questions or issues setting your Job Preferences, please contact your local PGA Career Consultant. Click Here To Update Your Profile!

May 2020


Golf Across the Country Opens with the Guidance of Back2Golf G

olf has an opportunity to showcase itself as a model of how people can begin a return to a more normal way of life while safely getting outside for exercise and camaraderie. For the first time since March 19, all 50 states are allowing the more than 16,000 golf courses to reopen with social distancing and other measures in place aimed at avoiding the spread of the coronavirus. According to a National Golf Foundation’s study, 95 percent of all golf courses are expected to be open for play as of May 17. To most effectively reopen golf, the industry’s leading organizations established a Three-Phased Back2Golf plan with nationally established operational protocols to open play during the pandemic. Joining the PGA of America in the development of this plan were the U.S. Golf Association, PGA Tour, LPGA, Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, National Golf Course Owners Association The 50-person event and Club Management Association of America. Before release, the limitation in Phase 2 refers plan was reviewed by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and follows the guidelines set out by The White House’s Guidelines to gatherings around for Opening Up America Again plan. the scoreboard area, “The importance of social distancing and responsible behavior during this pandemic has become a part of everyone’s daily life,” PGA CEO Seth Waugh said. “While we recognize there is no perfect solution and various areas of the country will progress in these phases at a different pace, it is imperative that we reopen golf in a way that prioritizes the health and well-being of the entire golf community.”

clubhouse, registration, etc. As long as protocols are in place to ensure gatherings don't exceed 50, facilities can conduct golf events with a larger field size. Click here for Back2Golf Operations Playbook Version 2.0.

Back2Golf includes a specific, three-phased approach outlining operational guidelines that adhere to nationally established protocols and best practices. The stages follow CDC guidelines for social distancing, greater sanitization protocols and allows for differing stages in different areas as city, county and state regulations allow activity. This is particularly applicable in the Colorado Section with facilities located in



Colorado PGA News three states – Colorado, South Dakota and Wyoming. All facilities are encouraged to adhere to state and local guidelines. The Back2Golf Playbook and Guidelines are meant to be a roadmap that lays out a path to full recovery. While many of the recommendations have already been implemented by courses that have reopened or that never ceased play, the Back2Golf recommendations are the first time the industry has compiled a list of best practices into one set of guidelines. The three phases should be implemented based on the status of the pandemic in any given locale. Essential to all three stages of the plan are comprehensive sanitization procedures. The stages are described as:

The Back2Golf Playbook and Guidelines are being called living documents and can be viewed or downloaded from Also available is a Back2Golf Social Distancing Guidelines poster that can be displayed throughout your facility.

May 2020




Membership News

Membership News An update on our Colorado PGA Members By the Numbers

Members - 738 | Associates - 109 | Total - 847 Male Members - 802 | Female Members - 45 120 – Management positions (MP, A-4, A-9, A-11, A-13) 294 – Club Professionals (A-1, A-2, A-7, A-8) 117 – Instructors (A-6, A-10, A-12, A-14) 23 – Expanded Career Paths (A-15 thru A-24) 135 – Life Members (LM, LMM, LMA, LMC) 49 – Other Categories (A-3, A-5, F, RM, RSV)

New Members and Associates

The Colorado PGA welcomes new members and associates to our Section on a regular basis. For some, this is the first time they have joined our Section while others may be returning. Please join us in welcoming them! Members Molly M. Lucas, PGA | A-8 | Cherry Hills Country Club Associates Richard J. Ford | B-8 | Maroon Creek Club

Classification or Location Changes in Colorado

Colorado PGA members are always on the move. The following members have changes classification or location within the Colorado PGA. We wish them the best of luck. Dick A. Dierker, PGA | LM | previously an A-1 at Springhill Golf Course Christopher R. Hamilton, PGA | A-1 | Evergreen Golf Course | previously an A-8 at Kennedy Golf Course Gary W. Hoffman, PGA | RM | previously an A-8 at Murphy Creek Golf Course Paul Lobato, PGA | A-6 | Castle Pines Golf Club | previously an A-1 at Meridian Golf Club Gary Marsh, PGA | LM | previously an A-4 at Casper Municipal Golf Course Elizabeth G. McCabe, PGA | A-8 | CC of the Rockies | previously an A-8 at Red Sky Golf Club Colin M. Miller, PGA | A-8 | Frost Creek | previously an A-8 at The Club at Cordillera Mark C. Miller, PGA | LM | previously an A-4 Estes Park Golf Course Dennis C. Murray, PGA | LMA | previously an A-6 at Valley Country Club Kenneth A. Sanchez, PGA | A-1 | King’s Deer Golf Club | previously an A-8 at Valley Country Club Todd R. Schafersman, PGA | A-1 | Casper Municipal Golf Course | previously an A-1 at Bridges C.C. (The) Rynk M. Strothers, PGA | A-1 | Pro-Link Golf School | previously an A-14 at Pro-Link Golf School Nathan S. Vincent, PGA | A-14 | King’s Deer Golf Club | previously an A-1 at King’s Deer Golf Club Shawn Wilcox, PGA | LM | previously an A-6 at Pro-Link Golf School

Welcome Wagon

Welcome to the following members who have recently joined the Colorado PGA. Samantha A. Crawford | B-11 | Colorado Section | previously in the Utah Section Seth T. Francis, PGA | A-14 | GOLFTEC - Cherry Creek | previously in the Southern California Section Ira Kramer, PGA | A-1 | Cedaredge Golf Club | previously in the Philadelphia Section Alec B. Simmons | B-8 | previously in the South Florida Section Drew J. Zins, PGA | A-8 | The Ranch Country Club | previously in the Pacific Northwest Section

On the Move

The following members have relocated outside of the Colorado PGA. Caleb D. Acheson, PGA | A-8 | previously at Country Club of the Rockies | currently at Elcona Country Club Scott M. Glynn | B-8 | previously at Haymaker Golf Course | currently at Sugar Valley Golf Club

May 2020


Membership News

Happy Birthday! May 1 Jeffrey M. Covington, PGA Kyle M. McGee, PGA Keith E. Soriano, PGA John A. Williams, PGA May 2 Kelly E. Sardella May 3 Jeff E. Freebury, PGA Robert D. Geisbert Ryan M. Jolette, PGA Donald P. Randall, PGA Stephen J. Wallace, PGA May 4 Alexandra R. Braga, PGA Rachel J. Cavalier, PGA Billy D. Ellison, PGA Kirk R. Mease, PGA Michael J. Petrisko, PGA May 5 Gregory Frederick, PGA Maggie A. Hartman, PGA Douglas C. Rikkers, PGA Blake Adam Sims, PGA May 6 Steven C. David, PGA Luis A. Gaspar Jesse G. Hansen, PGA Brian C. Lindstrom, PGA Keith C. Martin, PGA Nathan S. Vincent, PGA May 7 Benjamin D. Lanting John E. Mescall, PGA Jason C. Murphy, PGA Jeremiah T. Velez May 8 Rudy K. Castaneda, PGA Thomas J. Cross, PGA Erroll Miller, PGA Thomas B. Noonan, PGA Scott Sommers, PGA May 9 Robert W. Harrison Jr., PGA Kyle Heyen, PGA John M. Karamigios, PGA May 10 Edward Oldham, PGA John Vickers May 11 Daniel L. Augustine Andrew W. Braley, PGA David T. Fletcher Kenneth S. Krieger, PGA Ed L. Marzec II, PGA


May 12 Edward R. Bodigheimer Michael A. Knights, PGA Paul J. Surniak, PGA

May 25 Michael F. Loosley, PGA Eli L. MacKay, PGA Visanu Tongwarin, PGA

June 7 Lucas D. Davis George C. Kahrhoff, PGA Sean C. Miller, PGA

May 13 Brian V. DallaBetta, PGA Timothy A. Tafoya, PGA

May 26 Justin D. Hensley, PGA Ryan P. Smith, PGA

May 14 Lucas J. Brosterhous, PGA Kirk Padgett, PGA

May 27 Tucker R.B. Campbell, PGA

June 8 Anthony L. Vitale, PGA Christopher J. Rusin, PGA Fairington E. Wood, PGA Theo D. Gregory II, PGA

May 15 Terry Dear, PGA Anne Kelly, PGA Edward Nosewicz, PGA Steve Patterson, PGA Douglas B. Rohrbaugh, PGA Christopher S. Woods May 16 Tom Apple, PGA Bob Doyle, PGA David A. Rawlings, PGA May 17 Davis W. Bonner George S. Miller Jr., PGA Nathan A. Schelling May 18 Eric C. Knotts, PGA May 19 Arne C. Hansen, PGA Jim K. See II, PGA Wayne Welden, PGA John T. Wilcox, PGA May 20 Ken R. Anderson, PGA Winston A. Howe Jr., PGA May 21 Ryan J. Mahlstadt, PGA May 22 Donald S. Campbell, PGA Matthew B. Hoffman Jerome M. Roby Beau S. Smith, PGA Brett R. Wolf Michael J. Zaremba, PGA May 23 Jeffrey C. Carter, PGA Nicholas R. Clearwater, PGA Tanner J. Crisofulli, PGA Chad Hansen, PGA May 24 David A. Dent, PGA Jason L. Witczak, PGA

May 28 Matthew E. Bryant, PGA Mickey Byrne, PGA Donald M. Kara, PGA Kevin Vena, PGA R.J. Wiegand, PGA May 29 Jon D. Husby, PGA Dennis C. Murray, PGA Richard G. Parker, PGA Nathan M. Pippett, PGA David M. Thompson, PGA May 30 Kevin J. Quinn, PGA Max R. Twarjan, PGA May 31 Jonathan L. Dron, PGA Gary G. Hallberg, PGA Scott B. Rethlake, PGA June 1 Dustin G. Erbes Matthew K. Williams, PGA June 2 Douglas P. Montgomery, PGA Jeffrey D. Perkins, PGA Craig Stadler, PGA

June 9 Daniel C. Craparotta, PGA Michael Lepore, PGA Charlie A. Ray, PGA June 6 Nick A. Bardino, PGA Marcus A. Gillmor, PGA Howard R. Glasser, PGA Steve Ledonne, PGA Michael B. Maves, PGA Thomas Walter, PGA June 7 Lucas D. Davis George C. Kahrhoff, PGA Sean C. Miller, PGA June 8 Anthony L. Vitale, PGA Christopher J. Rusin, PGA Fairington E. Wood, PGA Theo D. Gregory II, PGA June 9 Daniel C. Craparotta, PGA Michael Lepore, PGA Charlie A. Ray, PGA

June 3 Kevin P. Cubbage, PGA Dow N. Stewart, PGA

June 10 Matthew D. Lodwick, PGA Chase N. Luckett Mathias M. Reams, PGA

June 4 David J. Steinmetz, PGA

June 11 Schott Davis, PGA

June 5 Gregory E. Patterson, PGA Steve Saulsbery, PGA

June 12 Richard J. Ford Philip M. Linares, PGA Justin B. Mills, PGA John R. Phillips, PGA Cory T. Sigler, PGA

June 6 Nick A. Bardino, PGA Marcus A. Gillmor, PGA Howard R. Glasser, PGA Steve Ledonne, PGA Michael B. Maves, PGA Thomas Walter, PGA

June 14 Rick D. Cole, PGA


Membership News June 15 Terry Naughton, PGA Bill Ramsey, PGA June 16 Tom W. Hensel Jeffrey D. Seltz, PGA June 17 Samuel M. Siebert, PGA Shaun M. Wright June 18 Pete Bain, PGA George E. Hart, PGA Jack Morrison, PGA

May 2020

June 19 Jason M. Anderson Matthew P. Kantor, PGA Elliot R. Statz Aaron K. Walsh, PGA

June 22 Zachary G. Anderson, PGA Jeff L. Rafferty, PGA Scott A. Stewart, PGA Philip M. Tobias, PGA

June 20 Scott M. Ballif, PGA William J. Martin, PGA Jim M. Morrisey, PGA Edward Provow, PGA

June 23 Joshua R. Nelson Eric J. Twesme, PGA

June 21 Dillon N. Joslyn, PGA

June 25 Jeremy D. Hughes, PGA Ethan E. Malzahn, PGA June 26 Stefan P. Peirson, PGA

June 27 Joseph M. Chavez, PGA Seth R. Kaplan, PGA June 28 Pat J. Miller, PGA June 29 James H. Pratt, PGA June 30 Donald R. Fox, PGA Mark W. Lampe, PGA James B. Milstead Jr., PGA Justin M. Moore, PGA


Colorado PGA REACH Foundation News

Both From Out Of State, Johnson and Bardezbanian, Depent On Mentors to Push Them To New Experiences T

he Colorado PGA is committed to leadership and replicating a LEAD program in our Section, like the PGA of America LEAD class, is one way of demonstrating that commitment. The inaugural class of 2019-2020 has 11 members and are a part of this two-year leadership program. In the 2020 issues of The SUMMIT, we are introducing you, the membership, to the members of the Colorado PGA LEAD Class. This month, we are pleased to feature two driven and talented members who both found their way to Colorado – Katie Johnson, PGA, and Breighton Bardezbanian. Johnson is currently the Head of Instruction and Assistant Golf Professional at Fossil Trace Golf Club. Before moving to Colorado in 2018, she spent 10 years in Fargo, N.D., at a high-volume golf course. She was a college athlete, recruited for golf at North Dakota State University, but switched sports to shot put and hammer on the track and field team. Notable accomplishments for Johnson include being the second woman in North Dakota history to attain her Class A PGA Membership. Her mentor, Lisa Schwinden, PGA, was the first. She is dedicated to growing the game for women and juniors, especially, and received the Dakota Chapter 2016 Assistant of the Year Award. Johnson possesses a strong knowledge of physical fitness, its application to golf and the importance of technique in all sports. She enjoys her free time outdoors with her wife and two boys. 1) What is the most valuable thing you have learned since joining the CO PGA LEAD class? I learned that the sky is the limit. I know that’s a saying we’ve all heard, but being surrounded by fellow PGA LEAD members, I saw it in action. There’s no “oh well” attitude. If something is an obstacle, or there’s something to be achieved, these people see no boundaries and forge ahead. Moving to Colorado in 2017, I saw that I am a small fish in a big, talented pond. It was daunting. Joining PGA LEAD showed me to look at it as a goal, not intimidation. 2) How do you see this helping you in the future? I’m always looking for new opportunities to grow and change, and as a newcomer to Colorado, joining PGA LEAD was a wonderful way to network with other driven professionals. The presentations and motivational speakers were great, no doubt. But the real learning took place before and after the meetings when we would just chat, brainstorm, and bounce ideas off one another. That was the true meeting of the minds for the future of golf.



Colorado PGA REACH Foundation News Bardezbanian was born and raised in Peoria, Ill. From the age of 8, he had a golf club in hand but never considered pursuing golf as a career. Golf surrounded him throughout his upbringing and in high school, he would spend summer days playing and practicing with his friends and teammates. His high school golf coach and stepfather instilled in him the values that golf inherently requires of those who play it. After graduating college, Bardezbanian moved to Boulder, Colo., where he pursued work in his major field of study, Advertising Design. While completing contract work from home, he sought out a day job to make a little extra money and to fill his free time. Having never worked at a golf course, he reached out to the local municipal course, Flatirons, and found a full-time job. It was here that he was asked about PGA training by a mentor, former Director of Golf, Timothy Stevens, PGA. After investigating the PGA Program, he entered it in late 2019. He is currently a Level 3 PGA Executive Management Associate, on track to complete the program before the end of 2020. Ultimately, Bardezbanian aspires to merge his career as an advertising designer with his golf expertise and work for PGA HQ within the Marketing/Marketing Advertising Department. He didn’t know it when he was young, but his passion has grown to become the guiding light of his professional and personal life. 1) What is the most valuable thing you have learned since joining the CO PGA LEAD class? The most valuable thing I have learned in the LEAD Program is how to reflect on my own shortcomings/ weaknesses as a leader and become better. 2) How do you see this helping you in the future? The network of exceptional men and women I have met in the LEAD Program will prove to be invaluable connections as I move forward in my career. Also, getting a glimpse behind the curtain of Board affairs will better prepare me to hold voluntary Board positions as I advance through my career in the golf industry.

Quarter Century Club Celebrating 25 Years of Service as PGA Members


GA Members who have served the PGA of America with honor and pride for 25 years are elected to the Quarter Century Club. Their steadfast promotion of our great sport is recognized with a letter from the PGA President, a special Quarter Century Club certificate and a gold Quarter Century Club lapel pin. This month, the Colorado Section is proud to feature five inductees into the Quarter Century Club: • • • • •

Jim Hajek, PGA, Head Professional at Fossil Trace Golf Club; Doug Montgomery, PGA, Mobile Fitting Division – Gott Golf; Mitch Nielsen, PGA, Head Professional at Willis Case Golf Course; Nicholas Perry, PGA, X-Golf; and Robert Stong, PGA, Life Member Active.

On the following pages, you can learn a little more about each of these PGA Professionals. Help them celebrate this accomplishment!

May 2020


Quarter Century Club

Jim Hajek, PGA

Head Golf Professional at Fossil Trace GC Vice President, Colorado PGA 2015 Merchandiser of the Year Where did you grow up? I grew up in the major metropolis of Tyndall, South Dakota, with a population of 1,042 (+/- 2 any given day). What was your first introduction to the game of golf? Growing up on a farm, I was gifted an ancient set of clubs when I was 12. Since our yard was 90+ yards long, I had a built-in range to hit balls when I wasn’t working. Why did you choose to become a PGA Golf Professional? I was selected as the concessionaire at our hometown little 9-hole course managing the course, restaurant, bar and golf shop with two employees. It was a tiny operation, but I played every day and thought, “This is the life!” What makes you most proud about being a PGA Professional? I am most proud knowing that our teams have made a difference in many of the lives of the guests we serve. It may be “just golf” in the eyes of some, but when three sons fly in to play golf with their father for the last time, knowing he is in the advanced stage of cancer, it is far more than just golf. We may never know the true impact we have on our guests or members, but we should not take the responsibility lightly. What golf facilities have you been employed at and in what capacity? I began in the business of golf at Bon Homme Golf Course (in Tyndall) but really started my professional career at Foothills Golf Course as an assistant. I was fortunate to be promoted to the First Assistant at The Meadows and promoted once again back as the Head Professional at Foothills three years later. In late 2002, I was blessed to be selected as the PGA Head Golf Professional for Fossil Trace Golf Club. What do you feel is the most meaningful contribution to the game of golf you have made? I am very proud to have had nine assistants go on to become successful PGA Head Professionals or Directors of Golf. However, I fully expect there are more great things to come; time will tell. What hobbies do you have outside of golf? My wife, Lisa, and I live to travel and have adventured to 16 countries, three continents and are planning for so many more. We have been to Walt Disney World 40 plus times. Lisa is a bit of a fan and I’m a fan of hers so... Sadly, that has all come to a screeching halt, but the journey continues. We are also total wine snobs so uncorking a fine bottle is all too common. If you could have a dream foursome, who would it be and why? Mickey Mouse, my wife Lisa (just to experience her joy with Mickey) and Randy Meyers, PGA. He is the funniest and most inappropriate man I know. I love all three of them.

This and That? Short par 5 or short par 3? Short par 5 – getting home in two seems to be getting more difficult. Match Play or Stroke Play? Match – a big number on one hole doesn’t sting as much. Pizza or tacos? Pizza – Blaze in Disney Springs


Music on or music off on the course? Always on, or I could be singing … you don’t want that. Morning or evening person? Yes. Seem to be waking up earlier – what’s up with that?

Favorite fast food chain? Chipotle – Barbacoa and make it wicked hot! Shorts or pants on the course? Pants in the US, shorts in Mexico. Chocolate or vanilla? Vanilla – allows for toppings.


Quarter Century Club

Doug Montgomery, PGA Mobile Fitting Division – Gott Golf Malaska Golf Certified Instructor Golf Magazine Top 50 Club Fitter North America Where did you grow up? I grew up in Boulder, Colo. What was your first introduction to the game of golf? I watched it on television, and it looked like fun. I’m the only one in my family who plays golf. I always loved sports involving a ball – baseball, basketball, racquetball, etc. – so I decided to try golf. Why did you choose to become a PGA Golf Professional? I love to play and love to teach so why not get paid to do what I love? What makes you most proud about being a PGA Professional? I am proud to be able to give back to the game by getting others involved. What golf facilities have you been employed at and in what capacity? I was at Twin Peaks Golf Course first as an Assistant Professional then as a Teaching Professional. At Gott Golf, I am a custom club fitter and builder. I have been custom building clubs for over 30 years now and still really enjoy it. What do you feel is the most meaningful contribution to the game of golf you have made? I love to teach, whether it is getting new golfers involved in the game or getting someone excited about playing again by teaching them a new skill or simply helping. What hobbies do you have outside of golf? I enjoy fly fishing, hunting, coaching baseball and flying airplanes. If you could have a dream foursome, who would it be and why? My dream foursome would be Arnold Palmer, the greatest influence in the game of golf; Tiger Woods, the best athlete to ever play golf; and Bo Jackson, the greatest athlete. He is also a former Kansas City Royal, which is my favorite baseball team.

This and That? Short par 5 or short par 3? Short par 3 Match Play or Stroke Play? Match Play Pizza or tacos? Pizza

May 2020

Music on or music off on the course? Music on -- all the time. Morning or evening person? Evening

Favorite fast food chain? Jimmy John’s Shorts or pants on the course? Shorts Chocolate or vanilla? Vanilla


Quarter Century Club

Mitch Nielsen, PGA Where did you grow up? I grew up in Lakewood, Colo. What was your first introduction to the game of golf? My brother first introduced me to the game by taking me to a par-3 course. Why did you choose to become a PGA Golf Professional? I love the game of golf and enjoy helping happy people. What makes you most proud about being a PGA Professional? I am proud of the camaraderie found in this profession. What golf facilities have you been employed at and in what capacity? My career includes time at Lakewood Country Club as an Assistant Professional, as well as time at Red Rocks Country Club as both an Assistant and Head Golf Professional. What do you feel is the most meaningful contribution to the game of golf you have made? Growing junior golf programs and making them fun has meant the most to me. What hobbies do you have outside of golf? I enjoy hunting, fishing, hiking and traveling. If you could have a dream foursome, who would it be and why? My dream, if allowed, would be a fivesome and include my dad, Tiger Woods, Arnold Palmer and Michael Jordan.

This and That? Short par 5 or short par 3? Short par 3 Match Play or Stroke Play? Match Play Pizza or tacos? Pizza


Music on or music off on the course? Off Morning or evening person? Morning

Favorite fast food chain? Chick-fil-A Shorts or pants on the course? Pants Chocolate or vanilla? Chocolate


Quarter Centruy Club

Nicholas Perry, PGA X-Golf, Grand Junction, Colo.

Where did you grow up? I grew up in Grand Junction, Colo. What was your first introduction to the game of golf? I was introduced to the game of golf in eighth grade after I was diagnosed with Osgood Schlatter Disease. Because of the condition of my knees, I had to stop playing basketball, football and baseball. Though no one in my family golfed, this was the sport I found I could play. As a 13-year-old, after playing for three months, I shot an even-par on 9 holes. Why did you choose to become a PGA Golf Professional? I was talked into this career by the Director of Golf at Kapalua, Gary Planos, PGA. What makes you most proud about being a PGA Professional? What makes me most proud about being a PGA Professional is the opportunities to give back to the communities that are so intertwined with this career path and industry. What golf facilities have you been employed at and in what capacity? I started out in Hawaii at Kapalua as an associate. From there, I went to Cordillera in Vail as First Assistant. I was in Lincoln Park in Grand Junction as the Head Pro. Most of my time has been at Omni Interlocken Resort as First Assistant. I also helped in the opening of TPC Colorado. Currently, I am a manager of X-Golf, an indoor golf facility, in Grand Junction. What do you feel is the most meaningful contribution to the game of golf you have made? The charity work I have been able to be a part of and help facilitate has been the most meaningful to me. I have helped charities in events like Elway’s and Shanahan’s raise over two million dollars for children and the community. What hobbies do you have outside of golf? Though golf is my hobby, I do enjoy bowling, basketball and playing cards. If you could have a dream foursome, who would it be and why? My dream foursome would be at Augusta National with three of my best friends.

Robert Stong, PGA This and That? Short par 5 or short par 3? Short par 5 Match Play or Stroke Play? Match Play Pizza or tacos? Pizza - I’m Italian

May 2020

Music on or music off on the course? Music on Morning or evening person? Morning - though I can be an evening person if I need to be.

Favorite fast food chain? Wendy’s - My whole life, it’s been Wendy’s Shorts or pants on the course? Shorts, definitely. Chocolate or vanilla? Vanilla


Quarter Centruy Club Life Member Active Where did you grow up? I was born in Peoria, Ill. What was your first introduction to the game of golf? When I was in third grade, I was hitting rocks in the backyard with my dad’s new Wilson Staff irons. My mom said to my dad, “Don’t get mad, get him in a program.” They signed me up for a Junior program in Nashville, Tenn. Why did you choose to become a PGA Golf Professional? I was working in the business as an Assistant Golf Pro at Fort Lewis Golf Course in Washington and the man in charge was not a PGA Member. I decided I wanted my card and so I started my apprentice program at the Broadmoor with Mr. Dow Finsterwald. What makes you most proud about being a PGA Professional? I am most proud of being able to pass on my love of the game to others. What golf facilities have you been employed at and in what capacity? After completing my apprentice program at Tiara Rado Golf Course, I went on to Battlement Mesa Club. It was there I was elected to Membership. I was able to return to Tiara Rado as the Head Professional. I also spent time at Lincoln Park as the Director of Golf. Upon moving to Denver, I worked at Dick’s Sporting Goods and then at Raccoon Creek Golf Course as an Assistant. What do you feel is the most meaningful contribution to the game of golf you have made? I feel my contribution has always been teaching peers and those who have worked for me to give great customer service. What hobbies do you have outside of golf? My hobbies include skiing and fly fishing. If you could have a dream foursome, who would it be and why? I would love to play another round with my father, who is 93, but is not able to play anymore. My best friend and fraternity brother, Will, who had a stroke and is also unable to play, would also be in the foursome. Finally, I would invite retired professional golfer, Ben Crenshaw.

This and That? Short par 5 or short par 3? Short par 5 - I love the risk and reward. Match Play or Stroke Play? Match Play Pizza or tacos? Pizza


Music on or music off on the course? Music off Morning or evening person? Morning. I still wake up at 4 a.m.

Favorite fast food chain? Papa Murphy’s Shorts or pants on the course? Shorts, if weather permits. Chocolate or vanilla? Vanilla - with brownies!


West Chapter News

West Chapter Elects Plain and VanDyke to Serve on Board; Lynch Fills Vacant Seat T

wo members of the West Chapter were elected to serve three-year terms as members of the Colorado West Chapter Board of Directors on Thursday, April 16, during its Virtual West Chapter Spring Business Meeting. Re-elected to second terms on the Board were PGA Professionals Alice Plain, Director of Golf at Vail Golf Club, and Steve VanDyke, Director of Golf at River Valley Ranch. Additionally, the West Chapter Board appointed John Lynch, PGA, Director of Golf at Ironbridge Golf Club, to fill the vacant seat on the Board. Lynch will serve-out the remaining two years of this position’s term.

“I want to thank each of our candidates who ran for the Board,” stresses Jeff Boyer, PGA, West Chapter President and General Manager at Eagle Ranch Golf Club. “Putting one’s self in a position of service to others is an extremely selfless act and it takes a special person to step-up and say I want to do this. I look forward to working with each of these dedicated PGA Professionals. Welcome to the Board!” Asking for the Memberships consideration, Plain explained how quickly it felt like her first three-years on the Board went. Feeling like she was getting the hang of it when her term expired, she explained how she would really enjoy the challenge of serving all of her fellow PGA Professional by sitting on this Board for a second term. “I am honored to be elected to the Colorado West Chapter Board for a second term,” expresses Plain. “It is important for my fellow golf professionals to know that I am always available if they need support, advice and mentorship. I have been a member of the Colorado Section since 1996 and have seen many positive changes in our Chapter and Section. With the new ‘COVID-19 world’ we are all navigating in our lives and at work, we all have many new challenges ahead. I am here for support! My goal for the West Chapter is to continue to support you and listen to your ideas as well as collaborate with my fellow Board Members on improving our West Chapter. Good luck to everyone this season. Thank you.” Twenty-year Colorado Member Steve VanDyke shared his goals if elected to the West Chapter Board. It would be his desire to get to know all of the Membership better, understand what each is doing at his/her facility and ask how he can help. He is also interested in working to assure more notoriety for all of the amazing things people within the West Chapter and the Section are doing for their facility, as well as for the communities they serve. “I am excited to have been elected to the Colorado PGA West Chapter Board and to continue to serve the PGA,” says VanDyke. “Being a Board Member allows me to stay more connected to the Pros and facilities of the West Chapter. I look forward to assisting our Membership in whatever way I can and to help grow our game and business.” Having spent most of his career as a Member of the Aloha Section, Lynch looks forward to becoming acquainted with each of the West Chapter Members through shared participation in tournaments and meetings. He admits that his journey as a PGA Professional has been an awesome one and looks forward to continuing that ride. “I am looking forward to this opportunity to serve on the West Chapter Board and promise to bring 100 percent of me to the table,” comments Lynch. “I am humbled and extremely excited to be able to give back to my fellow PGA Members and Apprentices and look forward to making a difference in the Colorado Section PGA. Thank you again for this opportunity!”

May 2020


Educational Opportunities

Explore New Learning Opportunities Colorado PGA and PGA of America make available innovative ways to stay engaged


e all learned that doing business the way it had been done in the past has not been realistic since the introduction of the coronavirus in mid-March. Yet, the need for communication and up-to-date information remains vital. Enter, new ways to stay engaged and current – The Elevation Podcast Series, Weekly Webinar Engagement and PGA of America’s Specialized Programs. This exceptional training and educational tools are available to all Colorado PGA Members. We hope you will take the opportunity to listen to as many of these as time allows.

Elevations Podcast Series The Elevation Podcast Series was designed to deliver new, industry leading information to help elevate the learning and experiences of our Members and Associates. We hope you have been listening to and enjoying the diverse topic presented during each episode. But, in case you have missed some, here is a short synopsis of the most current podcasts to entice you back! Positive Coaching with John O’Sullivan, Author, Speaker and Founder of Changing the Game Project; Jeff Dale, Vice President of Field Operations for the Positive Coaching Alliance; and co-host Jeff Boyer, PGA, General Manager at Eagle Ranch Golf Course. These experts talk through the importance of kids being involved in sport, how to be a positive coach and what it takes to create a positive culture in youth sports. Sales Training with Josh Pitchford, Partner and Coach at Sander Training in Atlanta, Ga., and co-host Andy Hilts, PGA, President of Hilts Golf. These long-time friends banter and role play with each other about their experiences in the sales-training field and share some great tips that make them two of the best in their field. Leadership with Michael Leemhuis, owner of Leemhuis Consult, LLC and Senior Career Consultant for the PGA of America, and Mike O’Donnell, PGA, Colorado PGA Board Member and Director of Family



Educational Opportunities & Morale, Welfare & Recreation at Fort Carson. The Mike’s discuss how understanding your leadership style is critically important to your success as a leader. Success with retired Navy Seal, star of the movie Act of Valor and a real hero, Rorke Denver. How can making an effective shot on a weapon system in the military be eerily identical to making an effective shot on the golf course? Simply put, “If you look at less, you will see more!” Financial Literacy with Matt Stewart, past PGA Professional who joined Northwestern Mutual as a wealth manager, and Ryan Harris, 10-year NFL veteran and member of the Denver Bronco’s Superbowl 50 team. These two entertaining guests explore the definition of financial literacy and how to set yourself up for success. Golf Fitness with Kaitlyn Pimentel, Golf Digest Top 50 Golf Fitness Trainer, and co-host Bradford Skupaka, PGA, Director of Teaching Quality at GOLFTEC. They share the need for client fitness accountability and how you can accomplish that. Coaching with nationally recognized sport psychologist and author of a number of industry leading publications, Dr. Rick Jensen. Taking your golf coaching to the next level and using techniques that benefit your students are stressed. All of the tapings of The Elevation Podcast Series are available from the Communications page of

Weekly Webinar Engagement The Weekly Webinar Engagements were introduced to engage with our Membership during the coronavirus pandemic. Top priorities were discussed during these hour-long webinars. Recordings of each session are available to accommodate those who were unable to join in the calls. Topics • • • • • • •

that have been covered and are available for listening include: Creating Revenue Through Doubles Golf with Bob Longmire, Doubles Golf Co-creator Golf Emergency Relief Fund with PGA Career Consultant, Keith Soriano PGA Jr. League Update with Anthony Vitale, PGA Jr. League Regional Manager SuperSpeed Golf – The Science of Overspeed Training with Mike Nappleon, PGA World Handicap System with Aaron Guereca, CGA Manager of Club and Facility Services Teaching and Coaching Chat highlighting Teaching Professionals Ed Oldham, Dan Sniffin and Nate Mead Golf Operations Chat featuring PGA Professionals Jim Hajek, Colorado PGA Vice President and Head Professional at Fossil Trace; Cathy Matthews-Kane,PGA, Colorado PGA Secretary and General Manager at the Country Club of Colorado; Mark Pfingston, PGA, Head Professional at The Golf Club at Bear Dance; Jason Murphy, PGA, General Manager at Pinehurst Country Club; and Bryan Heim, PGA, Head Golf Professional at Columbine Country Club • Back2Golf with Chief Membership Officer of the PGA, John Easterbrook, PGA; District 9 Director, Ron Rawls, PGA – Head Professional at Crane Creek Country Club in Boise, Idaho; and Incoming District 9 Director, Jared Barnes, PGA – Head Professional at Cedar Ridge Golf Course in Cedar City, Utah

All of the recordings of the Weekly Webinar Engagement are available from the Communications page of the

PGA of America Specialized Program The PGA of America’s Specialized Program is free to all PGA Members through June 30, 2020. Continuously improve your business and teaching skills to meet the increasing demands of the golf industry. The PGA Specialized Program is an online educational curriculum that supports the goals of PGA Members who are committed to excellence and furthering their career. Three specific career paths can be explored – Teaching and Coaching; Golf Operations; or Executive Management. Access is available from the Resources page of

May 2020


Colorado PGA Jr. League

Colorado PGA Jr. League 2020: An Exercise in Adaptability


e hope that all of you are staying safe during this challenging and unfortunate time of COVID-19 and the drastic impact it is having on all of our lives and on all of our friends in the golf business. We are excited for things to become a little more flexible as we get out and about and we look forward to seeing people back on the golf course again. As we prepare for the reopening of golf and subsequently the PGA Jr. League season, we wanted to let you all know what we are thinking. 2020 SEASON UPDATE With National and State guidelines and Stay-at-home orders changing by the day, we wanted to reassure you that we are doing everything possible to help you run a PGA Jr. League program that is safe for the players as soon as it is appropriate to do so. Current information on the status of the season is available at Furthermore, we are shifting our priorities around the 2020 season to assist golf professionals with running more local and adaptable programs. The bottomline is that over the next few weeks our main goal will be to help you run a program that is valuable to captains and coaches, the facility and the families that participate. Our challenge will be to do so in a creative manner that follows all guidelines and still provides a fun and engaging environment. The PGA is also working in conjunction with many of the junior golf associations nationwide to further clarify the guidelines set in place by the White House and CDC, as well as provide further guidance to the Back2Golf guidelines and how they translate to junior golf. PGA Jr. League will go a step further and publish a set of best practices and rules/format modifications that can help coaches create flexible environments where PGA Jr. League specific activities can resume. In the meantime, we have compiled a list of activities to help kids and families stay engaged at home. Please visit www. to find creative ways to keep your students active, even while you are apart. CAPTAIN RESOURCE CENTER (AND COVID-19 BEST PRACTICES) Introduced in 2019, the Captain Resource Center was a successful tool to create a onestop-shop for everything you need to run your team and be successful. Please check it out at and bookmark the site for easy access in the future. There is also a new section for COVID-19 updates and resources that are specific to captains for planning and staying engaged. Access requires a user account for a former captain or coach, however, prospective captains can get access by emailing Anthony Vitale. If you still need to register as a captain for the 2020 Season, visit to get started.



Colorado PGA Jr. League REALIZING YOUR IMPACT ON HUMAN CONNECTIONS Finally, we wanted to give you all some things to think about as you anxiously await the re-opening of the PGA Jr. League season in Colorado. Now, more than ever, people are realizing the importance of human connections. For so long, many of us took for granted how valuable socializing face-to-face with other people really is. Everyone is weathering this storm in our different ways, but it is likely that being together as a golf community is something we can all look forward to getting back to. We want to leave you all with a few questions to ask yourselves as we prepare to increase in person interactions again. The deprivation of human connections has left every golf professional with an opening to develop deeper relationships with their customers. • • • • •

What opportunities are there for golf professionals to emerge better than before? How can you view the golfer as a human being and appeal to their human emotions? Where can your current customers receive more focus? Who can you identify among the customers flocking to the course now as someone that can continue visits to the course instead of falling into old pre-Covid habits? And when is the appropriate time to begin?

Only you will know when the timing is right, but nothing can cement your role as an expert guide to golf better than to keep your customers feeling the passion you have to coach them through their golf journey. As always, we are here to assist. Anthony Vitaly, PGA Samantha Crawford PGA Jr. League Regional Manager Junior Golf Coordinator (561) 267-1208 (720) 884-6130

Save the Date! Colorado PGA Jr. League Planning Season-ending Finale Event I

n early May, PGA Jr. League and the PGA of America announced the cancellation of the official postseason portion of the 2020 National PGA Jr. League season, which includes the Regional and National Championship events. While navigating the evolving landscape of COVID-19 and youth sports, it was determined that holding events that require air travel was not in the best interest of player or coach safety. Nonetheless, Colorado PGA Jr. League teams can look forward to a season-ending event! In Colorado, we are still hoping to host a culminating season event at the Pinery Country Club in Parker on August 22-23, 2020. More details on how you and your team can register for this event will be shared as soon as the details are finalized. Our staff is considering all options moving forward as the situation around the coronavirus pandemic is ever-changing. We will continue to be sensitive to the needs of our captains, players, parents, spectators and local and national health organization guidelines around youth sports and general gatherings.

May 2020


Junior Golf News

2020 National Junior PGA Championships Cancelled Colorado Championship to be Hosted by CC of Colorado


he PGA of America announced in early May that the 2020 Boys and Girls Junior PGA Championships had been canceled. This cancellation was due to ongoing concerns surrounding COVID-19 and the challenges of operating 41 Section Championship events starting in May and having to be completed by the end of June to accommodate the national events. Despite the cancellation of the Junior PGA Championships – scheduled to be contested in July at PGA golf Club in Port St. Lucie – the 41 PGA Sections still have an opportunity to conduct Section Boys and Girls Junior PGA Championships when it is responsible to do so, based on the guidance of applicable state and local authorities—and without concern of being tied to a qualification deadline. As a result, Colorado has decided to move forward with the Colorado Junior PGA Championship on the dates it was originally scheduled – June 15-17 at the Country Club of Colorado.

This Pair of Aces Shines Brightly 16-year-old Max Lange, who hadn’t made a hole-in-one before, records 2 aces in 3 holes By Gary Baines Green Valley Ranch Golf Club in northeast Denver is no stranger to much-discussed stories about holes-in-one. On April 29 at GVR’s par-3 course, Max Lange of Golden said he aced not only the fifth hole from about 60 yards, but the seventh hole from somewhere between 105-110 yards. And the 16-year-old sophomore at Lakewood High School managed both holes-in-one with the same club: a 58-degree Titleist Vokey wedge. “I use it basically everywhere around the greens,” Lange said of the wedge. “It’s my trusty club. I love the thing — and I love it even more now.” Lange said he’d never made an ace before he and Hunter Swanson of Denver, Wes Erling of Colorado Springs and Jack Larson of Arvada decided to play the GVR par-3 layout late last month. “It was like any other day, then two holes-in-one,” Lange said. “And it was my first hole-in-one. It’s not something I’ll be forgetting anytime soon. It was definitely one of the most memorable days I’ve ever had.” According to the National Hole-In-One Registry, the chances of a player making two aces in one round is 67 million to 1. Now, Lange’s holes-in-one were of the shorter-than-normal variety, but the odds are still astronomical.



Junior Golf News

Familiar Host for JGAC Third Major of the Year With the cancellation of the 2020 U.S. Girls’ Junior, Eisenhower GC steps up as the site for one of four JGAC majors

By Gary Baines


t’s been a particularly tough stretch — from a tournament cancellation standpoint — for top junior golfers in Colorado and elsewhere. Many of the most prestigious junior events on the international, national and regional level have been nixed for 2020 due to concerns related to the coronavirus. One local positive that could come out of the national and regional cancellations may be further bolstering the fields of Junior Golf Alliance of Colorado tournaments. On Friday, the JGAC announced that its third major of the season, the Colorado Junior Match Play, will be conducted July 28-30 at Eisenhower Golf Club, which was to have been the site for the cancelled 2020 U.S. Girls’ Junior. The Blue Course there has hosted a JGAC major each year since the Alliance’s first season of 2016. Since then, three Colorado Junior PGAs and one Colorado Junior Amateur have been held at Eisenhower. The first two 2020 JGAC majors, which were previously divulged, were the Colorado Junior PGA (June 15-17 at the Country Club of Colorado) and the Colorado Junior Amateur (July 6-8 at CommonGround Golf Course). The fourth major, the JGAC Tour Championship, is set for October 10-11, though the site hasn’t been finalized.

May 2020



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Gold | $5,000

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May 2020


Award Winning. Again.

Fina nci ng Ava i l a b l e


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Profile for Colorado PGA

The SUMMIT - Colorado PGA Magazine - May 2020  

Golf is Back and it has an opportunity to showcase itself as a model of how people can begin a return to a more normal way of life while saf...

The SUMMIT - Colorado PGA Magazine - May 2020  

Golf is Back and it has an opportunity to showcase itself as a model of how people can begin a return to a more normal way of life while saf...