Colorado Golf Hall of Fame Announces Class of 2016

Craig Stadler and Ann Finke will be inducted in May.

The Colorado Golf Hall of Fame announced it would induct two new members at its annual ceremony on May 14 at Cherry Hills Country Club. One is a former Masters champion; the other a master at teaching the game to juniors.

Although he won the Masters twelve years before moving to Colorado in 1994, Craig Stadler won three of his 13 PGA Tour titles and all nine of his Champions Tour championships (including two majors) while a resident of the Centennial State.

“The Walrus” has also made history while living here:

  • His 2003 win at the B.C. Open in 2003 came shortly after his 50th birthday, making him the oldest winner in 28 years on Tour—and the first member of the Champions Tour to win a PGA Tour event.
  • He won the Champions Tour’s Rookie of the Year in 2003 and its Jack Nicklaus trophy in 2004, when his five victories put him atop the money list for the season.
  • His victory in the 2013 Encompass Championship at age 60 came eight years, eight months and 28 days after his win in the 2004 SAS championship—a record for the longest time between victories on the Champions Tour.

Stadler also won the 2002 Office Depot Father/Son Challenge with his son, Kevin, who, like his father, starred at the University of California before turning pro. Both Stadlers also enjoyed stellar amateur careers—Craig won the 1973 U.S. Amateur; Kevin, the Doug Sanders Junior World Championship, CHSAA 3-A championship and two Colorado Golf Association match-play titles.

By winning the 2014 Waste Management Open, Kevin qualified for that year’s Masters, marking the first time a father and son appeared in the same field at the storied event.

“The Walrus” has donated countless hours and dollars to numerous Colorado-based and national charities. He also boasts a golf course design—a collaboration with Tripp Davis at Grand Elk Ranch & Club. Granby.

News of Ann Finke’s Hall of Fame induction came shortly after the PGA Director of Instruction at The Country Club of Colorado had received the The First Tee of Pikes Peak’s 2015 Legacy Award with Hale Irwin.

The first female member of the Colorado PGA, Finke has taught at the club based at Cheyenne Mountain Resort in Colorado Springs since joining the Section in 1985, shortly after moving from Nebraska.

She estimates that roughly 16,000 of the more than 38,000 lessons she’s given have been to juniors—one of whom, Tom Glissmeyer, qualified for the U.S. Open in 2003 at the age of 16.

Factor in another 50 hours of golf clinics per year, her 12-year presidency of the Pikes Peak Junior Golf organization and another 12 as the development coordinator at Professional Golf Management Program at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and you can understand why the PGA of America rewarded her influence with its prestigious national Junior Golf Leader Award in 2010.

And as that wasn’t enough, this Friday, November 6, the PGA Colorado Section will also bestow Finke with its Noble Chalfant Award for Distinguished Service.

As is its custom, the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame will also hand out three awards:

Distinguished Service Award: Mike and Terri Knode, founders of the Western Colorado Golf Foundation, a longtime beneficiary of the Rocky Mountain Open which has awarded many educational scholarships to junior golfers from the Western Slope.

Lifetime Achievement Award: Dr. Homer McClintock, one of the chief players in acquiring the Evans Scholars house for caddies at the University of Colorado and in connecting the Colorado Golf Association’s Eisenhower Scholarship to the Western Golf Association’s Evans Scholarship.  

Golf Person of the Year Award: Jim Hajek, PGA head professional at Fossil Trace Golf Club in Golden, who also was named the PGA of America’s National Merchandiser of the Year for Public Courses.

RELATED ARTICLES:

Hale Irwin and Ann Finke Inspire Audience at The First Tee of Pikes Peak

I am the Walrus

CGA and Colorado PGA Join Forces for Junior Golf

Austin and Vlosich Voted Into Colorado Golf Hall of Fame

Colorado AvidGolfer is the state’s leading resource for golf and the lifestyle that surrounds it. It publishes eight issues annually and proudly delivers daily content via www.coloradoavidgolfer.com.

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