Colorado Golf Hall of Fame Welcomes Classes of 2020 & ’21

Russ Miller and Ed Oldham are inducted in long-awaited ceremony.

Close to 200 people—including former USGA President Judy Bell and 18 other Colorado Golf Hall of Famers—packed Colorado Golf Club Sunday night for the first CGHoF induction dinner since June 2, 2019.

After Covid-19 safety concerns precluded any celebration in 2020, the Hall combined the classes of 2020 and 2021, honoring eight individuals in all—two new inductees and six award winners. With his keen wit, 9News anchor Tom Green, the emcee for the evening, introduced each.

Hall of Famers 143 and 144

Inductees Russ Miller and Ed Oldham are both long-tenured PGA Professionals in the Colorado Section who have achieved national recognition for their accomplishments.

Since arriving as the PGA Director of Golf at The Broadmoor in 1998, Miller has delivered three U.S. Senior Opens (2008, ’18 and ’25) and the 2011 U.S. Women’s Open. In addition to tributes from The Broadmoor’s top executives, the video introduction to his speech included homages from World Golf Hall of Famers Hale Irwin and Annika Sorenstam, 11-time PGA Tour champion Dow Finsterwald and erstwhile USGA President Mike Davis.

The ever-humble North Carolina native drew laughs from the audience when he related his mother’s reaction to the news of his induction. “She said, ‘How in heaven’s name did you get in the Hall of Fame with the grades you made in high school?’ And she was right!”

Russ Miller
Inductee Russ Miller makes his way to the podium at the 48th annual Colorado Golf Hall of Fame dinner. (Photograph by E.J. Carr)

Currently the PGA Director of Instruction at The Ranch Country Club in Westminster, Oldham has earned attention as the longtime coach of 24-year old LPGA star Jennifer Kupcho, who recently earned a berth on the U.S. Solheim Cup team, and her brother, Steven, an aspiring professional with number of mini-tour victories under his belt.

National, collegiate, high-school, state and club champions have all found their way to the master professional’s lesson tee, but so have thousands of high-handicap adult players, beginners and juniors. Oldham, as those in attendance learned from the video introducing him, has also had a profound influence on his club and his fellow Colorado PGA professionals.

Ed Oldham (center) with (l-r) Jenny and Steven Kupcho, Julie Oldham, Janet and Mike Kupcho. (Photograph by E.J. Carr)

Also Honored

One of the highlights of the evening came when the crowd stood in applause for the octogenarian Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Eleanore Pellegrini, who, despite being a widowed mom of three boys and having a full-time job, won more than three dozen club championships and numerous senior state titles over the course of five decades. See video.

Eleanore Pellegrini
Eleanore Pellegrini approaches the stage to accept her Lifetime Achievement award.

“In the Fairway” radio show host Jerry Walters savored the spotlight as he accepted his 2020 Distinguished Service Award. ( See tribute video.)

Jerry Walters worked the crowd with his favorite two words: free golf. (photograph by E.J. Carr)

Currently a graduate assistant coach the University of Indianapolis, the former University of Denver standout Mary Weinstein was unavailable to receive 2020 Golf Person of the Year award. Her father, Arnold Weinstein, accepted on her behalf. (See tribute video.)

Arnold Weinstein and Kevin Hood
Arnold Weinstein (left) and CGHoF President Kevin Hood (photograph by E.J. Carr)

Colin Prater, the 2021 Golf Person of the Year recipient gave an enthusiastic speech, demonstrating the confidence that helped propel the high-school science teacher to a historic 2020 golf season. (See tribute video)

Colin Prater
Colin Prater holds forth. (photograph by EJ Carr)

Perhaps showing how much things had changed during the 26 months since the last induction and awards dinner were the Future Famer Award winners. Honored for their 2019 achievements while in high school, Charlotte Hillary and Micah Stangebye are now both college sophomores—Hillary at Northwestern, Stangbye at Kentucky State. (See videos here and here.)

Charlotte Hillary and Micah Stangebye
Charlotte Hillary and Micah Stangebye (Photos by E.J. Carr)

What’s Next?
Respectively, Miller and Oldham are the 143rd and 144th individuals to earn enshrinement in the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame—a roster that began 48 years ago with Babe Zaharias, Dave Hill and Babe Lind.

As the Hall approaches its 50th Anniversary, it will relocate its museum from the Riverdale Golf Courses in Brighton to The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs by March of 2023. The audience received an update on the progress of that move from CGHoF Vice President Mark Passey, who also shared that The Broadmoor will also host both the 2023 induction dinner and fundraising tournament.

The Colorado Golf Hall of Fame will announce its Class of 2022 inductees and award winners in October.

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