Identity Crisis

Anthony Cotton - Forethoughts

Anthony Cotton looks back on his time as Editor with Colorado AvidGolfer, Colorado Hall of Famers and more within the 2021 May Issue.

By Anthony Cotton

It is a question that gets asked a lot on the golf course, during the random weekend pairing between parties who are about to spend the next four hours or so in collective misery.

“What kind of work do you do?”

Perhaps it’s the simplest of questions, a mere conversational gambit designed to help while away the time. But more often than not, the query doesn’t strike me that way—maybe it’s just my penchant for tumbling down metaphysical rabbit holes, or soaring on flights of fancy—or just trying to think about anything else but the pending horrors that await over the remaining holes—but somewhere in my brain, those seven words often get twisted into something entirely different…

“Who are you?”

And that, of course, is an entirely different kettle of fish—unless it isn’t. How many of us indeed immediately revert to one’s job, or career, when asked to describe who they are? If someone asked you that question, what would the answer be? What sentiments would the query prompt—would you revert to your work, your job, your career (Speaking of golf, wouldn’t you love to hear Tiger Woods answer that question today, and then compare it to what his younger self, say, circa 1997-2017, might have said)?

It might be completely understandable how a PGA TOUR golfer (or an all-star Major League Baseball shortstop, or a world-class chef) could possibly conflate what they do with who they are. But it’s clear, from recent conversations with Trevor Story of the Colorado Rockies, or Denver restaurateur Frank Bonanno, that that isn’t the case—and it certainly doesn’t apply to the people featured in this month’s cover story. While Kris Franklin and Janet Moore are two of the greatest, most accomplished golfers in Colorado history, spend a few moments with them and it’s clear that their North Star isn’t their Hall of Fame careers (Moore is already in the state’s shrine; Franklin, forever hoisting championship trophies, is a shoo-in for entry someday), but rather, family.

Moore readily admits that she never really gained success as a golfer until after she became a mother, which, she says, allowed her to put “everything in perspective.” In time, it also allowed her to share, and pass along, her love of the game to her children. On page 60, Moore and Franklin describe the role golf has played in their family’s lives.

Franklin tells a story of how another Colorado Hall of Famer, Mark Crabtree, would spend hours hitting golf balls at the practice range, while his University of Colorado teammate, Steve Jones, would take the same amount of time, but allocated it to working on his short game. And as accomplished a career as Crabtree has had, perhaps that difference is the reason why his résumé doesn’t include a U.S. Open championship. On page 68, we take a look back at 25 years ago, when Jones, who grew up in Yuma, took down two of the game’s greats and won the national championship.

Speaking of identities, unless you’re a golf design nerd, chances are you rarely find yourself pondering the hows and whys behind a course’s construction while you’re travers- ing its grounds. But you might just change your way of thinking after looking at a new feature on page 27. In “Colorado Golf Sculptures,” Chris Wheeler, a long-time documentarian, turns his lens to Pole Creek Golf Club in Tabernash. Along with some stunning photography, Wheeler gives an insightful look at the ideas and thinking that went into the formation of the course.

With this issue, my time as editor of Colorado AvidGolfer has come to a close. I would like to thank Ray, Don and Dick Baker, along with Allen J. Walters and Chris Phillips for bringing me on board, as well as the magazine’s founding editor, Jon Rizzi, for his continued guidance. And I would be remiss if I didn’t cite the team—Cindy, Hillary, Jani, Lacey, Lori, Mike, and, last but certainly not least, the totally, absolutely fabulous Chelsea Oglesby—who go above and beyond (and then even further than that) to make each issue happen. Keep doing what you do! —ANTHONY COTTON

This article was also featured in the May Issue of Colorado AvidGolfer.

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