Hale Irwin Medal Dinner This Saturday

Hale Irwin clutches his third U.S. Open trophy at Medinah Country Club.
Hale Irwin clutches his third U.S. Open trophy at Medinah Country Club.

Colorado legend to be honored, award medals to Douglass and Kupcho at The Broadmoor

By Jon Rizzi

On Saturday night, November 23rd, at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, the Colorado golf community will celebrate its greatest champion.

The first Hale Irwin Dinner will honor the Boulder High and University of Colorado graduate who would go on to become one of only six players ever to win three U.S. Opens, with the third of those victories—at Medinah Country Club in 1990—coming at age 45, making him the oldest to accomplish the feat. He won at total of 20 PGA TOUR events and established the record for Champions Tour victories with 45.

Hale Irwin with Payne Stewart Award
Irwin won this year’s Payne Stewart Award Presented by Southern Company for his “character, commitment to charity, respect for the game and sportsmanship.”

Now 74, Irwin has established himself as a philanthropist. He has a wing at St. Louis Children’s Hospital named in his honor, and this summer he earned the PGA TOUR’s Payne Stewart Award for his exceptional character, sportsmanship and unwavering commitment to charitable impact.

He’s also a golf course architect. His scores of course designs include Colorado’s Indian Peaks Golf Course in Lafayette, The Club at Cordillera’s Mountain Course in Edwards, The University of Denver Golf Course in Highlands Ranch and Glacier Club‘s Mountain Course in Durango. Irwin is also design consultant on Todd Schoeder’s renovation of Denver’s City Park Golf Course.

Hale Irwin (second from right) and the program team at the City Park Golf Course in Denver (courtesy of Saunders Construction)
Hale Irwin (second from right) and the program team at the City Park Golf Course in Denver (Courtesy of Saunders Construction)

Douglass and Kupcho Also Honored

Emceed by CBS4’s Tom Green, The Hale Irwin Medal recognizes outstanding Colorado golfers who “exhibit competitiveness, resiliency and a proven record of winning.”

Dale Douglass won the 1986 U.S. Senior Open at Scioto by one shot over Gary Player
Dale Douglass won the 1986 U.S. Senior Open at Scioto by one shot over Gary Player.

Two Colorado golf icons fitting that description—Dale Douglass and Jennifer Kupcho—will each receive the inaugural Hale Irwin Medal.

A member of the Colorado Golf and Colorado Sports halls of fame and the University of Colorado Athletic Hall of Fame, the 83-year-old Douglass played on the University of Colorado golf team ten years before Irwin did. He competed on the 1969 Ryder Cup team, won three PGA TOUR events and counts the 1986 U.S. Senior Open among his 11 Senior/Champions Tour victories.

Kupcho—a Westminster native who won the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur in April and the 2018 NCAA Division I Individual National Championship while at Wake Forest University—spent 34 weeks as the No. 1-ranked amateur golfer in the world. Despite missing the first 12 tournaments on the LPGA Tour schedule while finishing her degree, the rookie earned enough points to qualify for this weekend’s season-ending CME Group Tour Championship.

Kupcho after her win at the Augusta National Women's Amateur
Jennifer Kupcho won the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur in April.

The no-cut, 60-player event will take place in Florida, precluding Kupcho’s attendance at The Broadmoor. Her parents, Mike and Janet, will be accepting the medal on her behalf.

In addition, the dinner will provide an opportunity for Colorado clubs to recognize their own 2019 club champions, as well as “legacy” champions, such as the late Joan Birkland, who won 30 Denver Country Club championships.

Individual tickets remain. The $200 cost to attend the dinner includes a Broadmoor screening of the film Loopers: The Caddie’s Long Walk on Friday, Nov. 22nd.  The Broadmoor is offering attendees of the Hale Irwin Dinner a special $159/night room rate for the 22nd and 23rd (not including Taxes or Incidentals).

Proceeds from the event will support the Colorado Golf Foundation‘s initiatives in junior player development, caddie programs and community golf partnerships across the state.


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