20 YEARS AND COUNTING CAG BOLDLY LOOKS AHEAD
Twenty Aprils ago, 26-year-old Tiger Woods, at the height of his powers, won his third Masters. It represented his seventh major, and most of the golf world thought it was only a matter of time before Tiger would eclipse Jack Nicklaus’ record of six green jackets and 18 majors.
Colorado AvidGolfer premiered that same month. A competitor, speaking in the Denver Business Journal, said the magazine had “not a chance” of surviving. “The fact of the matter is there’s just no way.”
Way. Time tends to make fools of people. Tiger still trails Jack, and this is the 175th issue of Colorado AvidGolfer since that first one appeared 20 years ago.
Twenty years marks a period of such significance that it warrants its own name—a score. Immortalized in Biblical psalms and the Gettysburg Address, score derives from the vigesimal numerical system (as opposed to our 10-based decimal numerical system) used in ancient times. In Europe, shepherds counting their flocks would cut—or score—a notch on their crooks for every 20 head of sheep.
As we know, along the Scottish coasts, when the shepherds finished their tallies, they’d use those same crooks to knock pebbles into holes along the linksland, creating a nascent form of the game we now know as golf.
Scoring is essential to golf. No other sport cherishes the scorecard more. Sign an incorrect one and you’ll either find yourself DQ’d or losing in a playoff at the 1968 Masters when you really won the event outright by a stroke.
As you can see from the numerical highlight reel from the following pages, we’ve learned how to score—and we plan to continue doing it.
In 2011, CAG looked prescient when Colorado State alumnus Martin Laird, appeared on the cover of our April issue the same week he won the Arnold Palmer Invitational, his second PGA TOUR victory.
An April 2020 cover feature on Coloradan Shane Bertsch foreshadowed his first PGA TOUR Champions victory that August in the Charles Schwab Series at Bass Pro Shops Big Cedar Lodge at Buffalo Ridge in Branson, Mo.
Colorado AvidGolfer has won 25 International Network of Golf Media Awards across ten categories (including best overall publication in 2017).
CAG covers have featured each of the “Big Three”—Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player—as well as Billy Casper, who wrote a book entitled The Big Three and Me.
The Colorado PGA Section has twice honored both President/Publisher Allen Walters (President’s Award) and Todd Phipers Media Award) and Founding Editor Jon Rizzi (two Todd Phipers Media Awards)
The Colorado Open Golf Foundation has presented CAG with two Ralph Moore Journalism Awards (Jon Rizzi) and two Robert M. Kirchner Awards (Allen Walters and Rizzi).
Since opening in Berthoud in 2018, TPC Colorado has become a regular stop on the Korn Ferry Tour, which has held three championships on the 7,991-yard layout and named the event its 2021 Tournament of the Year.
The USGA has contested seven championships in Colorado since 2002: The 2005 and 2011 U.S. Women’s Opens (Cherry Hills and The Broadmoor); 2006 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links (Walking Stick); 2008 and 2018 U.S Senior Opens (The Broadmoor); 2008 Men’s Amateur Public Links (Murphy Creek); 2012 U.S. Amateur (Cherry Hills); and the 2019 U.S. Mid-Amateur (Colorado Golf Club).
Since ’02, CAG has reported on 38 Colorado courses that have opened and 12 that have closed. During a period of nationwide contraction in golf courses, the net gain of 26 largely bucked the trend.
Starting with John Elway in June 2002, CAG has featured 18 current (or former) players and coaches from the Denver Broncos on its covers.
For 20 years the magazine has covered GOLFTEC, the Colorado-headquartered company whose technology-based instruction company has forever revolutionized the way the game is taught, analyzed and equipped. From its start in the basement of Cherry Hills Country Club, GOLFTEC now has more than 200 centers around the world.
Since 2015, CAG has published six “15th Club” issues—including the one with 2017’s controversial “Anatomy of a Golfer” cover—primarily focused on golf fitness. Along with swing data technology, golf-specific athletic training has redefined the sport over the last two decades.
Over the course of two decades, people have purchased more than 100,000 Colorado AvidGolfer Golf Passports, saving themselves millions of dollars as they help golf courses fill unused tee-time inventory.
The PGA TOUR has come to Colorado six times since 2002, five of them during The International, an annual event at Castle Pines Golf Club that would cease after 2006 version, and the 2014 BMW Championship at Cherry Hills Country Club, won by Billy Horschel.
Denver isn’t Hollywood, but actors Robert Wagner, Kevin Costner, Don Cheadle and Gary Sinise, musician Wesley Schultz of the Lumineers and social-media sensation Paige Spirinac have all showed their Colorado pride on our covers.
Colorado AvidGolfer has helped charitable organizations raise more than $300,000 through such events as Corporate Cup, Tournament Series, Mountain Golf Experience and Wheels of Dreams.
First played at Red Sky Golf Club before moving down the hill to The Club at Ravenna in 2019 and The Country Club at Castle Pines in 2021, CAG’s Corporate Cup and Schomp BMW Cup have combined an elite golf experience with charitable causes for 17 years.
The same number of holes on a course equals the number of years of our Tournament Series, a sequence of three to four tournaments held at a different Front Range course every June, July and August.
In 2003, Colorado AvidGolfer instituted the honors prosaically known as “The Best in Colorado Golf” until rechristening them in 2013 as the CAGGY Awards. Every Spring issue, we present the results culled from thousands of online votes in dozens of categories. To complement the top three readers’ choices, we always include staff picks.
Golf Passport members have played more than 570,000 rounds of golf using their Golf Passport.
Colorado Golf Club’s architectural pedigree and tournament worthiness has earned national attention since it opened in Parker in 2006. Hosting three major tournaments—the 2010 Senior PGA Championship, 2013 Solheim Cup and 2019 U.S. Mid-Amateur—has only burnished its reputation.
Ranked as high as 57th in the world by Golf magazine, Ballyneal Golf Club—a rugged, rippling Tom Doak masterpiece near the Nebraska line—has garnered plaudits in these pages since before it opened in 2006.
Colorado AvidGolfer was the presenting sponsor of the Colorado Open in 2002. After the cancellation of the 2003 Open and its subsequent purchase by Oakwood Homes’ Pat Hamill, the event, now title-sponsored by Inspirato, has become the richest state open in the U.S. CAG has remained a sponsor and produced a championship guide the last 17 years.
Any conversation about the future of Colorado golf must include the most famous golfer to come out of Colorado since Hale Irwin—Jennifer Kupcho. The 2018 NCAA National Women’s Champion and winner of the 2019 Augusta National Women’s Amateur and 2020 Colorado Women’s Open has one CAG cover to her credit. For now.
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