Legacy event on September 29 celebrates two Colorado greats
On September 29, The First Tee of Pikes Peak will honor Hale Irwin and Ann Finke for their contributions to golf and the Colorado Springs golf community.
The 2015 Legacy Event, which will take place at The First Tee of Pikes Peak Learning Center, marks the second year in which the Colorado Springs chapter has staged this celebration.
Last year's Legacy Event honored 1958 PGA Championship winner Dow Finsterwald and former USGA President Judy Bell—both Colorado Springs residents. Finsterwald was also the head PGA professional at The Broadmoor for 30 years.
Like Bell, Hale Irwin's achievements have earned him enshrinement in the World Golf Hall of Fame. The Missouri native graduated from Boulder High School and attended the University of Colorado Boulder. Before beginning his brilliant professional career, he won three consecutive state stroke play championships and the 1967 individual NCAA Division I Men's Golf Championship.
Irwin's nearly half-century as a professional has resulted in 87 wins, including three U.S. Open victories (the most recent coming in 1990 at the age of 45) and a record 45 Champions Tour victories.
The values and ambitions that were instilled in him as a child and young adult have provided him with the knowledge and character to be a loving husband, supportive father and a grandchild's number-one fan.
“There is nothing more important to me than my family, not any U.S. Open win, Ryder Cup victory, nor any other thing in my professional life,” he says. “Without the love and support of my family there really would not be the success that I have enjoyed.”
When The First Tee of Pikes Peak launched in the summer of 2013, Irwin was recognized as the Honorary Chairman for the chapter. He is also involved with The First Tee of Phoenix. His contributions have led both chapters to great success.
Director of Golf Instruction at the Country Club of Colorado at Cheyenne Mountain Resort, Finke has served for 30 years as a member of the PGA of America.
Born in Scottsbluff, Nebraska to a family of avid golfers, Finke was taught to play at an early age by her grandmother and went on to earn a golf scholarship—becoming the first female at her high school to receive an athletic scholarship. She played college golf at both the University of New Mexico and the University of Nebraska.
She became a full PGA member in 1983, and two years later joined the Country Club of Colorado, where she began her career in golf instruction. She has taught many gifted players over the years, including golfer Tom Glissmeyer, who in 2003 became the youngest player ever to qualify for a U.S. Open at the age of 16.
Ann's commitment to helping young people learn the game through her lessons and work with the Pikes Peak Junior Association earned her the PGA Junior Golf Leader Award in 2010.
“It was truly my love for kids and the enjoyment that I get working with children that provided the motivation to pursue teaching golf on a full-time basis,” she says.