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A Night to Remember

CO Golf Hall of Fame inducts Austin, Vlosich, honors 5 other luminaries

by Gary Baines


There seemed to be a little of everything in the way of honorees Sunday night at the 43rd annual Colorado Golf Hall of Fame Dinner at Pinehurst Country Club.

Inducted into the Hall was a woman who's served golf very well, besides having a little game of her own (Christie Austin), along with a respected PGA golf professional with an outstanding playing record (Ron Vlosich).

And receiving awards were some of the biggest philanthropists in Colorado golf (George Solich, and Dave and Gail Liniger), one of the most notable historians of the game in the Centennial State (Dan Hogan), and by far the longest-serving executive director in CWGA history (Robin Jervey).

A crowd of about 190 turned out for the festivities, including roughly two-dozen Colorado Golf Hall of Famers and a few Colorado Sports Hall of Fame inductees: Jack Vickers, Joan Birkland and Will Nicholson Jr., among them.

They honored Austin (above), a former USGA Executive Committee member who became the first female chairperson of the powerful USGA Rules of Golf Committee, and Vlosich, a former Green Gables Country Club head professional and standout player, with their inductions.

As Austin noted in her speech, in words that no doubt go double for Vlosich (left): "Have you ever had something happen in your life so special that you just can't even believe it's happening? Well, this is my something tonight. This is pretty amazing."

Meanwhile, Solich was named Golf Person of the Year after being general chairman of the 2014 BMW Championship, the FedExCup Playoff event at Cherry Hills that was named the PGA Tour Tournament of the Year and that raised a record $3.5 million for the Evans Caddie Scholarship. Jervey was honored for Distinguished Service after spending 22 years at the CWGA helm. The Linigers received a Lifetime Achievement Award as their Santuary course in Sedalia has hosted tournaments that have raised almost $90 million for charity over the years. And Hogan, already a Hall of Famer, was given a similar honor as the Linigers for all the historical work he does for Colorado golf and the Hall of Fame.

Perhaps Dave Liniger spoke for all those in attendance when he said, "We love the spirit of the game."