The Colorado Cup Matches, a mainstay on the Colorado golf schedule every year since 1971, have evolved over time.
Most notably, after the Ryder Cup-style competition between the top amateurs and Colorado PGA professionals in the state was limited to an open division for its first dozen years, it broadened its reach. A senior division was added in 1983 and a women's division in 2002.
But now, the Colorado Cup will undergo changes that make the earlier tweakings pale in comparison.
By agreement of the organizations involved -- the CGA, Colorado PGA and the CWGA -- the event will undergo the following alterations:
-- This year's 47th annual Colorado Cup, which will be held Oct. 17 at The Broadmoor Golf Club's East Course in Colorado Springs, will mark the last time it's conducted on an annual basis. From here on, it will be limited to odd-numbered years -- the years the Colorado PGA doesn't hold Taylor Cup Matches against the Sun Country PGA, based in New Mexico.
-- Instead of being three separate Cups being at stake -- men's open, senior and women -- the Colorado Cup will now be just a single competition.
-- The event also will be streamlined. Instead of each team including a dozen open, a dozen senior and six women players, it will be eight, eight and four, respectively, for each squad.
-- The Colorado Cup, which normally was held in mid-season, will be moved to October. In all likelihood, that will mean fewer -- if any -- college players competing, given that's in the middle of the fall portion of the college schedule. And with college golfers often being among the best players on the open and women's amateur squads, that may be a factor in the overall results.
"I love the changes because let's just go back to everyone working together -- collaboration, one big team," said Dustin Jensen, the CGA's managing director of operations. "It will kind of re-energize (the matches). That was the hope we had: Let's have some fun with it.
"When you get to the tournament you've got the open division ams sitting here, the open professionals on this side, the seniors separate. Let's get everybody together to compete. We started to see that in the Junior Ryder Cup: We pulled the girls in and had a great experience with the girls and boys playing together. We pulled the 10-and-unders in last year to get more kids in. Everybody just enjoys it. I think it will revitalize (the Colorado Cup Matches) a little. It should be kind of fun."
The Colorado PGA and the CWGA second that thought.
"We want to make it more meaningful," CPGA executive director Eddie Ainsworth said earlier this year. "Having it every other year will add more significance -- like the Ryder Cup. And instead of squeezing it in every year for a date in June when everyone is so busy, we can do it at the end of the season."
Said Laura Robinson, executive director of the CWGA: "We are very excited about the format as I think it will be more competitive all around. We will obviously miss the presence of our college players, all of whom helped the women amateurs to win last year. It was a great experience for them to play against the pros, but we look forward to this new format on such a wonderful course as The Broadmoor."
The Colorado Cup Matches, which feature four-ball and singles matches held on the same day, are seen by many as a matter of bragging rights between the pros and the amateurs. Last year marked the first time the amateurs have swept all three divisions, prevailing in the open division 13-5, in the senior division 9.5-8.5, and in the women's division 6-3.
This year will mark a record 13th time the Colorado Cup Matches have been held at The Broadmoor, but the first time since 1989.
Among the players who have competed in the Colorado Cup over the decades are Dow Finsterwald, Steve Jones, Kevin Stadler, Bob Byman, Brandt Jobe and Fred Wampler, all of whom have now won on the PGA Tour and/or PGA Tour Champions.