Colorado Springs mainstay

Colorado Golf Hall of Famer Paul Ransom, longtime PGA head pro at Patty Jewett and Valley Hi golf courses and the first CGA state junior champ, passes away 

By Gary Baines – 4/6/2023

A week prior to the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame celebrating the grand opening of its new museum in his hometown of Colorado Springs, 1999 inductee Paul Ransom passed away on Wednesday at age 88.

Ransom, a longtime mainstay of the Colorado PGA and a fixture in Colorado Springs golf, was a highly regarded club professional, mentor of junior golfers, and a heck of a player in his own right in his younger years.

Indeed, Ransom was the first winner of the CGA Junior Match Play — in 1951. And, competing for Colorado Springs High School the same year, he captured the state high school individual title at Lakewood Country Club, helping CSHS share the team title with Denver East. It was the fourth straight state team championship for Colorado Springs.

Also as a teenager, Ransom caddied for World War II hero and future U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower — as well as future USGA president Judy Bell — at The Broadmoor. And he went to play on a golf scholarship at North Texas State, a program that during the early 1950s featured Don January, who would win the 1967 PGA Championship at Columbine Country Club in Colorado.

But it was as a Colorado Springs-based club professional where Ransom really made his mark — following a stint in the Army and a resumption of his playing career at North Texas State. After 14 years as head pro at Valley Hi (and, before that, at Liberal Country Club in Kansas), he took a similar position in 1977 at Patty Jewett, while simultaneously also overseeing Valley Hi for a time. Patty Jewett was — and is — one of the oldest courses in the western U.S. — and one of the busiest. Ransom would remain at PJ through 2000.

“We’ve had millionaires and people from all walks of life,” he told the Gazette in 1998, when Patty Jewett celebrated its 100th anniversary. “We’re kind of a melting pot. We’re here for the people.”

Ransom earned the Colorado PGA’s top honor — Golf Professional of the Year — in 1989, the same year he was named Junior Golf Leader. Other Section honors he garnered were the Warren Smith Award (special contributions to the game of golf, the Colorado Section, junior golf and to his facility) in 1997, the Youth Player Development Award (just the second recipient) in 1989 and the Noble Chalfant Award  (distinguished service to the Colorado PGA) in 2010.

Tom Connell, another Colorado Golf Hall of Famer, worked under Ransom in Connell’s first post-college job — as an assistant pro at Valley Hi from 1971-73.

“It was quite a place to work and Paul made it fun. Our motto was ‘work hard and play hard,'” Connell said in an email. “He was a great professional who understood how to make a golf operation work. I probably learned more about hard work and being aware of the ‘big picture’ from Paul than any other professional I worked for in subsequent years.”

In 2009, the Colorado Springs Sports Hall of Fame gave Ransom its F. Don Miller Award. It said Ransom “was a driving force in the creation of Pikes Peak Junior Golf, which has opened the doors to the sport for thousands of kids to play and move on to compete at every level.” Ransom, co-founder of Pikes Peak Junior Golf with Dow Finsterwald and Lars Larsen, from 1968-89 served as president of PPJG, which has produced scholarships and opportunities for countless junior golfers in the area.

In lieu of flowers, people can make contributions in memory of Ransom, made payable to: Evans Scholarship Foundation, 2501 Patriot Boulevard, Glenview, IL 60026 and indicate the gift is for the Eisenhower/Evans Chapter in memory of Paul Ransom. Online donations can be made at

About the Author: Gary Baines owns and operates