Colorado Golf Hall of Fame will cap a big year with 50th-anniversary Gala at The Broadmoor, where featured guests include Hale Irwin, Steve Jones, Hollis Stacy and Craig Stadler
By Gary Baines – 10/9/2023
The golf season in Colorado may be mostly over, but one of the biggest golf-related events of the year still awaits us in 2023.
In fact, it figures to be the most-attended Colorado golf event of its kind in several years — and one of the biggest of the last decade.
Following the Century of Golf Gala in 2015 (attended by roughly 1,250 at The Broadmoor) and the Hale Irwin Dinner in 2019 (550), on tap is a golden-anniversary Gala conducted by the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame, which was founded in 1973.
“A Celebration of Excellence” is set for Nov. 18 at Broadmoor Hall in Colorado Springs and the shindig figures to be a very big draw in the Colorado golf community, thanks in part to several very prominent golfers with strong Colorado connections.
The Gala will culminate a memorable 50th-anniversary year for the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame, which opened its new $1.6 million museum at The Broadmoor in April and hosted a well-attended tournament at the five-start resort in July. And now, to cap off this touchstone year for the Hall of Fame, the Gala will be held, appropriately, in the week leading up to Thanksgiving.
“Let’s take advantage of the fact that we’re 50 years in now, that we’ve got this great history and what we’re putting on display at the museum,” said Mark Passey, who serves on the CGHOF board of directors and is one of numerous people who are playing key roles in the 2023 activities. “We can use the Gala to honor (all 148 of the Colorado Golf Hall of Famers) again. Let’s use one more occasion to tell the world about their story and what they did in Colorado golf.
“For me, this is about the history of golf in Colorado and shining a light on those people,” added Passey, who recounted a story about two-time major champion Fuzzy Zoeller going to a college tournament several years ago and none of the competitors knowing who he was. “Let’s not let people easily forget about them. It’s an example of how easy it is to zoom right by these people that during their time were doing amazing things.”
The Gala will also be about celebrating Colorado’s rich golf history and golf around the Centennial State in general.
Among those scheduled to attend the Gala — and participate in a fireside chat that evening — are Colorado Golf Hall of Famers Hale Irwin, Steve Jones and Craig Stadler, along with Hollis Stacy, who started living in the Centennial State part-time in the 1990s. Ever-popular local TV broadcaster Tom Green will emcee the event.
For the record, that fireside chat foursome has earned a collective 13 USGA titles, 41 PGA Tour wins, 18 LPGA Tour victories, nine open-age major championships and 54 PGA Tour Champions triumphs. That rundown includes four U.S. Open victories (three by Irwin, one by Jones), three U.S. Women’s Open wins by Stacy, and a Masters title from Stadler. Irwin and Stacy have been inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame.
“We have identified those folks who have really been the most high profile in golf in Colorado,” said Bob Webster, president of the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame board of directors. “For us to have an opportunity to have a fireside chat with them, I think is going to be enlightening because, honestly, they’re toward the ends of their careers, and this might be a chance for them to reflect back on all that Colorado has meant to them during their golf years.”
As was the case at the Hale Irwin Dinner in 2019, Irwin (left) and emcee Tom Green will participate in a fireside chat at the Nov. 18 Gala, this time with Steve Jones, Hollis Stacy and Craig Stadler also taking part.
Another key part of the Gala will be recognizing the 148 people who have been voted into the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame since 1973. Many of the living inductees will attend the event, as will family members of inductees who have passed away.
The plan is to present the Hall of Famers — at the Museum prior to the Gala — with a medal and ribbon that they’ll wear around their necks throughout a reception and the Gala. They’ll be asked to stand and be recognized during the Gala, and a highlight reel recognizing achievements of some of the inductees — along with other notable events in Colorado golf history — will be played during the Gala.
The hope is that a cross section of Colorado golf will be represented at the November Gala. And representatives of the Hall of Fame have been reaching out across the state to try to make that happen.
“It’s about Colorado golf, not (just) Denver golf,” Passey said.
“It is our intent to honor not only the Famers, but the golfing community by trying to get statewide participation for this event,” Webster added. “The way that we’re doing that is we have asked certain regional representatives to be in touch with country clubs and golf courses — especially those that have been instrumental in getting people inducted into the Hall of Fame. But even beyond that, other clubs. We hope that they will each be putting forward a table for the Gala.”
Also part of the Gala plan is to formally thank the lead contributors that helped make the Hall of Fame Museum a reality — Phil Anschutz, Pat Hamill and George Solich. In addition, the inductees and honorees that will be celebrated in 2024 at the next induction ceremony will be recognized. The Hall of Fame is scheduled to vote on its next class of inductees sometime this fall.
The cost for attending the 50th-anniversary Gala and dinner at The Broadmoor is $600 per person or $5,000 for a table of 10. Sponsorship and VIP opportunities also are available. Special room rates of $199 per night at The Broadmoor (plus taxes and fees) are being offered to attendees for the nights of Nov. 17 and/or 18.
In addition, overnight hotel guests at The Broadmoor that weekend can receive complimentary green fees (cart costs still apply) if they’d like to play the 10 holes of The Broadmoor’s West Course that will be open then (holes 1-6 and 15-18) — weather-permitting.
To register to attend the CGHOF golden anniversary Gala on Nov. 18 — or for more information about the event — CLICK HERE.
About the Writer: Gary Baines has covered golf in Colorado continuously since 1983. He was a sports writer at the Daily Camera newspaper in Boulder, then the sports editor there, and has written regularly for ColoradoGolf.org since 2009. He was inducted into the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame in 2022. He owns and operates ColoradoGolfJournal.com