Looking Ahead

Highlights, additions and changes that await in 2024 for CGA championships and Colorado-based USGA qualifiers

By Gary Baines – 3/19/2024

The CGA championship and Colorado-based USGA qualifying season doesn’t begin until mid-spring, but tournament registration began on Friday. That makes this a good time to note the highlights and what’s new and different for these events in 2024.

For Starters

— The men’s CGA championship season will start May 3-5 with the Four-Ball at Todd Creek and Legacy Ridge, with the latter being the lone site on the final day after a cut to the low 40 teams.

— The first women’s CGA championship is also a team event — the Mashie May 22-24 at Thorncreek and Riverdale Knolls, with the latter being the only course for the final day of the better-ball match play event.

New and Different

— More than a decade ago, the CGA added a new championship on the men’s side, the CGA Mid-Amateur Match Play for contestants 25 and older. The event was held each year from 2012 through ’15, with Jon Lindstrom winning the inaugural version and Michael Harrington claiming the title twice. But the tournament field proved difficult to fill, so it was discontinued. 

But now, with a few tweaks, the championship is back — on sort of a trial basis — with this year’s event concluding with the semifinals and finals at TPC Colorado in Berthoud on Sept. 25. But the 2024 championship, unlike the previous ones, will be a season-long affair, with the single-elimination match play rounds of 32, 16 and 8 being held periodically starting May 15, at courses of the choosing of the participating players.

The CGA Mid-Amateur, a stroke-play event, has been held continuously since 1987 and this year is scheduled for October. 4-6 at The Fox Hill Club in Longmont.

— Three CGA championship competitions will be held simultaneously at the same site as King’s Deer in Monument will host the CGA Women’s Senior Match Play, Women’s Net Match Play and the men’s Super Senior Match Play July 8-11.

Open-Age CGA ‘Majors’

For the first time since at least 1976 — and very possibly ever (records aren’t complete) — Eisenhower Golf Club at the Air Force Academy will host the CGA Amateur, which along with the Match Play make up the CGA’s open-age majors for men. This year’s CGA Am is set for Aug. 1-4 at Eisenhower’s Blue Course, which last year hosted the U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship. Since 1969, it’s also been the site of college golf’s Gene Miranda Falcon Invitational.

— Meanwhile, the two oldest CGA championships — the Match Play (started in 1901) and the Women’s Match Play (first played in 1916) — will continue to be held side by side, as has been the case in recent years. The quarterfinals through the finals of the two events are scheduled for June 13-14 at Lakewood Country Club. It will be the first Match Play at Lakewood CC since 1977, when Ken Krieger claimed the title. The last time the CGA Women’s Match Play was held at Lakewood CC was 1972, when current Colorado Golf Hall of Famer Carol Flenniken prevailed for the third of her four victories in the championship.

Pod play — and the men’s single-elimination round of 16 — for both the Match Play and the Women’s Match Play will be held at CGA-owned CommonGround Golf Course in Aurora June 9-11. The clubhouse at CommonGround recently underwent a major renovation.

— As for the CGA Women’s Stroke Play — along with the Women’s Mid-Amateur Stroke Play — it’s scheduled for July 17-19 at The Olde Course at Loveland, which also has a newly renovated clubhouse. The course last hosted the Women’s Stroke Play in 1988. Leigha Devine of Ptarmigan Country Club has won four of the last six women’s CGA open-age majors.

Notable Regarding Other CGA Tournaments

— RainDance National, the course in Windsor that opened in 2022 and hosted the CGA Amateur last year, is back on the CGA championship schedule this summer. The CGA Senior Match Play is set for RainDance June 24-28.

— The CGA Parent-Child — once known as the Father-Son — has long been a late-spring mainstay at mountain venues. But that will change this year. 

With mountain courses still rounding into shape in early June, and sometimes having limited staff at that time of year, it’s become increasingly difficult to find host sites that time of year. So this year’s Parent-Child will move to the fall, with Ironbridge in Glenwood Springs hosting the event Oct. 12-13.

— For the third year, the new-look CGA State Junior Championship will be held at CGA-owned CommonGround Golf Course. The event, similar to many USGA championships in that it starts with two rounds of stroke play followed by single-elimination match play, is scheduled for June 23-27 for open-age junior competitors. Then the younger divisions (9U, 11U and 13U) tee it up at CommonGround July 23-24.

— The Colorado Cup matches — between the top amateurs from the CGA and the pros from the Colorado PGA — haven’t been held since 2021. But it’s hoped that the matches will return this fall. A site for the competition hasn’t been announced, but Oct. 9 has been set as the tentative date. The Colorado Cup matches date back to 1971.

To view the entire 2024 CGA championship schedule, CLICK HERE.

USGA Qualifiers for Opens

— As for USGA qualifiers in Colorado, things start with an event at which spots will be at stake for arguably the most prestigious women’s golf championship in the world as the 36-hole U.S. Women’s Open qualifier is set for April 30 at Walnut Creek Golf Preserve in Westminster. Qualifiers at this Colorado-based event in the last decade include now-LPGA Tour winners Jennifer Kupcho, Celine Boutier and Matilda Castren.

— On the men’s side of USGA qualifying, things start with three local qualifiers for the U.S. Open — April 30 at Collindale, May 7 at Walnut Creek and May 9 at Broadlands — but that’s just the first of two stages of qualifying for that national championship. And — since 2010 — there hasn’t been a U.S. Open final qualifying tournament held in Colorado.

— Arguably the men’s single-day USGA qualifier in Colorado with the most at stake is the U.S. Senior Open qualifying, which this year is set for June 5 at The Broadmoor’s East Course in Colorado Springs. A year from now (specifically June 26-29, 2025), that same course will host the U.S. Senior Open itself for the third time in the 21st century, having previously done so in 2008 and ’18.

— As for the U.S. Senior Women’s Open — won two years ago by Colorado Golf Hall of Famer Jill McGill — that Colorado-based qualifier will be June 4 at CommonGround.

On the Amateur Side …

— Meanwhile, regarding the amateur side of things in USGA qualifiers, a big change will take place in 2024, a year after the U.S. Amateur was held at Cherry Hills Country Club south of Denver. Starting this year, qualifying for the U.S. Am will be a two-stage affair — like the U.S. Open — instead of one. In Colorado,  a local qualifier is scheduled for July 2 at Thorncreek, while the final qualifier is set for July 18 at Columbine Country Club, site of the 1967 PGA Championship.

For the complete Colorado-based USGA qualifying schedule, 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 since 2009. The University of Colorado Evans Scholar alum was inducted into the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame in 2022. He owns and operates