The Next Level

Class of 2024 Colorado junior players begin making college golf choices official, including more than a half-dozen that are NCAA Div. I-bound

By Gary Baines – 11/10/2023

This week begins a process which will last almost nine months — the National Letter of Intent signing period for college golf.

From Nov. 8, 2023 through Aug. 1, 2024, junior golfers from the graduating class of 2024 can make their choice of college programs official. And many of the top juniors have already signed on the dotted line, including several from Colorado’s ranks.

More than a half-dozen Coloradans are headed for NCAA Division I programs and will begin their college careers next September. And several will be staying close to home, teeing it up for Colorado-based DI teams.

Among those who have formally committed to DI programs so far (this list will be updated):

Maddy Bante of Englewood and St. Mary’s Academy — Notre Dame in Indiana (NCAA Div. I): Bante will follow in the footsteps of fellow Coloradan Becca Huffer, who 15 years ago started playing for Notre Dame en route to winning two Colorado Women’s Opens and competing for a year on the LPGA Tour. Bante has won the last two 3A girls state high school individual titles, becoming the 11th Coloradan to capture at least two such championships. In 2022,Bante was named a Colorado Golf Hall of Fame “Future Famer” after earning the USGA-AJGA Presidents’ Leadership Award, a national honor.

Joey Garofalo of Aurora and Lutheran High School Robert Morris in Pittsburgh (NCAA Div. I): Garolfalo finished 10th individually in the 4A state high school tournament in October.

Talan Gover of Lafayette and Monarch High School — Northern Colorado (NCAA Div. I): This year, Gover tied for first in Colorado-based qualifying for the prestigious IMG Academy Junior World  Championships and placed 10th in the Colorado PGA Junior Invitational.

Logan Hale of Erie is headed to DU.

Logan Hale of Erie and Erie H.S. — Denver (NCAA Div. I): Hale won the girls 4A state high school individual title and was the only Coloradan to qualify for the U.S. Girls’ Junior that was hosted by Eisenhower Golf Club at the Air Force Academy. Hale won the 4A crown by eight strokes individually and led Erie to the state team title for the second consecutive year. Less than a month later, she earned medalist honors in Colorado-based qualifying for the U.S. Girls’ Junior. She recently was named the female Future Famer of 2023 by the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame.

Shae Maiorana of Highlands Ranch and Mountain Vista High School — Northern Colorado (NCAA Div. I) — Maiorana won girls 5A high school regional titles in 2022 and ’23.

Charlie Tucker of Castle Pines and Rock Canyon H.S. — Colorado State (NCAA Div. I): Tucker won two big-time junior titles in Colorado in 2023: the boys championship at the CGA State Junior, and the 5A state high school tournament. In addition, in his final high school tournament, he led his Rock Canyon team to its first boys state team championship.  His individual margin of victory at state was six strokes as he closed with a 67 for a 6-under-par total. He was subsequently named the male Future Famer of 2023 by the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame.

Talen Turnbaugh of Castle Rock and Douglas County H.S. — Southern Utah University (NCAA Div. I): Turnbaugh won a Junior Players Series spring tournament at Boomerang in May and posted a top-20 finish at the Colorado Junior PGA Championship.

Bradley Weinmaster of Brighton and Riverdale Ridge High School — Northern Colorado (NCAA Div. I) — Weinmaster won the Class 4A state high school individual title as a junior at Riverdale Ridge in 2022. This year, he captured a state high school regional title with a score of 63.

Here are other Colorado junior golfers (class of 2024) who have made their college commitments:

Trey Kahrhoff of Castle Rock and Rock Canyon H.S. — Hastings College (Neb.) (NAIA)

Makayla Miller of Frederick and Frederick H.S. — Hastings College (Neb.) (NAIA)

Matai Naqica of Centennial and Columbine H.S. — South Dakota School of Mines (NCAA Div. II)

Jack Newton of Littleton and Mullen H.S. — Oklahoma City University (NAIA)

Coby Puzio of Brighton (Brighton H.S.) — Regis University (NCAA Div. II)

Allison Sanger of Windsor and Windsor H.S. Chadron State (Neb.) (NCAA Div. II)

Emmett Shell of Niwot and Niwot H.S. — Menlo College (Atherton, Calif.) (NAIA)

Leyni Stavola of Thornton (Prospect Ridge H.S.) — Black Hills State University (S.D.) (NCAA Div. II)

Makaela Swanson of Denver (Northfield H.S.) — Black Hills State University (S.D.) (NCAA Div. II)

Brooklyn Tychsen of Berthoud and Berthoud H.S. — Chadron State (Neb.) (NCAA Div. II)

Luke Wolf of Windsor and Fossil Ridge H.S. — Hawaii Pacific (NCAA Div. II)

To provide updates regarding other Coloradans who have signed letters of intent or committed to play college golf, send an email to

Here are out-of-state golfers who have signed letters of intent with Colorado-based schools:

CU Men

— Parker Paxton of Riverton, Wyo., a four-time 3A Wyoming state high school champ — and a qualifier for two U.S. Junior Amateurs and the 2023 U.S. Amateur. He finished second in the 2023 boys Junior America’s Cup and has played a fair amount of competitive junior golf in Colorado. He also was Wyoming’s 2022-23 Gatorate Boys Basketball Player of the Year.

— Zeqian “Michael” Fang of China, a quarterfinalist in the 2023 U.S. Junior Amateur

Air Force Academy Men

— Benjamin Zeiler of San Diego


— Bryant Hernandez of San Marino, Calif.

— Ralf Johan Kivi of Estonia

— Alessandro Trenta of Switzerland and Winona State

DU Men

— Matthew Novak, Mattawan, Mich.

— Ryder Odem, Kirkland, Wash.

Colorado Mesa Men

— Badial Garcia Mendez of Mexico

— Leonardo Lavalle Diaz of Mexico 

CU Women

— Sydney Givens of Austin, Texas

CSU Women

— Jacinda Lee of Camas, Wash.

— Abigail Taylor of England

— Ebba Thalen of Sweden

DU Women

— Raegan Capizzi of Scottsdale, Ariz.

— Maren Farbu of Norway

UNC Women

— Samantha Colombine of Mexico

— Jaci Hartman of Burneyville, Okla.

— India Young of Canada

Colorado Christian Women

— Hannah Martin of Flower Mound, Texas

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. He was inducted into the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame in 2022. He owns and operates