Colorado PGA Section Named Best in America

Colorado Golf In sChools. Graffis
Programs like Golf In Schools have propelled the Colorado Section to its second Herb Graffis Award.

Colorado Receives PGA of America’s Prestigious Herb Graffis Award

For the second time in seven years, the 800-member Colorado PGA Section has received the PGA of America’s prestigious Herb Graffis Award.

Named in honor of journalist Herb Graffis, whose tireless promotion of golf earned him enshrinement into the World Golf Hall of Fame, the award annually singles out one of the 41 PGA of America Sections for extraordinary and exemplary contributions and achievements in the area of player development and growth-of-the-game initiatives on both a local and national level.

“Your Section’s commitment to excellence; devotion to the game of golf; and dedication to the PGA of America is exceptional,” said PGA of America’s Special Awards Committee Chair Randy Hunt.

Responding to the announcement, Colorado President Ty Thompson, PGA, stated, “Every now and again I have to pause and stop to take a moment so I can process all that the Colorado PGA Professionals do to serve our local communities and grow the game of golf.”

Colorado's PGA Junior League has attracted more than 2000 kids, earning a Graffis Award
Colorado’s PGA Junior League has attracted more than 2,000 kids.

Colorado has the best story of all to tell about collaboration by leading the way in teaming up with other state golf organizations. Led by President Thompson, the Colorado PGA has made tremendous strides in player development through dynamic programs geared towards youth development, supporting our military, and diversity and inclusion.

The Section’s Golf in Schools program, a joint effort between the Section and the Colorado Open Golf Foundation begun in 2011, has become a staple in many districts, introducing the game to more than 10,000 school-age kids each year in gym class. The program has become a nationwide model.

Graffis Award for serving 4,000 kids at Open
The Colorado PGA collaborated with the Junior Golf Alliance of Colorado and BirdieBall to serve more than 4,000 kids during this year’s U.S. Senior Open at the Broadmoor.

The Junior Golf Alliance of Colorado—a partnership the Colorado PGA initiated with the Colorado Golf Association and the Colorado Women’s Golf Association—serves as a vehicle in the arena of junior golf in the state of Colorado for parents, kids, coaches and PGA Professionals by streamlining the junior golf process, filling in the voids, further building the junior golf ranks and creating new excitement with four Major Championships. PGA Junior League continues to thrive with more than 132 teams and over 2,000 boys and girls, 13 and under taking part.

Darnell Williams and fiancée Brittany
KEY HOLDERS: Veterans Darnell Williams and fiancée Brittany Berry are flanked by PGA member Stuart Bruening (red shirt) and Dan Bennett and members of Wings of Blue before the July 18th PGA REACH Invitational at The Golf Club at Bear Dance. (Photograph by Kim McHugh)

The Colorado PGA’s PGA HOPE (Helping Our Patriots Everywhere) program has expanded to seven chapters using golf as a rehabilitation tool to help Veterans assimilate back into society. The section hosts the annual Colorado PGA REACH Invitational, awarding a Combat Wounded Veteran a debt-free home through its partnership with the Military Warriors Support Foundation.

disabled golfer
To help our wounded veterans, the Colorado PGA has developed golf rehabilitation programs at Fort Carson and other sites.

The Section has partnered with the U.S. Olympic Committee’s F.L.A.M.E (Finding Leaders Among Minorities Everywhere) to introduce the game to minority college students creating a culture of inclusiveness while demonstrating the benefits of golf as an affordable and accessible game for all abilities, ages and backgrounds.

Diversity and Inclusion
To grow the game, the Colorado PGA Section has developed robust programs to promote diversity and inclusion.

This is just the tip of the iceberg of what the Colorado PGA Professionals are doing day-in and day-out to make a difference in the lives of others through the game of golf at their facilities and in their communities.

A list of all the 2018 PGA of America Award Winners is available here.



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