Howe, a junior star and former LPGA Tour player, earns enshrinement.
For the second time in the last three years, the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame will induct only one new member at its 47th Annual Induction Awards Dinner next June.
That sole member of the class of 2019 will be Lauren Howe, a highly decorated junior player who competed for 13 years on the LPGA Tour before becoming a successful golf instructor.
Howe moved to Colorado Springs in 1973 at the age of 14, a year after becoming the youngest winner of the San Francisco Women’s City Championship at Harding Park. With her father, Winston Howe, as the first head PGA golf professional at the Country Club of Colorado, Lauren soon found herself playing alongside Colorado Golf Hall of Famers Judy Bell, Barbara McIntyre and Dow Finsterwald—all of whom wrote letters of recommendation to the Hall of Fame on her behalf.
Howe also found herself playing #1 on the St. Mary’s High School boys’ golf team for three years, during which time she won the 1974 Colorado Girls State Match Play, 1975 Colorado Women’s Golf Association’s Stroke Play, 1976 Mexico Women’s National Amateur and stroke-play medalist at the USGA Junior Girls Championship.
She also won the Colorado Sports Woman of the Year, Colorado Junior Golfer of the Year and was named a High School All-American.
At the age of 16, Howe qualified for the U.S. Women’s Open Championship and made the cut at Atlantic City Country Club. Determined to become a professional golfer, she graduated high school a year early in order to season her game collegiately at the University of Tulsa, where she played alongside Nancy Lopez.
After a year in which she won the Women’s Western Amateur Championship, Howe left Tulsa and became the youngest player to win the LPGA Qualifying School. She would go on to earn
$236,084 in an LPGA Tour career highlighted by a victory in the 1983 Mayflower Classic at the Country Club of Indianapolis and a playoff loss to Amy Alcott in the Mazda Hall of Fame Championship in 1986—her best season on the tour, with five top-10 finishes and nearly $90,000 in earnings.
In 1991, Howe dedicated herself to teaching golf full-time. After becoming certified in Neurolinguistic Programming and Neurotic-Associative conditioning, she created the short- and mental-game program called the Scoring Tools Workshop. She also taught at the World Golf Village in St. Augustine, Florida, between 2003 and 2008, and three years ago, she co-founded GREAT Girls & Golf—a nonprofit that promotes excellence in golf and in life and stages six-week courses in Denver and Colorado Springs to prepare high-school girls for the golf season. She is also currently an instructor at the Hale Irwin Elite Program at CommonGround Golf Course in Aurora.
As it does every year, the Colorado Hall of Fame will honor other individuals….
Distinguished Service: Barry Kendall and Fred Dickman
The Golf course superintendents, respectively, of Green Valley Ranch Golf Club and The Broadmoor will receive the Distinguished Service Award for their heroic efforts in restoring their courses before major championships. In the case of The Broadmoor, a devastating hailstorm hit two weeks before the U.S. Senior Open, but you’d never know it from the conditions during the event; at Green Valley Ranch, torrential rain, hail and winds forced the cancellation of the scheduled first round of the CoBank Colorado Open, but around-the-clock work of Kendall’s crew allowed the event—shortened to 54 holes—to commence without a hitch.
Lifetime Achievement: Mark and Lynn Cramer
Over the course of 25 years, the Cramers have owned and operated the Denver Golf Expo, transforming it from a quaint trade show to the annual kickoff to the golf season that draws hundreds of vendors and more than 10,000 people
Golf Person of the Year: Jennifer Kupcho
For the second time in three years, the Westminster native left no doubt she should be the CGHOF’s Person of the Year. As a junior at Wake Forest University, she won the NCAA Division I championship and played on victorious Curtis Cup, Palmer Cup and World Amateur Team Golf Championship teams. She also won the Mark H. McCormack Medal as the No. 1-ranked player in the 2018 World Amateur Golf Ranking—a position she still holds.
Future Famers: Dillon Stewart and Lauren Lehigh
A senior at Fossil Ridge High School in Fort Collins, Stewart not only earned medalist honors in the Junior Americas Cup, he also led Team Colorado to its first victory in the event’s 45-year history. He accomplished a similar feat at this year’s 5A High-School Championship, winning the individual title and carrying Fossil Ridge to its first-ever team championship. The future Oklahoma State Cowboy notched titles in two AJGA events—the Hale Irwin Junior and the AJGA Junior at Big Sky.
Lauren Lehigh, a Loveland High senior who’ll be teeing it up for the University of New Mexico Lobos next year, won three JGAC events, including one major: the Colorado Junior Match Play. She finished runner-up as the defending champion in the 4A girls high school tournament last spring, and was recently named one of 12 girls worldwide to be named to the Transamerica Scholastic Junior All-America Team by the AJGA.