History of the Colorado PGA
Noble Chalfant, then President of the Colorado Chapter of the Rocky Mountain Section PGA, was instrumental in handling the formal Charter application and in pursuing the necessary formalities leading to the separation of the Chapter from the Rocky Mountain Section. At that time, Colorado was part of The PGA's Rocky Mountain Division that ranged from Southern Canada to Northern Mexico. Noble's ability to cause The PGA to make Colorado a separate entity was considered a major achievement for Colorado's golf professionals.
The Colorado Section PGA was founded in 1957 as the 31st Section of the Professional Golfers’ Association of America. The Section originally had 30 members. The territorial boundaries of the Section included the State of Colorado and the Eastern one-half of the State of Wyoming (excluding Sheridan and Riverton).
In 1964, under the direction of Warren Smith, Section President, the first Executive Committee was established. The Executive Committee was a nine-man Board of Directors, one third of whom was elected each year, and was responsible for conducting the affairs of the Section.
In 1971, in conjunction with the Colorado Golf Association, the position of Executive Director was created, with the responsibility to operate the affairs of the Colorado Section within the guidelines established by the Section Executive Committee and by the PGA constitution. Jerry King was the first ED assigned to the position.
When Jerry resigned in 1973 to accept a head professional position, a Selection Committee consisting of Colorado PGA and Colorado Golf Association representatives was appointed to designate his successor. Mryan Craig, former Assistant Golf Professional at Aurora Hills Golf Course, and then Head Professional at South Suburban Golf Course, was selected to the position of Executive Director.
At this time the membership had grown to 67 Members and 71 Apprentices, (138 in total).
The year 1978 also marked two milestones in the Section’s history. First, the West Chapter of the Section was established. Secondly, the PGA Section and the Colorado Golf Association agreed to discontinue the combined office format, which had been in operation since 1971.
By 1987, the total number of members rose to 337. This number represented 214 Members and 123 Apprentices. During that same period the PGA of America’s total membership increased from 12,000 to 15,300 members.
As the Section grew, so did its fiscal responsibilities. Around this time the Executive Committee and membership began to assess the financial standing of the Section stand focused on long-range financial goals. In 1986 the membership approved the purchase of a building that the Section Office would call home until , in Aurora, Colorado. Not only was this a significant step in preserving the financial ability of the Section, Colorado one of the few PGA Sections to own their own office building.
By 1994 the membership had experienced an increase in membership to 472, made up of 329 Class A members, and 143 Apprentices. Myran Craig retired in 1995, and his vacancy was filled by Scott Wellington, Director of Marketing for the Southern California PGA Section.
As the game itself continued to grow, so did the Colorado Section. In 2004, Scott Wellington moved on to become the Tournament Director at Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill Invitational. The job of Executive Director was filled by then Executive Director of the Rocky Mountain Section PGA, Darrel Bock. Bock spent 3 ½ years in his position before moving on to become the Director of Section Affairs for the PGA of America. The next Executive Director would come from within the Section as Eddie Ainsworth, former General Manager at the Eisenhower Golf Club, stepped into the role as Executive Director in 2008, a position he still holds.
In 2011 the Colorado Section has 800 members - 525 Class A members, and 225 Apprentices. There are approximately 250 golf courses employing PGA members in the Section. The only change in geographical boundaries of the Section since 1957 has been the addition of the cities of Spearfish and Rapid City, South Dakota.