Talking Points

Revisiting some of the most notable quotables in Colorado golf in 2017

by Gary Baines - 12/28/2017

Kids say the darnedest things. So do adults -- and just about anyone affiliated with golf.

We've certainly found that to be the case in many years of covering the sport. And 2017 definitely was no exception.

Each December we go back through the year to compile some of the more notable quotables in Colorado golf, whether they be funny, insightful, profound, memorable or some combination thereof.

Here are our selections for 2017:

-- Wyndham Clark, who grew up in Colorado, after earning a Tour card through Q-school, via Twitter:

"Officially have a job!"

-- CGA executive director Ed Mate, on working alongside former CGA staffers Thomas Pagel and Pete Lis on the USGA Rules of Golf Committee:

"On a personal level, I take great pride in that. For a long time, Colorado has had strong representation with the USGA. And it's nice because you can be candid with friends."

-- Peter Evans, one of the caddies on a full tuition and housing Evans Scholarship at the University of Colorado:

"It was a dream of Chick Evans. He believed in a bunch of poor caddies -- and it turned out so well."

-- Coloradan Jim Knous after Monday qualifying for the Waste Management Phoenix Open on the PGA Tour:

"It's going to be incredible. My college buddies and I ... we all come down here and pile on 16 (the famously raucous par-3 at TPC Scottsdale), and get there super early and go watch and get rowdy. ... To be on the other side, actually hitting shots, is going to be wild. I've yelled at my fair share of golfers on No. 16, and now I'm going to be the guy getting yelled at."

-- Mark Cramer, owner and operator of the Denver Golf Expo, on the 2017 show drawing 9,136 people, the most since 2014:

"It feels great. I'm very happy the number got over 9,000. When I opened the last cash box and (exceeded 9,000), I let out a huge primal scream."

-- Sarah Hirshland, senior managing director of business affairs for the USGA, speaking at the G4 Summit in Colorado about the changing business of golf:

"I genuinely believe -- and I'll go to my grave saying -- that we are part of a moment in time in a sport that has hundreds of years of history and will survive for hundreds of years beyond all of us. I hope everybody feels as privileged to be a part of this as I do because at some point they will look back and say that was a decade-ish where the golf world changed and evolved, and it's a really fun thing to be a part of. I hope all of you appreciate that. You may not yet, but one day I know we all will."

-- Mate, after the USGA and R&A announced a major set of proposed changes to the Rules of Golf. Mate serves on the USGA Rules of Golf Committee:

"It's exciting to finally have the duct tape off my mouth because I've been sworn to secrecy the last two years."

-- Colorado Open Golf Foundation CEO Kevin Laura on the announcement that the first prize for the CoBank Colorado Women's Open was more than quadrupling and the overall purse doubling:

"We're very excited that we're a big girls' game now."

-- Colorado Golf Hall of Famer Alan Abrams, the president of the Junior Golf Alliance of Colorado, after receiving a $10,000 check for the organization from the CWGA:

"Our beginning year we were hoping to shoot, using a golf analogy, 1 or 2 over par. But we had an incredible sub-par round and ended up winning the tournament."

-- CWGA executive director Laura Robinson, on 2016 Volunteer of the Year Vivian Heggie:

"Vivian is the most dedicated, passionate, enthusiastic and nutsy person. She stayed out at last year's U.S. Women's Open qualifier for more than 10 hours in the rain and cold. We kept trying to rescue her. She is there when we ask her to be -- helping the golfers and making sure everyone has a great experience."

--- CGA president Joe McCleary after a training session for the Solich Caddie & Leadership Academy at CommonGround Golf Course:

"The way I look at CommonGround is it's a lab for a lot of different programs related to golf, and this is one of them. We also have a chapter down at Meridian and we're now into Grand Junction. And the model has been used for other places around the country. How can anyone argue with what we're doing? I think it's awesome, and I love being a part of it."

-- Clark on winning the Pac-12 Conference Championship in his home state at Boulder Country Club:

"It's probably the best win of my career and it couldn't have been in a better spot, playing at home in front of friends and family, which to me was the coolest part, and also winning a team championship. It's pretty awesome. I've done a lot of preparation to get to this moment. I've thought about it, dreamed about it. Sometimes it's a little surreal when it happens."

--- University of Oregon coach -- and former college teammate of Tiger Woods -- Casey Martin, on Clark, one of his players:

"Wyndham has just been a monster all year. He's only had a couple of over-par rounds all year. He came home (to Colorado for the Pac-12 tournament) with all the pressure here and played beautifully. He's a grinder and I love him."
-- CU men's golf coach Roy Edwards, asked who helped the clear the Boulder Country Club course of snow (left) to make it playable for the final round of the Pac-12 Conference Championship:

"Anybody who was breathing that had a shovel."

-- Robinson, on being part of a Colorado golf contigent participating in the Colorado Golf Alliance Day at the Capitol, where golf administrators met with state representatives and senators:

"(The lawmakers) were getting to know the golf industry on a personal level. They were able to ask us questions and we answered, but they got to meet us -- and that was valuable. It's also valuable that we get to debunk a lot of the myths that some people have about the golf industry. They think that we use water (excessively), we waste resources, we pollute through chemicals, that we are inaccessible. I hope what we shared today through all the literature and the posters was that we are actually a good member of the community. If we even educated two or three people today, it was successful."

-- Doug Moore, who teamed with Raymond Kelley and won the CGA Senior Four-Ball after a day that featured rain, cold, snow and finally sunshine:

"I looked at (the three days) like a triathlon. We got out of the pool and we were doing well. We got off the bike and we were still leading. It's like, 'OK, we've got to go run a marathon -- and it was going to be a marathon in bad weather.'"

-- Keoni Johnson, a participant in a Golf in Schools field trip at CommonGround Gol Course:

"It was the best. I went to this mini-golf place and (after that) I always wanted to go golfing." Asked what he learned from Golf in Schools and the field trip, Johnson responded, "How to hold the golfing stick properly and how to hit the ball properly because if you hit it wrong, it's going to hit somebody in the head. And watch out for the head part because if it hits somebody's head, you have to call 9-1-1."

-- Mate, on the redesign of Denver's City Park Golf Course so that the site can include a stormwater detention area:

"It's bittersweet. It's where I grew up playing. With the nostalgia and all that, obviously it's hard to see (the existing course) go away. But you have to be realistic. There's a way to transform public property that incorporates very-much-needed (public safety-related changes) and modernizes the course like at (CGA-owned and operated) CommonGround. It's sad to see the old course go, but I'm glad to see it used for the greater good of the community. If it was becoming a parking lot or a high-rise, it would be a different matter, but it's staying a golf course."

-- Valor Christian boys golf coach Jason Preeo after he joined three of his former players in advancing to the final stage of U.S. Open Qualifying:

"I've got to keep up with those (former Valor) guys. We've had three of them get through, so I couldn't let them show me up today."

-- Westminster's Jennifer Kupcho, on qualifying for the U.S. Women's Open two days after losing a late lead and finishing second at the NCAA Championship Finals:

"I have to get over it at some point. It's definitely a little hard to sleep at night, just realizing I was so close. But I'm going to the Open so ... Open or win the national championship? Both would have been nice, but the Open is still cool."

-- Jeff Gallagher, after winning the CoBank Colorado Senior Open, on almost missing the registration deadline for the tournament:

"I'm good friends with Tom Krystyn, who lives here, and we were on the phone. I'm like, 'Dang, that reminds me, I've got to register for the tournament.' I think I did it about two hours before the deadline, and I'm sure glad I did. I nearly air-balled it."

-- World Golf Hall of Famer Hale Irwin, who grew up in Boulder, after conducting a clinic for juniors prior to the AJGA Hale Irwin Colorado Junior, almost 50 years exactly after winning an NCAA title as a University of Colorado golfer:

"I'm very proud that it kind of put Colorado golf on the map, so to speak. I don't look at it as boastful. I look at it to learn from it: use that (so) maybe these kids can learn from an example that you don't have to live in Florida, you don't have to live in Arizona, you don't have to live in California to have golf and be successful at it. It can come from anywhere."

-- Nick Nosewicz, on winning the CGA Parent/Child with father Lenny a year after the death of Nick's grandfather Ed, a Colorado Golf Hall of Famer:

"If it wasn't for grandpa, neither of us would have played golf. If if wasn't for grandpa, I wouldn't have dad. So the whole tournament was pretty special. Honestly, I think the only reason we came up here was because of what happened last year, losing grandpa, and trying to continue the Nosewicz legacy. At a state level, that's cool."

-- Colorado Golf Hall of Famer Janet Moore, after teaming up with Susie Roh to win her record eighth CWGA Mashie Championship. Moore has now won Mashie titles with three different partners (Christie Austin, daughter Sarah, and Roh):

“The strength of my game in Mashies is picking great partners. And I did that really well this time."

-- Colorado Golf Hall of Famer Brandt Jobe, on winning his first PGA Tour-sanctioned event ever by claiming the title in the PGA Tour Champions' Principal Charity Classic in Des Moines, Iowa:

Winning "is huge. I've been knocking on that door a long time. ... To finally get a win means a lot. It's hard. You're out here to win, and I haven't done as good of a job as I would have liked. This is nice. It's a little bit of a relief."

-- Kupcho, a two-time U.S. Women's Open qualifier, after winning her third consecutive CWGA Stroke Play title:

"It's exciting to come out of Colorado and have everyone be super supportive of me. That's probably a bigger deal than winning -- just to know that everyone is behind me when I'm out competing on a national level."

-- Colorado Golf Hall of Famer Kim Eaton, in a year in which she won her 24th CWGA championship, leaving her one shy of the record held by Carol Flenniken:

"I'm doing it," Eaton said of a full-bore pursuit of Flenniken's mark. "I'm going to keep coming back. That's my goal now."

-- LPGA Tour standout Lexi Thompson, at a First Tee kids exhibition in Denver, on the growth of golf among girls in her lifetime:

"It's amazing. That's what we want. We want to see little girls pick up a club early and get involved in the game because it is an amazing sport. You learn a lot about yourself. We want to grow the game, so it's great to see. The thing I've noticed is the number of little girls wearing the program shirts or hats that are out following us. There's so many little girls out following us and that's what we want to see. We want to see smiles on their faces when we sign something for them or are giving them high-fives between holes. Knowing that they play the game as well, and we have an impact on that, it means the world to us."

-- Russ Miller, the PGA director of golf at The Broadmoor, which will host the 2018 U.S. Senior Open, the club's eighth USGA championship:

"It gets easier (with the past experience), but there's still so many things to do before the time comes. It's like taking a test in college. You kind of know how to prepare, but you still have to study and do all the things beforehand. We always try to get better and you can always learn."

-- Liz Breed of Waynesboro, Pa., on winning the CoBank Colorado Women's Open and the $50,000 first prize:

"I don't think it's set in yet. Call me in about two hours and I'll probably be passed out in the street somewhere. This is probably the most proud I've ever been. I mean, 50 grand, that changes my life. That doesn't just change my year, that changes my career."

-- George Solich, CU Evans Scholar alum and the namesake (with brother Duffy) of the Solich Caddie & Leadership Academy at CommonGround Golf Course:

"What I really love about CommonGround in particular is we're able to take kids from walks of life that have never been on a golf course and change their lives -- either through the (Evans) Scholarship or otherwise. Not even 10 percent of the kids in this program are going to get the scholarship, so the goal is to impact the kids that don't get the scholarship AND the kids that get the scholarship. Impact their work ethic, their character, their understanding of how to communicate and deal with adults -- all the stuff we all learn from caddying. It's really cool to be able to see how much impact (the program) has. ... It's exactly what we hoped."

-- Cherry Hills Country Club head professional John Ogden, 50, after defeating Rick Cole, 64, in a playoff to claim the title in the Colorado PGA Professional Championship:

"The gray-haired guys, that was pretty good. But Rick's got a few more years than me on the gray hairs."

-- CGA Senior Amateur champion Steve Ivan, who plays his golf with 1993 Ram Laser Fx irons -- of which he owns 13 sets. And he favors Royal grips and claims to own more of those than anyone in the U.S.:

"They call that OCD. The first step in recovery is admitting you've got a problem."

-- Davis Bryant (pictured at top with fellow JGAC Player of the Year Hailey Schalk), on winning all three Junior Golf Alliance of Colorado majors in which he competed in 2017:

"It's been a season to remember. ... It was a cool feeling to accomplishment as much as I did."

-- Larry Collins, PGA general manager and director of golf at TPC Colorado in Berthoud, which is expected to open roughly in June 2018:

The course "is phenomenal. It's really a stunning piece of land. It sits on 800 acres, overlooking three reservoirs (Lonetree, Welch and McNeil) with about 1,500 acres of water -- with Longs Peak and a panoramic view (of the mountains) in the background. The community is just going to be loaded with amenities. It's very, very exciting."

-- Gerry Brown, the CGA's director of handicapping and course rating, after helping rate TPC Colorado for the first time:

"From a bogey golfer standpoint, it's a very scary-looking course with monstrous bunkers (left) ready to gobble up errant shots. ... But there are very few trees and most of the OB is away from play. The fairways are generous. And the native is thin and wispy so you can play out."

-- Mark Passey, who retired this year as a Colorado-based regional affairs director for the USGA, noting that he caddied periodically for Frank Beard on the PGA Tour in the 1960s:

"Being inside the ropes is special. I thought, 'I'd love to work at the USGA sometime.' The fact that it happened is a miracle."

-- Dustin Jensen, the departing CGA managing director of operations, who will be relocating back to Jamestown, North Dakota:

"It's hard to leave the CGA. I've grown up here (professionally). I grew up in Jamestown, but the other half of my life has been with the CGA. Leaving is tough. It's really, really hard to go. I'm excited to get back and be around family. But I've got my Jamestown family and my CGA family."

-- Jensen, who played a key role in the early development of the highly successful Junior Golf Alliance of Colorado:

"I'm really excited to see where the Junior Golf Alliance goes. Multiple entities (the CGA, Colorado PGA and CWGA) came together and put kids first. That was the biggest thing I've been part of (professionally). The Alliance was good in year 1 (2016). It was really good in year 2 (2017). It's going to grow exponentially from here on. Like Ed (Mate) has said, junior golf in Colorado is a North Star for other associations. We get emails from other associations asking how we've done it."

-- Mate, on the CGA and CWGA joining forces as one organization:

"I've been working for the CGA for a long time -- over 25 years in stops and starts -- and to me it's the most significant thing we've ever done because I think it's going to position golf and all the things we represent for the next 100 years." 

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