Industry News

Colorado honors Kupcho, Douglass

Colorado Golf Community Honors Hale Irwin’s Legacy in Golf

Jennifer Kupcho and Dale Douglass are Inaugural Recipients of the Hale Irwin Medal

(GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo.)The Colorado Golf Community has named Jennifer Kupcho, ranked the world’s number one female amateur and current leader of the Augusta National Women’s Amateur, and 1986 U.S. Senior Open champion, Dale Douglass, the inaugural recipients of the Hale Irwin Medal.

The medal, to be awarded at a special dinner at The Broadmoor Hotel on Saturday, November 23 in Colorado Springs, Colorado, recognizes the state’s outstanding golfers who exhibit competitiveness, resiliency and a proven record of winning.

Irwin, a product of Boulder High School and the University of Colorado, was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1992 just two years after his third U.S. Open win. That win continues to set Irwin apart as the oldest U.S. Open Champion in history (45) and one of only six players in history to win three or more Open titles. Speaking of “45,” that is also the number of wins Irwin accumulated during his career on the PGA Tour Champions – a record that also still stands.

Kupcho, a product of the Colorado Golf Association’s Hale Irwin Player program, is currently leading a field of 72 international amateur players and vying to become the first ever winner the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur. The first 36 holes were contested over two days at Champions Retreat Golf Club located outside Augusta in Evans, Georgia. Following the 36-hole cut, the final competitive round will take place at Augusta National Golf Club on Saturday, April 6.

Two members of the Hale Irwin Player Program, designed by the Colorado Golf Association to develop future golf stars, will compete in the national Drive, Chip, & Putt Championship being held on Sunday, April 7 before the 83rd playing of The Masters at Augusta National Golf Club. Hale Irwin Players representing the CGA are Caitlyn Chin (2016 National Finalist), of Greenwood Village, Colorado in the Girls age 10-11 division, and Chunya “Bead” Boonta, of Centennial, Colorado in the Girls age 12-13 division.


The Colorado Golf Association created the Hale Irwin Player Program in 2012 to advance the next generation of elite young golfers. The program is designed to identify junior golfers in Colorado with determination, drive and passion for the game of golf and enhance their skills by providing training, coaching and free access to CommonGround Golf Course, the home course of the CGA. The mission of the CGA is to represent, promote and serve the game of golf in Colorado. The CGA serves 60,000 golfers who participate at more than 250 member facilities across the State.

The Hale Irwin Medal, established in 2019, is named in honor of Colorado’s most prolific champion—Hale Irwin. The medal recognizes Colorado’s outstanding golfers who exhibit competitiveness, resiliency and a proven record of winning. 2019 honorees are individuals with proven success at the local, state and national level in competitive golf. Each honoree exhibits Hale Irwin’s lifetime philosophy of “winning with integrity.”

On Saturday, November 23, 2019, the Colorado Golf Foundation will hold the first annual Colorado Golf Hale Irwin Dinner at The Broadmoor Hotel to award the Hale Irwin Medal its first recipients. This weekend event will be an opportunity for Colorado to gather in support of the Colorado golf community and honor Mr. Irwin and his unique legacy in Colorado and recipients of the Hale Irwin Medal. Proceeds from the event will be support the Colorado Golf Foundation and its effort to support Junior Player Development, Caddie Programs, and Community Golf Partnerships across the state.

Hale Irwin’s career in golf began in the state of Colorado where he won local junior championships, three consecutive CGA amateur titles (1963-1965) and had a distinguished college career at the University of Colorado which included the NCAA Division I individual title at Shawnee Golf Course in 1967. Irwin remains as the only player from the state of Colorado to win the NCAA Division I individual men’s crown. Following his amateur career Irwin went on to become one of only six players to win three U.S. Open Championships (1974—Winged Foot; 1979—Inverness; and 1990—Medinah). This list includes Willie Anderson, Bobby Jones, Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods. Irwin’s third title at Medinah came at the age of 45 making him the oldest U.S. Open Champion in history. Irwin’s prolific career included 20 victories on the PGA Tour and 45 wins on the PGA Tour Champions—the current record. Irwin was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1992.


Jennifer Kupcho is already one of Colorado’s most successful players. A resident of Westminster, Colorado, she is currently the number one ranked amateur player in the world and in 2018 participated on the winning U.S. Curtis Cup and U.S. Women’s World Amateur Teams. Jennifer became the 2nd Colorado player, along with Hale Irwin, to win the NCAA Division I Individual National Championship. She qualified for the LPGA Tour and plans to play on the professional tour following her graduation from Wake Forest University. Ms. Kupcho was invited to compete in the first-annual August National Women’s Amateur.

Dale Douglass grew up in Fort Morgan, lived in Boulder and now resides in Castle Rock. Dale became a PGA professional in 1960, and in 1969 he made the U.S. Ryder Cup Team. He won three times on the PGA Tour: the 1969 Azalea Open, the '69 Kemper Open, and the '70 Phoenix Open. In 1986 as a rookie member of the Senior Tour, Dale won the U.S. Senior Open by one stroke over Gary Player. In all, he had 11 victories on the Senior/Champions Tour between 1986 and 1996. Dale is a member of the Colorado Golf and Colorado Sports Hall of Fames respectively along with the University of Colorado Athletic Hall of Fame.

April 4, 2019
Contact: Ed Mate, Executive Director/CEO
Phone: 303-877-2078