Colorado looks for long-term golf host |

Colorado looks for long-term golf host

Anthony Cotton
The Denver Post

With an all-star list of events, a lineup that already includes the 2010 PGA Senior Championship, the 2011 U.S. Women’s Open and the 2012 U.S. Men’s Amateur – and, it would appear, the 2013 Solheim Cup – it’s clear professional golf loves visiting Colorado.

The tough part is finding someone willing to make a home here.

“Part of our mission is to bring an annual professional golf event back to Colorado,” said Kevin Laura, the CEO of the Colorado Open Golf Foundation.”The LPGA and the Champions Tour are both very excited about the Denver marketplace, and we’ve had lots of great conversations.”

The only thing missing, Laura admits, is someone to fork over the money to sponsor an event. In some ways, Jack Vickers’ decision to pull the plug on The International two years ago looks ingenious, given the financial troubles that have engulfed golf. No matter the level, from banks and auto companies falling away from the PGA Tour to the LPGA’s push to grab foreign dollars – at the expense, some would argue, of losing events here in the United States – it’s proving increasingly difficult to get corporations to commit to a long-term contract to sponsor a golf tournament.

Perhaps that’s why the model being used by the Colorado Golf Club may be the way to go. When it opened last year, the membership at the rolling, 1,100-acre facility in Parker made a conscious decision not to host a yearly event, but rather become a big player on the national scene by going after single, big-ticket showcases.

Next year’s Senior PGA would qualify, and PGA of America officials don’t dismiss talk of a Ryder Cup being played there someday. The course will apparently be getting something of a primer on how to host a major team competition. On Monday, the LPGA sent out a release touting “a very special announcement” with longtime superstar Juli Inkster to be made at CGC on Aug. 6.

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