Cole Earns OMEGA Senior Player of the Year Title
Eaton CC Pro Caps Exceptional Year with First Player of the Year Title
Rick Cole, PGA, Head Golf Professional at the Eaton Country Club, earned the 2017 OMEGA Senior Player of the Year Award. This recognition is given annually to a PGA Professional, 50 years of age or older, for outstanding play throughout the past year and in representing PGA Professionals with distinction in competition.
Cole, a Colorado native, was introduced to the game of golf by his parents when he was just 11. That same year, he began working at Littleton’s Southglenn Country Club and has loved the game ever since. He qualified for a golf scholarship to Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, Calif., and from there spent the first five years of his career working as an assistant professional for Tony Novitsky at Columbine Country Club.
For the last 32 years, Cole has hung his hat at the Eaton Country Club where he has instructed over 7,000 students and led numerous golf schools and clinics across the western United States. His passion is to see players of all abilities reach their full potential in enjoying the great game of golf.
From the beginning of the season to the end, Cole played consistent golf. Of the 25 events he played, only four times did he place lower than ninth place. To date, he has amassed a third more points in the 2017 season than he has in any of the previous 10 seasons. In fact, for the last 10 years and maybe longer, Cole has placed within the top-eight slots in the run for the Senior Player of the Year Award.
“I have been in the race for this honor in the past but always fell short,” says Cole. “This was a really fun year, the kind of year where you keep riding the train and hope to continue to play well. It was the snowball effect where things kept getting better and better all year.”
When asked about his season, Cole explained that he was fortunate to play in four majors this season beginning with the Colorado Senior Open, where he was the low Colorado finisher and also won the “Super Senior” portion of the event.
From there he competed at Valley Country Club in the Colorado Senior PGA Professional Championship, placing fifth, which qualified him for the 29th Senior PGA Professional National Championship held Sept. 28 at Desert Mountain in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Realizing that he might be in close contention for the 2017 Colorado PGA OMEGA Senior Player of the Year Award, Cole registered for the Colorado PGA Professional Championship. He had never played the Red Sky Golf Course and with no practice rounds, Cole put himself in prime position to capture his first Colorado Professional Championship. He shot a 2-under 70, 75 and 5-under 67 in his three rounds to tie John Ogden, PGA Head Professional from Cherry Hills Country Club, for the tournament lead. However, after a sudden death playoff, he relinquished the title to Ogden; however, he is among the eight Colorado golfers to qualify for the 51st PGA Professional Championship to be played in California in June 2018.
“I feel good about my performances in the four majors,” comments Cole. “I shot 8 under for the four, which set up everything else for the summer.”
According to Cole, he also had a good Pro-Am season averaging 68 in the four contests that he won.
In the Pro-Lady Tournament where he placed second, he recalls, “I shot a low round of 65 at Indian Peaks only to spend the day watching Dan O'Shaughnessy, Meadow Hills, make birdies all day and come in 7-under 64.”
“My game has changed and evolved over the years,” continues Cole. “This year my putting was probably the best part of my game. I have the USGA to thank for changing the anchoring rule. The new rule actually helped me knock a shot and a half off my putting average.”
“I want to thank the Eaton Country Club members and staff who have been supportive of me and who have covered for me when I have been away,” concluded Cole. “I would be remiss if I didn’t recognize my family who has been a tremendous support to me throughout the years. My wife Jan and mom Bea are two of my biggest fans, as well our children and my sister and their families.”
“Thank you all for everything you have done to support and encourage me throughout the years and for giving me the opportunity to participate at this level of play. God has truly blessed me!”
The Colorado PGA could not be more proud to have Rick Cole, PGA, win the 2017 Colorado PGA Senior Player of the Year Award for his exceptional play throughout the past year and in representing PGA Professionals with distinction in competition.