During the Virtual Colorado PGA Spring Membership Meeting being held on Monday, March 29, 2021, Class A Members of the Colorado PGA will have the opportunity to elect individuals to serve a three-year term on the Colorado PGA Board of Directors. The term will begin at the Fall Meeting in October 2021 and will run through the Fall Meeting of 2024.

Specific instructions on the procedures for this virtual election will be shared during the meeting. Voting will take place at the beginning of the Spring Meeting to allow PGA Members to vote before they travel, if they choose to participate in Doubles Golf at Pinehurst C.C.

This year, the Board has three (3) open slots to fill. Seven (7) PGA Professionals have submitted their names as candidates to fill these openings. We thank these individuals for their willingness to serve as this is a great commitment. The candidates, in alphabetical order, are:

  1. Graham Cliff, PGA
  2. Tristen Fay, PGA
  3. Bryan Heim, PGA
  4. Ed Marzec, PGA
  5. Barry Milstead, PGA
  6. Brad Skupaka, PGA
  7. Leighton Smith, PGA

Learn about each of the candidates by reading about them below.

Job Title

  • Director of Golf at Colorado Golf Club

 

Education

  • Adams State University – Bachelor of Science Business Administration Management
  • Camosun College – Business Administration/Professional Golf Management

 

Work Experience

  • 2017-Present: Director of Golf, Colorado Golf Club
  • 2006-2016: Head Golf Professional, Colorado Golf Club
  • 2005-2006: Summers: Assistant Golf Professional, Country Club of the Rockies
  • 2004-2006: Winters: Assistant Golf Professional, Eldorado Country Club, Indian Wells, CA
  • 2002-2004: Winters: The Vintage Club, Indian Wells, CA
  • 2002-2004: Summers: Assistant Golf Professional, The Broadmoor

 

Volunteer Experience

  • 2019-Present: Colorado PGA Tournament Committee
  • 2015-2020: Volunteer Assistant Golf Coach – University of Denver Men’s Golf Team
  • 2011-2013: Colorado PGA Awards Committee

 

Awards/Recognition

  • 2019: Colorado PGA President’s Award – Colorado Golf Club
  • 2013: Colorado PGA Golf Professional of the Year
  • Event Site Host
    • 2019 & 2021 Drive, Chip & Putt Regional Finals
    • 2014-Present Myran Craig Pro-Pro
    • 2015-2016 PGA REACH Pro-Am
    • 2012-Present Colorado PGA Awards Gala
  • Major Championship Site Host
    • 2019 USGA Mid-Amateur
    • 2013 Solheim Cup
    • 2010 Senior PGA Championship

 

What should members know about you?

I was born in Victoria BC Canada, and spent the first 21 years of my life there. I grew up like most Canadians; on a pair of skates! As a child, I played all the regular sports; hockey, soccer, baseball, basketball and golf. At 12, I started working in the bag room at the local public course where we grew up playing. I worked at the golf course (Glen Meadows) each summer through high school and college.

I was recruited to play College hockey, however in my Junior year I was injured and I had to give up the hockey dream. I started focusing more on golf and received some scholarship offers to schools in the USA. However, I was more of a homebody then, I though and decided to stay home for a few years and played college golf in Victoria.

I moved to Colorado in 2000 to attend school at Adams State University and continue with college golf. This is where I met my wife Linnlee. After University, I started working at the  Broadmoor. I was hired by Cathy Matthews-Kane and began working for her, Russ Miller and Mark Kelbel. During the winters, I traveled to Palm Springs, CA. I worked seasonally at the
Vintage Club and Eldorado CC. In 2005, I started spending my summers at Country Club of the Rockies, working for Tom Apple. In 2006, I received the job offer at Colorado Golf Club.

Linnlee and I were married in 2003, and we have 2 beautiful daughters, Camryn (13) and Brynn (11). Both of my girls enjoy playing Club volleyball and softball. When I have time away from my obligations, I enjoy riding my Peloton, yoga, fly fishing, reading and traveling with my girls.Most importantly, I’m blessed to do something I truly love to do.

Reason for running for the Board
Depending on facility you work for, we are all too familiar with Boards. I believe there are 2 ways to look at putting your name forward for these positions and the process.

1. I was educated early on from some of my mentors that it takes a group of people with different backgrounds and expertise to make a functional Board. Also, that your radar should be raised if someone is petitioning too hard to be on a Board or Committee. Their belief was; Board Members should be asked by their colleges and peers to become a member based on their values and skill set.

2. Any of us can sit on the sidelines, criticize what we don’t agree with and stir the pot. This is dysfunctional. We can also be on the sidelines, quiet and frustrated.

So, I’m running for the Board for a couple of different reasons. I have been asked by some fellow PGA Professionals to put my name forward and I have also been the professional on the sidelines both vocal and quiet. I believe I have a unique skill set with my background of culturally growing up in a different country and moving to the USA. I’m a part of a Club that was dysfunctional in 2010-2011 where there was a fear of the doors closing permanently. These were major life examples that shaped the person I am today.

I’d like to be involved to learn from my peers and to understand the inner workings of the Section. If elected, I believe my time on the Board will allow me to be more educated on Section affairs, finances and decisions that impact the PGA Professional. With this information, I’m hopeful the knowledge will allow me to be an advocate for the Section to current and future PGA Members.

Job Title

  • Head Golf Professional at Fort Collins Country Club

 

Education

  • University of Colorado at Colorado Springs – PGA Golf Management/Business Administration

 

Work Experience

  • 2016-Present: Head Golf Professional, Fort Collins Country Club
  • 2013-2015: Retail Operations, The Masters Tournament
  • 2010-2015: Assistant Golf Professional, Denver Country Club

 

Volunteer Experience

  • 2016-2019: Ram Masters Invitational Tournament Committee
  • 2016-2019: Drive, Chip & Putt
  • 2016: Colorado Section Awards Committee
  • 2012-2014: Colorado Section Education Committee

 

Awards/Recognition

  • 2020: PGA Jr. League Game Changer Facility
  • 2015: Colorado Section Assistant Professional of the Year

 

What should members know about you?
I am a Colorado native and proud graduate of the PGA Golf Management Program at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. Studying golf course architecture has become a passion of mine and I am an avid fan of our local sports teams; both collegiate and professional. I also enjoy spending time in the Colorado outdoors with my family.

Reason for running for the Board
I have spent my entire career as PGA Professional in the Colorado Section and am grateful for the opportunities the section has provided me in my professional development. I am inspired by past and present board members to serve my fellow PGA Professionals and the golf community in Colorado.

My goal is to continue engaging the membership through transparent communication, unique networking opportunities and comprehensive professional development programs. If elected, I will ensure the Colorado Section is equipping our members to meet the challenges and take advantage of the opportunities the recent surge in golf participation to ensure the long-term health of the game of golf.

Job Title

  • Head Golf Professional at Columbine Country Club

 

Education

  • Saint Mary’s University, MN – Bachelor Degree

 

Work Experience

  • 2013-Present: Head Golf Professional, Columbine Country Club
  • 2010-2013: Head Golf Professional, Hillcrest Country Club, OK
  • 2005-2009: Assistant Golf Professional, Cherry Hills Country Club
  • 2001-2005: Assistant Golf Professional, Grayhawk Golf Club, AZ

 

Volunteer Experience

  • 2017-2018: Education Committee Member
  • 2007-2009: Growth of the Game Committee Member

 

Awards/Recognition

  • 2017-Present: AGM Platinum Golf Shop
  • 2017: U.S. Kids Top 50 Master Coach
  • 2012: PGA Professional National Championship qualifier
  • 2007: CO PGA Pro/Assistant’s Champion

 

What should members know about you?
I’ve worked in the golf industry for over 20 years, and in three different PGA Sections (Southwest, South Central and Colorado) and I believe this gives great perspective for the Section. Additionally, I have served on various Section Committees over the years and understand the importance they serve and the impact they have to the membership.

Reason for running for the Board
The PGA Golf Professional has evolved in so many ways over the years and will continue to do so. However, I also feel our Association maybe has evolved too much, and a better reflection and decisions need to be made at our Section and National levels to ensure we keep our niche within the industry and importance among our peer groups.

Having support from PGA National is essential, but it’s also important we as a local Section are meeting the needs of our members. I feel in many ways the golf professional has become  secondary to some of our peer associations such as the CMAA or GCSAA.

Lastly, I believe all members from Board Members to Life Members should have access and understanding to all things Colorado PGA Section related –financials, voting decisions, etc. Transparency to the fullest extent is healthy for any organization, and only reinforces trust and support long term.

Job Title

  • Golf Professional at Red Sky Golf Club

 

Education

  • Clarkson University in New York
  • Class A PGA Member and Certified Professional
  • Certified Alpine and Nordic Instructor with PSIA in the snowsports world

 

Work Experience

  • 2019-Present: Assistant Golf Professional, Red Sky Golf Club
  • 2005-2018: Assistant Golf Professional, Country Club of the Rockies
  • 2004-2005: Assistant Golf Professional, Headwaters GC at Granby Ranch
  • 2003-2004: Assistant Golf Professional, Club at Cordillera
  • 1997-2002: Club at Cordillera
  • Caddie, Eagle Springs Golf Club

 

Volunteer Experience

  • Colorado PGA Member of the Board of Directors
  • West Chapter Board of Directors
    • Elected through all Officer Seats
    • Currently Honorary President
  • President of the Vail Valley Junior Golf Association (VVJGA) prior to the merger with the First Tee Organization

 

Awards/Recognition

  • 2018-Present: West Chapter Colorado PGA Honorary President
  • 2019, 2018, 2011: West Chapter Professional Development Award *Formerly the Horton Smith Award
  • 2016-2018: West Chapter Colorado PGA President
  • 2018: Colorado PGA Assistant Professional of the Year
  • 2016-2018: Colorado PGA Board Member at Large
    • Education Committee
    • Awards Committee
    • Tournament Committee
  • 2017: West Chapter Golf Professional of the Year
  • 2016, 2012: West Chapter Assistant Professional of the Year
  • 2006: West Chapter Junior Golf Leader

 

What should members know about you?
I am an avid outdoors-man enjoying everything that Colorado has to offer. Time spent outdoors on the golf courses this state offers and the people that are attracted to the lifestyle that we as professionals can provide are very rewarding. I have been fortunate to have met many individuals that I have learned from as well as provide mentorship to over my years as PGA Professional.

Time outside of my golf career has me on one of my motorcycles or simply in my hiking boots strolling the back-country. During this past year I set out to originally hike 1,000 miles during the pandemic. I surpassed this by 900 miles since the world changed for all of us 14 March, 2020. My companion for most of these miles was my Alaskan Malamute, Kiska.

Reason for running for the Board
I am running again for a seat on the Colorado PGA Section Board because I want to continue the great path that the Board is currently on. The opportunity of providing strong leadership within the organization’s future, while being open and accessible to all member concerns, is what I shall continue to bring if I am fortunate to earn your vote this upcoming spring. Thank you for your consideration. I look forward to continued service and giving back to this great Section.

Job Title

  • Director of Golf at Valley Country Club

 

Education

  • Colorado State University – studied Economics
  • Florida State University – studied Business

 

Work Experience

  • 2003-Present: Director of Golf and Head Golf Professional, Valley Country Club
  • 2000-2003: Assistant Golf Professional, Valley Country Club
  • 1997-2000: Head Golf Professional, Great Sand Dunes
  • 1996-1997 and 1991-1993: Assistant Golf Professional, Cattails Golf Course
  • 1993-1996: Assistant Golf Professional, Riverside Golf Course
  • 1991-1993 Winter: Assistant Golf Professional, Wigwam Golf Club

 

Volunteer Experience

  • 2018-2016: PGA of America Membership Committee
  • 2014-2016: Colorado PGA Honorary President
  • 2011-2014: Colorado PGA President
  • 2010-2012: PGA of America Membership Committee
  • 2010-2011: Colorado PGA Vice President
  • 2008-2010: Colorado PGA Secretary
  • 2000-2008: Colorado PGA Board of Directors

 

Awards/Recognition

  • 2017: Colorado PGA Warren Smith Award Winner
  • 2014: Colorado PGA Golf Professional of the Year
  • 2009: Colorado PGA Golf Professional of the Year
  • 2007: Colorado PGA Vic Kline Award Winner
  • 2003: Colorado PGA Assistant Professional of the Year
  • 1997: Became a Member of the PGA of America

 

What should members know about you?
Members should know I am most of all a person all can count on. I am a husband and stepfather of 2 great children. Having a daughter as a freshman in college and a son a senior in high school, I couldn’t be prouder of the two of them and how they have been so successful. I am proud to be married to another PGA Professional who understands all the craziness our business can be at times. There is nothing I am more proud of than being a father and husband. But I am also proud to be a PGA Golf Professional and a member of the Colorado Section.

I am a driven person in all aspects of my life. I work to be the best professional for my facility. I work to be the best friend I can be to all my friends, although it has been tough over the last year as we all know. I will be driven for the members of the Colorado Section. Not just because I am driven but because you deserve me to work for your best interests. I want to be a leader and a mentor to our young professionals. If a member or associate needs advice, help or just someone to listen to them, I am here to be that friend and mentor. And lastly: GO RAMS and GO SEMINOLES! Neither is the best at the moment, but I am proud to be both.

Reason for running for the Board
I am proud to be a PGA Golf Professional and a member of the Colorado Section. With the hard work of our Section staff, all the current and past Board members, as well as Officers, the Colorado Section of the PGA is the BEST Section in the PGA of America. I was a long time member of the Colorado Board in the past and am very proud of the accomplishments we made in those years. It is now time for me to give back to the Section and it’s members. I feel my experience as a Board member gives me great insight to help our current Board in any capacity they feel necessary. I look forward to continuing our efforts of the CPGA REACH Foundation. I feel, with my experience, I can offer ideas to help our Foundation continue to grow in the areas of junior golf and expanding the game to all. As most of you may know, I am still active in the tournament side of our Section. I will work with and support our staff to offer a quality tournament program for all members.

I have always in the past and will continue to listen to all our members on their concerns and ideas. I will always have a open ear as many ideas come from our members. I look forward to the challenges and the process of making our Section move and strive to be the best it can be! We will continue to be the BEST Section in the PGA of America.

Job Title

  • Director of Teaching Quality at GOLFTEC Headquarters

 

Education

  • Coastal Carolina University – Bachelor of Science Marketing & Economics

 

Work Experience

  • 2016-Present: Director of Teaching Quality, GOLFTEC Headquarters
  • 2009-2016: Coach/Manager, GOLFTEC Philadelphia
  • PGA National Demo Day Speaker

 

Volunteer Experience

  • 2020 & 2017: PGA Merchandise Show Speaker
  • 2019 & 2018: Denver Golf Expo Presenter
  • 2018: Colorado Section Fall Teaching and Coaching Summit Speaker
  • 2017: PGA National Teaching and Coaching Summit Speaker
  • Denver Golf Expo 10-Minute Lessons

 

Awards/Recognition

  • 2020-2021: Golf Digest Best Young Teacher
  • 2019-2020: Golf Digest Best Teachers in Your State – Colorado
  • 2018-2019: Golf Digest Best Young Teacher
  • 2017-2018: Golf Digest Best Teachers in Your State – Colorado

 

What should members know about you?
I have been involved in the golf industry since I was 15 years old, having worked positions as restaurant wait staff, grounds crew and golf operations staff before ultimately becoming a Coach at GOLFTEC and advancing to the Headquarters Teaching Quality Staff. At GOLFTEC, I have had the opportunity to meet and train over 1,000 professionals from across the United States and the world. Beyond GOLFTEC, I am actively involved in raising money for charitable organizations through golf. This has allowed me to raise nearly $20,000 since 2018 for organizations such as Cancer League of Colorado, Angels of Our Fallen, Wounded Warriors and many more. This has provided not only the opportunity to meet the organizers of these charities, but also the beneficiaries. Being able to help these organizations through golf has been a great experience.

Reason for running for the Board
Through my experience at various positions within the golf industry, I believe I can offer a unique perspective on topics that effect Colorado Section Members. My position with GOLFTEC provides me the unique opportunity to train and interact with over 600 PGA Members and Associates from different Sections every year and it allows me to learn more about what is important to them. I have also been given the opportunity to travel to various Sections. This has allowed me to learn more about what is happening in those Sections and how the Colorado Section can learn from their successes and avoid their pitfalls. Through election to the Colorado Section Board of Directors, I am hoping to have a positive impact on both the Section and its Members.

Job Title

  • Owner of Leighton Smith Golf

 

Education

  • University of Colorado at Colorado Springs – PGA Golf Management

 

Work Experience

  • 2018-Present: Launched Leighton Smith Golf which focuses on player development through elite coaching programs
  • 2013: Started The First Tee of Pikes Peak in Colorado Springs as program director and grew the program to over 800 participants
  • 2011: Started career teaching and coaching alongside Hank Haney, International Golf Academy

 

Volunteer Experience

  • Co-founded UCCS mentor program in 2019 and lead future PGA Professionals through leadership curriculum, networking and genuine relationship building
  • Volunteer and provide free short game clinics to four local high schools
  • Avid supporter and volunteer for military golf programs using golf as therapy
  • The First Tee volunteer coach

 

Awards/Recognition

  • 2017 Player Development Award

 

What should members know about you?
My fellow members should know that I want to be seen as a passionate professional who treats others with respect. I believe in generating momentum in anything I do by staying positive and seeking wisdom from those who have gone before me. My faith and family are priorities and I love building relationships through this awesome game. I’m just trying to be happy and help others.

Reason for running for the Board
I am asking for your vote to be on the Board of Directors because I believe in these three things. Being genuine and letting my passion shine through my actions. I want to and feel confident being a voice and shedding perspective from those around me. And finally, If I didn’t think I could make a positive impact on our membership and the fellow officers than I would not run. I take this position seriously and I am committed to learning, listening and ultimately being an advocate for anyone who desires a high trajectory for the Colorado PGA. Thank you!