DENVER - Former University of Colorado golf Tom Woodard has been selected as one of three golfers to be inducted next June into the 41st class of the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame.
Joining Woodard in the 2013 class will be National Junior Golf leader Alan Abrams and two-time Colorado Amateur champion Jimmy Vickers.
The distinguished trio will be inducted on Sunday, June 9, 2013 at a special awards dinner at the Country Club of Castle Pines in Castle Rock that precedes the annual Colorado Golf Hall of Fame tournament the following day.
"I've been in Colorado since I was 10 years old, and if I went down the list of those inducted I bet I'd know 90 percent of them," Woodard told the Colorado Golf Association. "And I (previously) served on the Hall of Fame selection committee for four or five years, so I know what it takes to get in. It's one of the biggest accomplishments of my golfing career. To me it says, 'Job well done' and that's huge. It's outstanding news, and I can't tell you how excited I am.
On being joined by Abrams and Vickers in the class, Woodard said, "And it's high cotton (to be voted in with them)."
Nicknamed the "Human 2-Iron" for his svelte 6-foot-3 frame by his coach, the late Mark Simpson, he was the first African-American to play varsity golf at the University of Colorado; he had been one of the first blacks to receive the prestigious Evans Caddie Scholarship as a senior at Denver's Manual High School.
He led the Buffs in stroke average as a junior ('75-76) with a 76.27 figure for 30 rounds and often played his best in the Big 8 Championship tournaments, tying for fifth as junior in 1976 and placing sixth as a senior, when he earned an individual berth in the NCAA Championships and was afforded honorable mention All-America honors (once again, one of the first blacks to do so); he owned a 76.8 stroke norm that year, third best in the Buffs. He became the sixth player in program history to twice be named first-team all-conference, garnering the nod in 1976 and 1977 and joining Keith Alexander, Dale Douglass, Hale Irwin, Larry McAtee and Jim English at the time as two-time recipients.
Woodard competed for two-and-a-half years on the PGA Tour after his collegiate days, and qualified for two U.S. Opens and a PGA Championship. He was twice selected as the Colorado PGA Section Player of the Year and also won a national professional tournament on the United Golfers Association Tour in 1979. He still owns the low round at Denver's popular City Park Golf Course, an 11-under par 61 he shot in 1988.
Since becoming a club professional in 1986, Woodard has made an impact all around the Denver metro area: he served as head professional at City Park (1987-89), Littleton Golf Club (1990), South Suburban (1991-95) and at Buffalo Run (where he was the first head pro in 1996); he was director of golf for the City of Denver from 1997-2006 (overseeing six courses), and has been the general manager and director of golf at Foothills Park & Recreation District in Denver since 2006. He co-founded The First Tee of Denver and has also served on the board of directors for the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame. He was inducted into the National Black Golfers Hall of Fame in March of this year, joining the likes of Charlie Sifford, Joe Louis, Jackie Robinson, Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Jim Brown and Lee Elder previously enshrined by the organization.
He will become the 11th Buffalo golfer to be inducted into the state's Hall, joining Hale Irwin (inducted in 1974), Dale Douglass (1977), Les Fowler (1978), Jim English (1980), Larry McAtee (1992), Steve Jones (1997), Ray Stenzel (1998), Larry Webb (2000), John Hamer (2002) and Mark Crabtree (2006). M.J. Mastalir received the Distinguished Service Award in 1995 and Simpson the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004; Fowler, Stenzel and Simpson have since passed.
Abrams, a fixture at Arvada's Indian Tree Golf Club since 1980 and head professional since 2004, twice has been named National Junior Golf leader in the U.S. by the PGA of America. Vickers, who won the 1949 and 1950 Colorado Amateur titles while attending Regis University, later won the NCAA championship while attending Oklahoma University and is one of the nation's most notable senior competitors.
The CGHOF will also honor Cherry Hills professional John Ogden as Golf Person of the Year, Denver man about all sports and another CU graduate, Gail Godbey, with a Lifetime Achievement Award, with veteran Denver Post golf writer (and CU football and basketball beat writer) Tom Kensler and celebrated rules guru Rich Langston honored with Distinguished Service awards.
(Gary Baines of the Colorado Golf Association contributed to this report.)