Indian Tree pro heading to Hall of Fame

Sara Van Cleve
Posted

Indian Tree Golf Club head professional Alan Abrams will be inducted on June 9 into the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame for his accomplishments and contributions to the sport.

“It’s an unbelievable honor,” Abrams said. “I never thought of myself as being that class of people. It’s very prestigious. I’m very honored, very humbled. With the names they put in there, I’m in good company. It’s pretty big for me, being just an old country boy from northern Colorado.”

He began his odyssey into the game of golf in 1967 when he was just a child.

“I was a kid picking up range balls and sweeping the clubhouse, washing the carts,” Abrams said. “I worked my way up to working in the shop and working customer service and doing everything I could possibly do on a golf course. I liked the operations side. And I liked to play, so I did a lot of that.”

Abrams got his first job at Highland Hills Golf Course in Greeley and played golf in high school and at the University of Northern Colorado where he graduated with a teaching degree.

In 1978, Abrams turned pro and went to Phoenix, Ariz., for training.

He came back to Colorado in 1980 and started as a second assistant at Indian Tree under Vic Kline, who he calls his personal mentor.

“I’ve got to give all my kudos to Mr. Kline,” Abrams said. “He has helped me tremendously over the last 30-some years. He got me into the governance of golf with the Colorado Section [of the PGA], he gave me a lot of pats on the back and gave me the right direction. As a mentor he helped me through a lot of things — as a professional and a lot of things in life. Without his help, I doubt if I’d be here in this position.”

Kline, a hall of famer himself and a national PGA Professional of the Year, has an award named after him, which Abrams won in 2010. The award is given to those who are deemed to meet Kline’s high values and morals, and work to give back to the PGA section.

Before he worked his way up to head professional at Indiana Tree and in his position as second assistant, Abrams helped grow the children’s and women’s golf programs.

Through traveling to schools in the area and teaching children about golf in their own backyards, he was able to grow the summer juniors program from about 50 students to more than 500.

“It’s the future of golf,” he said. “Anytime you can teach kids, they’ll grow into the sport, even if you don’t capture them all.”

As head professional at Indian Tree, Abrams oversees all operations of the golf course, the clubhouse and the restaurant, which includes about 100 employees.

Each year Indian Tree sees about 70-80,000 golfers and a couple hundred thousand visitors overall, Abrams said.

His job doesn’t really seem like work to him, though.

“Golf is my life,” he said. “It has given me everything I wished for and everything I didn’t know I could get. I don’t know at this point in my life what I would have done if I didn’t have golf. Obviously it’s a passion. If I wasn’t doing it for work, I’d be doing it on my day off as my hobby. I’m glad I got a career out of it and I can’t wait to get up and go to work.”

Abrams has also served the PGA chairing state and national boards and committees. He has also served as the president of the Colorado Section of the PGA and is currently serving as the president of the Colorado PGA Foundation.

Other awards Abrams has received include National Junior Leader, Section Junior Leader for four years, Colorado PGA Golf Professional of the Year for three years and the Vic Kline Award.

Abrams is also in the running for the 2013 National PGA Golf Professional of the Year.

Abrams will be inducted to the Hall of Fame at 5:30 p.m. Sunday, June 9, at Cielo at Castle Pines, 485 W. Happy Canyon Rd. in Castle Rock. To RSVP to the induction, call 303-919-8310.