A self-effacing and non-negotiable Colorado native, Indian Tree Golf Club PGA professional Alan Abrams traded a very promising career as a player to follow his dream of bringing out the best in Colorado’s youth through golf. He has made that dream come alive like few others ever—a feat that has earned him enshrinement in the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame.
Abrams was born in Aurora, grew up in Greeley, started golf age 8 and by 13 was working for his uncle, PGA Pro Hal Ottaway at Highland Hills. He won the men’s club championship when he was 17, set the course record 63 in 1977 that stood for 25 years. A stalwart on the University of Northern Colorado golf team, he graduated with a teaching degree in 1976, but two years later decided to make golf a career.
After brief stints assisting at Highland Hills, Eaton and Vila DePaz in Phoenix, he landed at Arvada’s Indian Tree in 1980 and under the tutelage of legendary golf guru Vic Kline, Abrams unswervingly kept his focus on juniors, but quietly moved up the ladder. He became head professional in 1991 and has served as operations manager since 2004.
None of the duties, titles, salutes and tributes, however, made him veer from his pursuit for loving and living the game.
Kline salutes Abrams “for teaching in schools long before it became popular and definitely being one of the pioneers of the program.”
Under Abrams, the junior program at Indian Tree has been named No. 1 in the United States by the PGA of America and achieved similar accolades from Golf Digest Magazine for many reasons beyond the fact he’s given upwards of 20,000 private lessons and his program has been the model for many throughout the U.S. Abrams later broadened his teaching with a “Women in Golf” program that provides lessons for more than 50 women each summer. Still, it’s his teaching in schools that has been a real lifeline for growing the game.
The man could open a trophy store with his collection of awards for remarkable and endless service to the National PGA and Colorado Sections. Three of last six years he’s been honored as PCA Section Professional of the Year; he’s going through the ranks a second time as Section vice-president and president, currently vice president and secretary; and over 20 years on the board of directors.
The sobriquet of “Mr. Junior Golf USA” would be underplaying Abrams’ tremendous role and contribution to the game – four times Colorado Junior Golf Leader; 1997 PGA of America National Junior Golf Leader. He served every imaginable office and board of national and Colorado junior boards; PGA Presidents Council for Golf Development since 2005; twice Golf Shop Operations Junior Golf Promoter of the Year; National Association of Junior Golfers Board of Advisors, former National Junior Academy Instructor and eight years Rocky Mountain Junior Golf Tour Director and board; eight years Tournament Director PGA Maxfli Colorado Junior Golf Championships; starter for the PGA Sprint International at Castle Pines; Colorado Open board of trustees, 2010 winner of the Section’s coveted Vic Kline Award, Colorado Golf Hall of Fame’s 1998 Person of the Year. In 2015, he became the first president of the Junior Golf Alliance of Colorado.
1998 Golf Person of the Year
The PGA Professional at Indian Tree Golf Course had received the PGA of America’s Junior Golf Development Award.