Frank Woodward

Inducted 1997

A true pioneer in the growth of golf in Denver, Frank Woodward not only was one of the founding fathers of Denver Country Club, he also became the first of three presidents of the United States Golf Association (1915-16) from Colorado and the very first elected from west of the Mississippi. A lifelong resident of Denver, Woodward graduated from East High School and Yale Law School. The son of Benjamin Woodward, who brought the postal telegraph to Denver, Frank became an outstanding golfer at Overland Park and won the first Colorado Match Play Championship in 1901.

Woodward, a member of DCC until his death, served five terms as club president, more than any other DCC member. He later was on the board of directors at Cherry Hills Country Club. In addition to his golfing prowess, Woodward was a prominent attorney until retirement in 1910 to focus on golf administration. He was also considered among the strongest influences in bettering the civic and artistic advantages of Denver. He was credited with bringing the grand opera to Denver and organizing the Denver symphony orchestra, a group for which he also served as president. For many years, he was also president of the Denver Water Commission.

Woodward went through all the chairs of major golf organizations—director of the powerful Trans-Mississippi Association, the Western Golf Association and then the USGA. It was with the USGA that Woodward became known as the most controversial and active president in the USGA until his death in 1930.

He brought the 1910 Trans-Mississippi Amateur and the 1912 Western Amateur to Denver, fighting fiercely to keep the Western in Denver that year despite a ravaging flood that wiped out the course. He spearheaded the rebuilding of Denver CC with 100 volunteers, restoring it to 7,000 yards, and when it appeared to play too easy for the great golfers of that day, he brought the volunteers back and stretched the course to 8,000 yards.

Woodward played against Harry Vardon in Denver in 1900 and later was the man who in 1916 stripped the amateur status from 1913 U.S. Open champion Francis Ouimet because Ouimet intended to open a sporting goods store. Ouimet wouldn’t be reinstated until 1918.