A transplanted Californian, retired Air Force Lt. Col. Gene Miranda became a one-man honors magnet throughout an outstanding golf career in Colorado generally and Colorado Springs in particular.
He first gained attention as a 16-year-old caddie who tied Ben Hogan’s course record of 63 during a caddie tournament at Oakland’s Sequoyah CC. In 1963, well-armed with college degrees and four varsity golf letters from San Francisco State, he joined the Air Force and climbed the ladder for 20 years to earn his silver leaf and a plethora of golf trophies, playing in the German Open, numerous Air Force championships and the Colorado Open.
Retired from active duty, in 1983 he zoomed into the golf picture at Air Force Academy like an F-16. For the next 28 years, he held 10 different PGA job classifications—from director of golf and head professional to golf coach general manager, master teacher, rules official and tenured Associate Professor of Physical Education. He wrote and directed the cadet golf instruction program, compiled a phenomenal dual meet record of 185-5 as golf coach, with his team qualifying for the NCAA Championship 14 times and nine of his players earning all-America honors. His efforts landed him into the prestigious Golf Coaches of America Hall of Fame in 1997.
In addition, he also resuscitated two of the Springs’ struggling country clubs—Gleneagle (née Donala) Golf Club in 1983 and Woodmoor Pines CC in 2002—by building new facilities and attracting hundreds of new members to each.
Miranda also made two five-week trips to the Pacific Air Force Command to teach golf to dependent children of military stationed in Alaska, Hawaii, Korea, Okinawa, Japan, Guam and the Philippines. He started golf camps at the Air Force Academy in 1980, camps of 150 children that continue to this day. Rough guesses figure Miranda has been responsible for more than 30,000 people learning and enjoying golf.
Miranda has taught at the PGA Junior Golf Academy, Golf Digest Schools, NCAA Golf Coaches Conventions, National Golf Foundation workshops and conducted clinics throughout the world. He was the first coach to represent the NCAA as an advisor on the USGA Rules of Golf Committee. He served six years on the PGA National Rules Committee, officiated at three USGA Opens and 10 PGA Club Pro Championships. Being among the first PGA professionals certified in the Rules of Golf, Gene recently chaired the Colorado PGA Section’s Rules workshop and served 12 years on the CGA Board of Governors.
In 2003, Colorado PGA named him its Golf Professional of the Year, and the Air Force Academy renamed the Falcon Invitational the Gene Miranda Falcon Invitational.