Hale Irwin

Inducted 1974

The most prominent Colorado Golf Hall of Famer in the national eye, Hale Irwin has been a stellar performer on the PGA and Champions Tours for several decades. He’s won 20 times on the PGA circuit and an all-time-record 45 Champions events. Irwin is best known for his three U.S. Open victories, in 1974, ’79 and ’90. By winning in 1990, he became— and remains—the oldest champion in U.S. Open history (45 years old). Irwin also owns seven wins in Champions Tour majors—four in the Senior PGA, two in the U.S. Senior Open and one in the Senior Players Championship.

On the PGA and Champions Tours combined, Irwin has competed in more than 1,000 events in his career. In one stretch from 1975 to ’78, he made the cut in 86 consecutive tournaments, the fourth-longest in PGA Tour history.

Irwin also played on five U.S. Ryder Cup teams and was the captain of the U.S. squad at the inaugural Presidents Cup in 1994.

Two years after collecting his final U.S. Open title, Irwin was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame. In 2009, he received the Ambassador of Golf Award. The PGA TOUR presented him with the 2019 Payne Stewart Award, and that same year, the Colorado Golf Association inaugurated the Hale Irwin Medal, given to “outstanding Colorado golfers who exhibit competitiveness, resiliency and a proven record of winning.”

Irwin first distinguished himself nationally as a two-sport athlete at the University of Colorado, where he won the 1967 NCAA Golf Championship. In football, he was a two-time All-Big Eight defensive back. In 2002, he was inducted into the CU Athletic Hall of Fame.

Irwin won an individual state high school golf title in 1963 while leading Boulder High to the team championship. Later, Irwin claimed three straight Colorado Golf Association Stroke Play championships (1963, ‘64 and ‘65) and the CGA Match Play crown in 1966.

After finding success on Tour, Irwin has developed into a noted golf course architect. Among the Colorado courses he’s put his stamp on are Indian Peaks in Lafayette, the Mountain Course at Cordillera in Edwards, and Highlands Ranch Golf Club.

Robert M. Kirchner