Colorado Golf Foundation

What is the Century of Golf Challenge?

In celebration of a "Century of Golf" in Colorado, golfers around the state are invited to give back to the game they love by supporting CGA Executive Director Ed Mate's Century of Golf Challenge. Ed's wants to raise at least $10,000 total from at least 100 donors through support of his caddying 100 holes this summer for players big and small! 100% of the proceeds benefit programs supported by the Colorado Golf Foundation including: Player Development, Caddie Programs, Community Outreach and Scholarship Opportunities.

 See Ed's Progress and Help Him Reach $10,000! 

Ed's Challenge Blog

Ed will share each caddie experience as he works his way to 100 holes!

Caddie's Log - October 27, 2015 - CommonGround Golf Course, 2:45 p.m.

As Gary Baines rolled in a four-foot bogey putt on the 12th hole at CommonGround the crowd went crazy to celebrate Ed Mate's 100th hole of caddying in 2015...well actually, the "crowd" was an assemblage of roughly 75 Geese and they pretty much ignored the occasion and went about munching on the grass. What do Geese know anyway?!

Gary's bogey (which was one of the best I have seen this summer) capped off 5 months of caddying that started at Castle Pines Golf Club, travelled as far as Grand Junction and ended at the home of the CGA at CommonGround. The final push came at our annual CGA volunteer appreciation day on October 27th. While the caddying is done for now, I still have one goal to achieve.

Click to support Ed's 100-Hole Century of Golf Caddie Challenge


93 Down, 7 Holes to Go!

October 6th - After my last round of caddying I received an email from my friend and fellow Evans Scholar alumnus Tom Woodard. Tom suggested that I get in a round at City Park Golf Course before my 100-holes of caddying ends. Tom and I share the common bond of growing up at City Park and I realized he was absolutely right-City Park had to be part of the story.

So today I took care of that piece of the "Ed Mate Caddie Puzzle" by caddying 10 holes (front 9 plus the fabulous 18th hole) at City Park (bringing my season total to 93 holes). We were joined by Rupert O'Neal (founder and visionary of Ballyneal Golf Club in Holyoke) who tried to convince me to travel to Ballyneal to caddie this summer. Since we were unable to get that scheduled City Park served as an excellent back-up for that round.

Once again I had a blast! It was fun to share memories with Tom, while at the same time, showing a newbie the ropes. The greens had not been cut and with the cool, damp weather they were covered in heavy dew. I discovered something very interesting about reading greens covered in dew-you better get the read right because there is going to be strong visual evidence left behind to prove you right or wrong!

After the round we had a quick beverage and ran into another Colorado Golf Hall of Famer and City Park legend, Dan Hogan. Dan shared some of his many City Park stories. As I was leaving I ran into Chubbs Harden in the parking lot. Chubbs is an institution at City Park and has been introducing kids to the game there for 40-plus years. (I also had a chance to say hello to Paula Purifoy who oversees the Denver First Tee program-over 4,000 kids are now a part of that program!)

Today is why I love golf (and City Park in particular). It brings together such a wide range of people-an inner-city kid and a farmer from the eastern plains. I guarantee without this game there is no chance Tom Woodard and Rupert O'Neal ever meet-much less enjoy two hours together sharing their love of the game.

Click to support Ed's 100-Hole Century of Golf Caddie Challenge


Only 17 Holes to Go!

September 24th - Today I completed holes 66-83 of my march to 100 holes of caddying. This round was extra special for multiple reasons: 1) I returned to Denver Country Club which is where my caddie career began in 1982; 2) I caddied for Steve Stookesberry who was the first person I caddied for at DCC; 3) I got to carry double for the first time this summer and proved to myself that I can still do it!

Walking the fairways of DCC brought back so many memories. I owe so much to this club. It provided me with my first job. The club sponsored my application for the Evans Scholarship which gave me the gift of a lifetime--a college education. It is also the place where I interviewed for my job as executive director for the CGA. So, let's first job, my college education and my career in golf...Denver Country Club has been pretty good to me!

As I walked to my car after the round I had that same feeling I had after my many rounds caddying at DCC 30-plus years ago. That feeling of satisfaction that says, I worked hard today and it feels good. This may be the very best lesson that caddying teaches--working hard is good. Many thanks to Steve Stookesberry, Bob Russo, Kirk Huggins and head professional, Steve David for allowing me to return to the place where my career in golf began.

Left to Right- Madison Rivas, Josh Garcia, Ed Mate, Mario Villarreal, Demarco Randall (all Solich Caddie & Leadership Academy alumni). I was invited as a special guest to the Denver Country Club Caddie Banquet on September 27th. I was not named “Caddie of the Year!” What’s up with that?

Click to support Ed's 100-Hole Century of Golf Caddie Challenge


65 Holes in the Bag!

August 26th - Today I completed my 65th hole of caddying for the year. I finally convinced my daughter, Anna, to join me in my quest for 100 as we caddied 9-holes on Grand Junction's Lincoln Park Golf Course (built in 1926)! Anna and I caddied for CGA Governor, Frank Wilkinson and his son Matt. This round was extra special as not only did I get to share my love of caddying with my daughter, I got to spend some quality time with her on our drive to Flagstaff, Arizona where she begins the first year of her collegiate career at Northern Arizona University--Go Lumberjacks!

Lincoln Park is a wonderful old course that Grand Junction residents can play for less than $20. Frank and I talked about our respective starts in the game and how grateful we are for municipal golf--without which we never could have afforded to play the game. For me that place was City Park Golf Course in Denver. For Frank it was the muni's in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Despite his business success, Frank has never lost his love of public golf and takes pride in being a loyal member of the Lincoln Park Men's Club.

Frank and I teamed up well and "we" shot even par 36. My caddie skills continue to improve as I work off the rust after 30-plus years of retirement. Anna did a fantastic job and made her dad proud!

Next up...I return to where it all began--Denver Country Club--where I will be caddying for Steve Stookesberry who was my very first loop as a rookie caddie in 1982!

Click to support Ed's 100-Hole Century of Golf Caddie Challenge


56 Down, 44 to Go!

July 22th - Today I passed the mid-way point on my "march to 100" in my summer of caddying bringing my total number of holes to 56 with a nine-hole loop at the HealthOne Colorado Open Pro-Junior presented by BKD and PGA Tour Superstore. Today I caddied for Golf Channel commentator and four-time PGA Tour winner, Notah Begay and, First Tee of Green Valley Ranch Eagle Member, Nathan Raybuck. A pretty strong twosome! When Nathan isn't busy with his First Tee activities at Green Valley Ranch he is caddying at CommonGround as a member of the Solich Caddie & Leadership Academy--it was fun to reverse roles and throw Nathan's bag over my shoulder for a change.

Notah and Nathan tag-teamed for a solid even-par performance which earned them a respectable finish in the 35-team field. This event is a wonderful example of the great work being done by the Colorado Open Golf Foundation and the First Tee of Green Valley Ranch. Nathan is one of hundreds of kids that have participated in the First Tee program at GVR since its inception in 2004.

The First Tee was created in 1997 and through The First Tee Life Skills Experience, a curriculum for teaching character education through specific life skills, children around the world discover how the skills essential to success on a golf course can help them flourish in life. The Colorado Open Golf Foundation and The First Tee of GVR is one of the strongest examples of how golf can make such a positive impact on kids and their communities.

Click to support Ed's 100-Hole Century of Golf Caddie Challenge


47 Down, 53 to Go!

July 7th - As we approach the middle of summer I am approaching the mid-way point of my 100-hole caddie challenge. On July 7th I caddied at Cherry Hills Country Club for head professional, John Ogden, bringing my season total to 47 holes. I was joined by three fabulous "B" caddies (Molly, Jade and Walter). Jade and Walter are graduates of the Solich Caddie & Leadership Academy at CommonGround and Molly is a first-year caddie at Cherry Hills who has already logged 53 rounds this summer! That means Molly will be passing 1,000 holes of caddying before I meet my pedestrian goal of 100 holes.

My caddie skills continue to show serious signs of rust. On the 7th hole I misread the hole location sheet and gave my player the wrong distance to the hole. On 14 I dropped my towel (the most important piece of equipment for a caddie--thank you Molly for retrieving it for me). On 15 I raked the bunker (I had a busy day in the bunkers) while Clayton Cole was attempting to putt. Needless to say my caddie evaluation was less than perfect highlighted by this comment from John: "Do not quit your day job!"

Overall, it was another great day on the links and despite my less than perfect caddie performance I didn't make a bogey and I got to spend the day in the company of great people--thanks John, Clayton, Rick and Mary Pat for a fabulous day and for helping me remember how my love of golf started as a 14-year old caddie at Denver Country Club!

Click to support Ed's 100-Hole Century of Golf Caddie Challenge


Just 71 Holes Left to Go!

June 13th - Today I caddied 11 holes on the CommonGround Kid’s Course for Tom and Darius as part of the Big-Brothers Big-Sisters (BBBS) Golf Buddies program, which is funded by the Colorado Golf Foundation. Tom was more than happy to hand over his golf bag to me, but Darius had just picked up a new pull cart and he wasn’t about to let me take the wheel!

Darius is 11 and will be entering 7th grade in the fall. Someday he wants to become a software engineer and design video games. I know, shocker--an 11-year old who likes video games! He is also extremely polite and had a great attitude. His golf swing, like most young kids, is natural and uninhibited. His putting was excellent—once we got him aimed far enough to the right!

Tom is a retired UPS driver who has gotten bitten by the golf bug big time! He peppered me with questions about the game and told me about his golf simulator in his garage and the putting green in his basement!

It is great to see the natural opportunities for camaraderie that golf presents come out in a program like this. BBBS is all about creating experiences where “Bigs” and “Littles” can interact in a safe and fun environment. The marriage of golf with a mentorship program like BBBS is truly spectacular.

This time Little Caesar’s Pizza was waiting for me after the round. I may be a few years older since my caddie days but I still love pizza!

Click to support Ed's 100-Hole Century of Golf Caddie Challenge


18 Down and 82 to Go!

June 6th - The first leg of my 100-hole caddie challenge is in the books. I arrived at Castle Pines Golf Club for my round with George and Geoff Solich at 7:30 a.m. for the 9:00 a.m. shotgun start, got suited up in my white Castle Pines caddie jumpsuit and headed to the driving range. I did get a few confused looks from some of the Castle Pines members who know me from day job with the CGA. I told them that with my daughter heading to college in the fall we need all the income we can get!

Anyone who thinks fore caddying is easy is either a) a professional caddie; or b) has never done it. I was reminded how many things there are to keep track of—fortunately for me, veteran Castle Pines looper, Mike McBride was in my group and helped keep me from looking like a total idiot. I did manage to continually put George’s clubs in Geoff’s bag and Geoff’s clubs in George’s bag. I pretty much let Mike read all the putts—let me tell you it is NO FUN telling golfers where to hit putts—pretty much a lose-lose scenario. On the 8th hole I was late getting out to the fairway after dinking around with a head cover…as a result I was out of position and managed to lose Geoff’s tee shot—in fairness he did hit it about 30 yards left into the scrub oak but a good caddie never loses a ball and a great caddie always manages to find the ball on a good lie with a clear shot!

The best part of my day was the excellent turkey sandwich I enjoyed at the turn (I now know where the caddie refrigerator is) and the incredible chocolate milkshake that Assistant Pro Sue Sanders was kind enough to get for me after the round! Thanks, Sue! Let me tell you, after four and half ours of running, raking, cleaning and complimenting that might just be the best milkshake I have ever had!

Click to support Ed's 100-Hole Century of Golf Caddie Challenge



If you have any questions please contact Ryan Smith, or  303-974-2108.

Colorado Golf Foundation