March 19, 2015 – Tommy Anderson, retired superintendent of the Broadmoor Golf Club, has been recently been given an honorary lifetime membership to the Rocky Mountain Golf Course Superintendents Association (RMGCSA).
Anderson worked at the Broadmoor hotel for “42 years and 9 months.” He was the superintendent of the golf courses, which included The U.S. Women’s Open, U.S. Women’s Amateur and was also the hotels property superintendent.
“I am totally honored and by this honorary membership and want to thank the RMGCSA for thinking of him,” stated Anderson when he heard the news of this honorary membership.
Anderson was also given an honorary lifetime membership to the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA). “This is such an honor!” said Anderson.
Bob Kinder, retired superintendent of The Club at Rolling Hills, was also given the honorary membership by the RMGCSA. Anderson recalls that he and Bob both started in the golf business right about the same time together and retired two days apart from each other. Anderson was the RMGCSA president in 1981 while Kinder was the president in 1995.
Anderson’s turfgrass career began at CSU in the early 70’s. There was no turfgrass program at the school at the time, so he enrolled in parks administration and forestry horticulture. But his love was turfgrass and golf courses. He met up with local Collindale Golf Course superintendent Neal Johnson and told him that he wanted at the golf course. Johnson told Anderson that his staff was full and could not hire him. Anderson would not take “no” for an answer and told Johnson “alright I’ll work for free!” After one week of working for free, Johnson approached Tommy and said that the city won’t let you work for free out here and that he has to put Tommy on the payroll. Anderson made $1.90 per hour. That’s how Tommy got started.
In college, his forestry class took a spring field trip out to the Monterey Peninsula, California to study parks. During the trip, the class so happened to pass by Pebble Beach Golf Club and Spyglass Golf Course. Classmates told Anderson that there is no money in golf courses and should stick to forestry. But Anderson knew that golf courses where his passion.
After finishing college, Anderson wanted to move on and had Johnson recommend him for a job. Johnson wrote Chuck Clark, than Broadmoor golf course superintendent and Clark hired him. Anderson spent his first few days at the Broadmoor helping with the irrigation. Running back hoes and trenching, trying to improve the irrigation system. Clark saw his passion and offered Anderson the assistant superintendent’s position.
In 1974 the Broadmoor brought in Arnold Palmer and Ed Seay to design its third and new course, The South Course. With this addition of a new 18 holes, allowed Clark to become the director of golf and Anderson the golf course superintendent of all three golf courses.
In 1995 the Broadmoor hosted the U.S. Women Open. The Friday night of the tournament, the #17 fairway had a mainline break. Anderson and staff worked through the night getting correct parts, digging and cleaning up this unfortunate water line break. They stole sod from the West course, had it repaired and cleaned up by 5:36 am.
Later on in the tournament, Anderson was watching play on the second green. As he was standing, a ball came bouncing by him and just missing his feet. This startled Anderson and wondered whose ball that was? Moments later a lady came walking up to Anderson with her big smile, dark hair and whispered into Tommy’s ear and said “fore.” The lady who happened to hit that ball, was the great Nancy Lopez.
During a GCSAA conference and golf tournament in Florida, Anderson played in the golf tournament with friends and fellow superintendents Mark Koonce and Jerry Palmer. They all rode in the same car but none of them knew how to put gas into the car. Palmer says to the guys that they should take it over to his brother’s house; he’ll know how to help them. So they pull up to Palmers brothers’ house and out walks Jerry’s brother, Arnold. Arnold knew they were playing golf that day and asked Anderson, “well, did my brother embarrass our name today?” Anderson told Arnold, “No, he won the 5th flight!”
Anderson resides in both Colorado Springs and Fort Collins. He has three children, two sons and one daughter. Anderson can still be found out on the golf course helping out fellow superintends and friends Dan Hawkins and Fred Dickman with their golf courses. Even being retired, Anderson still has that passion for golf courses and the experiences he had in this profession.