Aspen Junior Golf remembers founder
Aspen’s young golfers are dreaming big these days. One 12-year old is already planning on going to Stanford, then donning the Green Jacket at the Masters, Aspen Junior Golf executive director Alden Richards said. Others no doubt are dreaming of lucrative careers on the PGA Tour. While the potential for success stories looks promising, the program took a moment Wednesday afternoon to remember the man who made it all possible. A small ceremony outside the clubhouse that now bears his name honored Boyd Jefferies, whose vision for junior golf became a reality in 1987. A wooden sign will soon be affixed to the side of the clubhouse for all to see as they drive downvalley on Highway 82. A granite plaque will also be placed along the cart path en route to the 10th tee.”The program has flourished and is in good health, and these kids have a home,” Richards said. “For Sharon and Boyd, this was the least we could do. “His name will always be here, for the next 50, even 100 years.”What started out a post-retirement project soon turned into a passion for Jefferies, said his wife, Sharon, who was by his side the entire way. “At one point Boyd was a 4-handicap. When he met me, it all went downhill,” she joked. The two, who vacationed in Aspen since the 1970s, believed the area and the undertaking were a perfect match. Jefferies was often digging in the dirt for hours on hand, spreading grass seed, watering – whatever it took- to help shape a junior driving range. “It was a labor of love for Boyd,” Sharon said. “I’ve never seen someone with more energy.” Jefferies, the former head of an equity trading firm who died of a heart attack in August 2001, also had a gift for fundraising, his granddaughter, Carrera Jefferies-Shea, remembered. It was common for pro golfers and celebrities to attend charity golf tournaments and the auctions that followed at the Double Diamond. Tennis great Chris Evert, 1995 NBA MVP David Robinson and even rockers the Eagles came out to support the cause. The success under Jefferies’ tenure was undeniable. You can see it in the smiles and in the backswings of the estimated 300 young golfers who have participated in the program each year, Richards said. “Boyd loved these kids,” Sharon said. “It’s been great to see the program survive and go beyond where it started.”Jefferies’ indelible mark on Aspen Junior Golf remains in the program’s 20th season. The two will continue to be bound in the years to come. “He was a great man, really special,” Sharon said. “He would be honored.”Jon Maletz’s e-mail address is email@example.com
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