HDSA Golf Tournament Gets Record Turnout; Generates Mega Cash for Local Programs

Sheriff’s Dream Links Team Takes Top Prize

Trevor Phipps


Woodland Park’s Shining Mountain Golf Course almost resembled a crowd scene from last weekend’s U.S. Open as cars were jammed packed in the parking lot. The 2024 summer links season kicked off locally with a definite bang, courtesy of the Teller County Honorary Deputy Sheriff’s Association’ (HDSA) annual golf tournament.

This year, the June 7 golf tourney attracted a record turnout, which in turn amounted to a big winner for programs that benefit the community and the law enforcement agency.


The tournament, according to Sheriff Jason Mikesell, broke attendance records and became the biggest tourney in the history of the event. Last year, the annual tourney broke records as well, earning the most amount of cash for the HDSA organization.

This year, the tournament drew more than 110 participants, a turnout that filled up just about every golf cart the course was equipped to handle. As of press time, the total amount of money raised wasn’t quite finalized. But according to Teller County Sheriff’s Lieutenant Renee Bunting, the amount is on par to break another record.

This is great news for the HDSA organization, which does a number of community programs and helps out the sheriff’s department.

During the recent tournament, golfers started arriving at the course early for the 7:30 a.m. shotgun start.

Throughout the day, the golf course was full with mostly four-man teams starting at each hole. Play during the 18-hole tournament progressed a little slow due to the difficulty of the SM links, offering no forgiveness for stray shots; but no one was complaining.


In fact, the one thing the participating golfers had on their side this year, compared to previous sheriff tournaments, was the blessing of Mother Nature. The weather was picture-perfect with temperatures in the 70s and a little breeze to offer soothing relief.

In the end, the golf teams’ scores ranged from looking almost too good with top scores in the mid 50s, obliterating course records for scrambles, to those who shot over 100 and were obviously there more for fun, As for the top champs, that honor belonged to the dream team of Teller County Sheriff Jason Mikesell, Undersheriff Stan Bishop, Commander Lad Sullivan, Teller County Administrator Ross Herzog and the team’s secret weapon, sharp shooter Dale Anderson.


In previous years, the sheriff’s team has dominated the tourney with Teller County Attorney Paul Hurcomb, an avid golfer. But this year, Hurcomb wasn’t available, so the sheriff had to reach out to his good friend Anderson to help lead the team to victory. “I had to make sure we beat the fire departments,” Sheriff Mikesell said.


The Marc Rucker team took the second-place prize, while a team sponsored by Jennifer Erdley, a key leader of the HDSA group, came in third. According to Lt. Bunting, a team consisting entirely of Teller County Sheriff deputies finished in last place with a score of 102.


But even though the deputies lost, they may have had the most fun. In previous years, the deputies all dressed the same while playing in the tournament. This year, they got permission to wear custom-made Hawaiian shirts with the faces of the sheriff, the undersheriff and two commanders along with American flags.


This year, the TMJ team looked similar as it has in the past with Editor Rick Langenberg basically carried the group and Writer Trevor Phipps spent most of the day chasing after his long, lost golf balls. The two TMJ staffers were joined with two representatives from the Divide Fire Department this year, and they racked up an impressive score of 66.


The tournament featured extra games during play, where on one hole the golfers were asked to hit the ball further than a definite, sharp-shooter, female player, who plays on the LPGA minor tour. She had a perfect swing that became the envy of virtually every player. Other holes had great options for improving their score, with a little cash, a needed asset for TMJ’s team.


The tournament marked the first big event of the 2024 golfing season at the Shining Mountain Golf Course. Throughout the summer season, SM hosts a number of charity tournaments and many events for all caliber of players to enjoy. Also, regular league play is available, with a Seniors group and men’s and women’s clubs.


One of the course’s next big benefit tourneys will be the annual Woodland Park Chamber of Commerce Golf Tournament on July 12. Breakfast is served starting at 7 a.m. with the shotgun start scheduled at 8 a.m. and lunch being served at the end at 1:15 p.m.


Towards the end of the summer, the Teller County Sheriff’s Office also plans to host the second annual First Responder Nine Hole Challenge at Shining Mountain, after having a very successful turnout last year. According to Bunting, the tournament will return again in 2024, but a date has not yet been set.


For more information on events at the Shining Mountain Golf Course visit their website at Shiningmountaingolfcourse.com, or check out the Mountain Almanac in TMJ or the SM Facebook page.