October 29, 2007–Junior golf in Southern Nevada and Las Vegas has a very long and rich history, and there are many people associated with the sport that could be deemed worthy of induction into the inaugural class of the Southern Nevada Junior Golf Hall of Fame. Recently, the first two members–LPGA Tour player and former junior golfer Stephanie Louden and benefactor and Champions Tour player Jim Colbert–were inducted. The induction ceremony was a part of the annual Danny Gans Partee Fore Kids fundraiser for the First Tee of Southern Nevada and the Danny Gans Junior Golf Academy. "It is the honor of The First Tee of Southern Nevada, operators of the Southern Nevada Junior Golf Tour, to induct Stephanie Louden and Jim Colbert into the inaugural class of the Southern Nevada Junior Golf Hall of Fame," said president Larry Lindholm. "What we want to accomplish with the Hall of Fame is to recognize and honor the historic past of Southern Nevada junior golf while bringing positive awareness to the present and future. With Jim and Stephanie, you have two people who have been tremendous both on and off the golf course, and embody everything that junior golf is all about, and they are very worthy to be our first honorees."
Others that attended the ceremony were entertainers, athletes, and PGA and LPGA Tour golfers including Gans, Nick Faldo, Lou Ferrigno, Rollie Fingers, Greg Maddux, Mike Maddux, Reggie Jackson, Bret Saberhagen, Joe Theisman, Stephanie Louden, Jim Colbert, Erica Blasberg and many Las Vegas golf professionals including Jimmie Bullard, Kim Dolan and Shawn Callahan, all pros who have worked with Louden over the years. Colbert was welcomed into the hall by The First Tee of Southern Nevada President Larry Lindholm, while Larry Keever, Louden’s father, welcomed her into the new group.
A golf tournament at Las Vegas golf course Anthem Country Club was also held as part of the celebration.
About Jim Colbert
He was owner/operator of Las Vegas Golf Club in 1980's where he opened the course facilities to terrific PGA golf teaching pros like Kim Dolan, Jimmie Bullard and Tom Carlson who taught great juniors. Colbert also allowed easy access to the course for junior players.
He was the key figure in bringing back the PGA Tour to Las Vegas with the playing of the 1983 Panasonic Pro Celebrity Classic. Junior golfers have volunteered and helped with this tournament ever since including current PGA Tour and LPGA Tour players Stephanie Louden and Craig Barlow. The event celebrated its 25th anniversary this year.
He has donated a minimum of $150,000 to junior golf through the Jim Colbert Endowment fund that helps junior golfers go on to higher education.
He was instrumental in the creation of the First Tee of Southern Nevada that brought the Southern Nevada Junior Golf Association and the Southern Nevada Inner-City Youth Golf Association together in 2002.
About Stephanie Louden
1995 American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) Compaq Scholastic All-American with 3.76 GPA.
Winner of many Southern Nevada Junior Golf Association tournaments
2nd team AJGA All-American in 1995 and 1996
Honorable mention AJGA All-American in 1997
1997 Women’s Western Amateur Champion
Four-time All-American at Stanford University
Three college tournament wins
1993 Girls 13-14 Rolex Junior World Champion
Member of winning 2000 Curtis Cup US team
LPGA Tour member through present
Member, LPGA Tour Executive Committee