The first organizational meeting of Columbine Country Club was held in December of 1954. Ev Collier, Potts Berglund, Leonard LeLuc, Governor Dan Thornton, Ax Neilson, and twelve other men (constituting the “Founders”) put up the initial capital to purchase the 360-acre Heckendorf farm, on which would be constructed the clubhouse, golf course, and other facilities. The Club’s name “Columbine” was chosen because it is the state flower. The aligning of the fairways with single-family homes was designed after the famous Thunderbird Country Club in Palm Springs, California.
Under the leadership of Ev Collier, the group planned and constructed the Henry Hughes designed golf course, drilled water wells, built a clubhouse, pool, developed roads and utilities, platted home sites for sale, and began building the club membership. Ev Collier was a leader with exceptional organizational abilities, and he set the entire project into motion.
Soon after the completion of the Championship Course, Columbine applied to host a national PGA Championship Tournament. The request was granted, and 1966 was designated as the year Columbine would be the host club for the Golden Anniversary of the PGA. Unfortunately, on June 16, 1965 a cloudburst over Plum Creek caused the flood of the century on the South Platte River. A train of logs, picked up en route, crashed down the swollen river, but could not navigate the bend at No. 13 tee. High water and logs overtook the lower part of the golf course, demolished homes and filled basements along Driver Lane as far west as Fairway Lane. After inspection, PGA officials determined that there was no way the tournament could be held at Columbine in 1966.
It took only one year for determined Columbine supporters to restore the golf course. From the devastation of the previous year to the beautiful reincarnation, Columbine’s Championship course came back better than before. All of this was made possible by the dedication of Columbine’s enthusiastic Membership and volunteers.
A very successful PGA Championship was held at Columbine Country Club in the summer of 1967. Thirty-seven-year-old Don January shot a 281 total to win the Championship when the course played at 7,436 yards. At the time it was the longest yardage in the history of major golf championships and this record would stand for an astounding thirty-two years. After a recent golf course restoration project, the Championship Course at Columbine plays at 7,427 from the tips, and can be set to over 7,600 yards.