Keystone to host international golf conference |

Keystone to host international golf conference

It wasn’t an auspicious beginning when International Network of Golf Executive Director Mike Jamison came to Keystone to decide about holding the group’s annual convention at the resort.

It was September 11, 2001, and Jamison had just finished a weekend tour of the Keystone convention center and the two golf courses. He was due to fly out of Denver that fateful day. But when the operations froze at the nation’s airports after the terrorist attacks, Jamison realized he’d be in Keystone longer than expected.

“We were just about to leave Keystone when it happened, and we couldn’t get out” he recalled. “We saw every inch of Keystone, and it was beautiful.”

After the longer-than-expected stay, Jamison decided on the resort for the International Network of Golf’s (ING) 2003 convention. The group will be in Keystone June 1-5.

The 13-year-old ING is a golf industry networking organization whose mission is to enhance and promote communication and education in the sport. Attendees at the convention will include golf media from around the world and dozens of the top equipment manufacturers and course architects. About 200 people will be involved, attending meetings, playing rounds at the River and Ranch courses and doing business.

“It’s an informal but strong four days of relationship-building and education,” Jamison said. “It’s a media-based group, and companies come to meet the media and to see each other and learn what each other is doing and what’s working and what’s not working.”

Keystone is thrilled to have the group, especially with the heavy media presence.

“It’s great because it allows us to showcase our two courses to journalists from all over the world,” said Keystone spokesman Mike Lee. “There’s so many great stories to tell about golf in the High Country. This is a chance to get a captive audience to tell the stories to.”

The River Course will open May 17, and the Ranch Course will open May 29. Snow removal efforts are in full swing, Lee said.

One of the highlights of the convention will be a presentation by course architect Mike Hurdzan, who designed the River Course. People are looking forward to the golf perhaps most of all.

When Jamison played at Keystone in 2001, he shot his best round in10 years. He credited the altitude – which promotes longer, straighter shots – with helping his game.

“My 9-iron, normally about 130 yards, went about 155,” he said. “I was very happy about that. And the beauty of the courses is stunning. I know people will leave this resort talking positively about these two courses.”

Jason Starr can be reached at (970) 668-3998 Ext. 231 or at

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