DENVER (AP) — John Elway will trade in the gridiron for the greens when the 39th U.S. Senior Open comes to Colorado Springs in 2018. The Denver Broncos boss was named honorary chairman of the tournament at the Broadmoor Golf Club on Tuesday.
“The guys that are playing in this tournament are the guys that I looked up to when I was growing up,” Elway said. “To be involved, it’s truly an honor.”
The ever-competitive Elway also hinted he might try to qualify for the tournament itself.
“I might give it a shot,” said Elway, a 1.9-handicap golfer, well under the requisite 3.4.
To make that a reality, he’d have to improve his putting.
“But I’m like every other amateur, too, you don’t go to the putting green, you go to the driving range, right?” Elway said. “If I went to the putting green it might help a little bit.”
Elway, 56, took up golf during the springs of his Hall of Fame playing career and really refined his game after retiring in 1999. But he hasn’t had as much time to hit the greens ever since rejoining his beloved Broncos as their chief front office executive in 2010.
He doesn’t get to play much before the NFL draft in April but sneaks in as many rounds as he can before training camp begins in late July, then hits the greens now and then during September and October.
Although he doesn’t really have the chance to work on his game anymore, he appreciates the game’s difficulties.
“It’s a game that you can play forever and I think that it’s a game that is different every single day. It’s a game that you can never, ever get your arms around every time,” Elway said. “It’s a different game day in and day out, so it’s a tremendous challenge.
“And I think that most importantly it gives us ex-athletes a chance to really compete.”
Elway guided the Broncos to all three of their Super Bowl titles, two as their quarterback and last year’s as their general manager and vice president of football operations.
His golf resume includes two Colorado Senior Open appearances and he is past president of Cherry Hills Country Club in Denver.
The 2018 U.S. Senior Open will be held at the Broadmoor Golf Club’s East Course from June 28-July 1.
“Those are greens that I’ve never really seen anywhere else,” Elway said. “I think the last time I played there, I think I hit 18 greens and shot 85. It has my number. But it’s a beautiful setting and a great, great golf course.”
Elway, who counts as his golf highlight his first hole-in-one that came on his 40th birthday, said it’s probably easier to covert a fourth-and-2 on the road than to sink a 3-foot putt with the quietude of the course.
“I will say I’d probably have more confidence on the fourth-and-2,” Elway said. “Especially at the Broadmoor.”