Ernie Denham and Dave Nicholas To Be Inducted in Kentucky Golf Hall of Fame
LOUISVILLE, KY (September 24, 2020) – The Kentucky Golf Foundation is proud to announce Ernie Denham and Dave Nicholas are the 2020 inductees for the Kentucky Golf Hall of Fame. Denham and Nicholas will officially be inducted later in the year to join the distinguished group of individuals who have made significant contributions to golf in Kentucky.
Denham tragically passed away on August 7th, 2019 at the age of 75 and will be inducted posthumously. He served as the Executive Director for Golf House Kentucky from 1977-1988 and then began his journey in college golf coaching. He became the Men’s Golf Coach for the Louisville Cardinals and would eventually hold the same role for the Bellarmine Knights beginning in 2003; a position he held until the day of his passing. Denham also served as a rules official in Golf House Kentucky competitions throughout his time as a college golf coach which included several tournaments he worked in 2019 before his death.
“I am truly ecstatic that Ernie will be inducted into the Kentucky Golf Hall of Fame,” said Mack Van Lenten, Assistant Executive Director at Golf House Kentucky who also played college golf for Bellarmine during Denham’s time there. “Anyone who had the opportunity to spend time around him knows how much he loved the game of golf. He dedicated his life to the sport and has done so much for golf in Kentucky by serving as a rules official in addition to his college coaching for so many years. He provided so many great memories and touched so many lives. I know he will be up there celebrating this honor with a Speedy Freeze and a few chocolate chip cookies.”
Dave Nicholas is the President of the Kentucky Golf Association. His term in this role will end at the end of the calendar year, but his time on the KGA’s board dates back to 1987 when he was first appointed to its Board of Directors. In 1992, he became President of the KGA for the first time, became President once more in 1999, and is now on his third and what he plans to be final rotation as KGA president. Nicholas has been instrumental in growing the KGA’s tournament schedule from what was just two tournaments in 1993 to what is now more than a dozen events each season. Nicholas can be seen on the golf course at many Golf House Kentucky competitions as a rules official and has helped educate other board members with the Rules of Golf to help ensure the highest quality of rules officiating in Kentucky golf.
“I am honored and grateful to be elected to the Kentucky Golf Hall of Fame,” Nicholas said. “Serving on the Board of Directors has been an opportunity for me to impact golf in a positive manner. All I ever wanted to do was make a difference. I hope I have. When Ernie tragically passed last year, I was sad but was also mad at myself for not having nominated him for the Kentucky Golf Hall of Fame in the past. I am very happy that he was elected, but I still regret that he is not with us to accept the award. I am honored to be able to enter the Kentucky Golf Hall of Fame with Ernie Denham.”
Arrangements and details of an induction ceremony this fall are to be determined due to the COVID-19 pandemic and will be announced at a later date. For now, the KGF congratulates Ernie, Dave and their families on this prestigious honor and looks forward to welcoming them to the Kentucky Golf Hall of Fame as the 2020 induction class.