Jim Colbert

Professional, Benefactor, Course Operator

Biography

Mr. Jim Colbert is synonymous with golf in Las Vegas. Colbert owns eight PGA Tour victories and more than 20 Champions Tour wins, but his impact is even more meaningful. He was instrumental in helping to return the PGA Tour back to Las Vegas in 1983, and for creating the Las Vegas Founders Club, a group of Las Vegas volunteers that operated events on all three pro tours and have raised more than $13 million for area charities.

Mr. Colbert and Ron Fogler came to town in the early 1980s to manage the Las Vegas Municipal Golf Course. Seeing the potential for a PGA Tour event, Colbert and Las Vegas Founders Club put together a plan of action and in 1983 the PGA Tour’s Panasonic Las Vegas Pro-Celebrity Classic bloomed to life as the richest PGA Tour event on the schedule. and Vegas has been a Tour stop regular ever since. The total purse was the first million-dollar purse in PGA Tour history, and celebrates its 27th year.

“Jim was the father of the PGA tour in Las Vegas,” said Charlie Baron, tournament manager for 22 years. “He and Ron had the foresight to bring the event to the city. Jim, with his contacts, made it happen and took on a monumental task. You’ve got to give him a lot of credit for making it happen.”

On the playing side, Colbert has won more than $4.6 million since turning professional. Mr. Colbert graduated from Kansas State University and turned professional in 1965. His first victory came at the 1969 Monsanto Open Invitational.

He would win seven more times on the PGA Tour including a span of four-straight years where he would post a victory. His best finish in a major would be a tie for third in the 1971 U.S. Open. Mr. Colbert moved to the Champions Tour in 1991 and burst onto the scene with three victories in that first year. He would win at least one tournament for six straight years.

During that streak Mr. Colbert would win four times in the 1995 season including the Las Vegas Senior Classic. He would return in 1996 as the defending champion and walk away with the title again, making it a very special few years in his adopted hometown of Las Vegas.

List of Achievements

  • 1969 Monsanto Open Invitational champion
  • 1972 Greater Milwaukee Open champion
  • 1973 Greater Jacksonville Open champion
  • 1974 American Golf Classic champion
  • 1975 Walt Disney World National Team Championship champion
  • 1980 Joe Garagiola-Tucson Open champion
  • 1982 Helps create the Las Vegas Founders Club
  • 1983 Colonial National Invitation champion
  • 1983 The PGA Tour returns with the Las Vegas Pro-Celebrity Classic, organized by Mr. Colbert and other volunteers
  • 1983 Texas Open champion
  • 1995-96 Las Vegas Senior Classic champion
  • 2007 Inductee, Southern Nevada Junior Golf Hall of Fame