Taking the Reins

UCCS grad Ali Wells becomes the first female executive director of the Colorado PGA

By Gary Baines – 2/15/2022

(Note — Feb. 22, 2022: A week after an announcement was made about Ali Wells becoming the Colorado PGA executive director, Section leadership said she had declined the CPGA offer and won’t be taking the job after all.)


The Colorado PGA named the sixth executive director in its history on Tuesday — and the first female to lead the Section’s staff.

Ali Wells, a 2009 marketing graduate of the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs — where she went through the Professional Golf Management program — succeeds Eddie Ainsworth, who departed in December after more than 13 years at the CPGA’s executive director. Wells is expected to go full time with her new duties in about a month.

Ali Wells has been executive director of the Gateway PGA since 2018.

“I am very excited to join the Colorado PGA as its next executive director,” Wells said in a release. “As one of the top Sections in the country, with an incredible membership and Foundation, the Colorado PGA is a place I look forward to calling home. An executive director has the distinct privilege of serving PGA members, the game and the community. This opportunity is an honor and a responsibility I take seriously.”

Wells, a Class A PGA professional, comes to the new job after a decade working in the Gateway PGA Section in the St. Louis, Mo., area, where she was the executive director since 2018 — and the first female in that position. Prior to her time with the Gateway PGA, Wells served as an assistant professional at The Club at Flying Horse in Colorado Springs, then as a marketing assistant for the 2008 U.S. Senior Open that The Broadmoor hosted. 

“My favorite internship was with the 2008 Senior U.S. Open at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs. I knew then that I wanted my golf career to be in administration,” Wells told Town & Style St. Louis in 2018.

After graduating from UCCS, Wells moved to Port St. Lucie, Fla., where she became a junior golf director with the PGA Center for Learning and Performance. In 2012, she joined the Gateway PGA, working as the director of operations until the end of 2017, after which she became the executive director. The Section has significantly increased its Foundation fundraising revenue and overall operating budget with Wells in her leadership positions.

“We are very excited about having Ali on the Colorado PGA Section team,” Jim Hajek, president of the CPGA, said in the release. “She has been a rock star in every position she has held, and this clearly shows with her exemplary work in the Gateway Section. We look forward to the amazing things that will come under her leadership.”

Wells was raised in Rapid City, S.D., one of the northernmost points in the Colorado PGA Section.

Wells takes the helm at a Colorado PGA Section that during Ainsworth’s tenure won 10 national PGA of America awards/honors — between individual members and the Section itself — most recently with Hiwan Golf Club’s Kyle Heyen being inducted into the PGA of America Hall of Fame.

The previous Colorado PGA executive directors were Jerry King, Myran Craig, Scott Wellington, Darrell Bock and Ainsworth. 

(About the writer: Gary Baines has covered golf in Colorado continuously since 1983. He was a sports writer at the Daily Camera newspaper in Boulder, then the sports editor there, and has written regularly for ColoradoGolf.org since 2009. He was voted into the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame in 2021. Email: ColoradoGolfJournal@mac.com)