Year: 2016

Elliott claims fourth IGA, second Senior POTY; Epperly tops of IGA Junior points list

Elliott claims fourth IGA POTY
For the second year in a row and fourth overall, West Des Moines’ Gene Elliott is the IGA Player of the Year.

Elliott, who edged out Urbandale’s Jon Brown by 37.5 points (1,156.76 – 1,119.17) thanks to earning his way into match play the U.S. Mid-Amateur, had another banner year in 2016. Elliott had top five finishes at the Stocker Cup, Coleman Invitational, Iowa Mid-Amateur and Iowa Masters to go along with wins at the IGA Four-Ball (with partner Mike McCoy) and the Briarwood Amateur. Elliott also qualified for the previously mentioned U.S. Mid-Amateur to earn bonus points towards his winning total this year.

Brown, who fell just short of his third IGA POTY title, had a solid year himself earning a win at the Iowa Mid-Amateur to go along with low amateur at the Herman Sani Tournament and Iowa Open. Brown also partnered with Jon Olson to qualify for match play at the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball this year.

Rounding out the top five in this year’s race were J.D. Anderson, Jon Olson and McCoy.


Elliott wins second IGA Senior POTY
With the help of two wins and bonus points at two USGA events in 2016, Gene Elliott (1,435 points) outdistanced Ron Peterson (1122.5 points) for the 2016 IGA Senior Player of the Year crown. This is the second IGA Senior Player of the Year award for Elliott (2012).

Elliott won the IGA Senior Match Play and the Iowa Senior Amateur Championship and added in points for qualifying for the U.S. Senior Open and for making match play at the U.S. Mid-Amateur.

Elliott qualified for the U.S. Senior Open by earning co-medalist honors with a 68 at Vista Valley Country Club in Vista, CA. He joined fellow Iowan and close friend Mike McCoy at Scioto Country Club in Columbus, OH. McCoy was exempt into the event from being low amateur at the Senior Open in 2015.

Peterson, who gave a great effort in chasing the Senior POTY title this year, amassed three wins and two runner-up finishes in 2016. He won the Senior Division of the Iowa Mid-Amateur, Carroll Amateur and Northwest Amateur and was runner-up in the Senior Division at the Iowa Masters and Iowa Open.

Finishing just behind Elliott and Peterson were Terry Cook (3rd), Joe Bates (4th) and Curtis Holck (5th).


Epperly comes out on top of IGA Junior points list
Two wins and qualifying for the match play portion of the U.S. Junior Amateur this summer vaulted Ben Epperly to the top of the IGA Junior Player of the Year Points list.

Epperly, who accumulated a total of 1,270 points, was victorious at the Class 4A Iowa High School State Championship and the Midwest Junior Championship held at Finkbine Golf Course in Iowa City. The highlight of his summer was his performance at the U.S. Junior Amateur at The Honors Course in Tennessee. He opened with a 1-under par 71 in qualifying and ultimately earned the #53 seed in the match play draw. He lost a tightly contested match 1 up in his opening round.

Following close behind Epperly, was Chris Cooksley who posted win at the 1A Iowa High School State Championship and the IPGA Junior Tour Championship.

Garret Jensen, who won the 2016 Iowa Masters, finished third in the standings.

Heinz, Kubesheski & Hawkins earn Women’s Player of the Year awards

Heinz wins third straight Player of the Year
Jenny Heinz, of Cedar Falls, successfully defended her IGA Player of the Year title for the third consecutive year.

It was a close race, but Heinz bested second place finisher, Julie Buerman, by 92 points. Heinz earned 925 points to claim the 2016 Player of the Year title which was highlighted by two wins at the IGA Women’s Four-Ball (with partner Karli Kerrigan) and by winning the Individual Gross competition of the IGA Women’s Club Team Championship at Wakonda Club in early August. Heinz also finished runner-up in the IGA Women’s Match Play event hosted by Crow Valley Golf Club.

Cedar Rapids’ Buerman finished runner up to Heinz in the point standings. Buerman competed in five IGA events, earning a victory in the IGA Women’s Match Play Championship where she beat Heinz in the finals by a score of 3 & 1. She also finished second in the Cedar Rapids Women’s Open and fourth in the Gross Division of the IGA Women’s Club Team Championship.

Finishing third in the point race was University of Iowa golfer, Jessie Sindlinger. Sindlinger only competed in one event, but she made the most of it by claiming her first Iowa Women’s Amateur victory at Finkbine Golf Course in Iowa City.


Kubesheski claims second Senior Player of the Year title
Since the inauguration of the award in 2010, Rose Kubesheski of Dubuque has been a mainstay at the top of the Women’s Senior Player of the Year standings. In 2016, she earned her third win (2010 & 2013).

Kubesheski ran away with the 2016 POTY title as she finished nearly 260 points ahead of runner-up, Janece Schwartzkopf, of Stuart. Kubesheski competed in four events which included three victories; her first coming in the IGA Women’s Four-Ball (with partner Robin Webb), her second in the IGA Forever 39 Match Play Championship, and her third when she won her fifth IGA Women’s Senior Amateur Championship at Briarwood Club of Ankeny in late September.

Schwartzkopf’s 621.5 points was good enough to earn her second place in the point standings. The high point of Schwartzkopf’s season came in mid-July when she won the Open Division of the Iowa Women’s Amateur Championship. She also finished runner-up in the Iowa Women’s Senior Amateur Championship and third in the IGA Women’s Four-Ball with partner Carroll Dethrow.

The standings may have looked differently had Robin Webb, of Clive, would not have had to withdraw from the Senior Women’s Amateur Championship, but nonetheless, Webb earned 500 points to finish in third place in the point standings. She played in three events which included winning the IGA Women’s Four-Ball with partner, Kubesheski.


Hawkins wins Junior Girls’ Player of the Year in 2016
It was a tight race, but in the end, Maddie Hawkins, of Asbury came out on top as the 2016 IGA Junior Girls’ Player of the Year.

Hawkins competed in six events this season where, after qualifying in Blaine, Minn., she earned a spot as the first alternate in the USGA Girl’s Junior Amateur Championship. Hawkins also finished second in qualifying to earn a number two seed in match play in the Western Women’s Golf Association Junior Championship. She went on to make it to the quarterfinal round in match play, but lost to the number ten seed, Penelope Tir of Illinois, 3 & 1. Other highlights included a third place finish in the Iowa PGA Junior Championship at Ames Golf and Country Club and a fourth place finish at the Midwest Junior hosted by Finkbine Golf Course in Iowa City.

Casey Noble, 17, of Morning Sun never finished outside of the top ten in any of the eight events that she played this season. Noble collected a pair of runner-up finishes in the Iowa PGA Cedar Rapids Junior and the Iowa PGA Junior Championship. She also placed third in the class 1A Iowa High School State Tournament contested at Jester Park Golf Course in Granger.

Rounding out the top three in the junior girl’s point standings was Hannah Bermel of Cedar Falls. Bermel claimed runner-up finishes at the class 5A Iowa High School State Golf Tournament and at the Iowa PGA Junior Tour Kickoff held at Pheasant Ridge Golf Course in Cedar Falls. Highlighting her season was a win at the Iowa PGA Junior Championship at Lake Panorama National Golf Course in Panora.

PGA Pros win 49th Iowa Cup Matches

RIVERSIDE, IA – With the help of a 12-8 advantage in Singles Matches, the Iowa PGA Section pulled away and won the Iowa Cup, 17.5-12.5, over Team IGA.

Winning points in the singles matches for the IGA were Justin Pansegrau, Bill Manske, Scot Cook, J.D. Anderson, Josh Black, Nate Dunn and Terry Cook. Joe Palmer and Mike Eckerman each earned a 1/2 point for the team with a halve in their match.

The Honorary Captians for the matches were Mike Hall of St. Andrews Golf Club in Cedar Rapids for the Iowa Section PGA and John Peters of Muscatine for the IGA. Peters has been one of the best senior amateur players in Iowa for more than two decades. He was the 2004 IGA Senior Player of the Year and won the regular IGA Match Play at age 57 at Spirit Hollow in 2005. Both he and Hall have participated in many Iowa Cup Matches over the years.

Unfortunately, due to the poor conditions on Thursday afternoon, the tournament committee determined to cancel the afternoon Foursomes matches (alternate shot). The morning Four-Ball matches were the only ones played on day one.

Click on the Results/Pairing buttons to view all of the scoring.

2017 Championship Schedule Released

The IGA is excited to announce the 2017 Championship schedule, which will feature several top venues around the state (scroll and click link at bottom for complete schedule of events).

Next year, the 115th Iowa Amateur will be contested at Cedar Rapids Country Club (CRCC), which was host to the 2016 U.S. Open Local qualifier. CRCC recently completed a tremendous restoration that will give players a challenging, but fair test.  It is the state’s only Donald Ross-designed golf course, and the recent restoration brought it back to Ross’ original vision.

CRCC also hosted U.S. Open Local qualifiers in 2003 and 2004. The Iowa Amateur will be played on Monday – Wednesday, July 24-26.

The Iowa Women’s Amateur will be played at Johnston’s Hyperion Field Club, which last hosted the championship in 2009. Hyperion recently hosted the Herman Sani Tournament and the IGA Club Team Championship in 2016. Similar to the Iowa Amateur, the Iowa Women’s Amateur will also be contested over a Monday – Wednesday (July 31-Aug. 1).

The Harvester Golf Club will once again host the IGA Match Play Championship, having done so in 2003 and 2004. The IGA Women’s Match Play will also be contested concurrently. Most recently, The Harvester hosted the 2015 U.S. Open Local qualifier. The course, which has routinely been ranked the best in the state by numerous publications, was home to the 2007 Iowa Amateur as well.  This year’s men’s and women’s Match Play is scheduled for Monday – Thursday, June 26-29.

Back on the schedule is Cedar Falls’ Beaver Hills Country Club, the host of the 2017 Iowa Mid-Amateur. This will be the fourth time the club has hosted the Iowa Mid-Am (1990, 97 & 2003).  The club has also hosted five Iowa Amateur Championships (1973, 74, 81, 93 & 98).  The course, which opened in 1965 and was designed by Larry Packard, completed a renovation of the turf on the tees, fairways and greens in 2014.

Since 2013 the Herman Sani Tournament presented by Coppola Enterprises has rotated between Echo Valley Country Club and Hyperion Field Club.  2017 marks a return to Echo Valley CC, the third time they will host. The tournament will be held on its traditional dates – Fri-Sun, August 11-13. The championship features professional and amateur golfers with proceeds from the tournament going to the IGA’s Herman Sani Scholarship Fund.

The Iowa Wife-Husband Championship will again be held at Lake Panorama National Golf Course in Panora, which hosted in 2016. The championship, set for Sept. 15-17, was previously held at Burlington Golf Club (2003-15) and Brooks Golf Course in Okoboji prior to that. The tournament will remain a 3-day format in which couples choose to play their two rounds on Friday & Saturday, Friday & Sunday or Saturday & Sunday.

The IGA will once again conduct a full plate of qualifying for USGA Championships in 2017. Spirit Hollow Golf Course will host U.S. Open Local Qualifying in May, Otter Creek Golf Course in Ankeny will host U.S. Junior Amateur Qualifying in June and Finkbine Golf Course will host U.S. Amateur Qualifying in July. Qualifying for the U.S. Mid-Amateur will be held at Davenport Country Club on Sept. 6.

The IGA shares qualifying for the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball with the Nebraska Golf Association, rotating sites between the Omaha and Des Moines areas.  2017 marks the IGA’s turn to host and the qualifier will be staged at Echo Valley Country Club in late September.

In addition to those championships and USGA qualifiers already listed, the IGA will conduct events at the following venues – Otter Creek GC (Iowa Cup Matches), Bent Tree GC in Council Bluffs (IGA Four-Ball), Fort Dodge CC (Senior Match Play), Jester Park GC in Granger (Father/Son, Parent/Child), Brown Deer GC (Women’s Four-Ball), Stone Creek GC in Williamsburg (Women’s Forever 39), Coldwater GL in Ames (Iowa Junior Am & Junior Girls’ Am), Elmwood CC (Women’s Club Team), Burlington GC (Iowa Senior Am), Clarinda CC (Senior Women’s Am).

IGA Member Play Days will be scheduled and announced at a later time.

Entries will open all IGA events on March 1.  USGA championship entries open at a later date(s). IGA events and USGA qualifiers not scheduled are listed as TBD on the consolidated schedule link (scroll and click link at bottom for complete schedule of events).

IGA 2016 Annual Award Recipients

On Friday, November 4th, the IGA Board of Directors named recipients of the 2016 Annual Awards in six categories. We are pleased to announce this year’s honorees.

9-Hole Course of the Year
Urbandale Golf & Country Club in Urbandale is the 2016 9-Hole Course of the Year.
The golf course is located on 87 acres and was started in 1965 by a group of charter members who helped build the 9 hole golf course that they still have today.

Several of the nominations for UGCC commented that the course playing conditions were in top shape and that members have been spoiled by the outstanding facility they have at the club.

The club recently hosted the 2016 Forever 39 Match Play Championship – which drew rave reviews from nearly every participant.

Urbandale Golf & CC also won the award in 2006.

18-Hole Course of the Year
The recipient of the 2016 IGA 18-Hole Course of the Year is Otter Creek Golf Course in Ankeny.

An outstanding public facility, Otter Creek GC hosted its 10th USGA qualifier in the last 14 years, the U.S. Amateur qualifier, in 2016. The course has also hosted many IGA Championships over the years.

The facility, including the clubhouse and practice range, is home to nearly 30,000 rounds every year, with another 15,000 using the practice range. The course and its staff has been leaders in junior golf instruction and development in the state – continuing today with around 300 kids participating in various camps, clinics and other activities at the course.

The facility was originally opened in 1982 and was designed by Paul Miller & Associates (Minneapolis, MN). The renovated Otter Creek opened June, 2009, which included a complete renovation and reconstruction of the golf course and driving range.

9-Hole Superintendent of the Year
Mike McCallister of Stone Creek Golf Club, Williamsburg, is the 2016 9-Hole Superintendent of the Year.
Year-in and year-out the playing conditions and overall beauty of Stone Creek Golf Club draws rave reviews from members of the IGA. In fact, the course has won the IGA 9-hole Course of the Year award twice (2002, 11).

McCallister has been at Stone Creek since it’s remodel in 2001, becoming superintendent in 2003.

While only 9-holes, McCallister keeps the course in top notch shape and players from across the state make it a point to stop and play this gem in Williamsburg.

18-Hole Superintendent of the Year
The 2016 IGA 18-Hole Superintendent of the Year is Tom Feller of Cedar Rapids Country Club.
During a recent, multi-year, restoration of the Donald Ross design, Feller oversaw a significant amount of creativity and heavy lifting giving CRCC and guests a refreshing authentic, challenging and delightful golf experience.

“Without Tom, it would be extremely difficult to replicate our success,” CRCC Green Committee Chair Vaughn Halyard said. “He figured out how to do a $3 million project for a fraction of that. He came in 65-80% under budget and probably two years ahead of schedule – all while maintaining the regular maintenance routing over the course for multiple seasons.”

The ‘new’ course has already been the recipient of numerous positive accolades by several outlets, including positive praise from golf course architect Tom Doak.

Feller, and his crew, were instrumental in the success of the 2016 U.S. Open Local qualifier conducted by the IGA at CRCC. The course played firm, fast and tough. It was a fantastic test for players trying to qualify for the national championship.

Club Manager of the Year
Jeff Kuhn, of Whispering Creek Golf Club, Sioux City, was chosen as the 2016 Club Manager of the Year.
Kuhn, who is characterized as ‘full of energy’ by his members, handles various aspects of club operations at Whispering Creek GC. In less than 5 years, Kuhn has turned Whispering Creek GC into one of the premier places in the Siouxland. One member commented that Kuhn has successfully resurrected the concept of a golf club and has brought the membership together and helped cultivate the brotherhood of family atmosphere that a golf club needs to be successful.

Following a disastrous fire, earlier this fall, to the club’s maintenance building, Kuhn, along with golf course superintendent Matt Reifert, worked tirelessly to get the club back operating in just two days.

“He, along with Matt, was contacting equipment dealers immediately so the club could operate business as usual as quick as he could,” IGA Board Member and Whispering Creek member Mike Pape said. “The best compliment I can give Jeff is, I hope we don’t lose him. He is a workhorse, is always hustling around the club and does such a great job with the junior golfers and the Siouxland Junior Golf Tour.”

PGA Professional of the Year
Greg Mason from Burlington’s Spirit Hollow has been named the 2016 PGA Professional of the Year by the IGA.

“Mase”, as they call him at Spirit Hollow, has been a golf professional since 1988 and a member of the PGA of America since 1991. He is a Past President of the Iowa Section of the PGA, has served on many PGA of America National Committees, is a UST Mamiya Shaft Company Advisory Board Member and is on the Golf Range Association of America Advisory Board. Mason has been at Spirit Hollow Golf Course since 2015.

Mason and staff continue to serve a great hosts for the IGA no matter the event. They most recently held the 2016 IGA Four-Ball Championship and, per usual, Mason and his staff went above and beyond. Those who visit and play Spirit Hollow for the first time are always impressed with Mason’s welcoming personality and ‘do anything’ attitude.

He does a terrific job managing the normal day-to-day play – which now includes lodging on site – as well as the numerous events Spirit Hollow hosts. If fact, it’s hard to find a time when “Mase” ins’t on the move, seeing to the needs of one of his guests. We are excited to add him to the list of deserving award winners in 2016.

View Past Annual Award Winners

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