Jack Webb, a 1997 inductee into the Iowa Golf Hall of Fame, passed away on
Monday, February 29th, 2016. He was 92 years old.
In addition to being a member of the Hall of Fame, Jack served a number of years on
the IGA’s Hall of Fame selection committee. The bulk of his career was spent as the
head professional at Wakonda Club in Des Moines. He retired from Wakonda in 1987
and then spent 29 years as a teaching professional at Des Moines Golf & Country
In addition to many other championships and accolades, Jack won the Iowa PGA
Section Championship twice, played in two PGA Championships and four U.S. Senior Opens.
Jack served in World War II, flying B-24s as part of the “Carpetbaggers” unit. He was honorably discharged in
A true gentleman.
Those words describe Iowa Golf Hall of Fame, Class of 1991, and Life IGA Board
member Bob Leahy quite accurately. Leahy, of Cedar Falls, passed away on April 18,
at Sartori Memorial Hospital in Cedar Falls from complications of lymphoma.
Only four men in the history of golf in Iowa won more major tournaments that
Leahy. He won a total 11 major tournaments over a 24 year span, starting with the
Iowa Masters in 1953. He won the first of his three Iowa Amateur titles in 1954 at
Davenport Country Club. He also won in 1956 at Hyperion Field Club and in 1957 at
the Mason City Country Club. All three victories came in match play format. Leahy also won a second Iowa
Masters title in 1957, the Herman Sani Invitational in 1966, the Tournament of Champions in 1959, 1961, and
1971 as well as the Northwest Amateur in 1958 and 1977.
In 2014 the Iowa Golf Association’s Board of Directors approved the implementation of the “Leahy Medal”.
The “Leahy Medal” is presented to any IGA member who records multiple victories within the state of Iowa
in a single season, or, at least one victory and three or more top 5 finishes. Medals are also awarded in
Leahy’s name for other extraordinary accomplishments at the committee’s discretion. The award not only
honors Leahy, but promotes more participation in Iowa-based events and provide another way to recognize
the outstanding accomplishments of our men and women golfers.
Bill Byers, longtime Golf Course Superintendent at Des Moines Golf and Country Club,
passed away on Thursday, March 3rd of natural cause. He was 74.
Bill spent 48 years working the grounds at Des Moines Golf & CC. He supervised the
golf courses during the USGA’s largest Senior Open Championship in 1999. Byers was
named the Iowa Golf Course Superintendents’ Association superintendent of the
year in 1969 and 1982. He was also presented with that organization’s distinguished
service award in 1998. The Iowa Turfgrass Institute presented Byers with its
Meritorious Service Award in 1994.
After a nine year hiatus, the Iowa Golf Association spearheaded the resurrection of the Iowa Golf Hall of
Fame in 2006. Byers was part of that 2006 class.