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Bill Eby, Chairman


Tom Newbanks, Chairman

The Iowa Golf Association had lots

of updates, tournament results and

other exciting news that most of

you heard about in 2016 - in one

way or another.

The IGA web page (a new look

coming in early 2017 - be sure

to stay tuned!) continues to offer the gateway to

information golfers across the state are seeking. Just

under half a million pages were viewed in 2016 by just

over 74,000 different people this year on the IGA web

page. It is exciting to report that the following by golfers

on the IGA’s social media channels continues to grow

and grow. With over 1,200 likes (a 63% increase since

Jan. 1, 2015) on Facebook and now just shy of 1,900

followers (up from 1,500 this time last year) on Twitter

those seeking news from and about the IGA always can

find it, whether on or off the course.

The yearly highlight, without question, for the

Communications Committee is to recommend and

announce those honored for the IGA Annual Awards

in the six different categories. This year those were:

• 9-Hole Superintendent: Mike McAllister, Stone

Creek Golf Club, Williamsburg

• 18-Hole Superintendent: Tom Feller, Cedar

Rapids Country Club, Cedar Rapids

• 9-Hole Course of the Year: Urbandale Country

Club, Urbandale

• 18-Hole Course of the Year: Otter Creek Golf

Course, Ankeny

• PGA Pro of the Year: Greg Mason, Spirit Hollow

Golf Course, Burlington

• Club Manager of the Year: Jeff Kuhn, Whispering

Creek Golf Club, Sioux City

We look forward to sharing even more news and

excitement from the world of golf in Iowa in 2017.

In conjunction with the 2016 Rules

of Golf updates the USGA released

a new Handicap System Manual and

Course Rating Guide. The changes

further enhance the credibility of the

USGA Handicap System worldwide

and move the USGA much closer to a

global handicap system.

“The USGA Handicap System is constantly evolving to ensure

that the System works for the game today and tomorrow,”

Steven Edmondson of the USGA said.

Six significant changes were made to the USGA Handicap



Definition of a tournament score


Adjusting hole scores


Posting scores when a player is disqualified


Anchoring and posting


Playing alone and necessary peer review


Committee responsibilities

The most discussed change of the six was undeniably “playing

alone and peer review”.

The USGA explains that, “Players are not prohibited from

playing alone, only from posting solo-round scores for handicap

purposes. By playing alone, a player loses the advantage of

someone alongside who can remind the play of a Rule or verify

that they made a 5 and not a 6. The amendment to clarify a

round played alone as an unacceptable score is an important

part of building greater confidence in a player’s Handicap


The simple fact is, peer review is essential to the USGA

Handicap System and without it a Handicap Index loses it

meaning and is just a number.

The Course Rating System also experienced significant

alterations in 2016. In order to stay current on these changes

the IGA hosted a USGA Course Rating Seminar in April at

Echo Valley Country Club in Norwalk. Lee Rainwater of the

USGA coordinated the full-day seminar and educated the

attendees with a PowerPoint presentation and on-course

training. Just under 35 volunteers from around the state

participated in the event.

The IGA rating teams put their training into practice this

golf season by visiting a combined 16 clubs and rating over

80 sets of tees for men and women. The IGA has six ratings

teams housed in various regions of the state including

Northwest Iowa, Pella, Cedar Rapids, Des Moines, and the

Quad Cities. Combined, there are over 50 volunteers that

dedicate their time and energy to providing accurate ratings

for golfers to utilize.

If you have any questions about the USGA Handicap System

or Course Rating please don’t hesitate to contact the IGA

staff in Ankeny. They field numerous questions each year on

these topics and are always willing to help.

Take care and have a great 2017!



Bill Eby, Chairman