The Iowa Golf Association is pleased to welcome the addition of five new members to the Iowa Golf Hall of Fame. John Ausen of Urbandale, Rick Brown of Pleasant Hill, Jerry Smith of Scottsdale, AZ, Emil Roewert (deceased) and Brad Schuchat of Lakewood Ranch, FL were inducted as the “Class of 2017” at Hyperion Field Club, Johnston, on Tuesday, June 12.
This induction raises the total membership in the Iowa Golf Hall of Fame to 74.
Brad Schuchat’s career of dominance in the state of Iowa began in 1965 with his victory at the Iowa State Junior Championship. Schuchat led his Des Moines Roosevelt golf team to a state championship in 1967 before heading off to the University of Iowa, where he would earn All Big Ten honors in 1970. While in college, Schuchat would capture the 1969 Iowa Amateur.
Following his collegiate days in Iowa City, Schuchat would travel the state, and the country, winning many tournaments. A few of those accomplishments include:
-Herman Sani Open Champion – 1970, 1975
-IGA Player of the Year – 1970, 1971
-Iowa Masters Champion – 1970, 1971
-T9th at U.S. Amateur, alternate to The Masters – 1971
-U.S. Open competitor – 1974, 1976
-Iowa Amateur Champion – 1980
-Iowa Open Champion – 1980
Schuchat also made the cut at the 1971 Quad Cities Open (now John Deere Classic) as an amteur, a feat that wasn’t replicated for 42 years.
Schuchat was known as a fierce competitor, yet was described as one who would play with a high level of integrity and respect for the game.
“When Brad was in his prime, I used to watch him practice over at Willow Creek. He was just a tough competitor.,” Iowa Golf Hall of Fame member Mike McCoy stated.
The respect for Schuchat goes well beyond the titles he collected over his career.
“The true measure of a golfer runs deeper than his scores and his trophies,” fellow 2017 Iowa Golf Hall of Fame inductee Rick Brown said. “Brad Schuchat has always played and represented the game as a true gentleman.”
Emil Roewert spent over 60 years as a PGA golf professional and golf course superintendent, all within the state of Iowa. Starting in 1953 Roewert served the golfers in Osage, Perry, Fairfield and Shenandoah before moving to Fort Madison in 1964 to become the head professional and superintendent at Shaeffer Memorial Golf Course. He spent 25 years as the professional at Shaeffer Memorial GC and retired in December 1988.
Roewert was a Life Member of the PGA and became a member of the Half-Century Club (Fifty years as an active member of the PGA); the PGA honored him for this achievement in 1999.
During his time in Fort Madison, he gave tireless service to all the playing members at Shaeffer Memorial and his additional work with the PGA in Iowa was especially outstanding.
Roewert served as president of the Iowa Section of the PGA for four years (1966-1969) and was named Iowa Golf Professional of the Year on two separate occasions (1968 and 1976). He also won the Horton Smith Award for the Iowa Section of the PGA twice (1972 and 1977); the Horton Smith award is given to PGA members who promote and improve the PGA’s educational programs within the Section.
“Emil was an extremely dedicated teacher and proponent of the game of golf, both for his members and his fellow professionals,” Iowa Golf Hall of Fame member Jack Webb once stated.
While formally serving as President of the Iowa PGA section, Roewert was also the Secretary, Treasurer and Tournament Director for the organization. From the time of his presidency and for several years after he held office, he was considered as the strongest member of the section and a principal reason that the section was even able to function.
Roewert’s more than sixty years of service to the PGA and to Iowa golf, without a doubt, made all of Iowa golf stronger.
Jerry Smith, originally from Oskaloosa, has made a career out of golf that many would envy.
Starting in 1982, Smith has been a top performer at every level he has been at including high school (1982 Iowa State High School individual champion), college (NJCAA Champion at Mackinnan Junior College and All-Southwest Conference at Baylor University), amateur (1986 Iowa Amateur, Match Play Champion – first person to win both in the same year) and professionally (1989, 90 & 94 Herman Sani Champion, 1998 Guam Open Champion, 2004 leading money winner on the Gateway Tour, five years on the PGA Tour, one year on European Senior Tour and currently on his third year of membership on the PGA Champions Tour including a win in 2015 at the Encompass Championship).
Smith’s earnings on the Web.Com, PGA Champions and PGA Tour, as of 1/25/17, total just over $3.5 million.
“Those of us who know him (would say) he is also a fine gentleman, loving father and husband and a friend to all he has met,” Jeff Smith, PGA, Jerry’s brother said.
Rick Brown came to the Des Moines Register in 1978. As a fantastic sports writer in general and with a terrific knack for covering golf, Brown has done it enthusiastically on both the amateur and professional side of golf throughout his career – including covering the careers of Iowa Golf Hall of Fame members Zach Johnson, Gene Elliott and Mike McCoy just to name a few.
An 11-time Iowa Sportswriter of the Year winner, Brown recently retired from The Register in December of 2015. Over the years Brown has dutifully updated, maintained and added to ‘The Book’ – which is a large binder started by Bert McGrane that has newspaper clippings, scores, photos and other information from IGA championship and point events dating back several decades – sometimes dedicating hours searching through microfiche for old stories and information to add.
“Rick has done a tremendous job documenting and compiling the history of IGA Championships and Point Events throughout the years,” IGA Executive Director Chad Pitts said. “It’s always neat to see the stat or fact that Rick will come up with as it relates to the current year’s Iowa Amateur – that type of info always seems to be on the tip of his tongue.”
Mike Green, Director of Athletic Communications at Iowa State University also echoes Pitts’ comments.
“Rick has been one of Iowa golf’s greatest ambassadors,” Green said. “Simply put he is the Grantland Rice of Iowa Golf. If Rick called to do a story, you felt pretty special.”
John Ausen, CGCS
John Ausen’s illustrious career as a golf course superintendent began and ended in the state of Iowa. Originally from Rockford, Ausen career would take him from famed Firestone Country Club, in Akron, OH, to Quincy (IL) Country Club, then to Field Club of Omaha and then for 32 years at Hyperion Field Club in Johnston, beginning in 1983.
During his time at Hyperion, Ausen would become quite established in the Iowa turf community. In those early days at Hyperion many regulatory issues faced his profession – Ausen would jump in with both feet and fought hard for the causes most important to superintendents including, but not limited to, water rights for golf courses and legislation that limits the rights of individual municipalities to regulate pesticides. Ausen also spent several years beginning in the late 1990s educating the Iowa DNR about golf course water use. His efforts helped many at the Iowa DNR understand the economics of golf course irrigation as well as importance of water recharge when used to irrigate turfgrass.
Ausen has also donated his time to several positions and boards including:
1987-1994 Iowa GCSA ‘Reporter’ newsletter Editor
1985-2009 Iowa Alliance for Environmental Concerns (IaAEC) Board of Directors
2001 Iowa GCSA Vice President
2002 Iowa GCSA President
1999-2003, 2011-2013 Iowa GCSA Board of Directors
Additional accomplishments for Ausen include:
1985, 1990, 1994 Iowa GCSA Distinguished Service Award (only three-time winner dating back to 1962 records)
1994 Iowa GCSA Superintendent of the Year Award
1988 Iowa GCSA Calhoun Writing Award
2001 Iowa Turfgrass Institute Meritorious Service Award
2015 IGA 18-hole Superintendent of the Year
In addition to his industry work, Ausen has also been involved in the Hickory Golf Association in promoting the game.
“John has been a role model for many in his personal life,” Rick Tegtmeier, CGCS MG, Director of Grounds, Des Moines Golf & Country Club said. “It has been an honor growing up in his shadow. More importantly for me it has been an honor trying to be a golf course superintendent like John Ausen.”
The Iowa Golf Hall of Fame is operated by the Iowa Golf Association under its charitable arm the IGA Foundation which is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization dedicated to preserving, protecting and promoting golf and its positive values. Tax deductible donations and gifts to support the development of the Iowa Golf Hall of Fame are welcome and encouraged.