On Friday, October 27, the IGA Board of Directors named recipients of the 2017 Annual Awards in six categories. We are pleased to announce this year’s honorees.
Club Manager of the Year
Julianna Burkholder, of Rice Lake Golf & Country Club, was chosen as the 2017 IGA Club Manager of the Year.
Burkholder, according to her nomination, is extremely hard working and continues to strive to bring the best atmosphere possible to the club. She is the first one you will see at the club in the morning and the last one to leave at night.
“None come close to doing as good of job as Julie does,” one Rice Lake G&CC member stated. “She is consistently trying to put together events to get more members involved.”
With a change in culture, membership on the rise and the willingness to fix any sort of problem should it arise at Rice Lake G&CC, the IGA is pleased to honor Burkholder with this award.
PGA Professional of the Year
Dustin Toner, of Cedar Rapids Country Club, was chosen as the 2017 IGA PGA Professional of the Year.
Since his arrival at CRCC in 2015, the club has transformed into a golf outlier. Play and program participation has seen incredible growth and one member commented that Toner has delivered a long needed cultural evolution at CRCC.
The future of the game is very strong at CRCC thanks to Toner. He is established a vibrant and innovative junior golf program has been very popular with the membership. With a full tee sheet of play from all ages at the club, CRCC has seen a tangible economic effect as well, generating golf-related business throughout the club.
A year-round TrackMan base golf studio offering recreational simulation during the colder months is just one of Toner’s ideas that have drawn positive feedback from members.
With a strong and revitalized relationship with the IGA and USGA, we are happy to announce Dustin Toner for this award.
9-Hole Course of the Year
Exactly 100 years since it opened, Algona Country Club has been named the IGA 9-Hole Course of the Year.
The club, which was designed by the famous Willie Dunn, Jr. (also designed Shinnecock Hills Golf Club, among others) and opened for play in 1917, features nine holes of golf with rolling hills and blind shots from bluegrass fairways into bent grass greens.
Spanning roughly 60 acres, ACC has added several new members over the past year and continues to grow the game of golf. The course hosts the annual Algona Amateur, which in 2017 hosted 104 golfers playing 45 holes over two days.
Dunn’s design now has a par of 36 and stretches to 3,034 yards from the back tees.
18-Hole Superintendent of the Year
Matt Hall, of Burlington Golf Club, is the 2017 IGA 18-Hole Superintendent of the Year.
Hall, who enters his third year at BGC, has elevated the club’s course conditions even higher than previously seen according to members, but not without some challenges along the way. He has dealt with countless trees inflicted with Emerald Ashe Boar, had to replace all the sprinkler heads on the course, replace an irrigation pump and install new drainage to problematic areas on the lower portion of the course. A testament to Hall, all of these projects were completed with little to no disruption in daily play.
In addition, Hall spearheaded the enlargement of the practice range and devised a new setup to minimize wear and tear to that turf. According to BGC PGA Professional communication between the maintenance staff and golf shop as never been better.
“The course looks better than it has in the past 25 years,” one BGC member commented on the nomination form to the IGA.
The IGA has witnessed Hall’s tireless work first-hand as the club hosted the Iowa Wife-Husband Championship in his first year and just hosted the Iowa Senior Amateur in 2017, which drew rave reviews from the players for it’s condition. He is most deserving of the award.
9-Hole Superintendent of the Year
Garrett Yager, of Urbandale Golf & Country Club, has been named the 2017 IGA 9-Hole Superintendent of the Year.
Yager has been at Urbandale Golf & Country Club for the past 9 years. He is a superintendent who is devoted to producing the best golf course he can and is very hands on with the course, equipment and his staff. He always finds a way to solve a problem and is always looking for ways to make improvements.
“We have made changes to improve the quality of our golf course,” UGCC General Manager Mitch Burr commented. “This past season we removed trees that disrupted the nutrients and sunlight needed in certain areas of two of our greens. The results of removing these trees has directly improved the quality of these greens and therefore added additional pin placements which could not happen before.”
Yager also oversaw the project to increase pond capacity by installing a new drain pipe through a dam. This project, although expensive, was handled professionally. With Yager’s supervision it caused little inconvenience to the UGCC membership and their ability to enjoy rounds of golf.
The IGA would like to congratulate Garret Yager on the 2017 9-Hole Superintendent of the Year.
18-Hole Course of the Year
Des Moines & Country Club was chosen as IGA 18-Hole Course of the Year.
Many, including those outside of the state, know about Des Moines Golf & Country Club (DMGCC) as a wonderful golf facility. But with this year’s Solheim Cup coming to the club, millions from around the world were witness to it. According to figures, a total of 7.3 million unique viewers tuned in to some portion of the Solheim Cup across the three days of competition in Des Moines.
DMGCC staff and the membership left no stone unturned in order to make the event one for the ages. The course was renovated from 2013-2016 under the supervision of Pete Dye and his associate, Tim Liddy. These upgrades, as part of the multi-year project at the club, have elevated the facility at DMGCC to even higher levels.
“It’s a great golf course,” European Solheim Cup Captain Annika Sorenstam said.
United States Solheim Cup Captain Juli Inkster also praised the course.
“They’re so behind women’s golf and the LPGA,” Inkster said. “I’ve met a lot of super people. They’ve been very supportive.”
Kudos to Des Moines Golf & Country Club for representing Iowa and Iowa golf so well on the national stage. An event like the Solheim Cup comes to our state once in a lifetime and they simply “knocked it out of the park”.