Month: October 2017

2017 IGA Annual Awards announced

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”.

The IGA Awards Ceremony will be held on December 15, at Elmwood Country Club in Marshalltown. More information regarding the event will be published soon.

IGA Player of the Year announced – Junior

Frank Lindwall (above) focused mostly on big tournaments against strong fields this summer. High finishes in those events propelled him to the IGA Junior Boy’s Player of the Year award.

Lindwall, 18 of Cedar Rapids, outdistanced Kaleb Hagge by 50 points (747.5 to 697.5) to win the award for the first time.

Lindwall, who is currently competing as a freshman on the golf team at Iowa State, placed 4th at the 115th Iowa Amateur at Cedar Rapids Country Club and had a top 5 showing at the Midwest Junior Championship at Finkbine GC in Iowa City. He added to his point total with a tie for 6th at the Iowa High School Class 4A State Tournament.

Hagge, 18 of Morning Sun, won the Iowa High School Class 1A State Tournament and placed 7th at the Midwest Junior Championship. He also was T15th at the Iowa Junior Amateur.

Other top finishers in the player of the year race where Chris Cooksley, 18 of Winthrop (3rd), Iowa Junior Amateur Champion Andrew Wood, 19 of Marion (4th) and 42nd Iowa Junior PGA Champion Brock Barnhart, 15 of Robins.

Britta Snyder (above) showcased her talents across the country in 2017.

In a summer that included many highlights, the most notable was probably her runaway victory at the 93rd Iowa Women’s Amateur Championship at Hyperion Field Club. The 15-year old from Ames became the second-youngest to ever win the state’s biggest amateur competition, and did so by a whopping 13 strokes.

In addition to her win at the Women’s Am, she partnered with Sarah Beqaj of Canada to medal at the U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Qualifier held in Minnesota. She added points from a win at the AJGA Randy Wise Junior Open, AJGA Junior at Lake Forest and finished in 3rd place at the AJGA Lockton Kansas City Junior.

Finishing runner-up in the standings was Paige Hoffman. Hoffman, 15 of West Des Moines, won a total of five Iowa PGA Junior Tour events this summer and also finished runner-up at the Iowa PGA Junior Championship.

Her wins included the Iowa Junior PGA, Junior Tour 2-Person Team event (low individual), Iowa PGA Junior Mid Summer Classic, Iowa PGA Junior Kick Off and Iowa PGA Junior Cedar Rapids Junior.

Following close behind this year in the standings were Brooke Boardman, 16 of Waukee (3rd), Casey Noble, 18 of Morning Sun (4th) and Maddie Hawkins, 18 of Asbury (5th).

The players will be honored at a ceremony in mid-December. Details on the event will be released in the coming weeks.​

IGA Player of the Year announced – Women’s

Julie Buerman (above) of Cedar Rapids had a terrific golf season.  She posted numerous top finishes which led to her claiming her first IGA Women’s Player of the Year award.

Buerman, 42, was the Forever 39 Match Play in 2017. She also was medalist at the IGA’s Women’s Club Team event, a semifinalist in the IGA Women’s Match Play and finished in third place at the IGA Women’s Four-Ball (with partner Janelle Carter).

Finishing runner-up in this year’s IGA Women’s Player of the Year race was Karli Kerrigan of Ankeny. Kerrigan, 19, teamed up with Jenny Heinz to capture the Iowa Women’s Four-Ball, finished second individually at the IGA Women’s Club Team and was a semifinalist at the IGA Women’s Match Play.

Iowa Women’s Amateur champion Britta Synder, 15 of Ames, finished third in the standings, while Heinz (Cedar Falls) and Leanne Smith of Indianola finished in 4th and 5th place, respectively.


Rose Kubesheski (above) is once again the IGA Senior Women’s Player of the Year, and she won it going away in 2017.

Kubesheski, 57, of Dubuque, won the Senior Player of the Year in 2016 and has now been honored four times.  She won her third straight Iowa Senior Women’s Amateur title (and sixth overall). She also qualified for the U.S. Women’s Senior Amateur and claimed the Senior Division of the Iowa Women’s Four-Ball title (with partner Margene Grady).

Kathy Fortune, 59, finished runner-up to Kubesheksi.  Fortune, of Rockwell City, posted top finishes at the Iowa Senior Women’s Amateur (2nd), Senior Division of the Iowa Women’s Four-Ball title (2nd) and Iowa Women’s Amateur – Open Division (3rd).

Other top finishers in the final standings were Janece Swartzkopf (3rd place), Margene Grady (4th place) and Janis Owens (5th place).

​The players will be honored at a ceremony in mid-December.  Details on the event will be released in the coming weeks.​

IGA Player of the Year announced – Men’s

J.D. Anderson (above) has been a model of consistency. His 13 top-ten finishes in the IGA Player of the Year standings since 2002, including 3rd place in 2014 and 2016, can attest to that.

When the dust had settled in 2017, Anderson’s consistency paved the way to his first IGA Player of the Year honor. The 43-year old from Johnston started the year strong with a win at the 32nd Iowa Mid-Amateur, then followed that up with a victory at the Briarwood Amateur and medalist honors at U.S. Mid-Amateur Qualifying. Anderson also added top-5 finishes at the Southeast Iowa Amateur, Northwest Amateur and Herman Sani Tournament.

Two-time defending and four-time overall IGA Player of the Year Gene Elliott of West Des Moines finished runner-up in the standings this year. Elliott, who is 55 years old, continues to more than hold his own against the younger set. His run to the Round of 32 in the U.S. Mid-Amateur kept the race for player of the year interesting down to the wire. Elliott notched wins at the Iowa Masters and 22nd IGA Four-Ball (with partner Mike McCoy). Elliott also finished T5th at the Stocker Cup and T9th at the George L. Coleman Invitational in 2017.

Rounding out the rest of the top five in the IGA Player of the Year were Jon Brown of Clive (3rd), Dusty Drenth of Davenport (4th) and Trevor Ullestad of Jewell (5th).

For the second year in a row and third overall, Gene Elliott (above) earned his way to IGA Senior Player of the Year, but it wasn’t decided until the final hour.

Elliott’s performance (Round of 32) at the U.S. Mid-Amateur gave him enough ‘bonus’ points to overtake Joe Palmer for the award. Elliott won the IGA Senior Match Play, the Iowa Senior Amateur and made it to the Round of 32 of the U.S. Senior Amateur. While not counting towards his point total for IGA Senior Player of the Year, it should be noted that Elliott also won the Canadian Men’s Senior Championship (Montreal, Quebec) and was T2nd at The (British) Seniors Amateur Championship (Sunningdale, England).

Palmer, 55 of West Des Moines, who won the award in 2014, had an extremely successful summer of his own. He won the Senior Division of the 32nd Iowa Mid-Amateur, 22nd IGA Four-Ball (with partner Terry Cook), Fort Dodge Amateur, Waterloo Open and Herman Sani Tournament.

Terry Cook of West Des Moines (3rd), Bret Taylor of Booneville (4th) and Ron Peterson of Urbandale (5th) made up the rest of the top five in this year’s standings.

Rob Christensen (above) won the 2017 IGA Super Senior Player of the Year, a new honor started by the IGA this year.

Super-Seniors are those that are 65 and older and have seen an increased level of participation in recent years, therefore the IGA felt it was time to recognize the top players from that division.

The first year of the award was a tight race that came down to the final event, the Iowa Senior Amateur. Heading into that championship in early September, Christensen, Dave Sergeant and David Studer were all within 10 points of each other. Christensen prevailed and won the Super Senior Division of the Iowa Senior Amateur to take the POTY award. The 66-year old from Marshalltown also won the Super Senior division of the Carroll Amateur and Briarwood Amateur. He finished second in the Super Senior Division of the Iowa Masters.

Sergeant, 72 of Fort Dodge, finished just behind Christensen in the standings. He won the Super Senior Division of the Fort Dodge Amateur and finished second in that division of the Briarwood Amateur. He was 4th at the Iowa Senior Amateur (SS division) and 3rd at the Carroll Am (SS division).

Other top finishers in the Super Senior Division were Studer of West Des Moines (3rd), Tim Taylor of Ankeny (4th) and Mike Mumma of Jefferson (5th).

​The players will be honored at a ceremony in mid-December. Details on the event will be released in the coming weeks.​

Follow players with Iowa ties at 2017 Tour Qualifying

The Tour Qualifying Tournament is the premier way to gain status on the following year’s Tour.

Each year, several worthy players take their shot at advancing through pre-qualifying, First Stage and Second Stage at various sites across the country — all leading up to Final Stage, which will be held this year at Whirlwind GC (Devils Claw and The Cattail) in Chandler, Arizona.

Players who advance to Final Stage are assured a Tour card for the following season, and the top 45 finishers (and ties) at Final Stage are assured a healthy number of starts in the first part of the 2018 Tour season.

Those who participated in First Stage Qualifying with ties to Iowa include:
Zach Steffen – Maricopa, AZ (Ak-Chin Southern Dunes GC)
Josh Manske – Lakeland, Florida (Grasslands G&CC)
Steven Ihm – Lantana, Texas (Lantana GC)
Matt Jennings – Nebraska City, Nebraska (ArborLinks)
Nick Voke – Nebraska City, Nebraska (ArborLinks)
Ruben Sondjaja – Nebraska City, Nebraska (ArborLinks)
Brian Bullington – Nebraska City, Nebraska (ArborLinks)
Nate Barbee – Nebraska City, Nebraska (ArborLinks)
Nate Yankovich – Nebraska City, Nebraska (ArborLinks)

These players qualified for the second stage of Q-school:
Jack Newman – Dothan, Alabama (Highland Oaks)
Josh Manske – Plantation, FL (Plantation Preserve GC)
Steven Ihm – Plantation, FL (Plantation Preserve GC)
Vince India – Brooksville, FL (Southern Hills Plantation Club)
Brad Hopfinger – McKinney, Texas (TPC Craig Ranch)
Matt Jennings – McKinney, Texas (TPC Craig Ranch)
Nick Voke – McKinney, Texas (TPC Craig Ranch)
Nate Yankovich – Brooksville, FL (Southern Hills Plantation Club)

These players will participate in the final stage of Q-school:
Vince India
Brad Hopfinger
Steven Ihm
Brady Schnell
*Iowan Travis McAlister (Ankeny) is caddying for Maverick McNealy at final stage

Click here to follow all the action.

Iowa represented by five at U.S. Mid-Amateur

A total of five Iowans will be in the field at this year’s U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship being held at Capital City Club (Crabapple Course – pictured above), Atlanta, Ga. Serving as the stroke play co-host venue will be Atlanta National Golf Club, Milton, Ga.

Those representing Iowa, along with their stroke play tee times, are:
Dusty Drenth – 12:53 pm (AN) & 8:07 am (CC)
Qualified at Davenport Country Club as co-medalist with 72.

Gene Elliott – 2:20 pm (CC) & 9:35 am (AN)
Qualified at White Deer Run Golf Course (Vernon Hill, Ill.) with 69.

Jay Gregory – 1:14 pm (AN) & 8:29 am (CC)
Qualified at Oakwood Country Club (Kansas City, MO.) as co-medalist with 69.

Mike McCoy – 1:58 pm (CC) & 9:13 am (AN)
Exempt into championship from 2013 U.S. Mid-Amateur victory.

Luke Miller – 1:25 pm (AN) & 8:40 am (CC)
1st Alternate from Davenport Country Club qualifier with 74, gained entry when co-medalist J.D. Anderson withdrew.

The schedule of play is as follows:
Saturday, Oct. 7 (Stroke Play, Round 1, 18 holes)
Sunday, Oct. 8 (Stroke Play, Round 2, 18 holes)
Monday, Oct.. 9 (Round of 64, match play)
Tuesday, Oct.. 10 (Round of 32/Round of 16, match play)
Wednesday, Oct. 11 (Quarterfinals/Semifinals, match play)
Thursday, Oct. 12 (Championship Match, 36 holes)

The low 64 scorers following stroke play will qualify for match play. If necessary, a playoff will be conducted to determine the last qualifiers for the draw.

The U.S. Mid-Amateur will be the last event counting towards the IGA Player of the Year and Senior Player of the Year points race. This event, as in past years, will have a big impact on who wins the award(s).

Click here to follow the championship and for more information.

Des Moines Golf & CC wins IGA Club Team, Prairie Links GC takes Net Division

From left – Ben Herrera, Alex Bair, Luke Miller and Patrick Breitbach.

Conditions were tough at the 12th IGA Club Team Championship at Blue Top Ridge at Riverside.

Des Moines Golf & CC (2) edged their fellow club members by a single shot 218-219. The team of Luke Miller, Ben Herrera, Patrick Breitbach and Alex Bair formed the winning team from DMG. Ottumwa Country Club finished in third place at 219 (+3). In the Gross Division, won my DMG (2), is scored by counting the low three scores of the four on each team.

In the Net Division, Prairie Links Golf Course shot 209 (-7) to win by three over Dyersville Country Club (2). Prairie Links GC’s team consisted of Chris Wagner, Patrick Sexton, Tony Wagner and William Buss. In the Net Division, the three low scores (net) on each hole are counted towards the team total.

Just Pansegrau, of St. Andrews Golf Course, was the low individual with a 69 (-3), including a sizzling 31 on the back nine.

Click here to see a full recap of scoring.

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