Month: April 2018

Cook, Brown take home titles at The Classic

Clive’s Scot Cook (Open Division) and Jon Brown (Senior Division) took home the titles from the inaugural ‘The Classic’ held at Elmwood Country Club, in Marshalltown. The Classic, is the first Iowa Golf Association point event played under a modified stableford format, in which players earn points per hole based on their score as follows:
Double Eagle: 12 points
Eagle: 8 points
Birdie: 4 points
Par: 2 points
Bogey: 1 point
Double Bogey or worse: 0 points

Cook (above left), posted rounds of 42 and 41 points respectively to outdistance a trio that included Dustin Atkinson, Ethan Mechling and Jeff Collett, who all finished seven points behind Cook. Over the two-day event, Cook made 10 birdies.

Jon Brown (78 points), playing in his first Senior Division event after turning 50 last fall, edged Ron Peterson by a single point to capture the title. Brown (above right) also collected 10 birdies on the weekend, including three in a row to finish his first round. Rob Christensen (see video Christensen’s birdie on #18), an Elmwood member, finished in third place, seven points back of Brown’s total.


Scott Cook receives the ceremonial white jacket as champion of The Classic.

Jon Brown slips into this white jacket after winning the Senior Division of The Classic.

U.S. Open Local has 67 players

67 players will compete for four qualifying spots into the sectional round of the 2018 U.S. Open Championship on Monday, May 14th at Glen Oaks Country Club in West Des Moines.  Players will play 18 holes at Glen Oaks, while the four who move on to the sectional round will play 36 more to try and qualify for the field at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southampton, New York.

Glen Oaks Country Club will host the U.S. Open Local qualifier for the first time since 2002, but they are no stranger to hosting USGA qualifying events.  They hosted the USGA Amateur Four-Ball qualifying in 2015, U.S. Amateur qualifying in 2005 and 2013 and U.S. Mid-Amateur qualifying in 2004 and 2009.  They also hosted the Iowa Amateur in 2011.

You can view results and pairings from the qualifier here.

Significant updates to IGA Player of the Year point systems

The IGA Rules and Competitions Committee spent a good deal of the offseason studying the IGA Player of the Year points systems.  Following that study, the following recommendations were approved by the Board of Directors in late March and will go into effect this season.

Added new point events

We recently announced the addition of three new Sanctioned Point Events – The Classic, a new stableford format event at Elmwood CC in Marshalltown, the Joe August Match Play, the long-standing Four-Ball Match Play format tournament held at Ames Golf & CC and the Mason City Amateur, a 36-hole stroke play tournament held over Labor Day weekend at the Mason City Country Club.

Now counting four

Players will now count up to four additional non-IGA or non-USGA events.  That means a player can now count their top four point totals from of Additional Sanctioned Point Events and non-USGA national events.

“Tiered” structure for Additional Sanctioned Point Events

Additional Sanctioned Point Events in Iowa (non-IGA conducted) will be assigned separate point scales based on how many people participate in each event.  Depending on the number of players, an event will be either “A”, “B”, “C” or “D” with 300, 250, 200 or 150 points being awarded to the winners, respectively.  The “A” level events will award points to the top 30, “B” level will award to the top 25, “C” level will award to the top 20 and “D” level will award to the top 15. This adds a bit more point value to those who finish higher in fields with more players.

Players who play “up” in competition

Players age 50 and over who play in an Open Division rather than a Senior Division will be eligible to earn points.  The amount of points they earn toward the Open Player of the Year race will transfer equally to the Senior Player of the Year race.

For example: A player age 52 plays in the Open Division of the Iowa Masters and finishes 4thoverall, earning 80 points toward the Open POTY race.  That player would also earn 80 points toward the Senior POTY race.  This same philosophy will apply to Super Senior Players who choose to play in an Open Division or Senior Division rather than Super Senior Division.

National non-USGA events

Performance in non-USGA national events will continue to be counted toward the Open POTY race and will be added to the Senior POTY race.  They will be counted toward a player’s four extra events they can accumulate (in addition to the Sanctioned Point Events).  A big change will be that the IGA will simply rely on the World Amateur Golf Ranking to determine which national events are worthy of points. WAGR was created by the USGA and R&A to rank the top amateurs around the world so we will use that as our basis. Their events are ranked from “Elite” to “F” level events.  We have created our own scale of points depending on those rankings.

Herman Sani and Iowa Mid-Amateur points elevated

The amount of points and number of players who will earn points have increased in both the Herman Sani Tournament and the Iowa Mid-Amateur.  In the Sani, the winner (low amateur) will now receive 300 points with the top 30 earning points.  In the Senior divisin of the Sani, it will be 250 for the winner and the top 25 will earn points.  At the Mid-Am, the champion will receive 250 points and the top 25 will earn points in both the Open and Senior Division.

Super Senior Points System

Following the first year of the Super-Senior Player of the Year, many additions and tweaks were made.  See this link for the entire system.  Some highlights include:

  • Addition of Super Senior Division to Iowa Mid-Amateur
  • Addition of Super Senior Division to Herman Sani Tournament
  • Addition of Super Senior bracket to the Senior Match Play
  • Increased point values of Super Senior Division at Iowa Senior Amateur and IGA Senior Match Play

View the complete rules and regulations for all the Player of the Year point systems here.

The Classic launches this weekend

The Classic, the new modified stableford competition taking place at Elmwood Country Club in Marshalltown, gets underway this weekend.  67 golfers are scheduled to compete in the inaugural tournament.

This will be the first Iowa Golf Association point event played under the stableford format, in which players earn points per hole based on their score.  In this case, the administrators at Elmwood CC have modified the traditional stableford point system as follows:

  • Double Eagle: 12 points
  • Eagle: 8 points
  • Birdie: 4 points
  • Par: 2 points
  • Bogey: 1 point
  • Double Bogey or worse: 0 points

This modified scoring system will put a premium on making birdies and eagles and should make for some exciting “go for broke” golf.

Play will begin on Saturday with the first 18 holes and conclude on Sunday with the final round.  There is an Open and Senior Division. In addition to a trophy and gift certificate, the champion will receive the “White Jacket” with The Classic logo embroidered on the chest.

Follow all the action by clicking here.

Spirit Hollow to Host 2018 Iowa Cup Matches

Amateurs Look to Defeat PGA Professionals in Ryder Cup-style Event

Spirit Hollow, recently selected as the #1 Course You Can Play in Iowa by GolfWeek magazine, will play host to the 2018 Iowa Cup Matches. This tournament features the Top 20 available Iowa Section PGA Professionals against the Top 20 available Iowa Golf Association amateurs.

The tournament, to be played May 2-3, 2018, features Ryder Cup-style events, beginning with Four Ball matches on Wednesday morning. After lunch, players will again hit the links to play Foursome matches featuring alternate shot play. On Thursday morning, the competitors will tee it up for Singles matches to determine who claims the 2018 trophy.

“Last year’s contest ended with the PGA Professionals claiming the trophy, but this year, I’m pulling for the amateurs,” commented Spirit Hollow General Manager Jim Wyffels. “But no matter who wins, I know they will all enjoy our playing conditions, as the course is in the best shape it has ever been.”

“Having worked at Spirit Hollow before becoming the Executive Director of the Iowa Section PGA, I could not be more pleased that we will be playing there,” commented Greg “Mase” Mason. “Their ranking as the #1 course in Iowa is well-deserved.”

The morning matches on Wednesday commence at 9 a.m., with afternoon matches beginning at 1:30 p.m. On Thursday, the singles matches tee times are from 8-9:30 a.m. The public is invited to attend and watch the PGA Pros vs the Iowa Golf Amateurs.

Team IGA
Dusty Drenth
Trent Lindenman
Scot Cook
Ethan Mechling
Gene Elliott
Scott Hart
Brian Allison
Wes Buntenbach
Jeff Collett
Logan Schweinefus
Ron Peterson
John Siela
Bret Taylor
Rob Christensen
Terry Cook
Joe Bates
Tom Norton
Justin Pansegrau
David Combs
Scott Briggs

Brian Lorenz
Chad Proehl
Sean McCarty
Darin Fisher
Judd Gibb
Chris Black
Tracy Vest
Ryan McClintock
Matt Erger
Jay Giannetto
Jeff Schmid
Clark Smith
Chad Callan
Aaron Krueger
John Bermel
Steve Hutton
Jeff Smith
Monte Meyer
Ben Montgomery
Justin Smool


IGA launches Youth on Course Program to help Grow the Game

The Iowa Golf Association has partnered with a national organization that will benefit junior golfers as well as IGA member clubs.  It is called Youth on Course and it was started in 2006 by the Northern California Golf Association.  At its most basic level, it is a program that subsidizes rounds of golf for juniors at participating courses.

The concept is this: A junior age 6 to 18 can join Youth on Course for a $15 yearly fee. That gets them access to any participating Youth on Course facility (there are over 700 nationally) to play a round of golf for $5 or less.  Then the participating course receives a subsidy for that round (usually another $5). Participating courses can put restrictions on days and times when the YOC rates are available, making it an opportunity for to help grow future golfers plus drive additional business during non-peak hours.

We see the program as a “link” between the Iowa PGA Swings with Kids (Golf in Schools) program and the competitive Iowa Junior Tour.  It essentially eliminates the financial barrier for a junior player to play an actual round of golf.  We are certain there will be kids who get introduced to the game through Golf in Schools, then utilize Youth on Course to start playing real rounds.

Kids can sign up now for the yearly membership. Simply click here to start that process.

One requirement for the juniors is that they complete an online life/course curriculum.  It takes about 20 minutes to complete and it covers some basic FAQ’s, golf course etiquette and rules tips.

We are currently working to “on-board” participating courses.  Some of you have already agreed to participate, and we are very grateful for that.  If you have not yet heard about this but think it would be of interest to your facility, please give us a call and we can fill you in on more of the details. We would love to have a majority of Iowa courses offer this program.

Finally, this is a program that will be administered under the IGA Foundation, the 501(c)(3) arm of the IGA.  For the first two golf seasons (2018 & 2019) the subsides to the golf courses will be paid by Youth on Course national.  Beginning in 2020, the IGA Foundation will be paying those subsidies.  Therefore, we are taking donations for this program.  Usually, the subsidy to a course is $5 per round, so if you donate $100, you are paying for 20 rounds of golf for juniors.  Click here to donate.

You can find complete information here or you can look for Youth on Course under the IGA Foundation menu item.

We have no doubt that the Youth on Course program will be a home run. We have a responsibility to do everything we can to support and grow the game.  This program develops new golfers and that benefits everyone involved in the game of golf.  It was a “no-brainer” for us.

Iowa Amateur adds qualifying with lower fee, reduces field to 132

The Iowa Golf Association has made some changes to it’s flagship event, beginning in 2018.  The Iowa Amateur will hold two qualifiers to identify golfers who will join the exempt players into the final field at the Tournament Club of Iowa.

The payment structure has been adjusted to encourage more players to try to qualify.  Those who enter a qualifying event will pay $85.  The players that make it through qualifying to play in the championship proper will then pay an additional $65 fee ($150 total).  Players who are exempt will enter the championship proper at TCI directly and will pay the full $150 entry fee at the time they enter.

Additionally, the field size at the championship proper at TCI will be reduced from 156 to 132 players.  This was done to to insure adequate pace of play during the championship, allow for more flexibility with weather and also to insure the necessity of the qualifying events.

“In the past, when we would bring 156 players to the championship proper, we would schedule qualifiers and then either cancel because we only had 156 total players enter, or we would have 80-90% of those in the qualifiers making their way through to the championship, which seemed a bit silly,” stated IGA Executive Director Chad Pitts.  “This would cause undue strain on the member courses that had agreed to host when we would cancel a qualifier.  Sometimes, that meant they could have hosted another outing or event on those days.”

“Granted, we may still have to cancel or have a very high qualifying rate even with reducing the field to 132, but the chances of it happening are drastically reduced”, added Pitts.

The qualifying events will take place at Coldwater Golf Links in Ames on July 11 and Amana Colonies GC in Amana on July 13.  The championship proper will be contested at Tournament Club of Iowa in Polk City from July 23-25.  You can find entry information here.


Augusta National Women’s Amateur Championship established

Fred Ridley, Chairman of Augusta National Golf Club and the Masters Tournament, announced today the establishment of the Augusta National Women’s Amateur Championship, which will be held annually the week prior to the Masters and will culminate with the final round taking place at Augusta National (pictured above).

“Bobby Jones and Clifford Roberts left behind a legacy of always trying to contribute meaningfully to the game of golf,” Ridley said. “The Augusta National Women’s Amateur Championship embodies that principle, and we believe this event will have a significant and lasting impact on the future of the women’s game. Our hope and expectation is that this event will further energize those who already love the sport and inspire others through the dream of competing at Augusta National.”

The 54-hole, stroke play tournament will feature an international field of 72 players. Invitees will be determined by awarding winners of other recognized championships and using the Women’s World Amateur Golf Ranking.

In 2019, the first two rounds will take place at Champions Retreat Golf Club in Augusta. After a cut to the low 30 scores, the final competitive round will take place at Augusta National on Saturday, April 6, when an amateur champion will be crowned for the first time ever at the home of the Masters.

Read the full release by clicking here

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