Year: 2019

2019 IGA Annual Awards Banquet Recap and Photos

The 2019 IGA Annual Awards Banquet took place Friday, December 13th at Echo Valley Country Club in Norwalk.  It was a wonderful night with many deserving honorees in various categories.

See the 2019 IGA Annual Awards Banquet Photo Gallery


The following individuals and courses were honored –

PGA Pro of the Year – Aaron Krueger, Wakonda Club

Club Manager of the Year – John Dinnebier, Briarwood Golf Club

9-Hole Superintendent – Kory Brown, Ballard Golf and Country Club

18-Hole Superintendent – Ryan Lux, Echo Valley Country Club

9-Hole Course of the Year – Holstein Country Club

18-Hole Course of the Year – Cedar Rapids Country Club

Phil Josleyn Inspriational Player of the Year – Jim Campbell, Albia

Click here to read more about these Annual Award winners

Player of the Year – Tripp Kinney, Des Moines

Senior Player of the Year – Gene Elliott, West Des Moines

Super Senior Player of the Year – Jim Campbell, Albia

Read more about the Men’s Players of the Year (Kinney, Elliott, Campbell)

Women’s Player of the Year – Amelia Mehmet-Grohn, Ames

Senior Women’s Player of the Year – Kelly Grimes, Indianola

Read more about the Women’s Players of the Year (Mehmet-Grohn, Grimes)

Junior Girls’ Player of the Year – Paige Hoffman, West Des Moines

Junior Boys’ Player of the Year – Matthew Garside, Bettendorf

Read more about the Junior Players of the Year (Garside, Hoffman)

Ames’ Snyder finishes high at Rolex Tournament of Champions

Ames’ Britta Snyder (front row, seventh from left next to Jack Nicklaus) recently competed at the AJGA’s Rolex Tournament of Champions, (Nov. 26-28) finishing T12th. Synder posted rounds of 78-73-72-70 – 293 (+5). The event was contested at PGA National Resort & Spa – Champion & Fazio Courses, Palm Beach Gardens, FL. This marks the third time Snyder has qualified for the event, but the first time she has played due to scheduling conflicts and an injury last year.

The 42nd edition of the Rolex Tournament of Champions featured 144 of the best junior golfers in the world from 27 states and 18 countries. The tournament assembles the Rolex Junior All-Americans with the past year’s champions to create The Greatest Week in Junior Golf. There were 63 current or former Rolex Junior All-Americans in the field, with a total of 92 AJGA champions competing.

Past winners of the Rolex Tournament of Champions include Phil Mickelson, David Duval, Charles Howell, David Gossett, Webb Simpson, Sam Burns, Heather Farr, Kellee Booth, Inbee Park, Morgan Pressel and Alison Lee.

IGAF, ISPGA team up to promote 2020 Iowa PGA Golf Pass

The Iowa Golf Association Foundation is continuing once again their partnership with the Iowa Section PGA to promote the 2020 Iowa PGA Golf Pass to members of the IGA.

An Iowa PGA Golf Pass is a booklet that contains FREE or discounted rates at over 250 golf facilities across Iowa and Western Illinois. By purchasing the golf pass, you can save hundreds – even thousands – of dollars on green fees, cart rentals, range balls, merchandise, and golf lessons!

Remember, that each Golf Pass offer is only valid for the individual Golf Pass holder. One Golf Pass is not valid for everyone in the group. The golf facilities included in the Golf Pass are only required to honor their deals to individuals that present a valid Iowa PGA Golf Pass.

Golfers now have the option to purchase the 2020 Iowa PGA Golf Pass in an electronic version ($40) or the typical printed booklet ($45) that has been available in the past.

The best part is you can use the coupon code “iowagolf” at checkout to receive $10 off your purchase (from $45 or $40 down to $35 or $30). Additionally, if you use that code, the IGA Foundation will receive a donation from the Iowa PGA.

Don’t forget to use the coupon code “iowagolf” to receive $10 off your purchase of the Iowa PGA Golf Pass.

Click here to purchase your 2020 Iowa PGA Golf Pass today!


*REMINDER — The Iowa PGA can no longer accept credit cards over the phone. All order must be done online or send a check to the Iowa PGA Section Office at 3184 Hwy 22, Riverside, IA 52327.


Rick Brown, the author of the recently released book GOLDEN HARVEST: Iowa Rich Golf History, will be on hand to sign copies of the book at the following places and times.  Please note that some of these events are limited to members or guests:

Saturday, December 7th
non-members welcome
10 a.m. to noon
Wakonda Club (Golf Shop), Des Moines

Saturday, December 7th
CRCC members only please
Times to be determined
Cedar Rapids Country Club

Sunday, December 8th
Open to the public
2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Ken Schall Performance Golf Studio
2700 University Ave, #300, West Des Moines

Thursday, December 12th
DCC members only please
3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Davenport Country Club, Pleasant Valley, IA

Friday, December 13th
IGA Annual Award Banquet guests and EVCC members only please
6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Echo Valley Country Club, Norwalk


2020 IGA Schedule, USGA Qualifying venues announced

We are excited to release the 2020 IGA Championship schedule. Many great venues will be featured this year across the state. A link at the bottom of the page will allow you to view the entire schedule, including USGA Qualifiers.

In 2020, the Iowa Amateur makes its return to Davenport Country Club (pictured above), July 27-29. This coming year will mark the sixth time the Iowa Amateur will be held at the club. The last time Davenport Country Club hosted was in 2008 when eventual champion Mike Oimeon of Clear Lake won in a playoff. Since then the golf course underwent a major renovation beginning in 2014.  The goal was to restore the course to its original design as well as uncover some of the hidden features that were once covered up by trees. Davenport Country Club has received national notoriety for being one of the best courses in Iowa according to Golf Digest and currently sites at #159 in the recent GolfWeek list of top 200 Classic Courses.

The Iowa Women’s Amateur will be hosted by Elmwood Country Club in Marshalltown, July 6-8. Elmwood Country Club last hosted the Iowa Women’s Amateur in 2004, when eventual champion Jennie Arsenault won her first of three consecutive Iowa Women’s Amateur titles. Along with hosting the Iowa Women’s Amateur, Elmwood CC has also hosted an Iowa Amateur, IGA Women’s Club Team Championship, Iowa Senior Women’s Amateur and Iowa Mid-Amateur.

Talons of Tuscany in Ankeny, will host the men’s and women’s IGA Match Play Championship, June 29-July 2. Talons of Tuscany, is a privately owned course routed between beautiful rock walled streams and covered bridges.  In recent years the course has been lengthened to more than 6,400 yards making it a formidable but fair test. The opportunity to compete for a championship at this unique venue doesn’t happen every day.

The Herman Sani Tournament, presented by Coppola Enterprises, will be played at Hyperion Field Club in Johnston, August 7-9. The championship features professional and amateur golfers with proceeds from the tournament going to support the IGA Foundation Scholarship Fund.

The 2020 Iowa Senior Amateur will be contested at Crow Valley Golf Club in Davenport. The dates of the championship are Monday-Wednesday, August 24-26. This will mark the first year that the Iowa Senior Amateur will be contested at Crow Valley GC and first year ever that this championship will be played in the Quad Cities.

The Iowa Wife-Husband Championship will return to Sunnyside Country Club in Waterloo. The championship is set for Sept. 18-20. The tournament will remain a 3-day format in which couples choose to play their two rounds on Friday & Saturday, Friday & Sunday or Saturday & Sunday.

In addition to those championships already listed, the IGA will conduct events at the following venues – Sunnyside CC (Iowa Mid-Amateur), Whispering Creek GC (IGA Four-Ball), Veenker Memorial GC (IGA Senior Match Play), Urbandale G&CC (Iowa Forever 39 Match Play), Jester Park GC in Granger (Father/Son, Parent/Child), Spirit Hollow GC (Iowa Junior & Girls’ Junior Amateur), Carroll CC (Iowa Senior Women’s Amateur), Jones GC (IGA Women’s Four-Ball), Elmcrest CC (Women’s Club Team) and Hyperion FC (IGA Club Team).

IGA Women’s Mid-Am Series events and IGA Member Play Days will be scheduled and announced at a later time.

The IGA will also conduct and administer several USGA Qualifiers throughout the state in 2020. Those are as follows:

  • Beaver Hills Country Club, Cedar Falls – U.S. Open Local Qualifying
  • Coldwater Golf Links, Ames –  S. Senior Open Qualifier
  • Finkbine Golf Course, Iowa City – U.S. Junior Amateur Qualifying
  • Lake Panorama National Golf Course, Panora – U.S. Amateur Qualifying
  • Lake Panorama National Golf Course, Panora – U.S. Senior Amateur Qualifying
  • Wakonda Club, Des Moines – U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur Qualifying
  • Otter Creek Golf Course, Ankeny – U.S. Mid-Amateur
  • Firethorn Country Club, Lincoln, Nebraska (Nebraska Golf Assoc.) – U.S. Four-Ball Qualifying.

Entries to all IGA Championships and Member Play Days (TBD) will be available on March 3, 2020. Entries will be available for USGA Championships at a later date, which will be determined by the USGA and announced on their website.

Click here to view the entire schedule, including USGA Qualifiers 

Kinney, Elliott, Campbell lead the way in 2019

Des Moines’ Tripp Kinney (pictured above) picked up his first college win at the 2019 NCAA Louisville Regional en route to capturing the 2019 IGA Men’s Player of the Year title.

Kinney played well all season, earning top five finishes at the Colleton River Intercollegiate (T5), the Sunnehanna Amateur (T5) and the 70th Herman Sani (5th). He also finished in a tie for eighth at the Big 12 Championships.

Jon Brown, of Adel, used three victories and a trio of top five finishes to come in second in the standings. His victories came at the 117th Iowa Amateur Championship, the Briarwood Amateur and The Classic 2019. Ankeny’s Jon Olson finished in third place while Johnston’s J.D. Anderson (4th) and Sperry’s Charles Jahn (5th) completed the top five.


Gene Elliott (pictured above) left little to doubt in the 2019 IGA Men’s Senior Player of the Year race. He earned his fourth title overall, and third in the last four years, by more than 800 points over Adel’s Jon Brown.

Elliott earned seven victories in 2019 including the 41st Iowa Senior Amateur Championship, IGA Senior Match Play Championship, 24th IGA Four-Ball Championship (Senior Division – with partner Todd Rose), 70th Herman Sani (Senior Division), Canadian Men’s Senior Championship, the Golfweek Senior Tournament of Champions as well as the medalist at the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Qualifier (with partner Mike McCoy). Elliott also advanced to the round of 64 at the U.S. Senior Amateur.

Elliott highlighted his summer by earning low amateur honors at the 2019 Senior Open Championship.

Jon Brown had three victories and five top five finishes to come in second in the standings. His victories came at the 117th Iowa Amateur Championship, the Briarwood Amateur and The Classic 2019. Terry Cook, of Norwalk, finished third in the standings with Jay Gregory, of Lineville, and Joe Bates, of Albia, finishing fourth and fifth respectively.


Albia’s Jim Campbell (pictured above) earned his first IGA Men’s Super Senior Player of the Year title is 2019 following a season that featured four wins and three runner-up finishes. Campbell collected wins at the 41st Iowa Senior Amateur Championship, Fort Dodge Amateur Championship, Carroll Amateur, and 2019 Southeast Iowa Amateur in the Super Senior Divisions.

Campbell’s runner-up Super Senior Division finishes came at the 70th Herman Sani, Waterloo Open and the 24th IGA Four-Ball. Campbell also placed 12th at the 34th Iowa Mid-Amateur Championship (Super Senior Division).

Two-time IGA Super Senior Player of the Year, Rob Christensen, had yet another successful season of golf. He compiled four wins and four top-ten finishes to earn runner-up honors in the standings. Fort Madison’s Jim Butler came in third while Dave Sergeant, of Fort Dodge and Steve Kahler, of Marion, finished in fourth and fifth in the standings.

Click here to view a full recap of 2019 Player of the Year standings.

Mehmet-Grohn, Grimes put together strong 2019 campaigns

Ames’ Amelia Mehmet-Grohn (pictured above) had a banner summer highlighted by a tie for second place at the 95th Iowa Women’s Amateur to help her capture her first IGA Women’s Player of the Year title.

Grohn’s accomplishments included a 6th place finishing at the Mountain View Collegiate in the spring while playing for Iowa State University and qualifying for the U.S. Women’s Amateur played at Old Waverly Golf Club in West Point, Miss. She was also a quarter-finalist at the 8th IGA Women’s Match Play Championship held at Tournament Club of Iowa. Grohn, who was a member of Australia’s team at the 2019 Astor Trophy competition in Vancouver, led the Cyclones at the Big 12 Championship finishing tied for 12th and made the top-20 at the NCAA Cle Elum Regional, tying for 17th.

Joy Chou, of Ames, never finished outside the top-three en route to a runner-up finish in the standings. Indianola’s Leanne Smith (3rd), Cedar Rapids’ Julie Buerman (4th), and Ankeny’s Karli Kerrigan (5th) rounded out the top five in the Player of the Year standings.

Click here to view a full recap of Women’s Player of the Year standings


Much like 2018, the 2019 Senior Women’s Player of the Year was close with Kelly Grimes (pictured above) edging out Kathy Fortune by 12.5 points.

In her first year competing in the Senior Division, Grimes won the Forever 39 Match Play, was runner-up at the 9th IGA Women’s Four-Ball Championship (Senior Division) with partner Sue Harmon, and finished 3rd in the Open Division of the 95th Iowa Women’s Amateur. She also earned third place honors amongst the seniors at the IGA Women’s Mid-Am Series Event #2 held at Edmondson Golf Course in Oskaloosa.

Fortune had a strong summer as well that featured seven top-10 finishes, highlighted by a top finish in the senior standings at the IGA Women’s Mid-Am Series Event #2 and a runner-up finish at the Iowa Senior Women’s Amateur held at Oneota G&CC in Decorah.

The top five in the standings also included Margene Grady (3rd), Janece Schwartzkopf (4th), and Laura Leszczynski (T5) and Rose Kubesheski (T5).

Click here to view a full recap of Senior Women’s Player of the Year standings

Iowa represented at Play for P.I.N.K. event

In what has become an annual gathering, a few ‘Iowa gals’ participated again this year in the Naples Invitational Golf Tournament to benefit the Breast Cancer Research Foundation earlier this week as part of the Play for P.I.N.K. efforts. Those from Iowa that participated in the charity event included Kathy Fortune, Janece Schwartzkopf, Janis Owens, MaryAnn Brown, Cristy Schmidt, Amy Smith, Judy McCarty and Janet Berry. Smith is the daughter of Jill (and Tom) Blackwood, who passed away on earlier this year from complications due to cancer. Blackwood was elected to the Iowa Golf Hall of Fame class of 2019 and along with partner Judy McCarty participated in the Play for P.I.N.K. event in Naples for 13 years.

Tom Blackwood is pictured with Janet Berry and daughter Amy Smith.

To speed advances in breast cancer detection, treatment and survivorship, Play for P.I.N.K. (Prevention, Immediate diagnosis, New technology, Knowledge) supports thousands of volunteers nationwide as they raise funds for research through sporting and lifestyle events. Their efforts raise $4.6 million annually — and 100% of that goes to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Play for P.I.N.K. supports events in 30 states across the country, with more than 30,000 annual participants turning their passion for golf, tennis, and other sports and lifestyle pursuits into substantial support for research. To date, Play for P.I.N.K. has raised nearly $53 million and currently supports 26 scientists at leading academic medical institutions around the world.

To learn more about Play for P.I.N.K. click here

Garside, Hoffman capture IGA Junior Player of the Year honors

Bettendorf’s Matthew Garside (pictured above), now competing in his freshman year at the University of Iowa, has won his first IGA Junior Boys’ Player of the Year title after a consistent summer of play.

After winning the IHSAA 4A state title in the fall of 2018, Garside put together three top-ten and two top-twenty finishes beginning with runner-up finishes at the IGA Junior Amateur and the AJGA D.A. Points Junior Championship. Garside also notched a tie for sixth at the 117th Iowa Amateur Championship, a top twenty finishes at the 31st IGA Match Play (Round of 16) and the 86th Iowa Open (15th). Garside’s summer was highlighted by a trip to the U.S. Junior Amateur, where he advanced to match play.

Urbandale’s Nick Pittman finished second in the 2019 standings. His summer included two victories coming at the John Deere Classic Junior Open and the IGA Junior Amateur.

Griffin Parker, of Urbandale finished in third place, while Burlington’s Matthew Briggs (4th) and Marshalltown’s Cole Davis (5th) rounded out the top five.

Click here for a full recap of the 2019 Junior Boys’ Standings.


West Des Moines’ Paige Hoffman (pictured above) won her second straight IGA Junior Girls’ Player of the Year title in 2019. Much like last year, Hoffman dominated the standings and won by over 1200 points.

Hoffman collected wins at the 95th Iowa Women’s Amateur, ISPGA Spring Open, IGHSAU 4A State Tournament, John Deere Junior Classic Open and Pepsi Little People’s Golf Championship. She also had a trio of top three finishes at the AJGA Preview at Fair Oaks Ranch (3rd), the Midwest Junior Classic (T-2), and the 44th Iowa Girls’ Junior PGA Championship (3rd).

Ames’ Britta Snyder finished second in the standings. Her summer included a wins at the IGHSAU 3A State Tournament and the AJGA Randy Wise Junior Open.

Annika Patton of Aurelia finished in third place, while Washington’s Anna Nacos (4th) and Newton’s Rylee Heryford (5th) completed the top five.

Click here to a full recap of the 2019 Junior Girls’ Standings.

2019 Annual Awards announced

On Friday, October 25, the IGA Board of Directors named recipients of the 2019 Annual Awards in six categories. We are pleased to announce this year’s honorees.

9-Hole Superintendent – Kory Brown, Ballard Golf and Country Club
Kory Brown, of Ballard Golf and Country Club, has been named the 2019 IGA 9-Hole Superintendent of the Year.

Brown joined Ballard Golf and Country Club’s staff as the Superintendent in the fall of 2018. He hit the ground running, managing to successfully seed the struggling areas on the greens before winter rolled around. Over the winter, Brown took the initiative to learn the ins and outs of their irrigation system, attending classes and consulting with industry experts to prepare for the 2019 season. By the time the season rolled around, several prior irrigation problems were a thing of the past.

Brown was tasked with redoing all of the tees this past year, and through his leadership, a significant amount of the work was able to be done in house. He has a gift of working with his hands, and is able to keep the equipment running smoothly when something needs repaired. He takes pride in the playing conditions and his attention to detail has not gone unnoticed by the club’s Board of Directors.

Since joining the staff, Brown’s leadership has had a positive impact on his crew. He has demonstrated a tremendous work ethic, and maintained a great relationship with everyone he works with. He goes above and beyond his expected duties, and has been a great addition to the club.


18-Hole Superintendent – Ryan Lux, Echo Valley Country Club
Ryan Lux, of Echo Valley Country Club, is the 2019 IGA 18-Hole Superintendent of the Year.

Lux joined the Echo Valley staff as Superintendent in the fall of 2018. To most, the amount of work that Lux took on during the 2019 season would be overwhelming. He was responsible for the renovation of the greens on the Vale Course, in addition to renovating a practice green and short game area, all while providing top notch conditions of 18 holes on the Creek and Ridge nines.

The club membership took notice of Lux’s leadership, and they have taken notice in the pride he takes in his work.

“There seems to be nothing he’s not willing to do to make the course look and play the way it was meant to be enjoyed,” said Leanne Smith, 2019 IGA Women’s Match Play Champion and Echo Valley member.

The way Lux has handled his heavy workload has been admired by the Echo Valley staff, in addition to the membership.

“While his job responsibilities are mammoth, he has handled them like a true pro,” said club General Manager Matt Matthias.


9-Hole Course of the Year – Holstein Country Club
The IGA 9-Hole Course of the Year in 2019 is Holstein Country Club in Holstein.

Holstein Country Club, located in northwest Iowa, opened its doors in 1969, and celebrated its 50th Anniversary this year. The course has long been a staple in the community, and is visited by many golfers from near and far each year. The course has received praise for its smooth bent grass greens, undulating putting surfaces, beautiful and pristine playing conditions.

The golf course is a point of pride for the Holstein community, with several members “adopting” tee boxes where they plant flowers and bushes, to add to the beauty of the property. The course is meticulously cared for by 2015 IGA 9-Hole Superintendent of the Year, Aaron Nedved, who provides quality playing conditions on a daily basis. The course features four sets of tees that allow every golfer to have a fun experience, and is regarded as a course that is playable and welcoming to all levels of players. The club has a very active membership, and has strong participation in its leagues and tournaments.


18-Hole Course of the Year – Cedar Rapids Country Club
Cedar Rapids Country Club, in eastern Iowa, has been selected as the 2019 IGA 18-Hole Course of the Year.

The club placed Iowa golf in the national spotlight, playing host to the 2019 USGA Senior Women’s Amateur Championship in August. This was only the third time a USGA championship was conducted in the state of Iowa, and 132 of the world’s best senior women flocked to Cedar Rapids for the event. The event was a tremendous success, with the course receiving glowing reviews from all involved with the event.

Cedar Rapids Country Club is the state of Iowa’s only Donald Ross designed golf course. The course was first laid out by Scotsman Tom Bendelow in 1904, before world-renowned golf course architect Donald Ross expanded the course to 18 holes in 1914. Over time, the classic and recognizable Ross features of the course began to fade, leaving only the bones of what was once there. In 2011, the club hired Ross expert Ron Prichard, and his associate Tyler Rae, for the job of restoring the golf course. Superintendent Tom Feller and his crew took an active part in the restoration of the golf course which included restoring the bunkers, expanding the greens and removing trees, in an effort to improve turf health and bring back old sightlines across the property.


PGA Pro of the Year – Aaron Krueger, Wakonda Club
Aaron Krueger, of Wakonda Club in Des Moines, is the 2019 IGA PGA Professional of the Year.

Krueger first made his mark on Iowa golf when he joined Sunnyside Country Club in Waterloo as an Assistant Professional. After a short stint in Illinois, he returned to the Hawkeye state in 2011 to be the Head PGA Professional at Wakonda Club in Des Moines, where he now serves as the Director of Golf. He has played an instrumental role in the success of the PGA Tour Champions Principal Charity Classic, which the club has hosted since 2013.

In addition to his numerous duties as Director of Golf and preparing for the Principal Charity Classic, Krueger has given back to the game through volunteering. Krueger is currently the Iowa PGA Section President, and is on the board of the Iowa PGA Section Foundation. One thing that sets him apart is the impact his leadership has had on his staff. He has mentored several young aspiring PGA Professionals during his time at Wakonda, and exemplifies the character and commitment to people that makes golf in the state of Iowa special.


Club Manager of the Year – John Dinnebier, Briarwood Golf Club
John Dinnebier, of Briarwood Golf Club in Ankeny, is the 2019 IGA Club Manager of the Year.

Dinnebier joined Briarwood Golf Club in July of 2018, and has had a substantial impact on the club since the day he arrived. Since becoming the manager of the club, Briarwood has welcomed over 100 new members. His leadership since joining Briarwood has yielded great results for the club membership by providing a great outlook for the future, and improving the quality of service to Briarwood’s members.

The commitment Dinnebier has to the membership does not go unnoticed. On any given day, he can be found working with the junior golf program, bussing tables, tending the bar, setting up outings, and coaching the staff. He is characterized by his friendly smile, positive energy, and his willingness to go above and beyond expectations.

In Dinnebier’s time at Briarwood, he has led and overseen golf course improvements, several clubhouse repairs, the upgrading golf maintenance equipment, and several other improvement projects. One would think that with all of these duties, he doesn’t have time for much else. A testament to his commitment to the game of golf in Iowa, he routinely drives 180 miles round trip to Creston, where they do not have a golf professional nearby, to give junior golf clinics to kids learning the game.

He is recognized by members and coworkers alike for his humility, and has been described by members as a leader who, “wouldn’t ask the staff to do something he wasn’t willing to do himself.”

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