Month: February 2019

View induction ceremony of Jill Blackwood

The Iowa Golf Hall of Fame induction ceremony of Jill Blackwood was held on Sunday, February 24th at The Club at Renaissance in Fort Myers, Florida.  Renaissance is Jill & Tom Blackwood’s “winter club”.  Chad Pitts of the IGA and Joe Butler of Burlington Golf Club – along with many other Burlington GC members – made the trip to Florida for the induction.

Click here to view video of the ceremony

Dan Naughton – 1948-2019

Daniel (Dan) Naughton, of Marion, passed away on February 26, 2019. Naughton, who was a reinstated amateur, was a fierce competitor on the IGA scene capturing the IGA Senior Player of the Year title in 2002 and 2003. Naughton’s victories included the Iowa Senior Amateur (2001 & 2003), Iowa Mid-Amateur Senior Division (2002 & 2003) and the IGA Four-Ball Senior Division in 2006 with partner Sam Aossey.

Naughton also won the Cedar Rapids City Amateur, prior to becoming a golf professional, served as an assistant pro at the Kankakee Elks Country Club as well as locally at St. Andrews Golf Club (Cedar Rapids).

A Celebration of Life for Naughton will take place 1-5 p.m. Sunday, May 5, 2019, at Hunter’s Ridge Golf Course, Marion. Arrangements by Stewart Baxter Funeral & Memorial Services, Marion.

Click here to read Naughton’s obituary

McCoy honored with USGA’s Ike Grainger Award

Norwalk’s Mike McCoy (right) was honored last week by the USGA with one of its highest honors – the Ike Grainger Award. McCoy is in his 25th year as a volunteer committee member of the USGA, which qualified him for the award.

“My first role with the USGA was when Rod Bliss, a long time USGA volunteer, asked me to become involved as a member of the U.S. Mid-Am Committee,” McCoy said. “ Robb  Pomerantz had been the Mid-Am representative for several years and decided to retire from the committee. I fulfilled that role for several years and when Rod retired from the then Sectional Affairs Committee , I expanded my role to what is now known as the Regional Affairs Committee.

McCoy commented that his volunteer work with the USGA for the betterment of amateur golf in Iowa has been quite satisfying.

“My most satisfying work on the committees was focused on helping Iowa amateurs form their own independent association and hire their own staff,” McCoy said. “It was unpleasant because I had many friends who felt the status quo of a joint office was satisfactory. I knew that Iowa’s amateurs would never enjoy the unique benefits and quality of governance I observed in other states until the split was made. While emotional at the time, it has proven to be beneficial to Iowa’s amateur golfers, both men and women.”

Established in 1995 as part of the USGA’s Centennial Celebration, the Isaac B. Grainger Award recognizes volunteers who have provided 25 years of service to the Association. Grainger served as USGA president from 1954-1955 and led the USGA effort to develop the first unified code of the Rules of Golf with The R&A in 1951.

“Satisfaction from the volunteer work has primarily come in the wonderful friendships that I have made with USGA staff and fellow volunteers,” McCoy said.


Jill Blackwood – 1947-2019

Iowa golf icon Jill Blackwood passed away on Sunday, February 3rd from complications due to cancer.  She was 71 years old. Blackwood was recently elected to the Iowa Golf Hall of Fame class of 2019.

Jill will be remembered for giving way more back to the game of golf than she ever took.  

She was a ‘champion’ for golf for over three decades.  She promoted the game to all golfers, but particularly to women and juniors.  She volunteered time and money to the Iowa Women’s Golf Association, Iowa Golf Association and junior programs in and around her hometown of Burlington, Iowa.  In 2014, the IGA honored Jill with the George Turner Distinguished Service Award, which is given to individuals who have contributed back to the game through volunteer efforts during their lifetimes.

She was instrumental in the revitalization of the Iowa Golf Hall of Fame in 2006, leading to the first class inducted in nine years at that time.  She spent time as President of the IWGA and served on it’s board of directors for 23 years.

In many ways, she was one of the foundational pillars the volunteer-led IWGA stood on for decades.

Blackwood was also a terrific player.  She won the Burlington Golf Club Women’s Club Championship 18 times.  She participated in four USGA Championships and partnered with her husband, Tom, to win two Iowa Wife-Husband Championships (1982 & 2006).  

Jill will be honored and welcomed into the Iowa Golf Hall of Fame in the coming weeks and months.  The planned induction ceremony at her home golf club in Fort Myers, Florida (The Club at Renaissance) on February 24 will still be held (if you wish to attend the ceremony in Florida, please contact the IGA at [email protected]).  She will also be honored during the traditional induction ceremony held in Iowa on April 4th. (Click here to see more info and sign up to attend the Iowa ceremony)

All golfers in Iowa mourn her passing.  There are very few that were as passionate about this great game as Jill.  She will be missed, but she will forever be remembered as an Iowa Golf Hall of Fame member and one of the most iconic and influential women to ever play the game in Iowa.



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