Month: May 2020

Palmer wins fourth Senior Match Play, Gorbell captures Super Senior crown

Richard Gorbell (left) and Joe Palmer took home the big honors at the Senior Match Play at Veenker on Saturday

MAY 30, 2020 – Joe Palmer, of West Des Moines, won his fourth IGA Senior Match Play Championship on Saturday afternoon after a 3 & 2 defeat of Tom Schill, of Gowrie, in the final match at Veenker Memorial Golf Course in Ames. Palmer joins Gene Elliott as the only four-time champions of the event.

Richard Gorbell, of Cedar Falls, won his first IGA Super-Senior championship when he defeated defending champion Steve Kahler, of Marion, in 19 holes.  Gorbell did it with a birdie on the first extra hole.

Palmer and Schill’s championship match got off to a fast start – fast as in time and not necessarily quality of golf. The two played the first 8 holes in 60 minutes before being slowed by some public groups of golfers on 9. Palmer had managed to secure a 1 up lead thru those fast first eight holes. 

“We were going too fast and I think our golf kind of suffered”, said Schill. 

When forced to take a bit of extra time is when Palmer took control. He won that 9th hole to go 2 up, then won 10 and 11 as well. His tee shot on the tough uphill par-3 11th was a thing of beauty. Palmer landed it just past the hole and it ran out to the back of edge of the green. That’s where the natural slope of the green took over and the ball slowly trickled back toward the hole, settling about 4 feet away for a birdie. 

Schill tried to swing the momentum with wins at 12 and 14, but another beautiful iron shot on the par-3 13th by Palmer threw a speed bump in the middle of Schill’s comeback plan. The back and forth across holes 11 thru 14 left Palmer at 3 up heading to the 15th tee. 

The two would tie the 15th after a nifty up and down from Palmer, then tie the 16th, giving Palmer his fourth crown. 

In the Super-Senior championship match defending champion Kahler nearly pulled off the repeat but Gorbell was just a bit too much down the stretch. 

Kahler held a 1 up lead thru 14 holes but Gorbell would birdie the difficult 15th and 16th holes to take a 1 up lead heading into 17. After a tie there the two went to the last where a subpar pitch shot from Gorbell led to Kahler’s par being enough to send it to extra holes. 

The two went to the back 9 for extra holes and it seemed as though Kahler would have the advantage after the tee shots because Gorbell’s ball settled in the right trees.  But a terrific recovery shot left Gorbell with about 50 yards into the hole which he would say later “was basically the same shot I just messed up on 18”. 

He didn’t mess it up this time. He flew his sand wedge to about 10 feet short of the hole, leaving a terrific look at birdie. After Kahler failed on his birdie chip Gorbell stepped up and drained it for the win.

In the President’s Bracket Brian Persson, of Elk Run Heights, defeated Iowa Golf Hall of Fame member Mike McCoy, of Norwalk, 1 up.  Other flight winners included Tim Greteman, of West Des Moines, (First Flight), Greg Kramer, of Urbandale, (Second Flight) and Richard Jones, of Fort Dodge (Third Flight).

Click here to view complete results

2020 Herman Sani Scholarship Award winners announced

Herman Sani (right) is seen talking with Gene Sarazen in August, 1950.  Sani served as IGA President in 1929.

The Iowa Golf Association (IGA) would like to announce the 2020 recipients of the Herman Sani Scholarship Awards. Kyle Christy, of Orange City, Allison Nuss, of New Hampton, Morgan Nuss, of New Hampton, and Cole Davis, of Marshalltown, will receive a four year scholarship of $2,000 per year. Those individuals will be recognized at the Herman Sani Golf Tournament held at Hyperion Field Club, Johnston, Fri-Sun, Aug 7-9.

Kyle Christy (left), of Orange City, is a graduate of MOC-Floyd Valley Community Schools and is the son of Michelle and Greg Christy. Kyle plans to attend Northwestern College (Orange City) and study accounting or education.

“The game of golf is a large part of my life and has partly made me who I am today. It is a true honor to be called a Herman Sani Scholar, and I am so grateful to all the people that have helped me achieve this honor. I am looking forward to representing what it means to be a Sani Scholar at Northwestern College through academics, golf, and basketball.”


Allison Nuss (right), of New Hampton, is a graduate of New Hampton High School and is the daughter of Marty and Carolyn Nuss. Allison plans to study either business of exercise science at the University of Northern Iowa and play on the golf team.

“I feel very honored to have been selected as a 2020 Herman Sani Scholarship recipient. I am very humbled and appreciative, and want to thank the committee for selecting me for this great honor. Golf has provided me with so many opportunities, and I will do my best to represent what it means to be a Sani Scholar and an Iowa Golf Association member as I continue my academic and golf career at the University of Northern Iowa.”


Morgan Nuss (left), of New Hampton, is a graduate of New Hampton High School and is the daughter of Marty and Carolyn Nuss. Morgan plans to attend the University of Northern Iowa to study education with a focus on mathematics. She will also play on the women’s golf team

“I am incredibly thankful to be receiving the Herman Sani scholarship. This scholarship is a very distinguished honor in the state of Iowa, and I am truly grateful to have been chosen as a recipient. I will do my best to uphold the standards of the scholarship as I continue on to the opportunities that lie ahead.”


Cole Davis (right), of Marshalltown, is a graduate of Marshalltown High School and is the son of Kendra and the late Trent Davis. He plans to attend the University of Houston and pursue a Bachelors of Business Administration Degree in Finance. Cole will play for golf for the Cougars.

“I would like to thank the Herman Sani Committee for selecting me for this scholarship. It is truly an honor to be presented this scholarship and I couldn’t be more appreciative. The Iowa Golf Association has always been special to me, so to be selected for the Herman Sani Scholarship really means a lot to not only me but my family as well.”


The Herman Sani Scholarship Program was established in 1958. Herman Sani had a passion for golf and young people. Sani was the first director of the Iowa Golf Association and served the organization for over 30 years. This scholarship was created in his memory with the purpose to assist Iowa students to further their education. As of 2020, 187 college-bound students have been awarded this four-year scholarship.

Most of the scholarship money comes from the generous donations by individuals and corporate sponsors. Since 2013 the Coppola family of Norwalk has contributed $250,000 to the Herman Sani Scholarship Fund. The Iowa Golf Association and point events from around the state also make significant contributions to the fund. For more information about the scholarship visit our website at

Iowa Golf Hall of Fame member Steve Spray passes away

Iowa Golf Hall of Fame member (Class on 2009) Steve Spray passed away Friday, May 15, 2020 in Chesterfield, MO. Graveside services will be held at 11:00 a.m., Tuesday, May 19 at the I.O.O.F. Cemetery in Indianola. Read his full obituary here:

A native of Indianola, Spray began his amateur career with a win in the 1958 Iowa Junior Amateur and gained national fame by winning the 1959 Western Junior. For college he went south to Eastern New Mexico University and won individual National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Championships in 1962 and 1963. Spray won a total of five of Iowa’s designated majors and was the Iowa Player of the Year in 1962 & 1963. His wins included the 1963 Iowa Amateur, 1962 Northwest Amateur, 1962 & ’63 Central States Amateur, and the 1963 Tournament of Champions. Spray also continued to make his mark on the national scene with quarterfinal appearances in the 1960 and 1963 U.S. Amateur. After these accomplishments as an amateur, Spray decided to test his skills at the professional level.

He won the 1966 Waterloo Open, the 1972 Herman Sani and also notched wins at the New Mexico and Arizona Opens in 1973.

Spray competed with notable success for several years on the PGA Tour highlighted by his win in the 1969 San Francisco Open and a fifth place finish in the 1968 U. S. Open, won by Lee Trevino at Oak Hill in Rochester, N.Y. During his PGA Tour career Spray appeared in three Masters, seven U.S. Opens and six PGA Championships.

Read more about Spray in his Iowa Golf Hall of Fame bio here:

IGA Championship Season, Senior Match Play set to go May 28th

The IGA Rules and Competitions Committee has recently approved moving forward with the IGA Senior Match Play Championship at Veenker Memorial Golf Course on the originally scheduled dates of May 28th thru 30th.  The format of the event will be modified slightly.

The altered format will include no shotgun starts.  All play will be started in tee times off the 1st hole. Stroke Play qualifying will be held on day 1 (May 28th), with matches being played on days 2 and 3 (May 29 & 30).  We will determine brackets (flights) of 16 rather than 32 in order to finish play on the originally scheduled dates. All players will play on day 1 and have a match on the morning of day 2.  All bracket play will be single elimination. 

Many other policies will be in place for the championship, in lieu of the COVID-19 pandemic. The specifics of those are being finalized and will be communicated to all players in days leading up to the championship.

We are excited to host the first event of 2020 and get things moving forward again.  If you are considering participating in the Senior Match Play we extended the entry deadline by one day, to Thursday, May 21st.  Click here to sign up.


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