On Friday, October 30, the IGA Board of Directors named recipients of the 2020 Annual Awards in six categories. We are pleased to announce this year’s honorees.
9-Hole Superintendent – Jeremy Amosson, Veterans Memorial Golf Club
Jeremy Amosson, of Veterans Memorial Golf Club, has been named the 2020 IGA 9-Hole Superintendent of the Year.
In 2010, Veterans Memorial Golf Club’s Board of Directors hired Amosson to serve as the Superintendent of Grounds. He brought with him a wealth of experience from working on golf courses in Illinois and Wisconsin. Over the past decade Amosson has improved the irrigation and drainage systems, led tee box and bunker restorations, and developed a forward-thinking tree management plan for the club to deal with the Emerald Ash Borer.
The COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 posed new challenges to Amosson and his crew as the club saw more play than ever before, more than double the amount of play in 2019. Amosson sought innovative solutions to maintaining great playing conditions including topdressing the tees to keep them healthy and firming up the greens to handle the extra foot traffic during the hot summer months.
To top it all off, he maintains great working relationships with the rest of the club staff to ensure club operations run smoothly.
18-Hole Superintendent – Caleb Swanson, Briarwood Golf Club
Caleb Swanson, of Briarwood Golf Club, is the 2020 IGA 18-Hole Superintendent of the
Swanson joined the Briarwood Golf Club staff five years ago. Since coming onboard,
Swanson has been instrumental in leading efforts to restore the condition of the golf course. He has led efforts to improve the outdated irrigation and drainage systems, reconstruct sand traps to allow for better drainage, and overall improvement of golf course maintenance practices.
Earlier this year, Briarwood endured significant damage from the derecho storm that took down more than 140 trees in early August. Swanson didn’t blink. He quickly rallied his grounds crew and recruited teams of volunteers, leading an organized clean-up effort to return the golf course to playable condition. After only a week the course was reopened for member play.
His efforts and character have been recognized by the rest of the management team at Briarwood Golf Club.
“He is a hard worker, honest, and most importantly a quality individual. He is the best at what he does,” said Briarwood Golf Club Manager and Director of Golf John Dinniebier.
9-Hole Course of the Year – Hillcrest Country Club
The IGA 9-Hole Course of the Year in 2020 is Hillcrest Country Club in Adel.
With the COVID-19 pandemic creating a spike in demand for play at golf courses across the state, Hillcrest Country Club in Adel provided a safe outlet for recreation when members needed it most.
The club was able to hold their full calendar of events in 2020, enabled by the leadership of new clubhouse manager Adam Luehmann, who administered all men’s and women’s events and implemented the appropriate safety protocols to ensure member safety. Leuhmann established effective plans for helping provide high quality service to their members while promoting the safety of both members and employees.
No tee times are necessary at the club, which has continued to draw more young families each year and has developed a healthy waiting list. The members are proud to call Hillcrest Country Club home, demonstrated by the numerous members who volunteered to assist in cleaning up the golf course after the derecho storm – returning it to playable condition in less than two days.
18-Hole Course of the Year – Hyperion Field Club
Hyperion Field Club, in Johnston, has been selected as the 2020 IGA 18-Hole Course of the Year.
The golf course received a significant amount of damage during the derecho storm that swept across the state in early August. In a matter of weeks, through the efforts of course superintendent Jim Sedrel and the grounds crew, with the assistance of several volunteers, the club was in peak condition to host the 71st Herman Sani Tournament in mid-August.
Hyperion is highly regarded for their first-class putting surfaces, which are revered for posing a challenging to even the state’s best golfers. The classic course features many dramatic changes in elevation from tee to green, as well as narrow fairways that require players to control their ball striking on the 6,455-yard layout. The club has recently renovated their bunkers which have provided for a strong aesthetic and great playability for their membership.
PGA Pro of the Year – Adam Coates, Spencer Golf & Country Club
Adam Coates, of Spencer Golf & Country Club in northwest Iowa, is the 2020 IGA PGA Professional of the Year.
Since starting at the club in 2011, Coates has been a difference maker. From leading the charge to renovate the golf shop and men’s and women’s bathrooms, hosting the Northwest Amateur Golf Tournament, driving membership growth, promoting junior golf programs, and a whole lot more.
This year was no different, with Coates provided several top-notch events at the club to serve their members. One fun event that he started this year was a glow ball tournament. The tournament was a big success and the club is looking to hosting more of these events next year. The Thursday night league launched by Coates has now grown to over 100 golfers, complimented by tremendous growth in participation of all skill levels in their women’s golf programming.
Coates has been accredited with tremendous growth of the junior game during his time at Spencer Golf & Country Club. This year he implemented the 9/36 Challenge program for juniors at the club. This program features programming from ages 4 thru high school.
Additionally, he designed a ‘kids only’ locker room that allows juniors a place to store their clubs and have a place to call their own. He has even created a new set of tee markers to provide for a family friendly course setup.
One member summarized the impact Coates has made on Spencer Golf & Country Club by stating that he is ‘the heartbeat of the club.’
Club Manager of the Year – Sheryl Dusenberry, Atlantic Golf & Country Club
Sheryl Dusenberry, of Atlantic Golf & Country Club in Atlantic, is the 2020 IGA Club Manager of the Year.
Dusenberry has been praised by the members and AGCC for her attention to detail, selfless service, and her people skills. This past spring, she stepped up to find innovative ways to safely serve their members during the COVID-19 pandemic. Dusenberry coordinated with the kitchen staff to provide takeout dining services to members, many times delivering the meals herself. Additionally, she coordinated with all other club personnel to implement safety protocols and make sure all club functions were in accordance with public health proclamations to ensure the safety of their members and guests.
Annually, AGCC hosts the Tournament of Champions, an event where golfers flock to Atlantic from across the state. IGA veteran Ron Peterson spoke highly of the way Dusenberry represents the club while hosting the event.
“You can tell she takes great pride in presenting and representing the Atlantic Golf & Country Club in the best way possible,” Peterson said. “She works tirelessly before and after the event to ensure the participants have the best experience possible.”
One member noted that Dusenberry exemplifies the attributes of an excellent manager.
“If a golf course were to hire a new manager, I would recommend they spend a week or two with Sheryl to see how a course should be run,” said member Allan Hjelle.
NOTE – The IGA Annual Awards Banquet is scheduled for Saturday, December 12th at Glen Oaks Country Club in West Des Moines. We will communicate a schedule of events as soon as we finalize all of the remaining details. Safety and well-being of those attending is one of our top priorities in response to COVID-19 while we continue to work out the logistics of the banquet. We are still working on details for start times as well as additional guests that will be allowed to attend.