The Iowa Golf Association is excited to announce Ben Larson (right) as the IGA’s Director of Competitions. Beginning on Jan. 1, 2021, Larson will take the lead on the administration of IGA Championships, USGA Qualifiers, and taking the lead on support for the rules of golf and the USGA Tournament Management software (Golf Genius).
He has spent the past 7 years as the Director of Competitions for the South Dakota Golf Association, where he administered their men’s and women’s state championships, as well as USGA qualifiers. He was the main support person for USGA TM-Golf Genius for the SDGA member clubs and he has attained an expert rating from the USGA based on his rules of golf exam scores. He has been invited to serve as a rules official at USGA championships in the past.
Ben grew up in Webster City, Iowa, and commented that he looks forward to getting closer to his family.
“I am really excited, being from Iowa, to come back and work with a great team that is in place already at the IGA,” Larson said. “I look forward to helping continue the progress the IGA is making in the game of golf. It will be good to get back home near family and friends.”
Prior to joining the SDGA, Ben spent 6 1/2 years as a rules official/tournament director for the NGA Professional Golf Tour (formerly known as The Hooters Tour). He is a member of the PGA of America, gaining his Class A status in 2005.
“My major emphasis (in South Dakota) was on tournament golf, which I enjoy and look forward to continuing to do in Iowa,” Larson said. “I also enjoy the rules side of golf, which may not be exciting to everyone, but it is something I like.”
The addition of Larson was brought about with the retirement of IGA stalwart Bill Dickens. Dickens was the Executive Director of the IGA from 2001 -2015 and Senior Director of Administration from 2016-2020.
As part of this transition process with Bill’s retirement and the hiring of Larson as the Director of Competitions, we are shifting roles around amongst the current staff. Chad Pitts, Katelynn Hogenson, and Nate McCoy will all have title changes, along with new or additional responsibilities. Clint Brown’s title will remain the same, but he will take on a slightly different role as well.
Pitts’ title changes slightly to CEO/Executive Director of the IGA and the IGA Foundation. He will continue to oversee the entire staff and will take over many of the Foundation duties handled by Dickens the past few years.
Hogenson is being promoted to Chief Operating Officer of the IGA. As COO, Katelynn will be taking over much of the day-to-day bookkeeping, as well as providing additional oversight and guidance to other staff. Hogenson will shift her responsibilities for oversight of GHIN to McCoy.
McCoy is the new Director of Handicapping and Course Rating. He remains in charge of the course rating program for the IGA but will add responsibility for GHIN support to our member clubs and courses. He will have less focus on events, although you will still see him at plenty of tournaments.
Brown remains the Director of Communications and Marketing and he will still be in charge of all IGA communications, including the website, social media, and advertising & sponsorship sales. However, he will assist Pitts with IGA Foundation related activities when needed.
In general, it is a big carousel of duties being shifted around. However, even though we have specific job descriptions we are a small team, so everyone will still have a hand in nearly all we do. Most notably, you will continue to see most of the staff at all major IGA championships.
We are excited about the addition of Ben to the staff. You will see he brings loads of positive energy and experience.