Month: April 2024

Inaugural Iowa Adaptive Open set for 2025

We’ve wanted to do this for a while and now it is finally happening.

The Iowa Golf Association is excited to announce the inaugural Iowa Adaptive Open sponsored by Prairie Meadows Racetrack & Casino, to be held July 12-13, 2025. The newest IGA championship will be played at Terrace Hills Golf Course in Altoona and will be open to golfers of various classifications of disabilities, such as individuals with arm and leg impairments, amputations, blind golfers, and those with neurological and intellectual impairments.

Adaptive championships have seen a rise over the past few years, most notably the addition of the U.S. Adaptive Open, administered by the USGA the last two years (2022, 2023). Since 2018 the PGA of America has partnered with the U.S. Disabled Golfers Association on the USDGA Championship. Other states have made this part of their championship schedule in recent years as well.

The IGA has been discussing creating this championship for the past few years and the creation of the U.S. Adaptive Open has helped create a model to work from. The Georgia State Golf Association has been running an adaptive championship since 2019, which precedes the USGA championship. Other states such as Indiana, Florida, and Ohio have recently added events.

“Our Rules & Competitions Committee has discussed creating an event like this since before the Covid pandemic,” Chad Pitts, IGA Executive Director said. “But the truth was we didn’t have the knowledge or expertise in how to create the various divisions that would be necessary. We have worked closely with the Iowa Amputee Golf Association to help us develop the event, but also having the USGA and organizations like the Georgia State Golf Association start their adaptive championships helped create a blueprint for us to work from.”

The support of Prairie Meadows Racetrack & Casino and Terrace Hills Golf Course can not be underestimated either Pitts commented.

“We are grateful for Prairie Meadows and their commitment to help give us the resources to make this a first-class event,” Pitts said. “Also, Terrace Hills will be a perfect venue. In addition to their immaculate clubhouse that will host some nice banquets for the players and their families, but because of recent improvements to the course that will benefit this unique group of players.”

Renovations made a few years ago included the removal of all sand bunkers. This is especially beneficial to seated golfers who rely on a cart to help move them into a position where they can make a swing.

“When I heard the Iowa Golf Association was getting behind this, I thought that was awesome,” Rocky Sposato, PGA Professional and General Manager of Terrace Hills Golf Course said. “When asked to be part of this, it was an easy yes from me. I am a true believer in creating access for everyone who wants to enjoy golf. I am excited for the community and the opportunity.”

The Iowa Adaptive Open will not be limited to only Iowa residents and IGA members. It will be open to anyone from around the country to participate. Many other details still need to be determined, but entries should open on or around March 1st of 2025, just like most other IGA Championships.

Stay tuned and check back to our website for more information regarding the 2025 event.

Featuring 100 Women: Driving Change

Celebrating Iowa’s Female Golf Visionaries

As the wheels of time turn and the landscapes of golf evolve, it’s important to acknowledge the dedicated individuals who have steered the sport’s path in Iowa through the years. From the inception of the Iowa Golf Association and Iowa Women’s Golf Association to the game today, a lineage of passionate stewards have navigated the challenges of organizing championships, rating courses and crafting indispensable yearly directories.

The Iowa Women’s Golf Association was initially formed in 1922, with Mrs. L.W. Bryant, Mrs. Don Donnan and Mrs. Walter Cherry serving as president, vice president, and treasurer, respectively. That same day, the inaugural Iowa Women’s Amateur teed off at Sunnyside Country Club in Waterloo, the first of many historical steps for women’s golf in Iowa. Although the first official charter year for the IWGA was 1955, members worked hard to grow the game for girls and women across the state.

As time went on, more championships for women were added to the summer schedule. The first new arrival was the Iowa Junior Girls’ Amateur in 1952. Over the next 17 years, women would see five more championships added with the inception of the Iowa Wife/Husband, Women’s Club (State) Team, Women’s Forever 39 Match Play, Iowa Senior Women’s Amateur, and Junior Girls’ Four-State. The IWGA’s most recent additions introduced were the IGA Women’s Four-Ball in 2010 and the IGA Women’s Match Play in 2012.

With the addition of new championships, the workload for IWGA board members increased tremendously as the years went on. It was custom that each board member was assigned a women’s championship each season. Once assigned, that board member was in charge of securing host sites, creating tournament flyers, coordinating with the host club’s head pro, and communicating tournament schedules with players. While the annual assignments rotated, the chair of the Iowa Junior Girls’ remained consistent for many years.

Corkey Nydle was instrumental in expanding playing opportunities for girls in Iowa. She was present at the inaugural Iowa Junior Girls’ Amateur. Though historical records indicate it was initially played in 1952 at Ames Golf and Country Club, former historian Sally Sharp believes it began in 1951 at Pine Lake Country Club in Eldora. Nydle, elected to the Iowa Golf Hall of Fame in 1989, was also responsible for starting the Junior Girls’ 4-State Team event in 1968. After being approached by Mrs. E.W. Geiger Jr. of Kansas about creating an interstate junior team play, Nydle quickly jumped on board. The event first took place at Shawnee Mission Country Club in Kansas in 1968, with Missouri claiming the first title. It was played at Ottumwa Country Club, Nydle’s home course, the following year when Iowa not only hosted the event but took home the title.

The IWGA increased the frequency of events held each year and expanded its board of directors to include district chairs, responsible for securing host sites in their respective districts. They also compiled a comprehensive list of all women’s golf events in Iowa for the year to update their annual directories. While each championship had an assigned official, often the same woman would oversee multiple championships. This was evident with Ann Griffel and Jill Blackwood, two women who wore many hats during their time with the IWGA and IGA.

Griffel’s significant contributions to golf in Iowa span various roles as a player, volunteer, administrator and benefactor. Blackwood, who succeeded Griffel as president of the Iowa Women’s Golf Association, said, “I doubt that there is another individual who has had a greater impact upon women’s golf in Iowa than Ann.”

Griffel held the position of IWGA president for 23 years, beginning in 1962. During her tenure, she spearheaded the establishment of new competitive avenues for women, including the Iowa Junior Girls’ Amateur, the State Wife/Husband, the Women’s Forever 39 Match Play, and the Iowa Senior Women’s Amateur. Griffel chaired the State Wife/Husband from 1961 to 1965, an event that grew into one of the nation’s largest tournaments contested on a single course. There were over 500 participants at its peak.

Additionally, Griffel’s prowess on the course was evident as she clinched the Forever 39 titles in 1973, 1974, and 1979. She was also a five-time runner-up. And she dominated the Iowa Senior Women’s Amateur Championship, winning 11 times in a 12-year span from 1967 to 1979. Griffel’s commitment to nurturing talent and supporting education led to the inception of IWGA scholarships for Iowa high school seniors in 1966, later renamed the “Ann Griffel Scholarship” in her honor in 1985. She was elected to the Iowa Golf Hall of Fame in 2006.

Blackwood’s IWGA and IGA involvement was quite impressive as well. With a longstanding dedication to the IWGA, she assumed the role of district chair in 1985 and later joined the organization’s Board of Directors in 1991. Her commitment extended further as she served as president of the IWGA from 2002 to 2005. Additionally, she generously volunteered her time and expertise, directing the annual Iowa Wife/Husband Tournament for 13 years, the Iowa Women’s Amateur for eight years, and the Iowa Senior Women’s Amateur for four years. Notably, she played a pivotal role on the Ann Griffel Scholarship Selection Committee for a decade. In recognition of her remarkable contributions, the IGA honored her in 2014 with the prestigious George Turner Distinguished Service Award, acknowledging her lifetime of volunteerism and dedication to the sport. She was also inducted into the Iowa Golf Hall of Fame in 2019.

Julie (Bush) Buerman’s passion for the game of golf extends beyond her own game. Her service to golf in Iowa started early in her career as she began coaching girls’ golf at Kennedy High School in Cedar Rapids, just a few years after graduating from Luther College where she played collegiately. In addition to coaching high school golf for over 20 years, Buerman served on the IWGA board (2008-2011) and numerous IGA committees. She remains involved as both the Chair of the Women’s Rules and Competition Committee and the Ann Griffel Scholarship Committee. She also joined the 100th Iowa Women’s Amateur Committee this past year, helping elevate the championship to new heights. For the last six years, Buerman has led Team Iowa at the Junior Girls’ Four-State event. As a Four-State coach, she puts her high school coaching experience to use to encourage the next generation of Iowa golfers.

Outside of championships, the IWGA board members were in charge of conducting course ratings throughout the state. Joyce Prescott served on the IWGA board for 13 years. During that time she was responsible for conducting course ratings throughout the state. In 1995, the board transitioned by combining the Handicapping and Course Rating positions into one. Combining the two still stands today within IGA staff roles. Patty Iogha joined the board in 2007 and quickly got involved with course ratings. She remains heavily involved, assisting with dozens of course ratings annually and also contributing to the Handicapping and Course Rating Committee.

One of the most pivotal moments in IWGA and IGA history happened in 2013 when the two organizations merged. Carroll Dethrow, then president of the IWGA, worked closely with the key leaders of the IGA to ensure not only a smooth transition but also to preserve the playing opportunities for women in the state. After joining the board in 2007, Dethrow quickly rose through the ranks, becoming Vice President in 2009 and President in 2010.

Other notable board members and committee members include Ione Reid, Betty Thye and Trudie Higgs. Reid was a member for 26 total years, from 1962 through 1993. One of the most important roles during her stint was serving as the historian. She compiled all the history ranging from championship history to board members and district chairs. In a time when everything was printed, she pored over past files ensuring that future members would have a clear understanding of where the IWGA came from.

Betty Thye’s involvement with the Iowa Women’s Golf Association spanned 25 years, commencing in the 1960s. She was the IWGA’s vice president from 1984 to 1985 and president from 1985 to 1988. Additionally, she chaired the Course Rating Committee from 1970 to 1977, facilitating the establishment of women’s course ratings statewide in collaboration with the USGA. Furthermore, Thye played a pivotal role as the director of the Iowa Wife/Husband Championship from 1978 to 1985, notably during its staging at Okoboji. Betty was inducted into the Iowa Golf Hall of Fame in 2009.

Currently, the IGA has four female board members with Leighann LaRocca serving as vice president and Molly Altorfer, Michelle Klein and Rose Kubesheski holding seats. Each also is involved with various committees. Altorfer assists with the Communications Committee; Klein serves on the Communications, Herman Sani Scholarship and Women’s Rules and Competitions committees; and Kubesheski serves on the Women’s Rules and Competitions, Ann Griffel Scholarship and Hall of Fame Nominating committees.

The IGA is fortunate to have passionate females on various committees, including three all-female committees with the Women’s Rules & Competitions, Ann Griffel Scholarship and the 100th Iowa Women’s Amateur.  They are as follows:

Julie Buerman, Chair
Kathy Fortune
Christi Imsland
Nicol Jones
Michelle Klein
Rose Kubesheski
Leighann LaRocca
Mikayla Olson

Leighann LaRocca, Chair
Rose Kubesheski
Julie Buerman
Laurie Graham
Jan Sewright
Christi Imsland
Leanne Smith
Jennifer Corkrean
Sheila Burton
Fiona Watson
Becky Schwiete

Julie Buerman
Beth Duenow
Paige Hoffman
Christi Imsland
Michelle Klein
Judy McCarty
Mikayla Olson

Judy McCarty came out of retirement in 2024, when she joined the 100th Iowa Women’s Amateur Committee. Having previously served on the board, McCarty held a variety of positions during her 14 years of involvement with the IWGA. She began as a board member before transitioning to the assistant secretary and later into secretary/treasurer. She also reached the pinnacle position of president from 2009 through 2010. One of her biggest responsibilities while on the board was drafting and publishing the IWGA Club Directories. The annual project was distributed across the state and included a list of each women’s event being played that year in Iowa. This included IWGA-sponsored and non-sponsored events. Though it was time-consuming, it was a critical piece to the ever-growing landscape of women’s golf in Iowa.

In reflecting on her time with the IWGA, McCarty echoed just how rewarding it was to be surrounded by passionate women. Many of the board members came from roles as district chairs, making the selection process easy because everyone was working toward a common goal. McCarty fondly remembers every board member being easily identifiable at IWGA events wearing their matching red blazers.

Other notables to have served on the IWGA board include Trudie Higgs (1989-2009) and Gleni Howard (1982-1999). Trudie Higgs became the first and only mother to have a daughter serve on the board during her stint. Kathie Sankey joined her mother from 2005-2007 when she was brought on as the treasurer.

These women, spanning past and present board members and committee affiliates, have worked to continue the growth and excellence of women’s golf within the state. Their commitment and expertise stand as a testament to the enduring spirit of the game.

For a complete list of IWGA board members from 1955-2007 click here.

Next Week on Women’s Wednesday…

Highlighting five past champions who etched their names on the Fladoos trophy.

Iowa Golf Association Announces Updates to Player of the Year System

The Iowa Golf Association (IGA) Board of Directors, upon the recommendation from its Rules & Competitions Committee, recently approved minor changes to its Player of the Year system, aimed at recognizing and rewarding outstanding achievements in golf across the state. These updates reflect recent changes made by the USGA and their qualifying process, as well as a new tournament on the Women’s side.

Exempt Players to USGA and R&A Championships:
Beginning in 2024, points will now be awarded to United States Golf Association (USGA) and Royal & Ancient (R&A) Championship exempt players equal to those players that make the final field due to qualifying events. A large impetus for this change is due to the USGA and R&A relying more and more on WAGR standing to grant exemptions into their championships, meaning more players are earning exemptions than before. Players who are exempt from previous championship finishes will also be eligible to receive qualifier points.  Exempt players are required to “tee it up” in the national championship to receive points. If they never enter, or enter and ultimately withdraw prior to starting, then no points will be awarded.

USGA – State Amateur Exemptions
The IGA has learned that three of our champions – the Iowa Amateur, Iowa Women’s Amateur, and Iowa Girls’ Junior Amateur – will earn exemptions into the respective USGA National Championship (U.S. Am, U.S. Women’s Am, & U.S. Girls’ Junior Am). Those players will also earn points equal to those who have earned their way through a qualifying event in the various point systems.

“We are delighted to unveil these updates to our Player of the Year program,” said Mike Purcell, Chair of the Rules & Competition Committee. “The increase in USGA exemptions through our IGA competitions and through WAGR (World Amateur Golf Rankings) has directly impacted and benefited our Iowa golfers. We feel it is appropriate to recognize the achievement of earning the exemption as it has come from outstanding golf and ultimately means the player has earned the right to play in the national championship, just as outstanding golf in a qualifying event grants players that same opportunity.”

Revamped U.S. Amateur Qualifying Points:
With the U.S. Amateur Qualifying now featuring two stages, the IGA has introduced new points scales to accurately reflect the evolving structure of this prestigious event. These updated scales will provide equitable opportunities for participants at each stage of the qualifying process, ensuring that their achievements are duly recognized within the Player of the Year standings. 

Inclusion of Carroll Women’s Amateur:
In a further step towards growing the women’s game, the IGA Women’s Player of the Year systems will now incorporate the Carroll Women’s Amateur in the point system. 2024 will mark the inaugural event hosted at Carroll Country Club. By integrating this event into the points standings, the IGA reaffirms its commitment to rewarding additional playing opportunities for female golfers that are created throughout the state.

The Iowa Golf Association looks forward to a successful season ahead, filled with spirited competition and memorable performances on the links. For more information about the Player of the Year system and standings, please visit

Featuring 100 Women: Championship Excellence

Profiling Five Past Iowa Women’s Amateur Golf Champions

Iowa has a rich history of women’s golf, marked by outstanding players who have showcased their talent and dedication on the course. Over the years, the Iowa Women’s Amateur Championship has allowed these golfers to shine, displaying skill, determination, and sportsmanship. Let’s delve into the achievements of some remarkable winners who have left an indelible mark on the Iowa golfing landscape.

In 1922, the inaugural Iowa Women’s Amateur Championship took place, marking a significant milestone in the state’s golfing history. The event was a testament to the growing interest and participation of women in golf during that era. Hosted at Sunnyside Country Club, the initial championship was invite-only. Miss Margaret Addington, a Waterloo native, defeated Mrs. Frank C. Byers 4&3 in the championship match. Local papers reported at the time that “Miss Addington apparently had the better of her opponent throughout, although the Cedar Rapids woman played a remarkable game while each encountered hard luck at times”. 

After starting the match tied through three, Addington would reel off six straight wins on holes four through nine to take a commanding lead into the back nine. Byers would cut into the deficit with a par on ten but it wouldn’t be enough as Addington quickly won the 11th getting back to a six-up advantage. After tying the 12th, Byers sank an eight-footer for birdie on 13 to keep her championship hopes alive. It wouldn’t be enough though as the two tied the 15th and final hole, etching Addington as the first in a long list of Iowa Women’s Amateur champions. Her triumph undoubtedly laid the foundation for future generations of female golfers to excel on the course.

In 1997, the Iowa Women’s Amateur Championship was held at the Burlington Golf Club, a renowned course known for being the oldest golf club west of the Mississippi River. The competition attracted top female golfers from across the state, all vying for the prestigious title.Among them, Chris Cervetti emerged victorious, showcasing exceptional skill and composure throughout the tournament.

Cervetti opened up the championship with a round of three-over 75 to find herself tied for the lead. She remained steady over the final 36 holes, posting 76-77 to claim the title by a single shot over then-Iowa State player Cathy Matthews. While the victory at age 44 was impressive, it wasn’t the most impressive stat of the week. Since playing in her first Iowa Women’s Amateur in 1978 Cervetti had finished second in six different championships and placed in the top seven 13 different times. With all her close calls, it appeared as though the 1997 championship would be yet another. Holding a four-shot lead, she stepped onto the 15th tee. By the time she tapped in on the 18th, her lead had shrunk to just a single stroke. It didn’t matter as the Des Moines native would finally claim triumph at Burlington Golf Club, cementing her place in Iowa’s golfing history.

The 1998 Iowa Women’s Amateur Championship witnessed fierce competition at the Ottumwa Country Club, a picturesque venue known for its lush fairways and immaculate greens. Against this backdrop, Stacey Bergman delivered clutch shots and touch around the greens throughout the back nine and into a playoff on her way to capturing the Iowa Women’s Amateur.

The Fort Dodge native, an incoming transfer and soon-to-be Junior at Tennessee, was no stranger to rising to the occasion. Earlier in the 1998 season, Bergman had tied for medalist honors at the Big 10 Conference Championship while competing for the University of Iowa. After missing short putts on the front, Bergman found herself trailing Patricia Martinson by two after the pair went bogey-birdie on the 10th. She’d battle back to tie Martinson when the pair reached the 16th tee.

After posting identical 54-hole scores of 12-over, 225, Bergman and Martinson returned to the first tee. After parring the first, Martinson hit her tee shot on the par three second to 18 feet. Bergman then stepped up, delivering a five-iron that settled 8 feet from the flag. After a miss from Martinson, Bergman calmly knocked in the birdie putt. Her victory at Ottumwa Country Club showed not only her talent but also her resilience in claiming the Iowa Women’s Amateur title.

In 2001, the Iowa Women’s Amateur Championship showcased the pinnacle of women’s golfing talent at the prestigious Finkbine Golf Course in Iowa City. Amidst the challenging terrain and competitive field, Mary Anne Locher rose above the rest, demonstrating determination and grit en route to victory.

While many players have to wait years and suffer from close calls before claiming their first victory, Locher was able to capture the title in her first year participating. Along the way, she took down future three-time champion Jenny Heinz and the defending champion Patricia Martinson with a 54-hole total of two-under-par 214. After opening with a three-over 75, Locher quickly bounced back with a second-round 67. Heading into the final round, she trailed Heinz by one. Rain delayed the start of the final round by nearly two and a half hours, but it didn’t seem to faze Locher as she capitalized with an early birdie on the par-5 second hole.

That one-shot lead remained throughout the rest of the final round and would be extended to two heading into the 17th. Heinz made birdie on the penultimate hole to close the gap, but it wouldn’t be enough as Locher’s final approach of the day came within 15 feet of the hole. “I came here wanting to win, but what were the odds of that happening?” Locher would later say.

Her win at Finkbine Golf Course solidified her status as a formidable force in Iowa’s golfing community. More impressive than winning her first title in her first attempt was the list of past and future Iowa Women’s Amateur champions who filled the final leaderboard, including Jenny Heinz, Patricia Martinson, Sarah Gilbert, and Jennie Arseneault.

Des Moines Golf & Country Club (North) was the backdrop for the 2012 Iowa Women’s Amateur Championship, where the state’s top female golfers converged to compete for glory. Among them, Kimmy Askelson distinguished herself with a stellar performance that showcased her remarkable talent and off-season learning.

During the fall of Askelson’s freshman season at Drake, she discovered a partial tendon tear in her foot, which led to her being sidelined for nearly nine months. In just her second start back from injury, the teen returned better than ever physically and mentally. Much of her off-season prep revolved around improving her mental game. The work paid off, as she claimed the win over University of Iowa assistant coach Laura Cilek and her head coach Leanne Smith.

Askelson found herself trailing after the first round, but only by one, and after 36, slept on a two-shot lead over Smith. Even with the cushion, she kept her foot on the pedal, doubling her lead by the time she finished the final round. Even with temps that reached above 100 degrees each day of the championship, the Bulldog remained as cool as ever. Askelson was steady through the 54 holes, carding two rounds of 75 sandwiched around a 76 for a 54-hole total of 226 and a four-shot victory. Emerging victorious at Des Moines Golf & Country Club, Askelson etched her name in Iowa’s golfing records.

The Iowa Women’s Amateur Championship has been a platform for extraordinary talent to shine, showcasing the best of women’s golf in the state. From the inaugural event in 1922 to recent triumphs, each winner has contributed to the rich tapestry of Iowa’s golfing heritage. Their achievements serve as a source of inspiration for future generations of female golfers, highlighting the values of perseverance and skill that define the sport. As Iowa continues to produce exceptional talent, the legacy of these champions will stand, shaping the future of women’s golf in the state for years to come.

Next week on Women’s Wednesday…

Explore the legacy and contributions of past board members and benefactors of the IWGA and IGA, highlighting their key role in shaping the landscape of women’s golf in Iowa.

Featuring 100 Women: Fore-ward Females

Female Leaders Tee Up Success in Iowa’s Golf Community

The Iowa Golf Association (IGA) and Iowa Section PGA (IPGA) each play integral parts in growing the game of golf in the state of Iowa. Many recognize the IGA as the organization that runs different amateur events while the IPGA focuses on the professional side of the game. While both are true, the IGA and IPGA overlap when it comes to not only professional tournaments but also junior events. The IGA hosts two professional events each year in the form of U.S. Open Local Qualifying and the Herman Sani Tournament. IGA junior events include the Iowa Junior Amateur, Iowa Girls’ Junior Amateur, and U.S. Junior Amateur qualifying. While they don’t work directly together on high school state tournaments, the IGA and IPGA collaborate greatly as the IGA handles the administration of the girls’ and the IPGA takes care of the boys’ side. The two organizations also come together annually for the Iowa Cup Matches which feature the top male amateur and PGA Sectional pros.

They too work together to promote women’s golf. Beginning in 2022, the Women’s Golf Summit was created to celebrate women in golf and promote the game outside of social settings. In its first year, the event was a huge success. This year marks the second edition of the biennial event and the first at Golf House Iowa.

Along the way, the organizations have grown with the influx of golfers and expanded their staff. Both organizations currently have two female staff members, with Katelynn Hogenson and Karli Kerrigan working for the IGA and Tess Goudy and Stephanie Mason working for the IPGA.

Tess Goudy, PGA has been a member of the PGA for nearly 25 years and along the way has collected many of the state’s top honors. After beginning her career as an assistant professional at both Kirksville Country Club and Geneva Golf & Country Club, she was hired by the Iowa PGA in 2001, by then Iowa PGA Executive Director Kirk Stanzel, PGA as the Communications Director. Goudy has transformed the junior golf structure in the state and has been credited for shaping the Iowa Junior Golf Tour into a model for other Junior Tours in the U.S.

Annually, the Iowa PGA Tour administers more than 100 Junior Tour, Pee Wee Tour, and IHSAA events. Along with coordinating junior tournaments, Goudy also administers the Junior Academy and oversees the PGA Jr. League and Drive, Chip, and Putt. Goudy’s responsibilities don’t end there. She heads up the Membership Development for the Iowa PGA which includes setting up educational opportunities for IPGA Members, Continuing Education, and Membership updates.

Goudy broke through in 2019 when she was named the Iowa PGA Professional of the Year. The Golf Professional of the Year Award is the highest honor paid to an Iowa PGA Golf Professional. Honorees are chosen based on leadership abilities that stand above the rest, contributions made to their facility’s success, and excelling as an overall golf professional at the Iowa PGA Section level.  Goudy was the first female to win this prestigious award in Iowa PGA history. Additional awards and accolades for Goudy include: Bill Stausbaugh Award (2002), and Youth Player Development (2008, 2011). Iowa PGA was honored earlier this year with the 2024 Herb Graffis Award. Named annually, it recognizes the PGA of America Section for extraordinary and exemplary contributions and achievements in the area of Player Development.

Stephanie Mason now holds the position that gave Goudy her start at the Iowa PGA – the Communication Coordinator. Stephanie is no stranger to the golf industry, having grown up in a golf family headed by her father, and IPGA Executive Director, Greg Mason, PGA. Stephanie got her initial start in golf by working at two courses owned by the Mason family during and beyond her high school years. She joined the staff in February 2020 and oversees all media-related duties ranging from press releases to graphic design, and website redesign.

Mason currently executes marketing plans and communication across all social media accounts including X (Twitter), Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat. Outside of social media, Mason is responsible for publishing the digital magazine for the IPGA which is shared with more than 15,000 individuals. She is also responsible for press releases ranging from tournament previews and recaps to annual award winners and Player of the Year recipients. One of her biggest projects was the overhaul of the IPGA’s four websites. With websites ranging from junior golf to internal sites for PGA members, Mason was able to design user-friendly sites to match branding initiatives and optimize the user experience.

With all of that going on, Mason still finds time to help assist with tournament operations for events such as the Iowa Open, and Iowa PGA Professional Championships, as well as five local Drive, Chip, and Putt qualifiers.

While the IGA currently has two women on staff, they weren’t the first. Julie Buch was the office manager for both the I.W.G.A and IGA from 2003-2011. Though she was part-time, she played an important role as the accountant and bookkeeper for both organizations. While she rarely assisted in championship prep or execution, her responsibility in the office freed up various IGA and IWGA staff to conduct championships, course ratings, and various initiatives.

Noel Treibel, now Knock, was the first full-time IGA female staff member after the IGA-Iowa PGA office split in 2001.  She joined the team in 2010. Previously a PJ Boatwright Intern for the I.W.G.A. from 2008-2010, Treibel would go on to become the Manager of Member Services and Women’s Golf.

Her main responsibilities during her time at the IGA revolved around women’s golf and women’s course ratings. For women’s events, Noel was the official in charge of securing host sites, preparing the courses, and executing the overall championship. In 2012, her role shifted when she became the Director of Course Rating while also maintaining Women’s Golf. Former IGA Executive Director Bill Dickens credited Treibel for her outstanding work leading up to the 2013 I.W.G.A. and IGA merger saying “The consolidation of the IGA and I.W.G.A. would not have been possible without the outstanding work of Noel Knock”.

During her time at the IGA, Treibel oversaw the hiring of Katelynn as an IGA intern in 2011. The two made a great team and helped elevate women’s golf in the state of Iowa. Each has many stories to tell from their early days at the IGA, as evident in their 2021 Greenside Episode: On Target with Noel. It was only fitting that Hogenson took over for Treibel in 2013 when she left the golf industry. She now resides in Waukee with her husband Justin and their two daughters.

During high school, Katelynn Hogenson participated in softball, volleyball, basketball, and golf and earned 11 varsity letters. She was named the 2007 Muscatine Community Y Female Athlete of the Year and awarded the Masterson Cup Award that same year. In golf, Hogenson qualified for State three of her four years. She earned medalist honors twice and was runner-up once at the MAC tournament. During her senior year, she set the 9-hole course record at Stone Creek Golf Club in Williamsburg with a 3-under par, 33.

Hogenson continued her golf career at Iowa State University where she lettered and double majored in Business Management and Marketing. In 2009 Hogenson qualified for a Futures Tour event (now Epson Tour), and in 2010 qualified for the U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship. In that same season, she finished top-5 in the Iowa Women’s Amateur Championship at Finkbine Golf Course and won the inaugural IGA Women’s Four-Ball with partner Katie Suckow at Mason City Country Club. The two still hold the low scoring record for the event with a two-round total of 130.

In 2011, Hogenson was hired as the 4-month IWGA P.J. Boatwright Intern working closely with the IWGA Board of Directors and Noel Knock. The following year, Hogenson took the 6-month IGA P.J. Boatwright Internship and was offered the position of Director of Operations and Women’s Golf by Bill Dickens later that year. Following a staff change in 2015, she took the role of Membership Services and Women’s Golf and in 2021 was named the Chief Operating Officer.

In addition to working with the IGA, Hogenson has assisted with several USGA initiatives. In 2018 she was one of seven individuals nationwide selected for the USGA Handicap Outreach Working Group tasked with the rollout of the 2020 World Handicap System. She remained on this committee through 2023. She currently holds a position on the USGA P.J. Boatwright Working Group, focused on encouraging young men and women to work in the golf industry.

Hogenson has achieved Expert Level certification in the Rules of Golf which has earned her an invitation to over 10 USGA Championships including the 2022 Curtis Cup held at Merion Golf Club. She was a referee during the 2017 Junior Solheim Cup held at Des Moines Golf and Country Club and was a forward observer for the Singles Matches of the Solheim Cup between Michelle Wie and Caroline Masson. Most recently, Hogenson was invited to the 2024 Augusta National Women’s Amateur Championship, a 54-hole stroke play championship featuring the best women in the world held at Champions Retreat and Augusta National Golf Club.

“It’s amazing where this game has taken me, and who knew it would be without swinging a club,” Hogenson said.

Hogenson’s first USGA officiating role came at the 2015 USGA Women’s State Team at Dalhousie Golf Club in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. It also marked the first USGA event for then high school senior Karli Kerrigan. Just a few short years after that trip, Kerrigan would enter the world of golf administration through the P.J. Boatwright program at the IGA. Not long after, the two would join forces as colleagues, recognized as the driving forces behind the 100th Iowa Women’s Amateur.

When you ask Karli Kerrigan how her day is, you almost always get the same response: “Just another day in paradise.” For those lucky enough to know Karli, they know this is her sense of humor shining through. However, her response could be taken literally as she has an unmistakable passion for the IGA and her role as the Director of Competitions. Kerrigan can serve in this role so successfully because of her lifetime of experience with golf and her hard-working personality.

Having been around the game her whole life, she was an accomplished junior and collegiate player. She earned an individual state title for Centennial High School in Ankeny, an individual Heart of America Conference Championship title while at Grandview, two IGA Women’s Four-Ball titles, and an Iowa Junior Girls’ Amateur title in between. In 2016, Kerrigan was named a Sani Scholar, which is a high honor for any graduating senior in Iowa. Taking her passion for golf beyond college, she served as a P.J. Boatwright intern for the IGA in 2019 and 2020. After a short stint working at Glen Oaks Country Club, Kerrigan was hired at the IGA full-time in 2022 as the Director of Competitions where she has flourished.

Karli puts countless hours into planning IGA Championships and considers even the smallest details. Many players would be shocked by all the planning that is involved before anyone tees up a ball. The player’s overall experience at an IGA Championship is of utmost importance to Karli and she is constantly brainstorming new ideas for the future. The 100th Iowa Women’s Amateur is a perfect example of Karli’s ideas and plans for the future coming to fruition. The 100th playing of the Iowa Women’s Amateur will be special for numerous reasons, but most of them would not be possible without people like Karli or Katelynn working behind the scenes.

The IGA and I.W.G.A. have also featured nearly a dozen female interns since the initiation of the P.J. Boatwright program. Previous interns include:

  • Sara Sexton – 2003
  • Cindy Whitmore – 2007
  • Noel Treibel – 2008-2010
  • Kasie Pheanis – 2009
  • Amanda Vogt – 2010
  • Ashlen Matzdorf – 2011
  • Katelynn Hogenson – 2011-2012
  • Mayci Rule – 2012
  • Kelsey Van Tassel – 2013-2015
  • Katie Gustafson – 2014
  • Meg Monson – 2016
  • Brooke Miller – 2017
  • Megan Rush – 2018
  • Karli Kerrigan – 2019-2020
  • Annika Patton – 2021
  • Jackie Wojciechowski – 2022
  • Paige Hoffman 2023-2024

Next Week on Women’s Wednesday…

Past champions who joined the impressive list of women to claim the elusive Iowa Women’s Amateur title.

Featuring 100 Women: Three’s Company

Celebrating Iowa’s Three-Time Iowa Women’s Amateur Champions

Winning the Iowa Women’s Amateur can often be the pinnacle event of a player’s career. The highly competitive field combined with the demands of the course often brings the cream of the Iowa crop into contention. Most would feel fortunate just to be in contention during the championship. For a select few, being in contention was the standard, a regular occurrence, and potentially, an expectation. It is rarified air being crowned the champion of this event twice, but in its history, four players have reached another level: three victories.

Des Moines’ Mary Louise Cordingly was the first of four players to reach the magical number of three Iowa Women’s Amateur titles. She did so rather quickly, reeling off three victories in four years from 1947 through 1950. Her first title, in 1947, came at Cedar Rapids Country Club. Cordingly got off to a quick start in the championship match and never looked back. After the first 18 holes, she was already four up on Nell Staats who was, by all accounts, the veteran in the match. But that didn’t deter the Des Moines native as she then won or tied each of the following 11 holes, closing out a decisive 9 & 7 victory.

Returning to the championship in 1948, Cordingly was the player to beat. Sunnyside Country Club has often felt like home for defending champions and it was no different for Cordingly. In the all Des Moines final, she took down Lois Penn by a margin of 2 & 1. Along the way to clinching the title, she faced some of the state’s top golfers in Corky Nydle and a rematch with Nell Staats. In both rounds of the title match, Cordingly saved her best for the back nine as she closed out in one-under-par 41 and two-under 40. After miscalculating her score on the 32nd, she was forced to concede it to Penn, helping her competitor close the gap. It gave Penn the momentum as she was also able to win the 33rd and 34th holes, slashing the deficit to one. Never one to back away, Cordingly drove the 35th hole and two-putted for birdie, closing out her successful title defense.

After bowing out early in the 1949 championship, Cordingly returned in 1950 with her sights once again set on victory. Similar to her first title, she dominated the final match, leaving little doubt to those who watched, that she was the top amateur in the state. Bebe Fisher had the tall task of trying to take down the two-time champion but proved to be no match as Cordingly rode an early five-up lead into an 8 & 7 victory at Clinton Country Club. Cordlingly led from start to finish, leaving the 19-year-old Fisher unable to gain any form of momentum. Following her third victory at the Iowa Women’s Amateur, the trophy was retired as was customary following a participant’s third victory in the event.

It was evident that Cordingly was the player to beat at the 1951 Iowa Women’s Amateur Championship and would go on to claim even more titles. However, she never got the chance. She tragically passed away during the early morning hours of March 31st, 1951. After leaving Wakonda Club, her home course, she drowned when the vehicle she was riding in was swept off Fleur Drive due to high floodwaters. The 1951 playing of the championship unveiled a new trophy, appropriately named after Cordingly.

It would take more than 25 years before another champion would claim three Iowa Women’s Amateur titles, but like Cordingly, it would only take four years to achieve. Hailing from Sibley, Barb Thomas took the state by storm in 1978 and 1979 as she captured both the Iowa High School Individual Championship and the Iowa Girls’ Junior title in both years.

Following her high school graduation in 1979, she would go on to claim her first Iowa Women’s Amateur title at Ottumwa Country Club. Standing on the 18th hole, the then 17-year-old Thomas was faced with a five-foot putt to claim victory. Rising to the occasion, the teen calmly rolled it in to post a three-over-par 74, and a 54-hole total of 298, edging out Dorea Mitchell by one.

She would go on to star at Iowa State University the following season, earning First Team All-American honors. Following her freshman season, she transferred to NCAA powerhouse University of Tulsa, where she would later finish third individually in the NCAA Championship while helping Canes to the team title.

Thomas would once again finish 1-2 in 1980, but this time it was Mitchell claiming the win. Thomas then came back better than ever in 1981. Playing at Burlington Golf Club, she left little doubt that she was the player to beat, posting rounds of 70, 72, 81 to win by seven strokes. Her first round 70 broke the previous Burlington Golf Club course record. Such as with Cordingly, Thomas successfully defended her Iowa Women’s Amateur title at Sunnyside the next year. After finishing the first round in a tie for first, Thomas blitzed the field over the next two rounds with back-to-back 71s to lift the trophy, this time by 14 strokes.

Following her college career and final Iowa Women’s Amateur title, Thomas set her sights on playing professionally. She played on the LPGA tour for 18 years where she captured the Cup Noodles Hawaiian Ladies Open in 1995. That year also marked one of her top finishes on the money list as she would go on to finish 31st in the standings. She was inducted into the Iowa Golf Hall of Fame in 2011.

Jenny Heinz of Waterloo was no stranger to the Iowa Women’s Amateur when she teed it up at Dodge Riverside Golf Course in 2003. The University of Northern Iowa Panther already had an Iowa High School State Individual title and Iowa Girls’ Junior Amateur to her name, but was still looking to capture the state’s largest event.

Entering the 2003 championship, Heinz had finished solo second and in a tie for second in the two previous Iowa Women’s Amateurs. It was plenty of motivation for her as she was able to hold off a late charge from Iowa State’s Leanne Owens and Lisa Meshke, capturing her maiden title. A birdie on the final hole helped her post three-under 33 on the back nine, securing the championship by two shots.

Heinz would continue her impressive play at the Iowa Women’s Amateur through the 2000’s but would have to wait six more years to claim her second win. During the drought of championship titles, she never finished outside the top 10 on the leaderboard. In 2009, she finally broke through again, clinching the Iowa Women’s Amateur title at Hyperion Field Club in Johnston. Even though she was out of college, the championship felt much like the 2003 event as Leanne Smith, previously Owens, finished runner-up. Heinz would once again wait six years before another title, this time capturing the crown in 2015 at Coldwater Golf Links in Ames. She was the only player under par after 54 holes, shooting 6-under-par 207 to claim the title by six over University of Iowa golfer Jessie Sindlinger.

While Jenny Heinz had to wait six years between victories, another Jennie was able to complete the trifecta in as many years. Beginning in 2004, Jennie Arseneault captured her first Iowa Women’s Amateur title. It wasn’t surprising to those who knew the teen. Originally from Grinnell, Arseneault opted to attend the prestigious International Junior Golf Academy, David Leadbetter Golf Academy, and The Pendleton School during her high school years.

Being immersed in golf year-round paid dividends as she was able to successfully defend her Iowa Women’s Amateur title in 2005, this time coming at Harvester Golf Club. In each of her first two titles, she closed in quite impressive fashion. First at Elmwood posting 66-67 then again at the Harvester posting 65-69 over the final 36 holes.

Her third and final title, coming in 2006 at Des Moines Golf & Country Club, began with quite the bang as she posted a course record 68. Losing momentum in the second round with a 73, she regrouped and saved her best for last. During the final nine holes of the event, she used a three-hole stretch recording a birdie and eagle to distance herself from the field and claim the title by four over Jill Marcum.

2006 was more than just the year she claimed her third straight title; it was one of the best years of her career. She qualified for the U.S. Women’s Open and the U.S. Women’s Amateur that summer. Although she missed the cut at the U.S. Women’s Open, the experience would come in handy just a few weeks later when she teed it up at the Amateur. She put together quite the week, advancing out of stroke play and all the way to the quarterfinals before falling in 19 holes to Lindy Duncan.

Though she never teed it up again in the Iowa Women’s Amateur, mostly in part because of various injuries, Arseneault continued having success at the national level. Her most prolific victory came in 2008 when she captured the Women’s Western Amateur in Newnan, Georgia.

Next week on Women’s Wednesday…

Decisions aren’t made overnight. Take a closer look at those who have impacted the policies and procedures both for the Iowa Women’s Golf Association and the Iowa Golf Association.



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