Author: iowagolf

Model Local Rule to Further Limit Use of Green-Reading Materials

Golf’s governing bodies have made available a Model Local Rule (MLR) to further limit the use of Green-Reading Materials. MLR G-11 enables a committee to limit players to using only the yardage book that it has approved for use in the competition.

This local rule is intended only for the highest levels of competitive golf and, even then, only for competitions where it is realistic for the committee to undertake an approval process for yardage books. It will be available starting January 1, 2022.

The local rule gives a committee the ability to establish an officially approved yardage book for a competition so that the diagrams of putting greens show only minimal detail (such as significant slopes, tiers or false edges that indicate sections of greens). In addition, the local rule limits the handwritten notes that players and caddies are allowed to add to the approved yardage book.

The purpose behind the local rule is to ensure that players and caddies use only their eyes and feel to help them read the line of play on the putting green.

The USGA and The R&A developed MLR G-11 in response to feedback from several professional tours.

The MLR, along with question-and-answer guidance, can be found here.

As the local rule should only be adopted at the highest levels of competitive golf, all other golfers will continue to be able to use green-reading tools so long as they meet the requirements established in 2019. For more information on the current rule, see usga.org/grm.

Support the future of golf in Iowa on Giving Tuesday

Giving Tuesday is a global day of giving back. Today, November 30, you’ll have the chance to join people around the world and support a cause close to your heart. This Giving Tuesday, help the Iowa Golf Association Foundation give the gift of golf and education to a junior golfer in the State of Iowa by supporting the Iowa Golf Association Foundation’s Youth on Course and/or Scholarship Programs.

At its most basic level, Youth on Course is a program that subsidizes rounds of golf for juniors at participating courses. In 2018 Iowa became the 21st state to offer Youth on Course.  It has now extended to all 50 states.

The concept is this: A junior boy or girl age 6 to 18 can join Youth on Course for a $15 yearly fee.  That gets them access to any participating Youth on Course facility (there are over 1,400 nationally) to play a round of golf for $5 or less.  Then the participating course receives an additional subsidy ($) for that round. To donate towards Youth on Course in Iowa visit https://interland3.donorperfect.net/weblink/WebLink.aspx?name=E334279&id=14

The Iowa Golf Association Foundation also serves as host for two college scholarship programs – The Herman Sani Scholarship & the Ann Griffel Scholarship.

The Ann Griffel Scholarship was named after the long time IWGA President, Ann Griffel. Ann was inducted into the Iowa Golf Hall of Fame in 2006 to honor her contributions to the game. Since 1963, 253 students have received this scholarship. The IGAF awards $2,000 Ann Griffel Scholarships to Iowa high school senior girls who intend to further their education at an Iowa institution of higher learning, whether a college, university or trade school.

The Herman Sani Scholarship was established in 1958 in memory of Herman Sani who had a passion for golf and for young people. As of 2021, 195 college-bound students have been awarded this four-year scholarship. Each recipient receives $8,000 ($2,000 per year) over a consecutive four-year period.

To donate and read more about each scholarship program visit https://iowagolf.org/scholarships/

IGA Annual Awards, Player of the Year banquet scheduled

Open to the public

The IGA would like to announce to the public that the 2021 Annual Awards and Player of the Year Banquet is scheduled for Friday, December 17, at Glen Oaks Country Club in West Des Moines.

The schedule of events for the evening will be:

  • 5:30 to 6:00 p.m. – Arrival and Registration
  • 5:30 to 6:45 p.m. – Social hour and food
  • 6:45 – 7:00 p.m. – Awards program begins
  • 9:00 p.m. – Award program ends
  • 9:00 to 9:30 p.m. – Bar remains open as people mingle with a generally “soft” close to the evening.

The cost for the evening’s event will be $35 and can be paid for via credit card over the phone. You may either reach out to Clint Brown at (515) 207-1062 or you mail email him at [email protected] and he will reach back out to you for payment. Deadline to register for the event is Thursday, December 9, at 4:30 p.m.

Read more about each IGA Annual Award winner by clicking here.

Read more about each Player of the Year by following the links below.
Men’s Player of the Year (Open, Senior, Super Senior)
Women’s Player of the Year (Open, Senior)
Junior Player of the Year (Boys, Girls)

2022 IGA, USGA Qualifying Schedule announced

The 2022 IGA Championship calendar has been released. The schedule includes a tremendous lineup of IGA Member Clubs that will serve as host sites for next year’s IGA championships.

In 2022, the Iowa Amateur will be conducted at Crow Valley Golf Club (pictured above) in Davenport, July 18-20. This coming year will mark the third time the Iowa Amateur will be hosted by the club, previously hosting in 1990 (Brad Klapprott) and 2004 (Nate Dunn). The club has also been the site of many other IGA Championships and USGA Qualifiers including the Iowa Senior Amateur (2020), Iowa Cup Matches (2019) and IGA Match Play (2016). The John N. Cochran designed layout will be sure to test the best players from around the state from tee to green.

The Iowa Women’s Amateur is set to be played at Cedar Rapids Country Club, July 25-27. Cedar Rapids Country Club has hosted a total of six previous Iowa Women’s Amateurs and 10 Iowa Amateurs. The course, as many know, hosted the 2019 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur Championship and was honored as the IGA 18-Hole Course of the Year that same season. Designed in 1915 by the internationally renowned architect Donald Ross, and immaculately restored by famed “Ross Restorer” Ron Prichard beginning in 2011, the course at Cedar Rapids Country Club has been called one of the prettiest pieces of land in the Midwest.

The men’s and women’s IGA Match Play Championships will return for the third time to Talons Golf (formally Talons of Tuscany) in Ankeny, June 28-July 1. Talons Golf, is a privately-owned course routed between beautiful rock walled streams and covered bridges. In 2020, the men’s and women’s IGA Match Play Championships were held at Talons Golf for the first time, when 2020 Men’s Player of the Year Connor Peck and IGA veteran Leanne Smith took home the hardware. In 2021, Smith repeated as champion of the event and Joe Palmer captured the title in historic fashion. As a popular venue for this event, many players, both men and women, will look to add their name to the list of IGA Match Play champions.

In 2022, Ames Golf & Country Club will host the Iowa Senior Amateur. The dates of the championship will be Monday-Wednesday, August 22-24. Ames G&CC last hosted the Iowa Senior Amateur in 2016, when Gene Elliott took home the crown over ‘newcomer’ Jay Gregory. The club also hosted the event in 2003, when Dan Naughton claimed victory.

The Iowa Wife-Husband Championship is set to return to Sunnyside Country Club in Waterloo. The championship is set for Sept. 16-18. The tournament will remain a 3-day format in which couples choose to play their two rounds on Friday & Saturday, Friday & Sunday or Saturday & Sunday.

The Herman Sani Tournament will return August 12-14, to Norwalk’s Echo Valley Country Club in 2022. Since 2013 the event has rotated between Echo Valley Country Club and Hyperion Field Club and continues to feature the state’s best amateur and professional golfers vying for the trophy. The 2021 edition of The Sani was slated to be held at Echo Valley CC, but due to anticipated course projects at Echo Valley CC, Hyperion Field Club agreed to host, with Echo Valley CC hosting in 2022.

In addition to those championships already listed, the IGA will conduct events at the following venues – Spencer Golf & Country Club (Iowa Mid-Amateur – May 20-21), Coldwater Golf Links (IGA Four-Ball – May 6-7), Fort Dodge Country Club (IGA Senior Match Play – June 1-3), Pella Golf & Country Club (Iowa Women’s Forever 39 Match Play – June 8-9), Veenker Memorial Golf Course (IGA Women’s Four-Ball – June 16-17) , Jester Park Golf Course in Granger (Father/Son, Parent/Child – June 18-19), Finkbine Golf Course (Iowa Junior & Girls’ Junior Amateur – June 20-22), Elmcrest Country Club (IGA Women’s Club Team – Aug. 15), Lake Panorama National Resort (Iowa Senior Women’s Amateur – Aug. 8-9) and The Preserve on Rathbun Lake (IGA Club Team – Oct. 3).

The IGA Women’s Mid-Am Series events, IGA Member Play Day(s) and Iowa Cup dates and locations will be announced at a later time. Those updates can be found by checking back to this release.

The IGA will also conduct and administer several USGA Qualifiers throughout the state in 2022. Here are the sites for this year’s qualifying events:
Blue Top Ridge at Riverside Casino and Golf Resort, Riverside – U.S. Open Local Qualifier – May 9
Otter Creek Golf Course, Ankeny – U.S. Junior Amateur Qualifier – June 6
Hyperion Field Club, Johnston – U.S. Senior Amateur Qualifier – July 12
Hyperion Field Club, Johnston – U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur Qualifier – July 12
Davenport Country Club, Davenport – U.S. Amateur Qualifier – July 25
Geneva Golf & Country Club, Muscatine – U.S. Mid-Amateur Qualifier – Aug. 1

Entries to all IGA Championships will be available in March. Entries will be available for USGA Championships at a later date, which will be determined by the USGA and announced on their website.

Storbeck to receive Phil Joselyn Inspirational Award

Ventura’s Thomas Storbeck’s world was turned upside down in 2019. 

Following a push from a close friend to be examined, an MRI conformed Storbeck’s fears – a rare spinal cord issue – which led to a laminectomy – that forced the removal of the T-11 and T-12, plus the L-1 and L-2 vertebrae.

An operation on his spinal cord was needed, one that left a 10-15% chance of Storbeck being paralyzed.

Fast forward to 2021 and Storbeck (pictured above), who now is enrolled at the University of Northern Iowa, is back on the course inspiring others follow his successful surgery at Mayo Clinic and lengthy rehabilitation process. 

Storbeck was recently honored for his courage and competitive spirit by being selected to receive the Phil Joselyn Inspirational Award. Storbeck will accept his award at the IGA’s Annual Award Banquet in December at Glen Oaks Country Club.

Joselyn (left), who won the 1960 Fort Dodge Amateur, served as President of the IGA from April 1989 through April 1991. Joselyn also served as honorary captain of the IGA’s Iowa Cup team in 2013. Joselyn served the USGA for 20 years on the Sectional Affairs committee from 1990-2004, then Regional Affairs committee from 2004-2010. 

Joselyn, who passed away in 2018, was proud supporter of the Iowa Golf Association and active participant for many years in its championships. His positive attitude, love for competition and ever-present smile was always present IGA events.

Read more about Stobeck’s inspiring story back to the course written by Zach Martin of the Globe Gazette by clicking here.

Elliott is GGP Amateur of the Year – Other Iowans honored

(Jeff Hayes/USGA)

Gene Elliott (at left), of West Des Moines, has been honored by Global Golf Post as their Men’s Amateur Golfer of the Year, regardless of age considerations.  Elliott excelled on the national stage in 2021, winning the most prestigious championships the two governing bodies present.  Elliott endured stringent testing protocols to travel to Europe in June & July which proved well worth it when he won the British Seniors Amateur by a single stroke at Ganton Golf Club in England.  He earned his coveted first USGA crown when he prevailed 1-up in the championship match at the U.S. Senior Amateur, held at the Country Club of Detroit.

In addition to Elliott’s recognition, other Iowans were named to the various GGP All-Amateur Teams as well.  Elliott was joined by Mike McCoy, of Norwalk, on the GGP Men’s Senior Amateur First Team.  McCoy captured the George C. Thomas Senior Division and the Crump Cup Senior crown in 2021.  He also made the cut at the U.S. Senior Open at Omaha Country Club.  Joe Palmer, also of Norwalk and the champion of the Iowa Senior Match Play and the IGA Match Play, was named to the second team.  Finally, Nate McCoy, of Ankeny, was an Honorable Mention selection for the Men’s Mid-Amateur team.

Click here to read about Elliott’s Amateur of the Year Honor

Click here to view the Men’s Mid-Amateur Selections (N. McCoy)

Click here to view the Men’s Senior Amateur Selections (Elliott, M. McCoy, Palmer)

Former Cyclones Secure Korn Ferry Tour Cards

A pair of former Iowa State standouts have earned playing privileges for the 2022 Korn Ferry Tour.

Tripp Kinney (left) and Chris Baker (right) each fired 4-under par 278’s to tie for 14th place in the 72-hole Korn Ferry Tour Qualifying Tournament held November 4-7 at the Landings Club in Savannah, GA.

Kinney, 24, secured his card by advancing through the pre qualifying, first stage and second stage tournaments. He is a former Waukee High School star and 2018 Iowa Amateur champion.

Baker, 35, received an exemption into the qualifying tournament’s final stage by virtue of his playing status on the PGA Tour for the past two seasons, where he played in 39 events, made 18 cuts and earned $508,927 in prize money. The Indiana native has also played eight seasons on the Korn Ferry Tour with an additional $681,461 in winnings.

Both Kinney and Baker are guaranteed to be in the field for the first eight tournaments of the season and then will likely draw additional starts through the tour’s reshuffling system. The 2022 Korn Ferry Tour schedule begins January 16-19 with The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic.

2021 Annual Awards announced

On Friday, October 29, the IGA Board of Directors named recipients of the 2021 Annual Awards in six categories. We are pleased to announce this year’s honorees.

9-Hole Superintendent – Jeff Rokusek, Sheldon Golf & Country Club
Jeff Rokusek, of Sheldon Golf & Country Club, has been named the 2021 IGA 9-Hole Superintendent of the Year.

With the golf course becoming an area of high traffic – membership up 23% in 2021 – one constant has been Sheldon’s Golf Course Superintendent, Rokusek according to Jason Hengeveld, Club President.

“He’s done nothing but an impeccable job making the course his own,” Hengeveld said. “From improving green quality and receptibility to adding several landscape features around the course to create a more unique experience, Jeff works very hard.”

Rokusek’s tireless work ethic and attention to detail are just a couple of attributes that set him apart according to several members of the club.

“We are lucky to have Jeff,” one member said.”You’d be hard-pressed to notice that we went through the worst flood not so long ago based on the excellent condition the course is today.”


18-Hole Superintendent – Matt Reifert, Whispering Creek Golf Club
Matt Reifert, of Whispering Creek Golf Club, is the 2021 IGA 18-Hole Superintendent of the
Year.

Ever since Reifert joined the staff at Whispering Creek GC members and guests alike have seen a level of professionalism, quality and course improvements that have not been enjoyed before.

With six leagues, two high school teams and a college men’s and women’s golf team utilizing the facility, in addition to the numerous events the clubs hosts, Reifert and his team keep the course in excellent condition.

“Other courses might have better layouts, or architects, but I would match the conditions at Whispering Creek against anyone,” Christopher Rants said. “When Matt wants to, no one’s greens roll faster or better – and that’s not a boast I take lightly.”

In 2021, Reifert undertook a task of making improvements to several bunkers around the course and removal of a cart path around the lake on #18 and replaced it with turf thereby reducing the odds of a tee shot bouncing off the asphalt and going into the water.

Reifert’s ability to build a team that has come back as a cohesive unit year after year has also not gone unnoticed by many.

“Matt is great to work for and is always open to ideas that one might have,” Assistant Supt. Dan Conway said.


9-Hole Course of the Year – Dyersville Golf & Country Club
The IGA 9-Hole Course of the Year in 2021 is Dyersville Golf & Country Club.

To say Dyersville Golf & Country Club has withstood the test of time is probably an understatement. The club, over the last 95 years, as gone from the original 40 acres with sand greens and has evolved into 60 acres with 9 manicured fairways, smooth greens and hundreds of trees with dozens of varieties.

Led by a volunteer board, with all positions filled by members, DG&CC has grown membership of all ages with multiple membership options. The pride shown in the club by its members can be seen in many ways – from impromptu workdays to planting and upkeep of the flower beds and birdhouses around the property.

“Not to mention we have a robust amount of public play from a 50-mile radius,” members Todd and Becky Steffen said.

When the clubhouse roof needed fixed, members didn’t go silent. They responded in mass by raising more funds than initially thought was needed and volunteered labor to complete the project that elevated the club to new heights.

It’s safe to say there’s something special going on at Dyersville Golf & Country Club – and has been for almost 100 years.


18-Hole Course of the Year – BVU Golf Course at Lake Creek
Buena Vista University Golf Course at Lake Creek, in Storm Lake, has been selected as the 2021 IGA 18-Hole Course of the Year.

With its ‘Golden Anniversary’ on the horizon in June 2022, BVU Golf Course at Lake Creek has seen quite the amount of momentum with what staff and members are doing to ensure the future of the club as a place to play and a key member of the Storm Lake community at large.

Junior golf, corporate outings and tournament play are all highlights from this past year at BVU Golf Course at Lake Creek. With the return of the Lake Creek Amateur in 2020, following a seven-year hiatus, paid internships and the establishment of a Legacy Fund among other endeavours there are several exciting things happening at the course.

“Our commitment to the members remains as promising as it was for the founders here a half-century ago,” Director of Golf Operations Joe Powell said. “Having the BVU connection with Lake Creek has been so beneficial. We have been able to provide experiences for students here in management, accounting, purchasing, member relations and more.”


PGA Pro of the Year – Mark Egly, Des Moines Driving Range
Mark Egly, of Des Moines Driving Range, is the 2021 IGA PGA Professional of the Year.

Egly (right), who possibly has put more players on the golf course than anyone for over 40 years in Iowa, is a familiar face around the state as well as at his Des Driving Range – where he can be found almost everyday.

From donating countless hours of his time to make sure a young golfer has a golf bag and maybe a few clubs to begin their journey into the game, Egly’s love of the game is endless. Egly has taught some of the state’s best to ever play the game, but also taken the time to work with that golfer who has never touched a club before.

“Mark does so much for golfers in Iowa,” PGA Apprentice David Ellis said. “From junior to senior golfers, both men and women, I see almost daily the requests for his time from so many entities and I have never heard him say no yet. Mark has also been an ally for Iowa golf at the state capitol on behalf of golf for decades, dealing with members of both parties relating to property taxes, tourism and the game of golf having the right to be responsibly open during the last couple of years while the state dealt with Covid-19.”

Egly is a true ambassador of Iowa golf and works hard to keep it front and center to the public.

“Mark works tirelessly to encourage community members, young and old, to pick up the game of golf or work on their individual games,” Nick Ahlquist said. “His support and service, especially for young golfers, is unmatched and an essential piece to their success both on and off the course.”


Club Manager of the Year – Lance Marting,  Dubuque Golf & Country Club
Lance Marting, of Dubuque Golf & Country Club, is the 2021 IGA Club Manager of the Year.

An energizing leader, Marting has met the ever-changing landscape of the golf world head on. As an ‘ad hoc’ general contractor for a multi-million dollar capital project, which now provides year-round amenities and activities at DG&CC, Marting through it all has been able to maintain high service standards, improve member satisfaction and oversee a stretch of unprecedented growth in membership.

“I have always known Lance to be very professional, while adding the right balance of humor and storytelling to entertain our members,” Head PGA Professional Dave Edwards said. “He worked directly with our construction partners on a daily basis to make sure the project was completed in mid-July, on our 12-month construction timeline.”

It was noted that Marting’s ability to develop and maintain positive relationships with clubs members and their guests is just one of his award-winning qualities.

“He always does what is needed to ensure all members have a great time, which leads to high levels of satisfaction and retention,” Edwards said.


NOTE – The IGA Annual Awards Banquet is scheduled for Friday, December 17th at Glen Oaks Country Club in West Des Moines. We will communicate a schedule of events to the public, including price to attend, as soon as we finalize all of the remaining details. 

Kinney Advances to Korn Ferry Qualifying School Final Stage

Former Waukee and Iowa State golf standout Tripp Kinney (above middle) has advanced to the final stage of the 2022 Korn Ferry Tour Qualifying School tournament. Kinney fired a 72-hole total of 280 at a recent second stage qualifier in Albuquerque, NM to place 13th and punch his ticket to the finals set for Nov. 4-7 in Savannah, GA. Players who make the final stage are assured a 2022 Korn Ferry Tour card, with final results determining their status in early season events.

Five other golfers with Iowa connections also participated in the second stage qualifying event but failed to advance. Former NCAA champion Broc Everett of West Des Moines shot a 288 to tie for 58th in Brooksville, FL. Matthew Walker of Ottumwa, the 2019 Iowa Open winner, and University of Iowa golfer, shot a 289 to tie for 66th at a qualifier in Plantation, FL. Former Iowa State linksters and New Zealand natives Nick Voke, who shot a 285 for a tie for 40th, and Denzel
Ieremia, who posted 284 (T35th), participated in the second stage event in Murrieta, CA. Alex Shaake, former University of Iowa golfer, shot 287 (T44th) at a qualifer in Dothan, AL.

Smith, Leszczynski tough to beat on the course this year

Indianola’s Leanne Smith (above) did it again and won the 2021 IGA Women’s Player of the Year award. After a season filled with wins, Smith’s performance was nothing short of spectacular this year.

Smith started the season with a win at her first ever Iowa Women’s Forever 39 Match Play. She defeated Laura Leszczynski in the final round to earn the first victory of the season. Smith now had to defend her title for the second-straight time at the IGA Women’s Match Play. 

Beginning the tournament, Smith had dominating wins in the early rounds. She continued to battle and ended up taking down the No. 4 seeded Anna Jensen for her third consecutive IGA Women’s Match Play victory. 

Next up, Smith helped Echo Valley Country Club win the IGA Women’s Club Team Championship and she was crowned the Individual Gross Champion. Smith followed that up by qualifying for the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur to send her to South Carolina for the 2021 championship.

Smith played well in the stroke play portion of the USGA championship and made match play, but was defeated by Kaylin Crownover in the round of 64. Smith also participated in the IGA Women’s Mid-Am Series Event No. 3 and won the event with fellow Echo Valley member, Erin Schaffer, to wrap up her season on a high note. Smith finished the Player of the Year race 625 points ahead of Ames, Joy Chou.

Click here to view a full recap of the 2021 IGA Women’s Player of the Year standings.


Laura Leszczynski (above), of Saint Mary’s, has been crowned the 2021 IGA Senior Women’s Player of the Year after a back-and-forth race between the 2020 IGA Senior Women’s Player of the Year, Rose Kubesheski. 

This season, Leszczynski recorded three victories, including a win at the U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur Qualifier. Another win came at the 3rd IGA Women’s Mid-Am Series event where she teamed up with Cindy Morrison to win the senior division.

One of Leszczynski’s most difficult challenges happened on her home-course. The 56th Iowa Senior Women’s Amateur Championship was played at Indianola Country Club, where Leszczynski is a member.

The pressure of wanting to win a championship filled with a history of great amateur golfers was immense. Now add the pressure of accomplishing this feat at your home-course and that was what Leszczynski had to battle. 

Through the first round, she was inside the top-10. An impressive final round score of 70 gave Leszczynski the outright victory and she completed a four-shot comeback. After two second-place finishes, a third-place finish and three wins, Leszczynski earned the 2021 IGA Senior Women’s Player of the Year.

Leszczynski finished 242.5 points ahead of Kubesheski.

Click here to view a full recap of the 2021 IGA Senior Women’s Player of the Year standings.

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