Author: iowagolf

‘Up and Down’ the Iowa Golf Scene – McCoy, Norton Put Iowa Stamp on Florida Senior Golf

Mike McCoy (left) added to his extensive list of titles by capturing the 2022 Florida State Senior Amateur crown. He’s in contention to repeat in the weather-delayed 2023 championship. Tom Norton (right) survived a sudden-death playoff to win the 2023 Florida State Super Senior Championship contested this spring at the Country Club of Ocala.

Claim Senior, Super Senior Amateur Titles in Sunshine State

The most decorated amateur in Iowa golf history and a veteran senior player with vast experience in Iowa Golf Association and USGA events are collectively making a substantial impact on senior golf in the state of Florida. 

Mike McCoy (right), who later this year will captain the United States’ Walker Cup team in competition against Great Britain-Ireland at The Old Course in St. Andrews, has positioned himself high atop the leaderboards at recent Florida Senior Amateur and Florida Senior Open championships. 

McCoy captured the 61st Florida Senior Amateur title in April of 2022 by firing a 54-hole total of 212 for a two-shot victory in the championship contested at Avila Golf and Country Club in Tampa. Among those chasing McCoy was former NFL quarterback Vinny Testeverde, who tied for 15th with a 222 total. McCoy remains in the hunt to defend his title in 2023 after shooting an opening round 72, one shot out of the lead, during action played April 11 at the Lago Mar Country Club in Plantation, FL. Heavy rains washed out play and tournament officials have postponed the final two rounds until October. 

Most recently, McCoy notched a strong showing at the 46th Florida Senior Open Championship held May 1-3, 2023, at Lakewood National Golf Club in Lakewood Ranch, FL. In a strong field featuring senior professionals and top amateurs, McCoy fired a 54-hole total of 212 to tie for fourth place and just two shots back of the victor, Shannon Sykora. A balky putter amid difficult pin positions during the final round hampered McCoy’s championship bid. Sykora is a former Korn Ferry Tour player and current women’s golf coach at Florida Gulf Coast University. In 2022, McCoy shot a 215 total to tie for 11th at the Florida State Senior Open.

“Competing in Florida senior events has opened up a new avenue of competition for me,” said McCoy recently. “I always enjoy playing in a field made up of the best amateurs and professionals and that certainly is the case with senior golf in Florida. I am very proud of the Florida State Amateur victory and sank some big putts down the stretch. I look forward to competing in these events in the future.”

The 11-time IGA Player of the Year is now a resident of North Palm Beach, FL. McCoy is a veteran of 65 USGA championships, including a victory at the 2013 Mid-Amateur Championship, which punched his ticket to participate in the 2014 Masters. He added to a deep golf pedigree by winning the R&A Senior Amateur in 2022 at Royal Dornoch. He will captain the 10-member Walker Cup team to Scotland on September 2-3, 2023 at St. Andrews. 

Norton (right) captured the 2023 Florida State Golf Association’s Super Senior Championship in dramatic fashion. A Muscatine resident who spends the winter months in Reunion, FL., Norton fired rounds of 71-73-75 for a 219 total to tie Mike Barkley of Belleaire, FL. He then sank a 15-foot birdie putt on the first hole of a sudden death playoff to capture the title, contested in late March at the Country Club of Ocala in Ocala, FL. Norton saw a four-shot lead evaporate during the final round, but hung on by parring the final eight holes in regulation to earn the playoff berth. “I kept myself in position and managed to avoid any big numbers, which is the key to being competitive in a 54-hole stroke play tournament,” said Norton. “I wound up making six birdies against nine bogies while maintaining a positive frame of mind throughout the event.”

A veteran contender in IGA senior events over the years, Norton captured his inaugural IGA championship last year by defeating Tom Schill in the finals of the Super Senior Match Play at Fort Dodge Country Club. He fell just short of defending his title by losing to Dave Gaer in the finals of this year’s match play event at Lake Panorama. 

Not bad for a one-time farmer who did not play college golf and was just a 12 handicapper through his 40’s until hip replacement surgery unlocked a dramatic improvement in his golf game. By the time he was eligible for the Senior Division, Norton was parring the golf course and ready for IGA and USGA competition. 

Norton is among a handful of Iowans who have competed in the US Senior Open Championship. In 2010, he captured the sectional qualifier with a round of 72 at Hunter’s Ridge in Marion to earn a slot in the 156-player field. He failed to qualify for the final two rounds in the event contested at Sahalee Country Club in Sammamish, WA. While not intimidated by the big stage, Norton kept his sense of humor. “I made a trip to Wal-Mart before the start of the opening round to buy a bunch of cheap golf gloves, figuring I’d be handing a bunch of them out to spectators after wayward tee shots,” he quipped. 

Norton advanced through the USGA Senior Amateur sectional qualifier in 2013 by firing a 71 at Brooks Golf Club in Okoboji. He shot a 151 to move to the round of 64 match play at the national level played at Wade Hampton Golf Club in Cashiers, NC., where veteran USGA senior contestant George Zahringer of New York defeated him 3 & 2. He also has international experience, having competed in a pair of British Senior Amateur championships, including a tie for 30th performance in 2014 at the Ganton Golf Club.

“Up and Down” the Iowa Golf Scene

A regular feature column written by IGA Foundation board member Mark Gambaiana, Up and Down the Iowa Golf Scene is designed to take the reader beyond the headlines and scoreboards to share stories of those who help make Iowa golf so rich and rewarding. Profiles will spotlight those who advance the game through volunteerism, service, extraordinary achievement, competition, human interest and the many other dimensions of golf in Iowa.

Click the links below to read previous Up and Down features
– IGA Rules Official Sean Flanders
– R&A, USGA Champion Gene Elliott
– Nervig Reflects on Decades of Service to The Iowa Masters
Arseneault Finds Fulfillment in Life’s Next Chapter After Competitive Golf
Ivan Miller remembers the days of the Minnows
Kinney adjusts to life on tour
Standard Golf’s roots run deep
Pettersen sets sights high

Three P.J. Boatwright Interns begin summer at IGA, reflect on trip to USGA in New Jersey

From left – 2023 P.J. Boatwright Interns for the Iowa Golf Association Gavin Matthias, Derek Peng and Paige Hoffman.

The P.J. Boatwright internship has been an instrumental part of the Iowa Golf Association. All five staff members were once P.J. Boatwright interns, and interns are vital to the IGA’s services and championships. The IGA offers three internship positions: Marketing and Communication, Handicapping and Course Rating, and Championship Administration. In addition to their specific duties, interns gain experience in all aspects of golf administration, from answering the phone to starting pairings in tournaments.

Derek Peng is this year’s Marketing and Communication Intern. Studying Business at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Derek played golf and tennis at Ames High School. He’s an avid learner who enjoys photography and playing sports.
“I love golf, I love being creative, and I love being around people,” he explained, “At the IGA I can do what I love.”
Clint Brown, Director of Communications & Marketing at the IGA, commented he’s looking forward to the summer and working with the young Peng.
“I am excited to get started with the summer and hope to provide Derek with a well-rounded experience,” Brown said. “I was an intern with the IGA a long time ago (2003), so I know what it’s like to be in that situation. You want to learn but also put your skills to work. I look forward to not only mentoring Derek, but also learning from him on things he is great at. The key is having fun with the internship and I want Derek to look back on his experience favorably.”
Paige Hoffman, of West Des Moines, joins the team this summer as the Handicapping and Course Rating Intern. Well-known as a talented golfer, Paige plays collegiate golf at Northwest Missouri State University where she studies Data Science.

“I’m interested in pursuing a career in golf, and interning with the IGA is a first step in seeing what a career in golf may look like,” Paige said.

Nate McCoy, Director of Handicapping & Course Rating, is excited to have Paige on board.
“I’m looking forward to having another Course Rating partner and an extra hand to help with everything that we do day to day. On top of that, Paige is an extremely nice person and will be sure to brighten up our days.”
Our Championship Administration Intern, Gavin Matthias, recently graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in Sport and Recreation Management. This is his third year as an intern with the IGA, and he wants to fulfill a stronger leadership position among the interns with his additional experience. He hopes to begin a career in golf administration and looks to make more professional connections through his final stint as an intern.
“I’m excited to see Gavin take on more of a leadership role in his last year as an intern and fine tune his skills before entering his job search as he looks for a full-time position,” Karli Kerrigan, the Director of Competitions, said regarding Matthias

Interns participate in PJB Intern Summit

The P.J. Boatwright Intern Summit returned  to the USGA campus in Liberty Corner, New Jersey after a three-year hiatus due to COVID-19 earlier in May. A 6:00 a.m. flight delivered our interns bright and early to the great Garden State.

After dinner with over ninety interns from Allied Golf Associations around the country, Gavin and Derek hit the hotel gym for a quick lift, and then the interns’ first evening wrapped up with some cards.

The following morning, USGA CEO Mike Whan shared his wisdom and experience. Over the next two days, interns attended seminars on subjects such as GHIN, handicapping and course rating, championship administration, rules, the Green Section, player relations, a new national development initiative,  and USGA history. Additionally, former P.J. Boatwright interns currently working with the USGA provided insight into careers in sports administration and business.

“It was cool learning the process of how rules are made and updated,” Gavin said, “I enjoyed seeing how the USGA works with the R&A along with representatives from all the other major golf bodies around the world.”

An etiquette lunch proved surprisingly amusing. Gavin demonstrated how to properly shake hands. Meanwhile, Derek and Paige dined beside Mike Whan, who was there for lunch and not the lesson.

Above all, interns had the opportunity to meet other interns. An evening at Topgolf, a friendly putting competition, and shared meals produced new connections every day.

“I enjoyed networking with other interns from around the country, especially finding a Midwestern community,” Paige recounted.

Gavin and Derek echoed her thoughts.

“Chatting with other interns, we learned of differences and similarities between our golf associations,” Derek said.

Gavin added that it was a unique opportunity to meet other interns, and much more enjoyable than the previous virtual summits.

2023 Herman Sani Scholars announced

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

The recipients of the 2023 Herman Sani Scholarships, presented by the Iowa Golf Association Foundation (IGAF) have been announced. Brody Gilkison, of Cedar Rapids, Colby Carlson, of Des Moines, Isabella Boyle, of Sioux City, and Jackson Overton, of Indianola, will receive a four-year scholarship of $2,000 per year ($8,000 total).

Those individuals will be recognized at the Herman Sani Golf Tournament and Dinner held at Hyperion Field Club, Johnston, in August.

Brody Gilkison, son of Charles and Kyra Gilkison, is a graduate of John F. Kennedy Senior High School and will be attending Yale University in the fall as an Ethics, Politics, and Economics major.

“I am honored to receive the Herman Sani Scholarship,” he said.  “Giving back to the game that has given us so much is very important to me, so to be chosen as a scholarship recipient is very humbling and motivates me to continue to share my passion for golf as well as carrying on Mr. Sani’s legacy.”


Colby Carlson, son of Jamie and Kevin Carlson, is a graduate of Waukee Northwest High School and plans to double major in Professional Golf Management and Mechanical Engineering at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

“I am humbled and honored to be selected for the Herman Sani Scholarship,” he said. “From a young age, golf has always been a big part of my life. There have been many highs and many hard lessons learned. To be selected as a Herman Sani scholar is another incredible high that this game of golf has provided me. I am very grateful for the people that make these opportunities possible. This scholarship aid will allow me to focus more on my schoolwork with the goal to work in the golf industry, I hope to be able to repay and give back what the game of golf has given me.”


Isabella Boyle, daughter of Keri and Dustin Boyle, is a graduate of East High School and will be attending the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in the PGA Golf Management program.

“I am honored to be a recipient of the Herman Sani Scholarship,” she said. “With the aid of this scholarship I will be able to cover additional tuition costs for my program, and focus solely on golf. I am excited to see where UNL and the PGA Golf Management Program will take me. It is a great opportunity to be selected for this prestigious scholarship and I look forward to seeing where I end up in the golf industry.”


Jackson Overton, son of Derek and Jennifer Overton, is a graduate of Indianola High School and will be attending Loyola University Chicago in the fall.

“It’s an honor to receive the Herman Sani Scholarship Award,” he said. “This scholarship will benefit my academic and athletic career at Loyola University Chicago. For as long as I can remember golf has been a huge part of my life, this wonderful game has taught me many life lessons and built countless relationships. As a Sani Scholar, I look forward to a future closely tied to the game of golf, where I can positively impact people around me in the same ways the game has done for me.”

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 2023, 199 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

Weissenburger wins 2023 Lake Creek Amateur by one

From left – Connor Peck (3rd), Jake Weissenburger (1st), Nate McCoy (2nd), and Freddie Bullock (5th) were among the Open Division top finishers at the 45th Lake Creek Amateur at BVU Lake Creek in Storm Lake. Not pictured – Hunter Johnson (4th).

Clive resident Jake Weissenburger pulled off a one stroke win at the Lake Creek Amateur on Sunday, May 28. He finished the tournament with a 7-under 137 to claim the title by one stroke over Ankeny’s Nate McCoy. With six birdies and one eagle, his final round 66 edged out McCoy’s 67.

Firm, fast greens and strong afternoon winds above 15 miles per hour kept conditions challenging. Despite heading into the final day tied with Weissenburger and McCoy for the lead, Ankeny’s Connor Peck finished in third place with a 2-under 142, unable to recover from three bogeys on holes 7, 8, and 9 in the final round.

History repeated itself in the Senior Division. Bret Taylor, of Booneville, defended his title shooting 75 and 67 for a 2-under 142. Taylor again triumphed over Winterset’s Kirk Macumber, who carded a 1-under 143 two-round total. Des Moines’ Tony Newkirk and Ankeny’s Bill Matzdorff tied for third with 146 tournament totals.

West Des Moines’ Bob Brooks realized a commanding lead in the Super Senior Division, winning by six strokes with a 148 two-round total over Carroll’s Jim Madsen, who fired a 154.

Click here for full results

Herrmann wins 38th Iowa Mid-Amateur, Palmer & Brooks top divisions

Muscatine’s own Sam Herrmann (right) finished victorious at the the 38th Iowa Mid-Amateur Championship hosted by Geneva Golf and Country Club. 1-under on the day, Herrmann finished the tournament 2-under (211), holding off Ankeny’s Connor Peck who played the final round 2-over for a total of 214. Josh Janeczko of West Des Moines and Jon Brown of Adel tied for third place at 217. Janeczko played a strong 1-under (70) round while Brown struggled to make up ground, ending up with a 3-over 74.

While having the home course advantage, this was Herrmann’s first ever IGA victory.

“Patience was the biggest thing for me,” he said. “[I] knew I was going to be nervous out of the gate.”

Despite Peck’s early lead, Herrmann stuck to his plan and it paid off on the back nine.

“[I] had a few putts roll my way, Connor got plopped out on 16 and [I] just sort of capitalized on that,” Herrmann explained after the round.

Herrmann commented his driver was instrumental in closing out his win.

“Those finishing holes were no joke, especially with the wind,” Herrmann said. “[I] just had to commit to free swinging it.”

With the course being “the firmest” and “the fastest” it has played in a while, Herrmann believed that “growing confidence with that club was big” down the stretch.

In the Senior Division, Joe Palmer (left) of Norwalk triumphed over Ankeny’s Curtis Holck after three playoff holes in a finish reminiscent of the 2021 Senior Match Play championship match, when Palmer defeated Holck in a neck-to-neck 20 hole match. Holck played the final round 1-over (73) to force a playoff with Palmer despite teeing off three strokes back. The pair finished the tournament at 221, with Ottumwa’s Jeff Collett in third at 223.

Bob Brooks of West Des Moines continued his dominance over the Super Senior Division with a 1-over 72, gapping the field by 9 strokes on the tournament with an overall 1-over 214. Runner-up Tom Norton of Muscatine totaled a 223 and third place Dave Waugh of Davenport finished at 225.

Click here for full results

Two share lead into final round of 38th Iowa Mid-Amateur

The second round of the 38th Iowa Mid-Amateur Championship at Geneva Golf and Country Club in Muscatine saw brisk winds throughout the day. In the Mid-Amateur Division, Sam Herrmann of Muscatine carded the low score of the day with a 2-under 69, followed by Dustin Atkinson of Marion and Jon Brown of Adel at an even 71 each.

Herrmann joins Connor Peck of Ankeny at the top of the leaderboard with total scores of 141, with Brown’s total of 143 only two strokes behind heading into the final round.

The Senior Division is led by Jeff Collett of Ottawa and Bruce Westemeier of Cedar Falls with 3-over scores of 74, with Ankeny’s Curtis Holck and Polk City’s Brian Verduyn hot on their tails with a pair of 75’s. Norwalk’s Joe Palmer remains on top with a total of 145, due to his strong first round performance. In second place with a total of 146, Collett looks to build upon his second round momentum on Saturday.

Bob Brooks of West Des Moines maintained his first-round lead in the Super Senior Division with an even-par 71. At a total gross of 142, he leads the division by eight strokes going into the final round with Tom Norton of Muscatine and Dave Waugh of Davenport tied for second at 150.

Brown comes out on top at 21st IGA Senior Match Play, Gaer claims Super Senior bracket

Jon Brown (right, who has had success in match play format events before, came away with the 21st IGA Senior Match Play Championship at Lake Panorama National Golf Course on Tuesday, with a superb 4 & 3 victory over fellow Iowa Golf Hall of Fame member Gene Elliott.

“It feels great. This is my first IGA event as a senior golfer,” Brown said. “Gene is, if not the best, one of the top three or four senior players in the world. He’s such a great guy, great friend and I was looking forward to playing him. You know you better bring your ‘A’ game against Gene to have a chance.”

Brown, who defeated Terry Cook 6 & 5 in the morning semifinals, got off to a quick start versus Elliott in the afternoon, racing out to a 3 up lead after nine holes. A par on the 15th hole, after Elliott had tried to claw his way back into the match, gave Brown the trophy.

“I love match play and have had some success in it, ” Brown said. “Honestly, having the success at last year’s U.S. Senior Amateur, having success against national-caliber players and building off that has been everything (for me). I hadn’t been scoring this year, but I felt like something clicked this week.”

Elliott, who defeated Jay Gregory in his morning semifinal match, battled back to 3 down after 13 holes against Brown. However Brown just would simply not let Elliott get any closer.

“I felt like if I could just keep doing what I was doing and try to run out of holes, that’s how to do it, ” Brown said. “You don’t want to give a guy like Gene any room (to make a comeback). It’s nice to get a win early in the season and this gets me fired up. There are some tight driving holes on this course. I was really happy with my ball-striking this week.”

Brown defeated Bret Taylor (4 & 3) in the Round of 16 and Ron Peterson (7 & 5) in the quarterfinals during his path to the championship.

“This is where we (Gene and I) wanted to be, we wanted to be playing each other,” Brown said. “It’s not hard to play against your buddies. I have been doing that for 35 years. You appreciate these moments as we are on the back nine of our careers. When you look back at tournaments you’ve won when you beat a guy like Gene or Mike (McCoy) or Joe (Palmer), they mean more because of all their accomplishments.”

In the Super Senior Division, Dave Gaer (left) defeated Tom Norton 3 & 2, in a match that Gaer was able to control most of the way.

“I hit the ball really well this week,” Gaer said. “Match Play is a grind. You have to pay attention. I got off to a great start and was hitting in close (against Norton). I hit it well all day and I can’t complain. It’s great to be a part of the Iowa Golf Association and the event was great.”

Gaer, who defeated Tom Schilling 4 & 3 to reach the finals against Norton, who beat Bob Brooks in a great match by the score of 1 up, knew Norton wouldn’t go down without a fight in the afternoon.

“Tom is a grinder,” Gaer said. “He’s proven he can win and he’s a great competitor. We had a great match.”

Click here for full results

Buerman, Parmenter take home top honors at IGA Mid-Am Series Event #1

Julie Buerman (above right) of Cedar Rapids took home the victory at the IGA Women’s Mid-Am Series Event #1, held Saturday, May 13 at Gates Park Golf Course in Waterloo. Buerman won the stableford tournament with 50 points, five points ahead of the field, with back-to-back birdies on holes 2 and 3 and a 76 on the day.

Runner-up Laura Leszczynski of St. Charles posted a 40-41 round of 81, scoring 45 points. Ankeny’s Karli Kerrigan and Des Moines’ Kelly Grimes finished tied for third, scoring 44 points each, with Kerrigan coming out on top after the tiebreak. Dubuque’s Rose Kubesheski and Wever’s Ashley Neuweg tied for fifth with 42 points.

In the Net Division, Urbandale’s Ardrae Parmenter (above left) won with 55 points. Buerman finished second with 53 points, followed by Cedar Falls’ Margene Grady and Grimes in a tie at 52 points. Leszczynski rounded out the top five with 51 points.

Gross Division
1. Julie Buerman 50
2. Laura Leszczynski 45
T3. Karli Kerrigan 44
T3. Kelly Grimes 44
T5. Rose Kubesheski 42
T5. Ashley Neuweg 42
Net Division
1. Ardrae Parmenter 55
2. Julie Buerman 53
T3. Margene Grady 52
T3. Kelly Grimes 52
5. Laura Leszyczynski 51

Hoyle / Stith pull away for win at 27th IGA Four-Ball Championship

Just when things looked to get interesting, the side of Charlie Hoyle / Tyler Stith (above) left no doubt on who would be holding the trophy at the conclusion of the 27th IGA Four-Ball Championship hosted by Burlington Golf Club.

Birdies on #16 and #17 by Stith and a par on #18 by Hoyle gave them a comfortable three-shot win over a trio of teams. Hoyle / Stith posted rounds off 62-67 for a -15 total.

“This is the first one of these going in the trophy case,” Stith said. “I knew the course a little bit and I knew with his (Charlie) length he could hit a lot of drivers. I had to manage the course a little more. We felt like there weren’t as many birdie holes on the back nine to start out on Friday. We took off after that and that set us up for today (final round).”

Hoyle echoed Stith and commented that staying in the correct positions around the BGC layout was critical.

“I am generally a long hitter, so for me it plays a little different, but you can’t get out of position.” Hoyle said. “You’re playing defensively if you do. We tried to hit as many greens as we could. Tyler made some clutch shots coming down the stretch.”

After a chip-in birdie on the 16th hole, Stith found himself above the hole on the 17th. A spot that doesn’t lend itself to much success, yet Stith had a feeling this was his time – and it was.

“I knew I was going to make it.” Stith said. “I told him I got this. I felt at that moment I was going to make that putt. It crept in on the edge. Something came over me the last few holes and I was able to execute some shots that we needed. For the most part, we did a great job of staying under the hole all week. 

In the Senior Division, the side of Jay Gregory / Jeff Collett (right) collected the win, but it wasn’t easy.

Gregory / Collett, who shot rounds of 67-66, had to overcome a hometown team of John O’Neill and Micheal Mathiasmeier in a playoff that lasted three holes.

“They hung in there tough and I made a 20’ putt from above the hole on our third playoff hole.” Gregory said.” I finally got one to go in. You had to be very careful on the greens. If you got above the hole it was tough, but the greens were fantastic. We made a lot of birdies over the two rounds. ”

In the Super Senior Division, there was little left to doubt when then the dust had settled. Bob Brooks and Jim Butler (left) paired up to win by an astonishing 12 shots, following a pair of 66 rounds (-12). The side of Brooks / Butler only had to count a pair of bogeys over the 36-hole event – which came on the 10th hole both days.

Click here for full results

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