Category: News

New Model Local Rule Establishes Limit on Club Length

The USGA and The R&A have announced that a new Model Local Rule (MLR G-10) will be available beginning on Jan. 1, 2022 to provide those running professional or elite amateur golf competitions the option of limiting the maximum length of a golf club (excluding putters) to 46 inches.

The proposal was announced in February 2021, which opened a notice-and-comment period to allow the industry the opportunity to provide feedback as part of the equipment rulemaking procedures. The comments received from the golf industry, including players, professional tours and equipment manufacturers, were carefully considered before the decision to proceed with the new MLR was reached.

The USGA and The R&A issued an Area of Interest notice in 2014 indicating that research was being conducted into the impact of club lengths of more than 48 inches on hitting distance and whether that limit remained appropriate. A proposed change to the limit was subsequently put forward in 2016 but was put on hold in 2017 when the Distance Insights project got underway.

Mike Whan, chief executive officer of the USGA, said, “We’ve worked closely with our industry partners to ensure the future for golf remains strong. Admittedly, this is not the ‘answer’ to the overall distance debate/issue, but rather a simple option for competitive events. It’s important to note that it is not a ‘Rule of Golf,’ and as such, it is not mandated for the average, recreational golfer. Rather, this is an available tool for those running competitive events.”

Martin Slumbers, chief executive of The R&A, said, “We have taken time to consult fully with the golf industry, including players, the main professional tours and equipment manufacturers, and have considered their feedback carefully. We believe this is the right thing for the game at this time and will provide tournament organizers with the flexibility to choose for themselves within the framework of the Rules. We are working hard to maintain an open, collaborative and considered dialogue with these key stakeholders as we continue to evolve the Equipment Standards Rules to ensure they reflect the modern game.”

The proposals submitted in February for changes to the testing method for golf balls and the testing tolerance for spring-like effect are still under consideration. The governing bodies plan to consider feedback on these proposals in line with the responses to the broader Area of Interest – Research Topics notification, which are due by November 2.

The detail of MLR G-10 can be found here.

Dedication set for Iowa Golf Hall of Fame member Steve Spray

Indianola Country Club, located at 1610 Country Club Road in Indianola, will host a ceremony Monday, October 11, at 10:30 a.m.,  to dedicate “Steve Spray Lane” and to commemorate Iowa Golf Hall of Fame Steve Spray’s life and golf career.  The public is invited to join friends, family, and admirers for this event. 

Earlier this year the entrance drive lane was named in Spray’s honor. A large street  sign graces the entrance. Spray grew up in Indianola in the 1950s. He learned to play golf at the then-small,  27 acre Indianola Country Club. 

Spray was an accomplished golfer. During his high school years, he won the 1958  Iowa Junior Amateur Championship and the Western junior Championship in 1959.  As a collegiate golfer at Eastern New Mexico University he won the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Championship in 1962 and ’63. He  also won the Iowa Amateur Championship in 1963 and the Iowa Open in ’64. 

Spray turned professional in 1964, joining the PGA Tour in 1965. He went on to tie for 5th in the U.S. Open in 1968 where he tied the likes of Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus for a record low final round of 65. That record held until Johnny  Miller shot a 63 in 1973. Spray shot a blistering 30 on the back 9, also a record  that stood for 27 years. 

He won the San Francisco Open Invitational in 1969 after competing in the Masters in 1968. 

After leaving the tour Spray became the head golf professional at St Louis Country  Club, a position he held for more than 30 years. During his career he was awarded  many honors including being a Hall of Fame member in Iowa, Eastern New Mexico University, and the Gateway Section PGA.

Following retirement, Spray was a founding member of Accelerated Golf Tour in Missouri. He was dedicated to promoting golf, especially for advanced younger  players, giving them opportunities to be exposed to college coaches and supporting  scholarships for them. 

At the dedication, people will gather at the entrance to the Club to recognize and remember Steve Spray. After the brief ceremony, lunch will be served in the club  house. Following lunch the assembled PGA Professionals and others will play the  course where Steve honed his game.

Spray was inducted into the Iowa Golf Hall of Fame in 2009.

Team Iowa finishes runner-up at 11th Director’s Cup

After a tough final-day fight at the 11th Director’s Cup, Team Iowa (above) finished runner-up to Team Nebraska at Dismal River Club in Mullen, Nebraska. Iowa concluded the two-day tournament with a 19.50-point tally. Nebraska, who finished with 23 points, didn’t slip up and claimed the outright victory down the stretch.

On Wednesday, Iowa got off to a quick start and took a half-point lead after the Four-Ball portion of the tournament. Gene Elliott and Jon Brown teamed up to take down Missouri’s Ryan Sullivan and Ryan Eckelkamp. Elliott and Brown scored three points for Team Iowa and gave them a push up the leaderboard.

During the Foursome portion, Nebraska took over . After winning every match they had, Nebraska added seven points to their total. Iowa did not quit, they tallied four points and remained in second place. Iowa’s Jon Brown and Ethan Mechling joined Nate McCoy and J.D. Anderson with tied matches.

Single matches began this morning and Team Iowa didn’t let up. Elliott tied his match to give Iowa an early 1.50 points. J.D. Anderson could not be stopped and won 11 of the 16 holes he played against Kansas’s Matt Lazzo. Anderson tacked on another three points to give Iowa the lead for the moment.

Nebraska’s Ryan Nietfeldt followed J.D. Anderson and put another three points onto the Nebraska scoreboard. After Nebraska regained the lead, Iowa’s Connor Peck decided to take it back after adding three points from his match against Missouri’s Curtis Brokenbrow.

The close race between Iowa and Nebraska continued.

Ethan Mechling fell to Missouri’s Brevin Giebler, but managed to sneak one point on to the side for Iowa. The final two matches Iowa were from the top-two in the IGA Men’s Player of the Year standings, Nate McCoy and Jon Brown.

McCoy took on one of Nebraska’s best, Andy Sajevic. It was a close match all the way through, and the two competitors ended the day in a tie. McCoy added 1.50 points to the Iowa total, but Nebraska’s lead was just too much.

Brown continued to fight for Team Iowa, but Nebraska’s Jay Moore gave it his all and won five holes to Brown’s one. It was a good run from Team Iowa, but Nebraska’s play in the final stretch was unmatchable.

Overall Totals
Nebraska: 23.00
Iowa: 19.50
Kansas: 16.50
Missouri: 13.00


Wednesday Matches

Nebraska: 12.00
Iowa: 9.50
Kansas: 7.50
Missouri: 7.00

Four-Ball Matches
Iowa (Nate McCoy/Connor Peck) 1 down/2&1/2 Up Kansas (Alex Springer/Doug Albers)
Iowa (Gene Elliott/Jon Brown) 2&1/2 Up/3&2 Missouri (Ryan Sullivan/Ryan Eckelkamp)
Iowa (Ethan Mechling/J.D. Anderson) Tied Nebraska (William Amundsen/Scott Tridle)

Foursome Matches
Iowa (Connor Peck/Gene Elliott) 3&2/2&1/3&2 Nebraska (Johnny Spellerberg/Ryan Nietfeldt)
Iowa (Jon Brown/Ethan Mechling) 3&1/3&2/Tied Kansas (Kit Grove/Brian Fehr)
Iowa (Nate McCoy/J.D. Anderson) 1 Up/1 Down/Tied Missouri (Brad Nurski/Chris Ferris)


Thursday Matches
Nebraska: 11.00
Iowa: 10.00
Kansas: 9.00
Missouri: 6.00

Iowa (Gene Elliott) 1 Down/1 Up/Tied Kansas (Pete Krsnich)
Iowa (J.D. Anderson) 5&3/4&2/8&7 Kansas (Matt Lazzo)
Iowa (Connor Peck) 3&2/1 Up/6&5 Missouri (Curtis Brokenbrow)
Iowa (Ethan Mechling) 4&2/1 Down/3&2 (Missouri (Brevin Giebler)
Iowa (Nate McCoy) Tied/Tied/Tied Nebraska (Andy Sajevic)
Iowa (Jon Brown) 2 Up/2&1/4&3 Nebraska (Jay Moore)


Team Iowa sits in 2nd place after day one of Director’s Cup

The day of matches at the 11th Director’s Cup wrapped up today and Team Iowa sits in second place going into tomorrow’s singles match portion of the event at Dismal River Club in Mullen, NE. The home team, Nebraska, leads the tournament with a total of 12.50 points. Iowa’s 9.50 points give them a two-point lead over Team Kansas who holds the third-place position. 

After the morning Four-Ball portion of the tournament, Team Iowa led the way with a 5.5-point total. Team Nebraska trailed by 0.5 points and went into the Foursome portion in second place. In third place was Team Kansas after a 4-point tally. Team Missouri finished the Four-Ball portion in last with a 3.5-point total, but not far behind.

Iowa’s first match to go off Wednesday morning was the Ankeny duo, Nate McCoy and Connor Peck. After a strong start on the front nine, McCoy and Peck were able to grab Iowa’s first point. Kansas’s Alex Springer and Doug Albers posted a 30 on the back nine, giving them the overall match victory and two points. 

Iowa Golf Hall of Famers, Jon Brown and Gene Elliott were up next. This powerhouse of a team won handily and only gave away two holes to Missouri’s Ryan Sullivan and Ryan Eckelkamp. Elliott and Brown didn’t let up and won the back nine, front nine and overall match to score three points for Team Iowa. 

The final Iowan pairing, Ethan Mechling and J.D. Anderson, had to take on Nebraska’s William Amundsen and Scott Tridle. Mechling and Anderson didn’t give Nebraska an easy match. The two teams battled and ended up in a tie for the overall match. Mechling and Anderson added 1.5 points to Team Iowa’s total. 

Switching to the Foursome portion in the afternoon, Team Iowa continued to add to their total. The side of Peck and Elliott fell to Nebraska’s Spellerberg and Nietfeldt. However, Peck and Elliott did add one point with their 2&1 win on the back nine.

Brown and Mechling took on Kansas’s Grove and Fehr and finished in a tie. Brown and Mechling won the front nine after winning five of the nine holes. The back nine had a different story and Brown and Mechling couldn’t get anything going. They added 1.5 points to Team Iowa’s total. 

In Team Iowa’s third match, McCoy and Anderson teamed up against Missouri’s Nurski and Ferris. McCoy and Anderson took an early lead and won the front nine on the last hole. They took another early lead into the back nine, but Nurski and Ferris battled back and won 1 Up. The two teams tied overall, and McCoy and Anderson added another 1.5 points to Team Iowa’s total. 

Heading into the final round, Team Iowa trails Nebraska by 2.50 points, but currently holds the second-place position. The final round will begin tomorrow morning. You can follow the Directors Cup and get updates and information about the final matches. 

Wednesday Matches
Nebraska: 12.00
Iowa: 9.50
Kansas: 7.50
Missouri: 7.00

Four-Ball Matches:
Iowa (Nate McCoy/Connor Peck) 1 down/2&1/2 Up Kansas (Alex Springer/Doug Albers)
Iowa (Gene Elliott/Jon Brown) 2&1/2 Up/3&2 Missouri (Ryan Sullivan/Ryan Eckelkamp)
Iowa (Ethan Mechling/J.D. Anderson) Tied Nebraska (William Amundsen/Scott Tridle)

Foursome Matches:
Iowa (Connor Peck/Gene Elliott) 3&2/2&1/3&2 Nebraska (Johnny Spellerberg/Ryan Nietfeldt)
Iowa (Jon Brown/Ethan Mechling) 3&1/3&2/Tied Kansas (Kit Grove/Brian Fehr)
Iowa (Nate McCoy/J.D. Anderson) 1 Up/1 Down/Tied Missouri (Brad Nurski/Chris Ferris)

Huseman chases down leader, wins 2021 Briarwood Amateur

Andrew Huseman (right), of Ankeny, went low at the 2021 Briarwood Amateur in Ankeny and he needed to in order to get his first win of the season. Huseman carded rounds of 66 and 67 for a 133 tally and won by two shots over Brian Fields. 

Huseman maintained his focus and recorded four-straight pars to finish out his final holes and give himself the victory. Although there was some noise being made by Fields, Huseman continued to play his game and only made two bogeys the entire weekend.

Fields went on a roll at the end of his round, recording six-straight birdies on holes 12 through 17 to get into contention. However, a final round 64 by Fields was not enough to catch Huseman.

In third place in the Open Division was Ankeny’s Connor Peck. He was our first-round leader, but a bumpy front nine through him off during his final round. Peck shot an even 72 after a first round 64 but made two eagles during the tournament.

Lucas Scherf finished in fourth place alone after back-to-back rounds of 69. A four-way tie for fifth between Cody Holck, Jon Brown, Nate McCoy and J.D. Anderson rounded out the top-five. All four players finished at four-under with a 140 total.

In the Senior Division, Bob Brooks and Curtis Holck tied after two rounds for first place at two-under. Brooks fired back-to-back rounds of 71 and Holck managed to get it back to two-under with a 70 in his final round. Brooks (right) would take home the title in a playoff over Holck.

Bill Johnson finished in third place with a 145 tally and rounds of 72 and 73. Johnson was three shots back and played the last two holes at four-over-par during the weekend. On the front nine Johnson was making some noise. He recorded six total birdies throughout the week on just the front nine.

Andy Burton and Troy Kopriva rounded out the top-five with a tie for fourth place. The two competitors finished at two-over and were four shots back of the leaders. Burton fired a final round 69 to jump into the top-five. 

John Kinsey was victorious in the Super Senior Division. He shot rounds of 71 and 68 and finished with a five-under total. Kinsey won the division by four shots over Scott Hornstein, who carded rounds of 73 and 70. 

John Brown earned third place after playing Briarwood at even-par during the weekend. Brown posted a 75 in the first round but followed it up with a 69 in the final round. The current leader in the Super Senior Player of the Year race, Pat Ryan, took fourth place honors. Ryan shot six-over and shot rounds of 76 and 74. Charlie Taylor and Randy Studer finished at nine-over and ended up in a tie for fifth place.

Open Division:
1. Andrew Huseman -11 66-67-133
2. Brian Fields -9 71-64-135
3. Connor Peck -8 64-72-136
4. Lucas Scherf -6 69-69-138
T5. Cody Holck -4 71-69-140
T5. Jon Brown -4 70-70-140
T5. Nate McCoy -4 70-70-140
T5. J.D. Anderson 69-71-140

Senior Division
1. Bob Brooks -2 71-71-142 **Won Playoff**
2. Curtis Holck -2 72-70-142
3. Bill Johnson +1 72-73-145
T4. Andy Burton +2 77-69-146
T4. Troy Kopriva +2 74-72-146

Super Senior Division
1. John Kinsey -5 71-68-139
2. Scott Hornstein -1 73-70-143
3. John Brown E 75-69-144
4. Pat Ryan +6 76-74-150
T5. Charlie Taylor +9 80-73-153
T5. Randy Studer +9 79-74-153

Schaffer, Smith take home IGA Women’s Mid-Am Series victory

From left – Leanne Smith, Erin Schaffer, Soni Hansen and Rebecca Schroeder.

The current leader in the IGA Women’s Player of the Year race, Leanne Smith and her partner Erin Schaffer took the win at the IGA Women’s Mid Am Series Event #3. Smith and Schaffer fired a two-under round of 70 in the four-ball format and won the tournament by two shots over Julie Davidson and Mikayla Olson. 

Smith and Schaffer are now back-to-back champions, but they had to earn it. For most of their round on Saturday, the duo was trailing Olson and Davidson, but Schaffer’s birdie on the 16th and Smith’s clutch birdie on the 18th gave the Echo Valley Country Club partners a three-shot lead. 

Jen List and Lauren Backer earned third place after carding a three-over round of 75. List holed out for eagle on the par-four 11th hole and brought their team closer to the lead. List and Backer ended up finishing five shots back of Schaffer and Smith. 

A tie for fourth place between the team of Laura Leszczynski and Cindy Morrison and Julie Buerman’s and Katie Wenthe’s duo. The two teams posted rounds of 76 and finished six shots back of Smith and Schaffer.

Soni Hansen and Rebecca Schroeder ended up winning the Net Division with a nine-under round of 63. Hansen and Schroeder finished one shot ahead of Jackie Warrick and Shirly Rochelle, who shot an eight-under 64. 

The IGA Women’s Mid-Am Series Event #4 will be held on Saturday September 4, and will be held at Honey Creek Golf Club in Boone. You will be able to follow the ladies using the live leaderboard link on our website.

Team Gross Division
1. Leanne Smith/Erin Schaffer -2 70
2. Mikayla Olson/Julie Davidson +1 72
3. Lauren Backer/Jen List +3 75
T4. Katie Wenthe/Julie Buerman +4 76
T4. Laura Leszczynski/ Cindy Morrison +4 76

Team Net Division
Soni Hansen/Rebecca Schroeder -9 63
Jackie Warrick/Shirly Rochelle -8 64
T3. Carroll Dethrow/Janece Schwartzkopf -6 66
T3. Nicki Clayton/Julie Hartman -6 66
T3. Leanne Smith/Erin Schaffer -6 66
T3. Laura Leszczynski/Cindy Morrison -6 66

Past Herman Sani Scholarship Committee Chair, long-time IGA supporter Jim Mitchell passes away

Jim Mitchell, who served the Iowa Golf Association in many capacities over the years, most notably for his many years as chairperson of the Herman Sani Scholarship Committee, passed away at the age of 88 on Saturday, August 14, 2021. Jim and his beloved wife of 63 years, Pat, had lived the last several years in Atlanta, Georgia, following a retirement stay in the Villages, Florida.

Mitchell, who also served on the Board of Directors of the IGA, was a prominent player on the course as well, capturing the 1968 Northwest Amateur, 1991 Iowa Senior Amateur and 2001 IGA Four-Ball (Senior Division) with partner Jim Bianco. Mitchell was the 1986, 1990 and 1991 IGA Senior Player of the Year and received the prestigious George Turner Distinguished Service Award in 2007 for his impact to the game of golf through years of volunteer service.

Mitchell’s true passion within his work with the IGA was his role as chairperson of the Herman Sani Scholarship Committee, a position he held for several years.

“Jim was an all-time great from my perspective,” Steve Jermier, 1996 Herman Sani Scholarship recipient and current IGA Vice President said. “Certain people stand out in your memories, and he was definitely one for me.”

Memorials in honor of Mitchell can be made to the Iowa Golf Association Foundation’s Herman Sani Scholarship Fund online by clicking here. Be sure to click the box that you are dedicating the donation in memory of Jim Mitchell.

Click here to read Jim Mitchell’s full obituary

Click here to make a donation to the IGA Foundation’s
Herman Scholarship Fund in memory of Jim Mitchell

Smith travels outside Iowa, grabs bid to U.S. Women’s Mid-Am

On Monday, August 16th, Leanne Smith (right), of Indianola, finished with medalist honors at the U.S. Women’s Mid-Am Qualifier held in St. Joseph, Missouri. Smith will now travel to Berkeley Hall Club in Bluffton, South Carolina for the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship in September.

At the beginning of her round, Smith started slowing with a bogey and a double in her first four holes. Smith made a birdie on the eighth hole but followed it up with a double on nine. Sitting at four-over-par after her front nine, Smith got back on track and made four straight pars to start her back nine.

After recording par on hole 13, three-straight bogeys showed up and put Smith at seven-over. With two holes to play, Smith was on the outside looking in and knew she needed to make something happen. Two par-five remained, and Smith took advantage. She made birdie on 17 and she was now in a three-way tie for first place.

A short par-five was all that was left for Smith. She needed birdie to win and qualify for the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship. Instead of making birdie, Smith ensured her victory and recorded an eagle on her final hole of the qualifier. Smith won by two shots over Susan Devoe, of Overland Park, Kansas, and Martha Linscott, of Mission Hills, Kansas.

Kathy Dearborn, of Anamosa, competed for her spot into the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship in Waukegan, Illinois. Dearborn missed a qualifying position by one stroke, but earned the first alternate after defeating Madeline Bond in a playoff.

The tournament dates are September 25-30, at Berkeley Hall Club (North Course) in Bluffton, South Carolina.

St. Joseph, Mo. Qualifier
1. Leanne Smith 74 *Medalist*
2. Martha Linscott 77 *Qualified*
3. Susan Devoe 77 *Qualified*
4. Carmen Titus 79 *1st Alternate*
5. Carrie Bostar 80 *2nd Alternate*

Waukegan, Ill. Qualifier
1. Jacqueline Setas 72 *Medalist*
2. Hui Chong Dofflemeyer 73 *Qualified*
3. Nora Klein 74 *Qualified*
4. Elizabeth Payne 80 *Qualified*
5. Heather Penn 81 *Qualified*
6. Erin Varner 82 *Qualified*
7. Kathy Dearborn 83 *1st Alternate*
8. Madeline Bond 83 *2nd Alternate*

Osborn, Anderson grab spots at U.S. Mid-Amateur Qualifier

Photo courtesy of the Florida State Golf Assoc.

Massachusetts is on the horizon for Bowen Osborn (right), of Jacksonville, FL, and J.D. Anderson, of Johnston. Osborn and Anderson qualified for the U.S. Mid-Amateur at Otter Creek Golf Course in Ankeny on Monday. Come September, Osborn and Anderson will be playing Sankaty Head Golf Club and Miacomet Golf Course and will be competing against the world’s best amateur golfers ages 25 and older.

The Jacksonville native earned the medalist honors after carding a bogey-free round that consisted of six birdies and an eagle. In route to a 63, he made back-to-back birdies on holes 17 and 18 to surpass Anderson’s round of 64 by a shot.

Though Anderson (left) fell short of medalist honors, he did walk away with a qualifying spot to the U.S. Mid-Amateur. Anderson also had a clean score card and posted seven birdies to take second place by two shots. He made three straight birdies on holes 12, 13 and 14 to push him into a qualifying position.

Dennis Bull took the first alternate spot after defeating Connor Peck in a playoff. Bull joined Osborn and Anderson with bogey-free rounds today. Peck tied bull during stroke play with a five-under round of 66. Peck recorded nine birdies on the day, but four bogeys derailed his chances of qualifying.

The U.S. Mid-Amateur will be split between two golf courses and each player will play 18 holes at each course. The championship will take place from September 25-30, 2021.

U.S. Mid-Amateur Qualifier
Bowen Osborn -8 63 – *Medalist*
J.D. Anderson -7 64 – *Qualifier*
Dennis Bull -5 66 – *1st Alternate*
Connor Peck -5 66 – *2nd Alternate*

Leszczynski, Liddick earn qualifying spots into U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur

The 2021 Iowa Senior Women’s Amateur champion, Laura Leszczynski, of St. Mary’s, (above left) played wonderful golf on Tuesday and will now be headed to Alabama for the U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur. Tuesday’s qualifier was held at Stone Creek Golf Club in Williamsburg and Leszczynski cruised through the course for most the day. 

A rough start did not stop Leszczynski from taking that medal home with her.

In her first two holes she made two doubles, but in her last 16 holes, Leszczynski played par golf and recorded four birdies. This season Leszczynski has been nothing short of spectacular.

“I have felt like I have been in a groove lately,” Leszczynski said. “This is the first time in about seven years where my swing feels great. I have had knee problems, but I am finally able to swing, and it feels great.”

Leszczynski fired a four-over 75 and won the medalist honors by two shots over the second qualifier, Shelly Liddick (above right), of Bellevue, Nebraska. Liddick carded a six-over 77 and earned a spot to Lakewood, AL by four shots. 

Monica Coleman earned first alternate honors after recorded an 81 and Tina Jones will be the second alternate with a score of 84. 

The U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur will be held at The Lakewood Club in Point Clear, Alabama on September 10th and finishes on September 15th.

U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur Qualifying
1. Laura Leszczynski +4 75 – Qualifier
2. Shelly Liddick +6 77 – Qualifier
3. Monica Coleman +10 81 – 1st Alternate
4. Tina Jones +13 84 – 2nd Alternate
T5. Olivia Iturbe +15 86
T5. Michelle Klein +15 86

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