Category: News

Egly, Iowa Section honored by PGA of America

(Photo by Darren Carroll/PGA of America)

The Iowa PGA Section recently earned the 2024 Herb Graffis Award (shown above), given annually to one of the 41 PGA of America Sections that has shown tireless dedication to grow the game of golf and furthering player-development programming in the community.

The Iowa PGA Section, led by President Erin Strieck, PGA, and Executive Director Greg Mason, PGA, has delivered quality golf programming that has helped grow the game for over 40 years. The Section has implemented many programs with a focus on youth, including Swing with Kids Golf in Schools, in which a PGA of America Golf Professional adopts a local School District and supports the Physical Education Teachers in elementary and middle schools to teach golf and life skills. The program has more than doubled in size over the past five years and now serves over 25,000 students. Iowa’s PGA Jr. League program is the number-one program by growth percentage across all PGA of America Sections in number of players as well as teams.

The Iowa PGA Section is also supporting local military Veterans with their GIVE (Golf for Injured Veterans Everywhere) program, where PGA of America Professionals teach the game of golf to Veterans as part of their rehabilitation. The program has supported more than 2,300 Veterans since its inception. Iowa PGA Junior Tour events were hosted by 67 percent of the facilities within the Section in 2023. Additionally, the Iowa PGA has remained number one across all Sections on the percentage of membership for PGA of America Golf professionals certified through ADM and, completing training and certification in 2023.

PGA of America President John Lindert greets the 2024 PGA of America Deacon Palmer Award recipient Mark Egly, PGA on the Industry Stage during the 2024 PGA of America National Award presentation at the PGA Show at Orange County Convention Center on Wednesday, January 24, 2024 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Darren Carroll/PGA of America)

Mark Egly, PGA, Head Golf Professional for the past 30 years at Des Moines Driving Range in Des Moines, was selected for the 2024 Deacon Palmer Award, which honors a PGA of America Golf Professional who displays outstanding integrity, character, and leadership in the effort to overcome a major obstacle in their life. A PGA of America Member for 40 years, Egly’s entire golf career has been impacted by health issues, beginning with a serious car accident in 1990 that left him with severe nerve damage in his shoulder, significantly limiting the use of his right arm.

After taking a few years off from the game, he came back and played well enough to even qualify for the 1995 John Deere Classic, but then suffered two more accidents resulting in serious injuries. Hardly the end of his health issues, Egly was diagnosed with Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency, which causes a lack of oxygen, resulting in low energy, exhaustion, breathing problems, and a lack of natural pain management. Despite never having smoked, Egly was diagnosed with COPD and emphysema in 2018.

Furthermore, in 2018, doctors found a tumorous spot on Mark’s pancreas and he was given only a 30 percent chance of surviving six months; the tumor significantly reduced without chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery. Still, Egly remains motivated and dedicated to golf. With a healthy lifestyle, synced with food protocols and weekly infusions, he has overcome or improved some of his health issues, while focusing on teaching the game and purchasing a driving range. Since becoming a PGA of America Golf Professional in 1983, Egly has exhibited an exceptional level of service and unwavering commitment to the success of others.

Egly was named to the 2023 GRAA (Golf Range Association of America) Growth of the Game Teaching Professionals Elite Member Status, with Des Moines Driving Range being named a 2023 GRAA Top 50 Stand Alone Facility. He has been deeply involved in creating a safe haven for children through various youth programs, getting at-risk children on the golf course at no cost and has collaborated with the United States Golf Association, equipment manufacturers, the Iowa Section PGA, the PGA of America and the National Golf Foundation on many occasions to further provide opportunities for youth to enjoy the game.

Iowa Golf Hall of Fame Class of 2024 announced

The Iowa Golf Hall of Fame will add five members in 2024, bringing the total number in the Hall of Fame to 101. Those five include Clark Burroughs, Micheal Coppola, Bill Dickens, Greg Ladehoff and Bob Smith. Read more about each inductee below.

Clark Burroughs

Waterloo’s Clark Burroughs has a playing resume that ranks at the top with all from Iowa.

Growing up and developing his game in golf-rich Waterloo, Burroughs (pictured right) was successful in various local competitions in an era where there wasn’t first-rate junior competitions available like there are today. Clark’s success included a victory at the 1980 Iowa Junior Amateur.

Those ‘early’ victories were just the start for Burroughs, a fixture at the Byrnes Park (now Irv Warren) golf course who was a star at Waterloo West High School under Iowa Golf Hall of Fame member Don Narveson.

“He literally lived here while he was a kid,” Narveson once said. “He’s a winner.”

Burroughs attended Ohio State University on a golf scholarship and put together an incredible college career. He was a First-team All-Big Ten selection all four years, from 1982 through 1985. He was also Big Ten Player of the Year in 1985, and won seven individual titles. Clark was named team captain for the Buckeyes in 1984 and 1985 and was inducted into the Ohio State Athletic Hall of Fame in 1997.

Burroughs was named an All-American all four years at Ohio State. He capped of his college career by winning the NCAA Division I Individual title in 1985 and was named 1st team All-American.

Burroughs had considerable success in big time amateur golf outside of college as well. He was medalist in the 1983 U.S. Amateur and made it to the semifinals, earning him a trip to the 1984 Masters Tournament and a spot on the 1985 Walker Cup Team.

“He’s our kid,” Narveson after watching Burroughs make the cut at the 1984 Masters.

Burroughs turned professional after college and returned home to win the Waterloo Open in 1987. He competed on the PGA Tour for a span of 11 years. During that time, he played in 130 tournaments and made 60 cuts.

“Winning the NCAA and playing on the tour are totally different,” Burroughs said in 1989. “These guys don’t care what you did in college.”

Clark finished in the Top 21 four times during his PGA Tour career. His highest was a runner-up finish to Steve Jones at the 1989 Canadian Open.

“One of the qualities I admired most about Clark was his self-confidence and belief in himself,” Iowa Golf Hall of Fame member Doug Dunakey said. “I have to admit, Clark pushed me to be a better player. His play and accomplishments were standards I measured myself against.”

Playing Achievements
-1980 Iowa Junior Amateur Champion (139) at Jester Park
-1987 Waterloo Open Champion (pro)
-1983 B1G Ten individual runner-up
-1985 NCAA Champion for Ohio State
-1985 Walker Cup Team, USA defeated GB 13-11 at Pine Valley Golf Club
-Played in 130 PGA Tour events (1984-1995)
-Best career finish: Runner-up to Steve Jones at 1989 Canadian Open
-Four Top 10 finishes, 10 top 25s, 61 made cuts
-Finished T46 at 1984 Masters as an amateur

Micheal Coppola

Michael Coppola’s passion for the game of golf in the state of Iowa is unmatched.

Coppola, pictured with Golf House Iowa donor, Doug Reichardt (on right with hat), the owner of Echo Valley Country Club in Norwalk, was a major player in the construction of Golf House Iowa, which is nearing completion. As Coppola’s friend, Charlie Taylor, describes it, Coppola didn’t move the needle for the project. He was the needle.

Coppola’s lead gift, including the land the building rests on just east of the ninth green of Echo Valley’s Creek Course, was crucial. Just as important is his behind-the-scenes role and volunteering his time to help the project move forward. His experience and insight during the fundraising, planning and construction of the project were invaluable.

Coppola’s generous gifts were a major piece of the fundraising goal, which climbed to $5 million due to increased construction costs. The new facility, which will also be home to the Iowa Golf Hall of Fame and Museum, will celebrate the game’s past and serve as motivation for the future. Michael has also been generous with his time and his philanthropic endeavors to help the IGA many times in the past.

“It is nearly impossible to completely and accurately summarize Mike’s contributions to the Iowa Golf Association,” Taylor said. “He has, in my opinion, single-handedly changed the course of the IGA like no one before him. Mike shares a vision with the IGA that Golf House Iowa will provide an important platform to promote the game of golf through its impact on junior golfers.”

This is not the first time the future of the game has prospered from Coppola’s generosity. The Sani Scholarship Fund, which is financed by donations and a percentage of entry fees from selected statewide tournaments, was struggling to find enough money to endow those scholarships.

Coppola was approached around 2013 about making a donation to keep the scholarships – $2,000 a year for four years – up and running. Coppola attended a Sani Scholarship dinner and was deeply impressed with the award winners. He did some research on Sani, who purchased Hyperion Field Club in 1936 for back taxes and gave it back to the membership. Sani was also the first executive director of the IGA and served in that role on a volunteer basis for more than 30 years.

The Coppola brothers – Michael, Arthur and Edward – donated $250,000 to help endow the Sani Scholarship in 2015. Witnessing the Sani Scholarship winners in person, and hearing their stories, was the driving force behind Coppola’s decision to lend a helping hand.

“Mike’s involvement and philanthropic contributions to the IGA already have, and will continue to shape, the game for players in our great state for years to come,” said former IGA president Steve Jermier, himself a former Sani Scholarship recipient.

Echo Valley Country Club, along with Hyperion Field Club in Johnston, host the Herman Sani Tournament every other year on the IGA Championship schedule, thanks again to the generosity of the Coppola family.

Coppola has also made significant investments to improve playing conditions and overall experience for the members at Echo Valley Country Club. The club grew to 27 holes in 2004 when the nine-hole Ridge course was built. The greens were rebuilt on the Vale course in 2021, returning them to their original size. The Creek nine underwent greenside renovations, movement of some fairway bunkers, the addition of new tees and a new irrigation system in 2022 and 2023. And all bunkers on the three nines have been rebuilt over the last two years with capillary concrete to improve drainage and playing conditions.

Coppola has commented that he looks into the future and sees a day when Mike McCoy, one of Iowa’s greatest amateur players and a member of the Iowa Golf Hall of Fame, sits in a meeting room at Golf House Iowa and talks to a group of youngsters about what the game of golf has done for him.

“It’s about enriching lives through golf,” Coppola said. “How do we change a life through the game? And it might not even be on a golf course. Twenty-five years later a kid is going to say, “Mr. McCoy talked to be about what the game did for him. And one thing he said really got to me.”

As a golfer, Coppola isn’t motivated by how many rounds he plays in a year. It’s more about the canvas that golf provides.

Bill Dickens

He was the right guy at the right time for the Iowa Golf Association. Those words have been mentioned numerous times when describing Bill Dickens.

The IGA as we know it today is due in large part to the efforts of Bill (pictured right) and his passion for golf administration. After establishing an IGA office in Urbandale when he was hired in 2001, his achievements include:

• Building a strong revenue stream and balance sheet with cash reserves able to carry the association through tough times.

• Building and supporting a schedule of great IGA Championships and other events that provide competitive opportunities for players all across the state, which many consider to be unmatched anywhere else in the country.

• Championed the effort to include all members into events with the use and understanding of the USGA Handicap System and the GHIN Service.

• Working with then-IGA President Joe Kehoe on a multi-year effort to merge the Iowa Women’s Golf Association with the IGA, strengthening the game for women golfers in the state, and promoting the Ann Griffel Scholarship.

• Established the IGA Foundation in 2011 to administer and support the Iowa Golf Hall of Fame, the Herman Sani Scholarship, junior golf initiatives and turfgrass and environmental education.

• Reinvigorated the Iowa Golf Hall of Fame in 2006 after a nine-year hiatus of inductions, and created member plaques and other historic displays in the IGA office.

• Formulated the idea for Golf House Iowa and put energy and drive behind the idea that has now been brought to fruition.

Those first few years of Bill’s leadership could be titled ‘Back to the Basics’.

“He (Bill) faced a hurdle when he first started at the IGA,” IGA Executive Director & CEO Chad Pitts said. “He found he needed to get back to the basics of golf administration, and he had to teach those basics to staff and board members alike. Things as simple as referring to every person on the GHIN roster as a member of the IGA, having full teams to perform course ratings, how to conduct board meetings, how to properly mark a golf course and prepare a rules sheet, or even getting a new thing called a website up and running. Sounds simple now but that was what the IGA wasn’t doing before Bill got there. I think it is fair to say he revamped the way the staff and board thought about the IGA and what it was capable of and there is no doubt that has carried on to today.”

Due to Bill’s tireless efforts, it is accurate to say that many associations around the country look to Iowa as a blueprint for how golf should be administered at the highest level.

“Bill was the driving force behind so many efforts around the IGA and IGAF, it’s difficult to just pick a few to highlight,” Steve Jermier said. “The IGA is known nationally among its peers as a standard bearer for producing an incredible product with limited resources compared to larger state and regional associations. That reputation simply wouldn’t exist without the contributions, leadership, and vision from Bill Dickens.”

In addition to his service to game of golf in Iowa, Bill was awarded the prestigious Ike Grainger Award from the USGA in 2016 recognizing 25 years of service as a USGA Committee Member.

Greg Ladehoff

Greg Ladehoff of Clinton steadily improved as he climbed golf’s ladder, a less-than-guaranteed journey that took him all the way to the PGA Tour.

Following a successful junior career at Clinton High School and as the 1979 Iowa Junior champion, Ladehoff (pictured right) accepted a scholarship to Ohio State University. There, he was one of the few golfers ever to earn All Big-Ten honors four years in a row (1981-84). Ladehoff then decided to try a career playing professionally. He made it through Q-School for the first time in 1985, and also in 1987, 1988 and 1990. Greg played the PGA Tour regularly for eight years (1985-92), making 154 starts. His best career finish was a tie for third with Nick Faldo in the 1986 USF&G Classic as a rookie.

“My attitude is that I want to play good enough get in position where I have a chance to screw up,” Ladehoff said in 1988. “If you never get in that position, you never have a chance.”

After leaving the tour, Ladehoff still played at a high level. He won the Iowa PGA Section Championship in 1994 at Finkbine in Iowa City. But Greg would retire from competitive golf after numerous injuries, and he joined his father in a well-known and respected duck decoy business in the Clinton area.

“Ladehoff attacked golf courses over his career, the way he approaches everyday business life of which he is equally successful,” Gary Dolphin said of Ladehoff. “He did it with purpose and a great sense of humor. Whether shooting a course record 68 in the Ohio Amateur at Inverness in Toledo, a 66 that chased down Tommy Armour III in Tallahassee or his present day worldwide success building a duck decoy business, Ladehoff marches and lives with the times.”

Those who knew Ladehoff know there was more to the man than just golf.

“I hope that 100 years from now, when a visitor to the Iowa Golf Hall of Fame is pondering the great Greg Ladehoff, they can see him as I do,” Mark L. Burden said. “A terrific player and competitor, of course, but to see Greg solely through the prism of golf would obscure his towering commitment to family, to friends, to his passion for business and to his love for the Hawkeye State. Golf afforded Greg tremendous opportunities and to his credit, he pursued the game to the pinnacle.”

Playing Achievements
-1979 Iowa Junior Amateur Champion
-Led Clinton High School to two IHSAA State Championships (1979-1980)
-1981-1984 First Team All-Big Ten for Ohio State
-1982 Second Team All-American for Ohio State
-1983 Honorable Mention All-American for Ohio State
-1984 Third Team All-American for Ohio State
-Two collegiate individual wins for Ohio State
-154 starts on the PGA Tour and 47 starts on the Ben Hogan Tour
-Six top 10’s and two runner-Up finishes on the Ben Hogan Tour
-PGA Tour: 65 made cuts, five top 10’s, and one third-place finish at the 1986 USF&G Classic in New Orleans.
-1994 Iowa PGA Section Champion

Bob Smith

Bob Smith dedicated his career to being the best golf course superintendent. He studied and strived to be just that for more than 30 years at seven different Iowa golf courses and communities. He was recognized over the years by the Iowa Golf Course Superintendent Association with many awards and accolades.

Bob (pictured right) served the association at its highest levels, being elected to the Board of Directors in 1953, and served as President in 1956 and 1957. He believed service to the IGCSA was most important and received 25- and 50- year membership pins. In 1990 he had the honor of receiving the Distinguished Service Award from IGCSA.

In addition to his achievements as a golf course superintendent, Bob’s career included being a pioneer on the sales side of turf products. He would go to golf courses, both large and small, offering valuable advice on many aspects of turf maintenance. He helped with disease and weed identification by offering his expertise on treatment, insect management, grass seed, and irrigation.

“As one of the first golf course superintendents to work in sales, he combined his knowledge and experience,” Iowa Golf Hall of Fame member Doug Snook said. “He was like a doctor making house calls. With education opportunities limited in turf, managers relied on Bob to solve their turf problems. Bob would take the time to walk with the turf managers inspecting their facilities, troubleshooting turf and equipment issues while helping them with their management problems.”

He might even show how to cut a cup properly or help pick flags or markers when needed. At many small golf courses, the turf maintenance employees were seasonal and even part-time visits were much anticipated.

“Bob Smith’s lifework was the betterment of golf through creating well-maintained facilities,” John Hollen said. “He helped players both as a caddy when growing up and by providing golf lessons while working as superintendent, educating turf managers by sharing his knowledge, helping strengthen his association through lifetime involvement, and setting an example so impactful that many of his family followed suit.”

Bob was always experimenting with new golf course management techniques and was a great golfer in his own right, giving golf members golf lessons that did not have a golf professional at their club.

“If a young person could model their career after an old timer, Bob Smith would be someone who I would recommend,” Iowa Golf Hall of Fame member Rick Tegtmeier, CGCS, MG, said. “He worked at many golf courses around the state, he mentored young people and Iowa golf was in his blood.”

Awards & Service
Iowa GCSA Board of Directors 1953-1954
Iowa GCSA Vice President 1955
Iowa GCSA President 1956 & 1957
Iowa GCSA Distinguished Service Award 1990
Iowa GCSA 25 & 50 year membership Pins

Employment History
Newton Country Club 1937-1938
Elmwood Country Club 1939-1942
Elmwood Country Club 1946-1948
Des Moines Golf & Country Club 1949
Pine Knolls Country Club 1950-1961
Turf Supply Company 1962-1969
Pella Country Club 1970
Turf Supply Company 1971-1972
Pine Knolls Country Club 1975-1976
All Vets (Clear Lake) 1978
Appanoose Country Club 1979-1982

The Iowa Golf Association is thrilled to welcome these five new members to the Iowa Golf Hall of Fame and will host a ceremony honoring those individuals at Echo Valley Country Club on Friday evening, September 27. We will also use our new Golf House Iowa facility for reception and tours prior to the induction ceremony. An online link to register for the event will be available and posted online soon.

2024 Boatwright Internship Opportunities with the IGA

The Iowa Golf Association (IGA) is excited to offer two (2) P.J. Boatwright Internships in 2024 – Handicapping & Course Rating and Championships. Each internship will be for four months. Working under the direction of the IGA Executive Director and senior staff, the interns will learn about all aspects of amateur golf administration.

Individuals are more than welcome to apply for both internship positions – If doing so, please make sure to fill out each application (available below). If you do apply for multiple internships, the IGA will reach to you for your preferred choice.

The IGA is an Allied Golf Association (AGA) of the USGA and is the governing body for golf in the state of Iowa.  It exists as a non-profit organization that works to preserve, protect and promote the best interests and spirit of the game.  As “caretakers” of the game the IGA works to preserve the rich history of golf in our state and to provide numerous services that benefit all that play the game in Iowa.

In 1991, the USGA established the P.J. Boatwright Jr. Internship Program. P.J. Boatwright (pictured above), the USGA’s third executive director, played a pivotal role in both the USGA and golf in the U.S. This program is designed to give experience to individuals who are interested in pursuing a career in golf administration, while assisting state and regional golf associations in the promotion of amateur golf, on a short-term, entry-level basis. At the IGA, all current full-time staff members (Clint Brown, Katelynn Hogenson, Karli Kerrigan, Nate McCoy and Chad Pitts) are all former Boatwright interns.

The deadline to apply is Friday, February 23rd or until position(s) are filled (whichever is later).

Click the links below to view the 2024 Intern job description and instructions for applying.

– Handicap & Course Rating Intern

– Championships Intern

‘Up and Down’ the Iowa Golf Scene – For Love of the Game

Charlie Taylor, pictured with grandson Cam, has made contributions that were magnified multiple fold as the dream of building Golf House Iowa began to unfold in recent years.

Love of the Game, Service to Others Propel Charlie Taylor to IGA’s 2023 George Turner Award

When Charlie Taylor was introduced to the game of golf by his late father, Heinrich, in the mid-1960’s, it was love at first sight. Nearly 60 years later, his romance with the game continues at a torrid pace.

A passion for the game, willingness to serve and a desire to promote and strengthen Iowa golf for future generations are all ideals that catapulted Taylor to receive the Iowa Golf Association’s prestigious George Turner Distinguished Service Award for 2023.

The IGA renamed its distinguished service award after the iconic Iowa golf ambassador George Turner in 2003 and has been presenting the award since 1985. This year’s recipient embodies the standards and qualities of the award through more than a decade of service to the Iowa Golf Association Foundation, and more recently, for his leadership role in making the dream of a Golf House Iowa facility become a reality.

“To receive this award and to be included among such a distinguished list of past recipients is a great honor for me and my family,” said Taylor. “The game of golf is a journey, not a destination, and I consider my work with the IGA along those same lines. We have much more work to do, and I’m very excited about the future of the IGA.”

Taylor was part of two consecutive state golf tournament teams at Dowling Catholic in the early 1970’s, and qualified as an individual in 1974. As he was building a work career, golf was more of a casual endeavor until his youngest son, Rob, became interested in the game. The pair played their first IGA tournament together in 2007, The Ottumwa Amateur, and were hooked. Today, Taylor plays in several IGA sanctioned events each year and finished the 2023 season ranked 12th on the IGA Super Senior Point Standings, including a tie for fifth showing at The Carroll Amateur.

“We both learned that through competition that you have to count all your shots, play by the rules, respect your fellow competitors and act like gentlemen on the golf course,” Taylor said. “These are transformational lessons. The game is rare among life’s pursuits because it teaches you so much about yourself, your strengths, and your flaws.”

A passion for the game, willingness to serve and a desire to promote and strengthen Iowa golf for future generations are all ideals that catapulted Taylor to receive the Iowa Golf Association’s prestigious George Turner Distinguished Service Award for 2023.

In 2011, Taylor (right) was asked to join the Iowa Golf Association Foundation Board of Directors. His volunteer work included serving as a starter, scorer, and spotter at various IGA tournaments, as well as providing legal work on the spectacular Golden Harvest history book authored by long-time Des Moines Register golf writer Rick Brown.

But Taylor’s contributions were magnified multiple fold as the dream of building Golf House Iowa began to unfold in recent years. A member of the Golf House Iowa campaign committee, Taylor made a leadership financial commitment to the project, and has provided invaluable legal, real estate and construction expertise as the project advanced from rough blueprints in 2019 to a projected grand opening in late spring-summer, 2024. The University of Iowa law graduate spent nine years in private practice, and the past 35 years as General Counsel for The Graham Group in Des Moines, specializing in real estate and construction projects. Add in his past leadership roles with The Variety Club, Dowling Catholic Foundation and Blank Children’s Hospital and Taylor was a perfect fit for his impactful role with Golf House Iowa.

The multi-purpose facility is designed to showcase the Iowa Golf Hall of Fame and Museum, promote junior golf, and provide office space for the Iowa Golf Association and the IGA Foundation. In addition, the facility will also have the capacity to host meetings/seminars for rules, Iowa Golf Course Superintendents Association, The First Tee, and other related activities/organizations all with the goal to advance and promote golf in Iowa.

Taylor credits his high school classmate at Dowling, Michael Coppola, as a catalyst for the launch of Golf House Iowa by making the lead cash gift, providing the land and site utilities, a combined commitment valued at nearly two million dollars.

“Many people brought wonderful and divergent skill sets to work on Golf House, but somebody had to provide the forward momentum, and that someone was Michael,” he stated. “Michael has said Golf House will be the platform for the Iowa Golf Association to do its best work…and its best work is to empower young men and women through the game. We aspire to be the national model for what these facilities can accomplish when a community comes together.”

Taylor looks toward the future with optimism and credits his wife Debra “for being very supportive with my addiction to the game of golf.”

“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
– McCoy, Norton Put Iowa Stamp on Florida Senior Golf
Moreland Reflects on his Extraordinary Club Pro, Playing Career
From Sibley to the LPGA Tour – Barb Thomas Whitehead Fulfills Her Dream
At 88 Years Young, Cleo Brown Remains a Fixture at the Principal Charity Classic, IGA Events

2023 IGA Annual Awards Banquet Recap

The 2023 IGA Awards Dinner took place Friday, December 8 at Terrace Hills Golf Course in Altoona. It was an enjoyable night with several deserving honorees and award winners in various categories being celebrated for their efforts.

The following individuals and courses were honored –

PGA Pro of the Year – Scott Nugent, Ames Golf & CC

Club Manager of the Year – Rheanne Kinney, Wakonda Club

9-Hole Superintendent – Rande Giesking, Gruis Recreation Area

18-Hole Superintendent – Chris Coen, Glen Oaks Country Club

9-Hole Course of the Year – Sibley Golf & Country Club

18-Hole Course of the Year – Rice Lake Golf & Country Club

George Turner Distinguished Service Award – Charlie Taylor, Des Moines

Sean Flanders Volunteer of the Year Award – Cleo Brown, Urbandale

Special Recognition of 2023 U.S Walker Cup Captain – Mike McCoy, Norwalk

Player of the Year – Nate McCoy, Ankeny (View video)

Senior Player of the Year – Joe Palmer, Norwalk (View video)

Super Senior Player of the Year – Bob Brooks, West Des Moines (View video)

Read more about the Men’s Players of the Year

Women’s Player of the Year – Paige Hoffman, West Des Moines (View video)

Senior Women’s Player of the Year – Laura Leszczynski, St. Mary’s (View video)

Read more about the Women’s Players of the Year

Junior Girls’ Player of the Year – Chloe Bolte, Sumner (View video)

Junior Boys’ Player of the Year – Braeden Nelson, West Des Moines (View video)

Read more about the Junior Players of the Year

2024 IGA schedule, USGA qualifying locations announced

Sunnyside hosts 100th Women’s Amateur,
Finkbine site of Iowa Amateur and IGA Four-Ball sees change

The 2024 IGA Championship schedule is here! The schedule includes another year of wonderful IGA Member Clubs that will serve as host sites for IGA championships and USGA Qualifiers. Without the support of our member clubs this schedule would not be possible. We are thankful for all of our member clubs and especially those that step up and host events each year.

The Iowa Women’s Amateur returns to where it all started…sort of. The 100th edition will be held at Sunnyside Country Club in Waterloo for the tenth time in the history of the event.  The club hosted the first in 1922 but it was staged at the course now known as Red Carpet GC in Waterloo. Sunnyside CC constructed and opened the course where the club now operates in 1971. Sunnyside CC last hosted the Iowa Women’s Amateur in 2011, won by Kristin Paulson, Ottumwa, in record fashion. The 2024 edition will be played Mon-Wed., July 22-24. Special plans are being made to celebrate the 100th playing of the championship, including efforts to include former champions and other significant women who have impacted the game of golf in Iowa.  It will no doubt be a special week in Waterloo.

The Iowa Amateur will be held at Finkbine Golf Course in Iowa City from July 28-30. This will be the sixth time Finkbine GC has hosted the state’s biggest men’s amateur event, having previously hosted in 2014 (won by Nate Dunn). Qualifying events will be held again for the Iowa Amateur Championship. There will be three sites across the state prior to the championship, similar to 2023, where players who are not exempt can attempt to qualify and make the field of 132 that will compete in Iowa City. Dates and locations of those qualifiers are still to be determined but will be posted online as soon as possible.

Beginning in 2024, the champions of the Iowa Women’s Amateur, Iowa Amateur and Iowa Girls’ Junior Amateur will receive exemptions into the USGA’s respective championships (U.S. Women’s Amateur, U.S. Amateur, and U.S. Girls’ Junior Amateur). These are brand new exemptions for these USGA championships, including the U.S. Junior Amateur (boys). The 3-year WAGR Power Ranking of our state championship was used to determine if our state events would qualify for an exemption and, unfortunately, Iowa narrowly missed out on an exemption for the boys’ Junior Amateur.

The IGA Four-Ball (men’s) will see change in 2024.  In past years players would designate either Open, Senior, or Super-Senior Divisions to compete in.  Now, the IGA  will host a separate Four-Ball event for Seniors and Super-Seniors in the fall.  The IGA Four-Ball Championship will still be open to everyone, but will not have divisions. This was done to accommodate more players/teams due to the increasing popularity of the championship.  Elmwood CC in Marshalltown will be the site for both events – IGA Four-Ball on May 3-4 and the Senior/SS IGA Four-Ball on Sept 17-18.

Also seeing change in 2024 will be the Iowa Senior Amateur and the IGA Senior Match Play. The two events will essentially flip dates, with the Senior Amateur being conducted in early June and the Senior Match Play happening in September. This is being done to prepare for a potential future when the winner of the Senior Amateur may receive an exemption into the U.S. Senior Amateur. Moving the date of the Iowa Senior Amateur much earlier than the USGA championship allows for that exemption (should it come to fruition) to take place with the current year.

Talons Golf in Ankeny will be the home of the men’s and women’s IGA Match Play Championships for the fifth straight year. The event will take place June 25-28. Talons Golf is a privately-owned course routed between beautiful rock-walled streams and covered bridges. An always popular venue for this event, many players, both men and women, look forward to the championship each year.

The Iowa Mid-Amateur Championship, which expanded to 54 holes in 2023 allowing top finishers to receive World Amateur Golf Ranking points, will be held at Pella’s Bos Landen, May 15-17. Bos Landen last hosted the IGA Four-Ball in 2019.  Since then, many improvements have been made to the course including bunker and tree work.  Players will certainly experience several new looks to the course since it last hosted an IGA championship.

The Herman Sani Tournament will return August 9-11, to Norwalk’s Echo Valley Country Club. Since 2013 the event has rotated between Echo Valley CC and Hyperion Field Club and continues to feature the state’s best amateur and professional golfers vying for the trophy. Players and spectators will also be able to view the newly constructed Golf House Iowa, located adjacent to the Creek Course’s #9 green. Plans are being made for a special celebration of the facility during that week – so stay tuned.

The Iowa Senior Women’s Amateur will be played at Stone Creek Golf Club in Williamsburg on August 5-6 while the Iowa Senior Amateur (Men’s) is moving to an earlier date in the calendar, June 3-5, and will be played at Bent Tree Golf Club in Council Bluffs.

In addition to the Iowa Women’s Amateur in 2024, Sunnyside CC will once again serve host to the Iowa Wife-Husband Championship, Sept. 13-15, as well.

Along with those championships listed above, the IGA will conduct events at the following venues – Glen Oaks CC (IGA Women’s Four-Ball – June 11-12), Jester Park Golf Course (Father/Son, Parent/Child – June 15-16), Coldwater Golf Links (Iowa Junior Amateur, Iowa Junior Girls Amateur – June 17-19), Indianola CC (IGA Women’s Club Team – Aug. 12), Whispering Creek GC (IGA Senior Match Play – Sept. 3-5) and newly renovated Wakonda Club (IGA Club Team – Sept 30).

The Iowa Cup Matches, Iowa Women’s Forever 39 and Women’s Mid-Am Series events 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 2023. The U.S. Amateur sees a big change in the qualifying structure in 2024, moving to two stages.  Iowa will host a Local qualifier in 2024 and then a Final qualifier in 2025. Here are the sites for this year’s qualifying events:
• Crow Valley Golf Club, Davenport – U.S. Open Local Qualifier – May 13
• Glen Oaks Country Club, West Des Moines – U.S. Amateur Local Qualifier – June 13
• Fort Dodge Country Club – U.S. Senior & Women’s Senior Amateur – July 25
• Elmcrest Country Club, Cedar Rapids – U.S. Mid-Amateur Qualifier – August 26

Again in 2024 the IGA will partner with Strackaline to provide options for tournament players to purchase detailed yardage books and green guides at a discounted rate.

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.


‘Up and Down’ the Iowa Golf Scene – Still going strong

Cleo Brown takes a short break between groups while serving as a starter during an Iowa Golf Association event. Brown will receive the IGA’s 2023 Sean Flanders Volunteer of the Year award in December.

At 88 Years Young, Cleo Brown Remains a Fixture at the Principal Charity Classic, IGA Events

A bedrock on the PGA Champions Tour schedule since 2001, the Principal Charity Classic has experienced a number of changes over its distinguished 23-year history. Title sponsors, venues, growth of purses and rise as a premier sporting event in Des Moines are included on such a list.

But there’s been one constant throughout the tournament’s rich history. Urbandale’s Cleo Brown introduced the first threesome on the number one tee at the 2001 Allianz Championship staged at Glen Oaks Country Club. Twenty-three years later, Brown continues as the tournament’s only opening tee starter, and the personable storyteller has no plans to slow down.

Cleo Brown has developed friendships with hundreds of PGA Champions Tour players over a 23-year career as the first tee starter at the Principal Charity Classic. He ranks Bernhard Langer at the top of the list of what he calls “a true gentleman.”

Now at 88 years of age, Brown is a recognized landmark at the Principal Charity Classic.

“I go out there every year and it’s like a class reunion or family reunion,” Brown said. “The players ask me how I’m doing, how’s the family and what I’ve been up to.”

Dan Houston, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Principal and a driving force to the tournament’s rise to prominence, has been known to say, “Everybody out there knows Cleo…many of the tour pros walk right by me to say hi to Cleo. He’s the guy that runs the show.”

Principal has been the tournament’s title sponsor since 2007 and during that span, more than $53.7 million has been generated for children’s charities throughout Iowa. In 2016, the PGA Champions Tour named the event as its Tournament of the Year, and it annually generates the second highest resources for charity. The tournament has settled in at the Wakonda Club in Des Moines, host site since 2013.

“The pros love coming to Wakonda,” Brown says. “They are well-treated, the facilities are great, the galleries exceptional and the caddies are taken care of.”

Brown has developed personal relationships with hundreds of PGA Champions Tour players over the years. The game’s top stars all know Brown on a personal level. “The game of golf introduces you to so many great people, and that includes the professionals. Bernhard Langer comes to mind first. He’s such a great guy and a true gentleman.” Each year, a new crop of 50-year-olds gain status on the tour and it doesn’t take long before they all know the venerable first tee starter.

“You’re on the first tee, you get to introduce all the players and it’s the best seat in the house,” he says. “All the players tell stories and share while they are waiting to tee off.” Conversely, there are stars from yesteryear that lose their playing status or retire from competitive golf. They all are significant to Brown. “I’ve introduced players from the past like Chi Chi Rodriquez, Dave Stockton, Ben Crenshaw, Dale Douglass, Bob Murphy, Dr. Gil Morgan, Jim Thorpe and this list goes on.”

Brown has also served the Iowa Golf Association as a starter for many events in Central Iowa over the years, including the State Amateur, State Senior Amateur and the Herman Sani Tournament. In recognition of his extensive service, the IGA named Brown as its 2023 Sean Flanders Volunteer of the Year award recipient.

Longevity and stick-to-itiveness are common attributes for Brown. He retired a mere two years ago after a 64-year career in the abstract and title business. The Harlan, IA native enlisted in the Army right after the Korean War and spent 27 months stationed at Okinawa. After being discharged, he married his high school sweetheart, Katie, and the couple relocated to Des Moines where he went to work for the Independent Abstract Title company and shortly after became the owner. He sold the business more than 30 years later and stayed involved by working for two other local firms.

“You’ve got to have a purpose in life,” he said. “But the shadows were getting shorter and the golf course getting longer so I decided to retire,” he quipped.

Brown poses with Colin Montgomerie during a recent PCC event at Wakonda. Brown reminds Monty of the shot he witnessed at the 1989 Ryder Cup at The Belfry, where Montgomerie played a ball out of a flower bed and sent it sailing over the grandstands.

Despite a busy work schedule, Brown was introduced to golf in the late 1950’s, playing his first round at Waveland. He caught the bug. He also played the old Army course at Fort Des Moines and Grand View regularly before beginning a 28-year association with Hyperion Field Club. While at Hyperion, he served on the Board of Directors and club president and was instrumental in hiring long-time pro Ross deBuhr and superintendent John Ausen.

He also introduced two sons, Jim and Jon, to the game. Both youngsters took a shine to golf and were regulars at Hyperion during the summer months, wearing the tires out from a Moped as they repeatedly took the six-mile jaunt to the club from their Urbandale home with clubs strapped on their backs. The boys would chip and putt while waiting for junior tee times and developed a fierce competitive instinct. Both would eventually earn golf scholarships to West Texas State University, with Jon developing into a force in Iowa golf, both in the open and senior divisions with 26 titles in IGA or IGA sanctioned tournaments. The Iowa Golf Hall of Famer also won a record 14 Des Moines City Championships.

But as Cleo says, “It was Jim who was the golfer in the family” until his business pursuits as a financial advisor crowded out his playing time.

Among his achievements, Jim Brown claimed a Des Moines junior golf championship, defeating Mike McCoy in the finals. The two would later compete in the same collegiate conference circles, Jim at West Texas State and Mike at Wichita State.

Brown, shown above on the first tee at the Wakonda Club prior to the start of the Principal Charity Classic, has no plans to hang up his first tee microphone. “The Principal Charity Classic has been a big part of the Brown family life,” he said.

“Each year I think this might be it and each year I keep coming back.” He offers the following advice to fellow seniors. “Stay involved, stay active and have a purpose. A good home life makes all the difference – I’ve been married to Katie for 67 years and she’s still my best friend.”

“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
– McCoy, Norton Put Iowa Stamp on Florida Senior Golf
Moreland Reflects on his Extraordinary Club Pro, Playing Career
From Sibley to the LPGA Tour – Barb Thomas Whitehead Fulfills Her Dream

2023 IGA Annual Awards, Player of the Year banquet scheduled

Open to the public

The IGA would like to announce to the public that the 2023 Annual Awards and Player of the Year Banquet is scheduled for Friday, December 8, at Terrace Hills Golf Course, in Altoona (8700 NE 46th, Ave.).

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

The cost for the evening’s event will be $40 and can be paid for via credit card over the phone or online by clicking here. You may reach out to the IGA Office at (515) 207-1062 to pay over the phone.

Note – Groups can purchase up to eight tickets at a time online. 

Deadline to register for the event is Wednesday, November 29, 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)

2023 Annual Awards announced

On Friday, October 27, the IGA Board of Directors named recipients of the 2023 Annual Awards in six categories. We are pleased to announce this year’s honorees.

9-Hole Superintendent – Rande Giesking, Gruis Recreation Area
Rande Giesking, of Gruis Recreation Area in Buffalo Center, is this year’s IGA 9-Hole Superintendent of the Year.

Turn back the clock to 1978 and a young Rande Giesking began mowing the grass at Gruis Recreation Area – fast forward some 40+ years later and Giesking can still be found paying close attention to the needs of the course outside of Buffalo Center.

“Rande takes pride in his work and does it to the best of his ability,” Kim Ostermann said. “He has found great staff who exemplify his work ethic and keep the course looking great.”

Not only does Giesking keep the course in great playing condition, but he is also known to give away driving range tokens to junior golfers as they prepare for tournaments, encourage high school competitors, and continually listen to club members’ suggestions and attempts to put them into action for what is best for the course.

Giesking also partnered with a neighboring school district to provide them with the opportunity to bring 35 students to the course to learn about maintenance practices and to maybe spark an interest in turfgrass management for those attending.

“Rande has done an amazing job, not only this year, but for his 45 years here and you can tell his passion for this land is from the heart, it’s not just a job,” Club Manager Joyce Woodwick said. “Gruis Recreation Area has a special place in so many people’s hearts.”

It’s safe to say Giesking is one of the reasons why.

18-Hole Superintendent – Chris Coen, Glen Oaks Country Club
Chris Coen, of Glen Oaks Country Club, has been named the IGA’s 2023 18-Hole Superintendent of the Year.

Coen, who has served Glen Oaks CC since its establishment in 1994, has been instrumental in the facility remaining one of the state’s best.

“He has been instrumental in our Junior Camps as well”, PGA Director of Golf Don Tracy said. “He shows kids how cups are changed, how to take care of the course by fixing ball marks and replacing or filling divots.”

As many around the state continue to find it difficult to find staff, let alone keep them, Coen’s Assistant Superintendent, Equipment Manager and 2nd Assistant has been with him for over 10 years.

“He is a positive role model for all of his staff,” Tracy said. “His dedication to the golf course shows and is also dedicated to growing the game of golf through his support of the Iowa Golf Association, Iowa Golf Course Superintendent’s Association, and others, as well as the need for membership and the community. All of the groups we have hosted events for in 2023 have been so impressed with the course and facilities that they have already booked for 2024. That says a lot about Chris Coen and his team.”

9-Hole Course of the Year – Sibley Golf & Country Club
Sibley Golf & Country Club has been named the IGA’s 2023 9-Hole Course of the Year.

Sibley G&CC is a hidden gem to many in a small town of 2,400 people.

The course not only has a strong schedule of competitive golf events throughout the season, including five tournaments that are hosted annually with local sponsorship adding to the prize fund, but the club also promotes and encourages junior, female, and senior golfers to take advantage of a variety of events and opportunities offered.

“I love the encouragement for kids to come out and learn the sport,” Lacey Julius said.

They also support the community by hosting several events annually that support local non-profit organizations.

“It’s a very impressive facility in such a small town,” Crystal Strouth said.

18-Hole Course of the Year – Rice Lake Golf & Country Club
Rice Lake Golf & Country Club has been named the IGA’s 2023 18-Hole Course of the Year.

Rice Lake Golf & Country Club offers so much, including a trio of experiencing its beauty, the challenges it offers, and the people who hold the course close to their hearts.

Situated between Rice Lake State Park, in Lake Mills, the course has great views of the lake and is adjacent to Iowa corn and bean fields. The golfing challenges come differently each day according to members, as the bent grass greens and irrigated fairways offer a great playing surface.

Future improvements, forward-thinking, and opportunities for income without infringing on the member’s ability to play regularly are the core missions of the facility.

Investment in the youth around the community can be seen at Rice Lake G&CC as well.

“Travis Laudner (PGA Professional) and the rest of the staff do a great job developing youth golfers,” member Craig Braget said. “Our summer program had over 40 signed up to continue to learn about the game of golf. This success coupled with our $69 youth membership to make it affordable has put a lot of fire in the belly of many (juniors).

PGA Pro of the Year – Scott Nugent, Ames Golf & CC
Scott Nugent, of Ames Golf & CC, is the IGA’s 2023 PGA Professional of the Year.

Scott Nugent’s enthusiasm for the game and, in particular, his support and encouragement of junior golfers, is evident as he goes about his duties on a day-to-day basis at Ames G&CC.

“Scott works tirelessly and supports not only the junior program, but the ladies and men’s league as well,” Gary Youngberg said. “He is open to suggestions and his door is always open to the membership. He is willing to listen to ideas from the various committees involved as well as individuals within the membership. AGCC and its membership are true benefactors to Scott’s employment with us.”

Many members commented that his attention to detail, desire to grow the same commitment to providing an exceptional experience, and willingness to tackle the ‘hard stuff’ set Nugent apart from many.

“He puts focus on the membership in many ways,” Kurt Matthewson said. “He has taken ownership of the clubhouse facilities and staff. He is professional, accessible friendly, and involved.”

Club Manager of the Year – Rheanne Kinney, Wakonda Club
Rheanne Kinney, of Wakonda Club, has been named the IGA’s 2023 Club Manager of the Year.

Kinney, in her fifth year as General Manager at Wakonda Club, has made immediate and outstanding impacts by managing the leadership team, overseeing finances, coordinating the Board of Directors, and much more. Kinney also serves as a liaison with the Principal Charity Classic.

“(Her) duties and dedication have no end and her passion for others and desire to see Wakonda grow are unmatched,” Aaron Krueger, PGA, Director of Golf, Wakonda Club said.

Communication during the course restoration at Wakonda Club and continued engagement have been priorities for Kinney, including weekly updates to the membership on the project and detailing different aspects of the full restoration.

“She pours so much into Wakonda Club,” Krueger said. “She supports Wakonda staff to get involved in their professional organizations and pursue continued education in their field.”

Wakonda Club member Melinda Ruperto also had high praise for Kinney.

“Her skill set has provided immensely valuable during this demanding year,” Ruperto said. “Rheanna is rare in her understanding of accounting and attention to financial detail in addition to the numerous responsibilities of a manager.”

NOTE – The IGA Annual Awards Banquet is scheduled for  Friday, December 8, at Terrace Hills Golf Course in Altoona. We will communicate a schedule of events to the public, including the price to attend very soon. 

McCoy, Palmer & Brooks earn 2023 Player of the Year honors

Nate McCoy has been named this year’s Iowa Golf Association Men’s Player of the Year for the third time in his career. McCoy, of Ankeny, finished as Player of the Year last season as well.

McCoy capped off his season in September at the U.S. Mid-Amateur, held at Sleepy Hollow Country Club and Fenway Golf Club, both in New York. McCoy began match play as the three-seed after terrific qualifying, and played his way into the Round of 16 where he eventually fell to 3 and 1 to Stewart Hagestad, of Newport Beach, CA. Hagestad went on to win the championship later that week.

On the Iowa circuit, McCoy consistently finished among the top of the leaderboard with nine top-ten finishes. In fact, McCoy never finished below the top-ten.

He qualified for the semifinal round of the 35th IGA Match Play Championship, held again at Talons Golf, Ankeny, where he lost to current Iowa State golfer Zach May 3&2.

Later, McCoy finished tied for seventh at the 121st Iowa Amateur Championship, this year held at Glen Oaks Country Club, West Des Moines. He carded a 1-under total of 212.

McCoy grabbed three top-five finishes: 2nd at the Lake Creek Amateur at BVU Lake Creek, Storm Lake, 4th at the Carroll Amateur at Carroll Country Club, Carroll, and 4th at the Iowa Masters at Veenker Memorial Golf Course, Ames.

He kicked off the year placing 9th at the IGA Mid-Amateur Championship at Geneva Golf and Country Club, Muscatine, and later in the season finished T10 at the Fort Dodge Amateur at Fort Dodge Country Club, Fort Dodge.

While McCoy’s season may feel underwhelming compared to his spectacular 2022 season, he nonetheless demonstrated his ability to perform throughout the year, placing above numerous wonderfully accomplished and talented competitors in the Player of the Year standings.

Joe Palmer claims his fourth career Iowa Golf Association Senior Men’s Player of the Year after a terrific summer. Palmer, of Norwalk, was recently the Senior Men’s Player of the Year in 2020 and 2021.

Palmer surged to the top of the Player of the Year standings in late August thanks to his run at the 68th U.S. Senior Amateur Championship at Martis Camp, CA. Seeded forty-five after qualifying, Palmer advanced through three rounds of match play into Quarterfinals. Palmer lost on the eighteenth hole, needing a birdie to force extra holes but carding a par. He joined Ankeny’s Curtis Holck as the farthest advancing competitors from Iowa in the championship.

Palmer began his season at Burlington Golf Club, Burlington, at the 27th IGA Four-Ball Championship, where he finished fourth with partner Terry Cook. He then finished quarterfinalist at the 21st IGA Senior Match Play Championship, held at Lake Panorama National Golf Course, Panora.

He found success at the 38th Iowa Mid-Amateur Championship, at Geneva Golf and Country Club, Muscatine, where he defeated Curtis Holck in a playoff to take home the title. Palmer fired a (+8) 221 through the three rounds.

Palmer then competed in the 35th IGA Match Play Championship at Talons Golf, Ankeny, where he played his way into the Round of 16. He headed to Ames for the 86th Iowa Masters, held at Veenker Memorial Golf course. There, he finished second in the Senior Division, firing a (-3) 213.

He finished his IGA play at the 74th Herman Sani Tournament, held at Hyperion Field Club, Johnston. Palmer finished T5 with a (+4) 220.

Palmer always seemed to be in contention, certainly never far behind, in every tournament this summer. He placed in the top-five in every stroke play event.

Bob Brooks has been named the Iowa Golf Association Super Senior Men’s Player of the Year, and for good reason. There was no stopping Bob Brooks this summer.

Brooks, of West Des Moines, won an unbelievable seven out of eleven individual stroke events this summer. However, he kicked off his season with the 27th IGA Four-Ball Championship at Burlington Golf Club, Burlington. Brooks, partnered with Fort Madison’s Jim Butler, won by twelve strokes over two rounds. They carded a (-12) 132.

He then advanced to the Semifinal round of the 21st IGA Senior Match Play at Lake Panorama National Golf Course, Panora. Brooks fell to one-seed Tom Norton in an eighteen-hole match.

In stroke play, large victory margins were Brooks’ specialty. He then traveled to Geneva Golf and Country Club, Muscatine for the 38th Iowa Mid-Amateur Championship. He won by nine strokes with a (+1) 214.

He then totaled a (+4) 148 at the Lake Creek Amateur held at BVU Lake Creek, Storm Lake. Brooks won by six strokes. Next, he played the Southeast Iowa Amateur at The Preserve at Lake Rathburn, Moravia. Brooks fired a (-10) 134 and won by seven strokes.

Brooks placed third at the Carroll Amateur, held at Carroll Country Club, Carroll. But he jumped right back on track at the Fort Dodge Amateur, held at Fort Dodge Country Club, Fort Dodge, where he won with a (-1) 70.

He continued his tear with a victory at the 86th Iowa Masters at Veenker Memorial Golf Course, Ames. Brooks’ (-2) 214 earned him a seven-stroke win. He then hopped across the state to the Waterloo Open where he again won with a (-3) 213. This time, by eighteen strokes.

Brooks finished T2 at the 74th Herman Sani Tournament at Hyperion Field Club, Johnston. He then placed third at the 45th Iowa Senior Amateur Championship at Dubuque Golf and Country Club, Dubuque.

It’s no surprise that Brooks won his final stroke event of the year. He pulled off another win at the Briarwood Amateur with a (-18) 126 total that netted him a thirteen-stroke lead. He then finished his season placing fifth at The Classic, held at Elmwood Country Club, Marshalltown. He scored sixty-two points over the two-round Modified Stableford tournament.

Brooks dominated the 2023 season and is well-deserving of his first Player of the Year honor.

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