Category: News

IGA welcomes four P.J. Boatwright Interns for 2024

From left – Max Nauman, Paige Hoffman, Charlie Gaer and Molly Baker.

New IGA interns ready for a summer of experience and fun  

Here at the new Golf House Iowa both Iowa Golf Association staff members and P.J. Boatwright interns are busy preparing for another busy schedule of tournaments. With the help of the P.J. Boatwright Interns the IGA is able to grow, improve, and excel each year. Each one of the IGA staff members know how vital these interns are to the success of the program because they were once P.J. Boatwright interns themselves. The IGA offers three internship positions: Communication and Marketing, Handicapping and Course Rating, and Championship Administration. In addition to the interns specific duties, these individuals will get first hand experience into the golf administration – such as day-to-day office duties, tournament prep, and a sense of responsibility.

Charlie Gaer, a Des Moines native is this year’s Communication and Marketing Intern. Charlie recently graduated from Central College with a degree in Communications and a minor in Business Management. He was also on Central’s Men’s Golf Team.

“Growing up in a family of golfers I have always loved the sport and wanted to pursue a career within the golf industry,” Gaer said. “I am excited to have the opportunity to learn and grow during my time at the IGA.”

Clint Brown, Director of Communication and Marketing commented he’s excited to get to work with Charlie this summer.

“I am looking forward to working with Charlie this summer,” Brown said. “We’ll be busy, but I want to make sure he has a great experience. I was an intern in his shoes once and it’s definitely an invaluable learning experience. Golf is still a game, but I know he’ll take a lot of pride in each task we give him.”

Max Nauman is from Peosta, and is this year’s Handicapping and Course Rating Intern. Max just finished up his junior year at Iowa State University, where he is majoring in Public Relations and minoring in Leadership Studies. Max played two years of golf at Hawkeye Community College before transferring to Iowa State University.

“Growing up my dad was the one who introduced me to the game of golf,” Nauman. “I have always loved competing against my others in my junior days and at the collegiate level. I am beyond excited for this opportunity with the IGA and am ready for the challenge ahead.” 

Nate McCoy, Director of Handicapping & Course Rating commented on having Max and the other interns a part of the IGA staff.

“I am really excited to work with Max and the other interns this season,” McCoy said. “I was an intern myself so I know what they are going through. I think Max will get a good dose of Course Rating, but will also get to experience a number of other things as well. As a staff we wear a lot of different hats, so having an extra hand is very helpful. I am looking forward to the summer season.”

Molly Baker, of Huntley, Illinois, joins the IGA staff this summer as the Championship Administration Intern. Molly just finished her junior year at Coe College, where she is majoring in Elementary Education and continues to play golf for Coe.

“I am wanting to pursue a career in the golf industry,” Baker said. “I am enthusiastic about the opportunities and connections I will have while interning for the Iowa Golf Association”. 

Karli Kerrigan, the Director of Competitions is excited to have Molly Interning at the IGA.

“I am looking forward to working with Molly and watching her grow in her golf administration career,” Kerrigan said. “She brings a lot of great experience to the IGA and I know she will be a great fit for us this summer.”

Paige Hoffman, of West Des Moines, returns to the IGA for her second year to continue working as the Golf House Intern. A well-known and talented golfer, Paige just finished up her junior year and collegiate golf career at Northwest Missouri State University. Paige is majoring in Data Science.

“I am excited to come back for my second year interning,” Hoffman said. “I am especially looking forward to working in the new Golf House Iowa and playing in the 100th Iowa Women’s Amateur.”

Katelynn Hogenson, Chief Operating Officer looks forward to having Paige return as an intern.

“We’re thrilled to have Paige back for another summer,” Hogenson said. “Her experience and enthusiasm are truly invaluable as she steps into a new internship role focusing on the use and development of Golf House Iowa. Not to mention, she aced the Rules of Golf exam, earning Expert Level certificate. We’re excited to have her skills showcased at our upcoming championships.”

Two Interns Participate in P.J. Boatwright Intern Summit

The P.J. Boatwright Intern Summit was held at the USGA campus in Liberty Corner, New Jersey, in May. A packed couple days was ahead for Molly and Max as the two of them would network, listen to informational skill presentations, and have fun competitions.

After arrival, Max and Molly had dinner with other Allied Golf Associations around the country and heard from a couple speakers before heading back to the hotel.

Throughout the next couple of days Max and Molly attended seminars such as championship administration, rules, handicapping and course ratings, and history regarding the USGA. Former P.J. Boatwright interns spoke to provide wisdom and insight into their current role within the USGA.

“It was an amazing experience to learn more about the USGA from a different perspective,” Nauman said. “I really enjoyed getting to meet other interns and staff. I will take the information I learned at the summit and apply it to interning with the IGA this summer.”

Molly said the experience was nothing short of amazing.

“It was great to learn about the USGA and what the organization does to further the game of golf. It will be exciting to what we learned play out in the field,” Baker said.

Max’s favorite part was connecting with the GHIN staff. 

“It was an enriching experience talking with staff from the USGA,” he said.

Molly’s highlights from the week included the overall experience at the USGA and all the food. 

“Stepping into the USGA was fascinating and all the food was delicious,” she said with a grin.

Smith wins 2024 Southeast Iowa Amateur

The Preserve on Rathbun Lake, home of the Southeast Iowa Amateur crowned a winner this past weekend. In the Open Division, a familiar name stood on top of the leaderboard; Grant Smith of (West Des Moines) held the lead after Saturday’s round with shooting a 67 (-5).

Not too far behind was Roman Roth (Wayland) shooting a 68 (-4), Kelly Brown (Marshalltown) shooting 70 (-2), and Jake Weissenburger who just won the Lake Creek Am carded a 71 (-1). Will Simpson (Pella) and Jack Winkel (Ankeny) were tied for fifth shooting an even par of 72. Entering into Sunday’s round it was anybody’s tournament.

Winkel would play steady and 71 (-1) and Simpson would move up the leaderboard and card an impressive bogey free 65 (-7). Smith and Roth would shoot a pair of 66 (-6), but Smith would stay on top and was crowned Champion. Followed by Roth runner-up and Simpson in third.

In the Senior Division there was a close race. In this six-man field after round one, Tony Newkirk (Des Moines) and Matt Steddom (State Center) both opened up with even rounds of 72. Followed by a tie for second with a pair of 77s (+5) by Troy Underhill and Jon Weeks (Slater). In solo third was Eric Jensen (Hedrick) shooting a 78 (+6).

Round two proved to be a battle till the end. Jensen shot a 78 (+8) sitting in third, while Newkirk and Steddom were going back and forth. In the end Newkirk’s birdie on #18 sealed the win shooting a 71 (-1). Steddom would finish in second, shooting an even round of 72.

Only two Super Seniors were in the field, but both Mark Urbanek (Hudson) and Bill Corrick (Fairfield) were not willing to give up. Urbanek opened with an 81 (+9) and Corrick an 83 (+11). Round two both Urbanek and Corrick played solidly. Corrick was making up ground and shot a 78 (+6), but Urbanek would end up staying victorious shooting a 79 (+7).

Weissenburger shoots 3-under to win Lake Creek Amateur

Jake Weissenburger putts for birdie on No. 16 during final-round play on Sunday at the Lake Creek Amateur at BVU Lake Creek in Storm Lake. Weissenburger defended his title by shooting 69-72.

An opening day 69 provided just enough cushion for Jake Weissenburger to hold off challenger Nate McCoy while defending his title in the Lake Creek Amateur played over the Memorial Day weekend at Buena Vista University Golf Course at Lake Creek Country Club in Storm Lake.

Weissenburger, of Clive, battled windy conditions on Saturday in opening with a 3-under par 69, good for a two-shot lead over McCoy, of Ankeny, and West Des Moines resident Grant Smith. Storm Laker Aaron Clausen, who won the 2022 Lake Creek Amateur, sat in fourth place at 1-over par after the opening round.

“I kept the ball in play and my putter got hot on Saturday,” said Weissenburger, 20. The sophomore to-be at Drake University opened play on Sunday with a birdie on the par-5 No. 1. Following a bogey on No. 3, he sank a 20-foot eagle putt to go to 5-under par. A bogey on the ninth hole was offset with a birdie on No. 12. He would three-put a pair of par threes, Nos. 15 and 17, but retained a one-stroke advantage heading into the final hole.

“I had a pretty good idea where I was at, and I just kept trying to make good swings,” he said.

McCoy birdied 16, then got up-and-down on a short-side miss on the par 3 17th hole. With Weissenburger’s three-putt, he knew he had a chance.

But when Weissenburger’s approach came to rest 15 feet left of the pin on the final hole, McCoy knew he faced a must-make putt from the edge of the green. His attempt came up a couple of inches away.

“It started dying at the hole, but came up just a few inches short,” said McCoy, the 2023 Lake Creek Amateur runner-up and 3-time IGA Men’s Player of the Year. “I knew Jake wasn’t going to three-putt from where he was on the green.”

Smith and Clausen each carded 73s on the final day to capture third and fourth place, respectively. All told, 89 players from around the Midwest descended upon the layout deemed the Iowa Golf Association’s 18-Hole Course of the Year in 2021. The windy conditions gave way to sunshine and light breezes on Sunday. 

“It was great to play with those guys on Sunday, all of them great guys and competitors,” said Weissenburger. “The course was in great condition, although the wind made it challenging. The greens kept rolling very well.”

“As player, it’s hard to believe Lake Creek had any flooding this spring,” McCoy added. “The greens still rolled great.”

“It’s a tip of the cap to Grounds Crew Manager Keith Carter and his staff in readying the course while battling wet-weather conditions the last several weeks,” said David Boles, BVU Lake Creek General Manager and Golf Professional. “Players throughout the weekend commented on the great condition of the course. We are grateful that nearly 90 players in three divisions either visited the Lake Creek Am for the first time or returned to compete in this IGA points event. We’re also thankful for Chad Pitts, and the rest of the IGA staff for the work and support they offered in helping us host ‘The Am,’ a Lake Creek tradition dating back to 1973.”

In Senior Division play, Ankeny’s Bill Matzdorff edged Kirk Macumber, of Winterset, on the opening playoff hole for the title. Both men shot 72-71 on the weekend, good for a 1-under par total. Defending champion Bret Taylor, of Booneville, and Ron Peterson, of Urbandale, were one shot back at even par.

Joel Yunek, of Mason City, bettered defending champion Bob Brooks, of West Des Moines, in the Super Senior Division for those age 65 and up. Yunek and Brooks, the reigning IGA Super Senior Men’s Player of the Year, finished the two-day event at five-over, bettering Tom Schill, of Gowrie, and Jeff Opheim, of Austin, Texas, who took third and fourth place, respectively.

Click here for full results

‘Up and Down’ the Iowa Golf Scene – Living the Dream

The 2024 rules officials pose with Augusta National members during the 2024 Augusta National Women’s Amateur. Katelynn is in the second row, third from left.

Following the Rules Leads Katelynn Hogenson Down a Path Through Magnolia Lane

You might say the Iowa Golf Association’s Katelynn Hogenson was born to follow the rules. The oldest of three daughters of Terry and Theresa Hogenson of Muscatine, Katelynn describes herself as a “a typical first-born rule follower” who became the pacesetter for younger sisters Ashley and Morgan while growing up in a busy household full of activities and sporting events.

A predisposition for structure, problem-solving and law-and-order has served Hogenson well along on a trail leading to her current role as the Chief Operating Officer for the Iowa Golf Association – and as an expert rule official where she has worked literally hundreds of competitions on all stages over her 13-year career.

The list includes a dozen USGA Championships, the 2022 Curtis Cup at Merion, the junior Solheim Cup held in Des Moines in 2017, and untold state, collegiate and regional competitions. But none were bigger than her most recent assignment – the Augusta National Women’s Amateur, where Katelynn was among 20 rules officials from across the globe invited to work the championship staged on the world’s grandest stage – Augusta National. Hogenson received the prestigious invitation to work alongside rules officials from the United States Golf Association, the R & A and select state golf associations to form the rules committee to work the tournament.

“It feels like I just came back from the greatest golf course in the world,” Hogenson told Up and Down the Iowa Golf Scene during a recent interview. “Everything at Augusta National is absolutely perfect, detailed to the max, with nothing out of order. My experience was absolutely what every golfer would dream about – basically having full access to Augusta National. I cannot imagine any golf experience to top this.”

Katelynn Hogenson is all smiles as she takes a break from her recent role as a rules official for the Augusta National Women’s Amateur, including the final round at Augusta National.

The day starts early for rules officials, so her initial trip down Magnolia Lane took place at 5:30 in the morning and in the dark. The group then walked the course to get a feel for the layout and anticipate any rule situations they may encounter. Hogenson was assigned to the par-3 fourth hole, and although she did not have any rulings during the final round, the experience of being at Augusta National was one for the ages.

“We had the opportunity to walk across the Hogan Bridge on hole 12 and stand on the 13th tee during the practice round, something that only players, officials and members can do, and had access to virtually all areas of the course and grounds,” she said. “You get a feel for how small and contoured the greens are compared to what they look like on television, the depth of the bunkers and the severe elevation changes throughout the course. And you get an appreciation of how skilled the players are, some of the hole locations are set in areas where it is nearly impossible to keep the ball on the green.”

Formed in 2018, The Augusta National Women’s Amateur was established to inspire greater interest and participation in the women’s game by creating a new, exciting and rewarding pathway for players to fulfill their dreams. An international field of 72 players is based upon playing criteria and golfers play 36 holes at Champions Retreat Golf Club in Evans, with the top 30 and ties qualifying for the final round at Augusta National. All players, however, are allowed to play a practice round at Augusta National. This year’s champion, Lotte Woad of England, fired a 54-hole total of 208.

A four-sport athlete at Muscatine High School, Hogenson was introduced to golf at an early age by her father. She learned the game by playing one of Iowa’s 9-hole courses, the West Liberty Golf and Country Club, and competed in numerous junior tournaments. Hogenson didn’t really start blooming as a golfer until her sophomore campaign. Softball was front and center, with volleyball and basketball also in the mix.

“I really enjoyed team sports but what drew me to golf was that the game is on your shoulders,” she said “You alone are responsible for your performance, and you generally get out of the game what you put in.”

Katelynn poses with LPGA Hall of Famer Annika Sorenstam during the 2017 Solheim Cup staged at Des Moines Golf and Country Club.

Hogenson qualified for the state tournament for three seasons, earning second-team all-state honors in her junior and senior seasons. She led the Muscatine girls golf team to back-to-back appearances in the state tournament, and with her sister Ashley being part of the 2007 squad. That attracted the attention of Iowa State Coach Christie Martens and Hogenson played four seasons for the Cyclones, competing in the starting rotation as well as an individual. Her playing credentials also include qualifying for two USGA championships – the 2010 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links contested at Warren Golf Course at the University of Notre Dame and the 2014 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur plated at Harbour Trees Golf Club in Noblesville, ID., Monday qualifying for a Futures Tour (now Symetra Tour) event and placing fourth in the Iowa Women’s Amateur.

While a collegian, Hogenson landed a summer internship with the former Iowa Women’s Golf Association (now merged with the Iowa Golf Association) and later earned a P.J. Boatright Internship with the IGA. After a nine-month stint, she joined the IGA as a full-time staff member in 2012 and has served in all areas of the organization, managing tournaments, Course Rating and handicapping, member services, director of operations and her current role as Chief Operating Officer.

Early in her IGA tenure, Hogenson became interested in rules, motivated by staff members Chad Pitts (now the IGA Executive Director) and Jason Bjorkland, who attained expert ratings and worked many USGA events. “I developed a curiosity about the rules during my time as an intern,” Hogenson said. She attended PGA and USGA rules workshops and aced the rules examination at the expert level.

“There’s a misconception that rules are always there to penalize the player,” she said. “It’s not like referees in football and basketball. We see ourselves (rules officials) in supportive roles for the players.”

As her golf rules resume continues to flourish, Hogenson looks forward to earning future opportunities to work prestigious championships.

“I’ve got my foot in the door and have made many connections. And I would sure like to get back to Augusta National.

The Muscatine Muskies golf team are shown getting ready for the 2007 Iowa Girls High School state golf tournament. Sisters Katelynn and Ashley (third from right and far right) competed with younger sister Morgan (front) forming the cheering section.

“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
Love of the Game, Service to Others Propel Charlie Taylor to IGA’s 2023 George Turner Award
The Calling Card for Ottumwa’s Matthew Walker in Quest to Reach Golf’s Highest Level

Inaugural Iowa Adaptive Open set for 2025

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Iowa Golf Association Announces Updates to Player of the Year System

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Featuring 100 Women – Iowa Golf Hall of Fame member Corkey Nydle passes away

Celebrating the Life of Corkey Nydle

Corkey Nydle was 24 years old when she won her first Iowa Women’s Amateur golf title in 1953 at Elmcrest Country Club in Cedar Rapids.
She beat the legendary Ann Casey Johnstone, her college advisor at Stephens College in Columbia, Mo., in the title match.

“She was a mature girl even when she came to Stephens College,” Johnstone once reflected. “I’ve had hundreds of girls who were wishy-washy and didn’t know what day it was. She did. She set good goals, and she’ll achieve them.”

Nydle, who passed away Saturday (March 16) at 94 years of age, lived up to Johnstone’s sage words. Corkey leaves behind a legacy that will live forever in the history of women’s golf in Iowa. Her career was so impressive that she was a member of the inaugural Iowa Golf Hall of Fame class in 1989.

Nydle’s 1953 Iowa Women’s Amateur title came at Johnstone’s expense. Ann would go on to win an unprecedented sixth title in 1959. Corkey caught her when she won her sixth title in 1972. That 1953 victory was at the top of the list.

“I think that’s probably the greatest (victory) because I beat the person who I had looked up to as far as golf was concerned,” Nydle reflected in 1994.

Corkey won 23 Iowa Women’s Golf Association-sponsored titles during her career. In addition to six Iowa Women’s Amateur crowns, she won 11 Iowa Senior Amateur titles. That included eight straight from 1983 to 1991. She won five Forever 39 titles and also helped Ellis Park (Cedar Rapids) win five state team titles.

Corkey was instrumental in the development of women’s golf in Iowa for the better part of 50 years. She had a special passion for promoting junior golf in the state. Nydle served on the IWGA’s board of directors for more than 30 years and also served a term on the USGA Junior Girls’ committee.
Corkey played in her first Iowa Women’s Amateur in 1946 at Hyperion. She would tee it up in the championship 46 times, including a string of 25 appearances in a row. That streak ended in 1983 back at Elmcrest, where Corkey had defeated her mentor 30 years earlier. Nydle was overcome by the heat on the final nine in 1983 and couldn’t finish.

Nydle’s brilliant career was fueled by an unsinkable spirit and a burning desire to compete. Corkey would take along a notebook and jot down notes about the course as she played it. She’d add to that notebook every time she returned to the course. Her notes included diagrams of every hole.

Corky was also blessed with a wealth of self-deprecating humor.

“People don’t know what to expect from me because I don’t know what to expect,” she once said.

She compared her longevity to an old penny.

“We never go away,” she said.

She was animated on the golf course, but never let a bad shot get the best of her.

“I enjoy the game,” she said. “When you hit a bad shot you can’t do anything about it. Why get mad?”

She was born Corinne Major in Ottumwa. She was named for her mother. She loved to swim as a kid, which played a role in her nickname.

“I guess I swam a lot and people said I floated like a cork,” she explained.

She had an impeccable short game, which she rode to that 1953 state title over Johnstone. They were tied halfway through the 36-hole final, but Corkey won the first two holes of the second round and never trailed again. She got up-and-down for par on five of the first six holes of that second round and eventually won the match, 4 and 3. It was the only loss Johnstone, elected to the Iowa Golf Hall of Fame in 1990, had in her final 20 Iowa Women’s Amateur matches.

Corkey went a decade before collecting her second Iowa Women’s Amateur title, in 1963 at Dodge Park in Council Bluffs. The championship had converted from match to medal play by then. She won by 14 shots.

She also won in 1965 at the Wakonda Club in Des Moines and 1968 at Spencer Golf and Country Club.

Her career nearly came to a premature end in 1969, when doctors told Nydle she was going to lose a hand because of radiation poisoning.

“They said within five years my hand would be completely clawed and it would have to be removed,” she said. “I said, “You’re a bunch of crackpots.’ ”

Corky started to squeeze a rubber ball to improve strength in her arm. She also built up the grips on her clubs to make it easier on her damaged hand. And she kept winning.

She added Iowa Women’s Amateur titles in 1970 at Dubuque Golf and Country Club and 1972 at Crow Valley Golf Club in Bettendorf. She matched Johnstone’s six titles by winning over three decades.

After moving to Florida in 2003, Nydle won 12 consecutive medals in the Florida Senior Games.

“I had no lessons and I’ve got a lot of bad habits,” Nydle said in 1983. “I learned my own game. I’m not a picturebook golfer – I don’t always do what I’m supposed to do. My philosophy of the game is that it’s not how many good shots you hit, but how many bad/good shots (bad shots that turn out good) that you hit.”

Her love for golf never left her.

“See that ground there,” she said during a 1997 interview, pointing to the turf. “When I’m under it, that’s when I’ll quit playing.”


Next Week on Women’s Wednesday…

Three’s Company: Iowa Women’s Amateur champions that captured the title three or more times in their career.

‘Up and Down’ the Iowa Golf Scene – Bouncing Back

Matthew Walker, with his mother, Camilla, off of South Beach in Miami. Camilla Walker has been with Matthew through every step of his health journey, including the donation of one her her a life-sustaining kidneys during a transplant in the spring of 2022.

The Calling Card for Ottumwa’s Matthew Walker in Quest to Reach Golf’s Highest Level

Golf immortal Bobby Jones famously coined the phrase “Golf is the closest game to the game we call life. You get bad breaks from good shots; you get good breaks from bad shots – but you have to play the ball where it lies.”

Professional golfer Matthew Walker has already experienced more of life’s bad breaks than most do in a lifetime, yet he continues to play the ball where it lies as he pushes forward to fulfill a lifelong dream – to reach the PGA Tour.

Matthew Walker captured the 2019 Iowa Open in a playoff, shortly after graduating from the University of Iowa and turning professional.

The 26-year-old Ottumwa native and University of Iowa graduate heads to Latin America this spring to compete on the PGA Tour Americas, a merger between two former PGA developmental tours based in Latin America and Canada. The schedule features 16 events and $225,000 purses where the Top 10 finishers on the money list earn exemptions on the 2025 Korn Ferry Tour.

Now in his fifth season as a professional, Walker has made steady progress on his climb toward the game’s pinnacle, grinding through mini-tours, state-opens, pro-amateur events and Korn Ferry Tour qualifying. Last fall, he fired and 14-under par 270 to capture the Korn Ferry first stage qualifying event contested at the University of New Mexico’s championship course. He finished a few shots shy of advancing past the second stage and to the Korn Ferry finals, but his first stage victory earned him playing status on this season’s PGA Tour Americas.

“Everybody out here who plays the game for a living can bomb the driver and can hit great iron shots,” Walker said recently during a telephone interview with Up and Down the Iowa Golf Scene. “What makes the difference is the ability to get the ball in the hole, take advantage of the Par 5’s, minimize mistakes and being strong mentally.”

As he continues to sharpen his game, the 2019 Iowa Open champion is focusing on course management and the mental aspect as the margins among players become smaller and smaller at higher levels.

“You have to manage your bad rounds to come out around par and not shoot yourself out of contention,” he remarked. “You cannot give away shots and stay competitive. And you have to be comfortable at staying aggressive when getting it way under par because you have to be way under for high finishes.”

Matthew Walker is all smiles after capturing the Wigwam Championship on the Golden State Tour in January of 2020, just prior to the pandemic putting a hold on his PGA Tour aspirations.

Life tossed its initial curveball at Walker when he was a toddler. At 18 months, he was diagnosed with a Wilms Tumor on his left kidney, a childhood cancer that strikes one in 10,000 youngsters. Eight surgeries, nine months of chemotherapy and six radiation treatments followed, including the removal of his kidney. He gradually gained strength and function. At age five, his father, Bill, introduced Matthew to golf and he was soon hooked. With his father as the teacher and mentor, Walker improved rapidly playing the Cedar Creek Golf Course in Ottumwa. By the age of ten, Walker started competing in Iowa PGA Section and Iowa Golf Association junior events and eventually earned Player of the Year honors.

As a prep, Walker starred at the tradition-rich Ottumwa High School, where the Bulldogs have captured 11 state golf tournament titles and seven runner-up finishes. He was a four-time first-team all-state selection and captured a pair of Class 4A state individual championships, the first as a sophomore in the 2012-13 season and the second as a senior in the 2014-2015 campaign. He shot identical 36-hole totals of 141 to claim the titles, and both events were played at the Tournament Club of Iowa. Walker nearly made it three championships as he lost a playoff to Ankeny Centennial’s Griffin Matthias during his junior season. In addition to the state title, Walker captured medalist honors at all 12 meets as a senior.

Due to his decorated high school and junior golf career, Walker had several options to play college golf, including the University of Arizona and the University of Illinois, but he followed his heart to the University of Iowa. As a Hawkeye, Walker starred for Coach Tyler Stith’s program for four years, including being named to the Ping All-Midwest Regional team, a tie for sixth at the Big Ten championships, co-medalist at the Hawkeye Invitational and posting a career stroke average of 73.09 over 122 rounds.

It was during Walker’s junior season at Iowa when life hurled another major setback. His father, Bill, collapsed while working out on the treadmill at home and passed away in January of 2018 at the age of 61. Bill Walker had been Matthew’s mentor, coach, best friend and had walked the fairways at virtually all of his golf tournaments to lend his support.

“Dad’s passing taught me about perspective and priorities and that golf is really just a game,” Walker said. “I miss him dearly and carry his legacy with me.”

Midway through his senior season at Iowa, Walker began experiencing some back pain. As it gradually worsened, he suspected it might be related to his childhood kidney issues as it forced him to miss a handful of events. His lone kidney typically functioned at 70 percent, and then it was rated at 40 percent. Keeping a watchful eye on his health, Walker graduated from Iowa with a degree in business administration, turned professional and began his pursuit of playing the PGA Tour.

He roared out of the blocks quickly, capturing the 2019 Iowa Open at Blue Top Ridge by firing a 13-under-par 203 and defeating Gavin Hall of Palm Beach Gardens, FL in a playoff. A few months later, Walker broke through on the Golden State Tour by winning the Wigwam Championship in a 3-way playoff, birdieing four of the final five holes and pocketing the $11,000 winner’s check.

Bill and Camillia Walker have been Mathew’s biggest supporters. Bill Walker passed away unexpectedly in 2018.

Just as his pro career was taking flight, life’s bad breaks resurfaced. First, the pandemic year of 2020 limited playing opportunities while regular checkups indicated Walker’s lone kidney was continuing to lose effectiveness. Then in September of that year, Walker collapsed during a practice session while on the range back home at the Ottumwa Country Club. An MRI revealed the source of his lingering back pain; he had a walnut-sized benign tumor on his T11 vertebrae. The tumor was removed during a successful procedure at the University of Iowa Hospitals, followed by a several month recovery process.

And recover he did during the 2021 year, highlighted by capturing the Nebraska Open in record fashion, firing a 54-hole total of 195, including a sizzling ten-under par 61 in the opening round. Walker joined fellow Iowan Ken Schall as the only players to capture both the Iowa and Nebraska Opens. Even more remarkable was the fact that Walker claimed the title with his lone kidney functioning at 19 percent capacity, barely above the cut line for needing dialysis.

In January of 2022, back in Arizona and again gaining momentum in his professional golf career, Walker once again faced a roadblock. His Whoop band indicated a resting heart rate at 90 beats per minute as the clock had run out on his lone kidney. He immediately began life-saving dialysis in Arizona, then shortly thereafter flew back to Iowa and began a three day per week dialysis regimen at Ottumwa Regional Hospital. His mother, Camilla Walker, a retired mathematics teacher at Indian Hills Community College, had long planned to become Matthew’s kidney donor, should he need it.

The time was now, and the five-hour transplant surgery took place at The Mayo Clinic in March of 2022. The procedure was successful, and by summer Matthew had resumed his playing career. In his first outing back from kidney transplant, the Albia, IA Pro-Am, Walker shot 11-under and resumed chasing his dream.

Through all the hardship and side effects, which include taking eight anti-rejection medications twice daily, Walker remains upbeat. He is ready to pursue playing opportunities on the PGA Tour Americas and beyond.

“I see many guys out here who are finished for the day after one or two bad shots,” he said. “I’ve learned that you have to be resilient, fight through adversity, and keep going. Professional golf can drag you to places you do not want to be, should you let it. I’m not going to let a bad round, or a bad break, whether on or off the course, keep me from pursuing my dreams.”

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

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, Michael 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

Michael 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.

Scroll to top