Category: News

IGA member courses beginning to open

The following IGA Member Courses have communicated they either are or will be open:

-AH Blank Golf Course (Des Moines) – Currently open
-Amana Colonies Golf Club (Amana) – Hope to open Friday, March 31, at the latest, hopefully sooner if conditions firm up.
-Bright Grandview Golf Course (Des Moines) – Currently open
-Buena Vista University Golf Course at Lake Creek (Storm Lake) – Goal as of right now is to be open April 1, walking only until April 8.
-Cedar Creek Golf Course (Ottumwa) – Open with carts, greens have been mowed twice. Spring Rates ($22.00 pp includes 1/2 cart) will prevail until April 1.
-Coldwater Golf Link (Ames) – Plan to open April 1.
-Copper Creek Golf Course (Pleasant Hill) – Plan to open Wednesday, March 22. Tee times will range from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. for the time being. Course will remain open as weather permits. Additionally instructions such as cart path only and 90 degree rule will be provided for golfers at check in.
Finkbine Golf Course (Iowa City) – Plans to open Friday, March 24.
-Gardner Golf Course (Cedar Rapids) – Opens Wednesday, March 22. Tee times available, carts limited.
-Griswold Golf & CC (Griswold) – Planning to open March 29.
-Harvest Point Golf Course (Oskaloosa) – Open with carts available for rent. Will be open for the remainder of the season. Tee times are always recommended as they work with lots of high school and college teams. Please call before traveling – 641-673-5120.
-Highland Park Golf Course (Mason City) – Planning on opening the March 31, depending on weather of course. Tee times all 7 days of the week and currently 8 a.m., to sunset are our hours of operation
-Jester Park Golf Course (Granger) – Currently open
-Prairie Links (Waverly) – Will be opening on Wednesday, March 22, at 11 a.m. The plan is to be open everyday, weather permitting. Greens fee with cart is $40 through April 14. Tee times are available at or by calling 319-242-7675.
River Valley Golf Course (Adel) – Planning on opening March 30, weather permitting. Discounted rates will be utilized through April.
-Sandburr Run (Thomson, IL) – Currently open – 7 a.m. to dark
-Terrace Hills Golf Course (Altoona) – Currently open
-The Legacy Golf Club (Norwalk) – Currently open and hope to stay open indefinitely. Shoulder Season Rates are in effect through Thursday, April 6. Reservations can be made online. Carts are currently restricted to the paths only. The driving range is currently not open, but hoping it will be soon.
-Tournament Club of Iowa (Polk City) – Hope to open Friday, March 31, at the latest, hopefully sooner if conditions firm up.
-Twin Pine Golf Course (Cedar Rapids) – Opens Tuesday, March 21. Tee times available, carts limited.
-Valley Oaks Golf Course (Clinton) – Open with carts. Spring rates apply – No tee times til April.
-Veenker Memorial Golf Course (Ames) – Will be opening for the season starting this Friday, March 24.
-Wandering Creek Golf Club (Marshalltown) – Opening March 22, at 11 a.m. with carts
-Waveland Golf Course (Des Moines) – Currently open
-Westwood Golf Course (Newton) – Currently open

** Note – Private Clubs are not listed **

Click here for more information on all of our member courses.

Be sure to check back for updates to this list!

Feel free to email [email protected] with
updates to your course/facility opening this year!

‘Up and Down’ the Iowa Golf Scene – Pettersen sets sights high

Bella Pettersen Overcomes Adversity on Her Way to the Summit of Girls Golf in Iowa

Bella was all smiles after capturing the Iowa Junior Girls 2022 Championship by 11 strokes.

For North Liberty golfer extraordinaire Bella Pettersen (right), the challenges of playing at a high-level begin far before she reaches the golf course. The 2022 Iowa Golf Association Junior Girls Player of the Year is afflicted with a rare condition called juvenile enthesitis arthritis.

The disease, which first struck the 17-year-old in middle school, causes inflammation of joints which leads to pain, swelling, stiffness and loss of motion in the areas where tendons and ligaments connect to bone.

“The condition affects your walking, sitting and standing, and that’s before you try to swing a golf club,” said Pettersen, during a recent telephone interview with Up and Down the Iowa Golf Scene.

“I’ve tried just about everything – from taking three baths a day, to every medication possible, cortisone shots, using a trainer, to even a chemotherapy drug used by cancer patients,” she said.

Pettersen is currently taking an infusion to provide some relief to the condition that impacts her ability to practice or even walk the golf course. Later this year, Pettersen is scheduled for a special surgical procedure on her hips that is being counted on to alleviate the chronic condition and allow full pursuit of future golf dreams.Physical ailments aside, Pettersen is focused this spring on setting new goals and achieving new heights to add to an already well decorated golf resume. Two years ago, Bella burst onto the Iowa girls prep golf scene when the Mike and Debbie Pettersen family relocated to North Liberty from Fountain Hills, AZ. As a freshman at Iowa City Liberty, she won nearly every event, earned Mississippi Valley Conference player of the year honors and qualified for the Class 4A state tournament at Otter Creek in Ankeny, where a pair of 71’s parlayed into a third-place finish in the medalist standings. Last spring, she was equally dominating, repeating as conference player of the year and shot a 36-hole score of 149 to again finish third in the state meet medalist race.

“I love winning,” said Pettersen, who was introduced to the game by her older sister, Madasyn and started playing golf at age three.

She played in her first tournament, the Girls Classic in Rockford, IL, before she reached the age of five. That tournament, a four-hole event, would be the launch of a junior golf career that has spanned three states and competition at the local, state, regional and national levels. The well-seasoned high school prep has competed and won titles sponsored by the Illinois Junior Golf Association, Junior Golf Association of Arizona, Iowa PGA Section and the Iowa Golf Association. But her biggest thrill to date came last summer at the American Junior Golf Association’s (AJGA) Bass Pro Shops/Payne Stewart Junior Championship played at Buffalo Ridge Golf Course in Hollister, MO. Pettersen fired a 72 to win the qualifier and gain entry into the tournament, where rounds of 76-75-70 gave her a 54-hole of 221 and earned a fourth-place finish on a national stage.

“It was a great thrill to play so well in such a big event,” said Pettersen, who noted that her arthritis was kept in check to play four straight days of competition on a challenging course.

That tournament capped off a remarkable 2022 season for Pettersen, whose standout performance earned her the Iowa Golf Association’s Girls’ Player of the Year honors. Bella captured the Iowa Junior Girls’ Amateur championship in runaway fashion with an 11-stroke victory by shooting a 54-hole total of 223 at Finkbine Golf Course in Iowa City. She teamed up with Addison Berg of Swisher to capture the IGA’s Four-Ball title in dominating fashion at Veenker in Ames. Pettersen also finished third in the Iowa Girls’ Junior PGA tournament and seventh in the Iowa Women’s Amateur.

Sisters Madasyn and Bella Pettersen have both battled Juvenile Arthritis throughout their golf careers.

“I’m competitive by nature,” said Bella, who combines hard work, grit, determination and desire as attributes to fuel her performance on the course and as she battles her condition. “I’m driven to succeed but have to balance my health with my golf. I can’t beat balls on the range like other players but that’s allowed me to put tons of work on my short game. “

Bella also draws inspiration from her older sister, Madasyn, whose promising golf career was cut short by a similar arthritis condition. Madasyn was a junior girls’ golf prodigy in Illinois, becoming the youngest player to win the Illinois Women’s Open in 2015 at age 15. She also became the youngest player to qualify for that tournament at age 10, holds the record for most Illinois Junior Golf Association championships with 15 and at one time was ranked 50th worldwide as a junior player. As her condition worsened, Madasyn’s Division I golf career was curtailed. Today, she is a process engineer for the Iowa City-based pulp and paper manufacturer Loparex.

Looking ahead to the 2023 season, Bella has higher aspirations.

“I exceeded all of my goals in 2022 and will be setting them higher this year,” she said.

Looking down the road further, Bella would like to play Division I golf and a dream goal would be playing professionally. For now, she’s enjoying high school, taking college-level courses at Kirkwood Community College, working part-time at Plato’s Closet in Coralville and plans for a career as an anesthesiologist. She also offers the following advice for those who are battling disabilities and other conditions.

“You have to learn that it’s ok not to be ok,” she said. “Find something you love, work hard and stay with it. You can still do amazing things.”

North Liberty’s Bella Pettersen burst upon the Iowa Girls Golf scene in 2021 and is now setting higher goals after being named the IGA’s Girls Player of the Year in 2022.

“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

IGA Course Rater Jane Suiter passes away

The Iowa Golf Association was informed that volunteer IGA Course Rater and tournament player Jane Suiter passed away on Tuesday, January 24.

Jane was born on June 21, 1948, in Waterloo, Iowa, the daughter of Alfred and Luella (Austin) Schneider. She was a 1966 graduate of Don Bosco High School in Gilbertville, Iowa, and went on to receive her bachelor’s degree from Briar Cliff College in Sioux City, Iowa, and master’s degree from Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Jane enjoyed playing golf, and even had a hole-in-one at St. Andrews Golf Course on Sept. 7, 2021. Suiter volunteered as a Course Rater for the IGA for several years.

Family will greet friends and family from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 1, at Murdoch Funeral Home & Cremation Service in Marion. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 2, at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Marion.

Click here to read Suiter’s full obituary

Iowa Golf Hall of Fame Class of 2023 announced

The Iowa Golf Hall of Fame will add four members in 2023, bringing the total number in the Hall of Fame to 96. Those four include Joe Palmer, Jim Curell, Doug Dunakey and Kevin Beard. Read more about each inductee below.

Joe Palmer

A fierce competitor and unmatched drive to win are two ways of describing Joe Palmer, of Norwalk.

“Joe has been and continues to be one of the best competitors within the game of golf I have ever seen in the state of Iowa,” Jon Olson, owner of 13 IGA Point Event victories, said of Palmer. “His attitude, desire and perseverance in any round he competes is truly inspiring. He has made myself – and anyone who is attentive to his game – a better player; Joe simply never gives up.”

Palmer’s record speaks for itself.  He is a winner of four ‘Open Division’ IGA point events, which includes the 2004 IGA Four-Ball, 2004 Iowa Mid-Amateur and a pair of IGA Match Play titles, his second coming in a remarkable run in 2021 to win the event as a Senior.

Palmer’s dominance on the course really took off when he turned 50 – collecting  27 victories within the Senior Division, which includes five IGA Senior Match Play victories and four Iowa Senior Amateur wins. Palmer also has three Senior Division wins each in the Iowa Mid-Amateur, IGA Four-Ball, Herman Sani Tournament, Fort Dodge Amateur, Iowa Open, and Iowa Masters.

“Joe has been a stalwart on the Iowa Amateur golf scene for decades and has the game that just keeps getting better over time, a rare feat for most accomplished players,” Iowa Golf Hall of Fame member Ken Schall said. “Joe is still competitive among the younger competitors around the state, as evidenced by winning the IGA Match Play and the Iowa Senior Match Play title (his 5th) in the same year.  His ball striking ability would compare to nearly any senior player, even at the highest level, professional or amateur.”

Palmer has also competed in six USGA Championships and looks to add to that number in the future.

Jim Curell

Jim Curell, affectionately known as ‘The Legend’, was a household name on the Iowa golf scene for over 50 years.

Curell, of Boone, who passed away in April of 2020, was described by Iowa Golf Hall of Fame member Rick Brown as being a gentleman golfer in the truest sense of the word.  

He had a homemade swing that produced outstanding results.  He was  a three-time winner of the Lake Creek Amateur (1979, 1981, 1999), twice a champion at the Northwest Amateur (1982, 1988) and low amateur at the Iowa Open (1992). Curell also was victorious at the 1980 Tournament of Champions and 1987 Iowa Mid-Amateur. Curell earned IGA Player of the Year honors in 1979.

Once Curell graduated to the Senior Division, he was still a force to be reckoned with – winning the 2005 IGA Four-Ball Senior Division with partner Bruce Gervais, 2011 Senior Match Play and was the 2014 Iowa Masters Senior Division champion. Curell was the IGA Senior Player of the Year in 2010 & 2011 and twice qualified for the U.S. Senior Amateur (2010, 2011). Curell made an astonishing 18 career hole in ones, including one to end a match against Iowa Golf Hall of Fame member Jon Brown in the 2008 IGA Match Play Championship at Lake Panorama.

“For over four decades he set the standard on how to play the game both as a competitor and a gentleman,” Iowa Golf Hall of Fame member Dave Sergeant said.

In addition to his wonderful playing record, Curell gave back to the game that had given him so much.  Upon his retirement from Redeker’s Furniture in Boone, he began helping maintain the grounds at his home course, Honey Creek.  He also served in a volunteer capacity on the committee that administers the Iowa Masters at Veenker each year.

“He will be missed, but never forgotten,” Sergeant said.

Doug Dunakey

Doug Dunakey, originally from Waterloo, began turning heads on the golf course at an early age.  One of the first came at his hometown’s biggest event.

Dunakey, then 13 years-old, opened with a first round 69 at the Waterloo Open which earned him a final round pairing with former Masters champion Bob Goalby. Following wins at the Iowa Junior Amateur (1981), IGA Match Play (1985) and Iowa Amateur (1987) Dunakey turned professional and eventually made his way onto the PGA Tour.

Dunakey made 96 starts on the PGA Tour, including a third place finish at the 1999 Honda Classic and three top 10’s. He also made 72 starts on the (then) Nike Tour, which included a win at the 1998 Nike Cleveland Open.  That win came one week after shooting 59 in the Nike Miami Valley Open.

Dunakey, who was a three-time All-American and team National Champion at California State University-Stanislaus, is remembered by many who grew up with him or played against him over the years as a great competitor.

“At a young age, he was a competitor that just hit his next shot without any dramatics – just getting the ball in the hole in as few strokes as possible for that day,” IGA Board Member Tom Christensen said. “He cared about the game and those that he played with.”

Kevin Beard

Ankeny’s Kevin Beard not only was a familiar face at Otter Creek Golf Course (1990-2017) and Ankeny Country Club (1991-1993) for over 25 years, Beard also helped shape countless junior golfers into some of the state’s best.

Beard’s ‘Operation State Champ’ program for junior golfers began in 1997 and was designed to improve the performance of golfers in the area to the point that they would be able to qualify and compete for a state championship. The program involved both summer and winter golf activities, with indoor practice throughout the winter as the biggest change in their practice routine.

The ‘Winter Program’ started with 12 players, all from Ankeny, housed in the old clubhouse at Otter Creek GC. Within three years word had spread and the program had over 60 juniors from numerous high schools and junior highs across central Iowa.

The program had to move to a bigger building as the demand grew. Beard then transformed an old fire station that would become home to the program for the next 10 years. Within a few more years, the number of students grew to over 200 in the winter, with the summer junior program introducing golf to nearly 300 kids each year. At one point a total of 28 schools were represented from as far away as Carroll and Pella.

Beard’s involvement in the program ceased in 2009, due to his focus shifting to the ‘new’ golf course and clubhouse at Otter Creek GC, which he also served as General Manager of at that time. There was no official count, but Beard and his program are credited with helping over 400 players appear at the state tournament – including those who have gone on to become PGA Professionals with their own junior golf programs.

“Kevin instilled character and integrity when teaching our youth what golf teaches us about life,” Iowa Golf Hall of Fame member Jeff Smith said. “He grew the game through ways that are now being adopted 25 years later.”

Iowa Golf Hall of Fame member J.D. Turner also commented on Beard’s energy with junior golfers.

“His creativity and teaching prowess with juniors is remarkable,” Turner said. “All of his students learned about the game, which teaches honor, friendship and life-long positive experiences. He touched the lives of so many in Iowa through golf.”

The Iowa Golf Association is thrilled to welcome these four new members to the Iowa Golf Hall of Fame. Details including location of the 2023 Iowa Golf Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be announced soon and will be posted online for the public to attend and register for.

2023 Boatwright Internship Opportunities with the IGA

The Iowa Golf Association (IGA) is excited to offer two (2) P.J. Boatwright Internships in 2023 – Handicapping & Course Rating and Marketing & Communications. 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 24th or until position(s) are filled (whichever is later).

Click the links below to view the 2023 Intern job description and instructions for applying.

– Handicap & Course Rating Intern

– Marketing & Communications Intern

‘Up and Down’ the Iowa Golf Scene – Standard Golf’s roots run deep

Standard Golf Capitalizes on its Iowa Heritage to Become a Leading Global Golf Provider

Cedar Falls-based Standard Golf Company features a success story that only those with Iowa roots can fully appreciate. In 1910, Standard Manufacturing Company launched a business producing steel farm gates and a range of related agricultural products, including automatic hog waterers. Today, more than 110 years later, the company has transformed into the world’s most complete manufacturer and distributor of golf course accessories, offering more than 4,000 unique and innovative products for golf courses across six continents. 

“We manufacture, sell and distribute anything and everything that a golf course superintendent needs to get their courses ready for play,” said Matt Pauli, Standard’s Vice President and Director of Marketing. “And our roots are clearly deep within Iowa’s agriculture heritage and closely aligned with the customs, traditions, and work ethic of everyday Iowans. The basic mold used in the classic golf ball washer was the same mold we used decades ago to make the hog waterer for farmers.”

Pauli, a Michigan native, joined Standard Golf in 2014 following a 15-year career in sales and marketing in the Chicago area. He met his wife, Lory, a Denver, IA native in downtown Chicago as they were watching their respective alma maters, the University of Michigan, and the University of Iowa, play football.

Hundreds of thousands of golfers use Standard’s products multiple times over the course of a round of golf – and likely do not even know it. “The average golfer probably doesn’t realize the depth and breadth of our products – but the superintendents, PGA professionals, driving range owners, general managers, customers and others responsible for equipping a course sure do,” Pauli stated. 

Standard Golf’s catalog of products includes its bread-and-butter staples such as ball washers, bunker rakes, club washers, cups, driving range products, flags and flagsticks, signs, tee markers and yardage markers. The lineup also includes divot mix caddies and storage, fixtures and benches, hole cutters and shells, marking paint, rope and chain stakes, spike cleaners, trash containers, and water stations, among many others. 

Each major accessory is offered with multiple styles, colors and options, designed to suit various needs and budgets. For example, Standard features six styles of bunker rakes along with various handle lengths and material to include wood, aluminum, and composite. The result is what manufacturers label as SKU’s (stock keeping units) that compound across the product line to total more than 4000 accessories, course maintenance tools, customized products and parts.

Standard’s pedigree in the business is well documented. The company provides flags for three of the four major championships, for the Ryder Cup and Solheim Cup, as well as for the vast majority of the United States Golf Association’s nearly 100 championships. And it has a core business remains the golf course superintendent and local golf course.

“We provide products to courses in all 50 states, 206 countries and across six continents,” said Pauli. “We have 250 distributors and added a warehouse in The Netherlands so we can deliver products to customers in Europe within five days.”

The proud Iowa company was founded in 1910 by Walter K. Voorhees and a handful of local Cedar Falls businessmen. About 15 years later, golf equipment was added to the product line and this formula continued for decades. In 1971, the agricultural and miscellaneous lines of business were sold, transitioning to a sole focus on golf. Robert Voorhees and Maynard Voorhees (sons of Walter) assumed control of the company as the second generation, followed by Robert’s son, Peter Voorhees, who served as President until 2018, when the three-generation family business was sold to employees, making it a 100 percent employee-owned firm. Peter Voorhees continues service as chairman of the board, and Scott Hottle assumed the role of President. One of the core tenants of the company is being a good corporate citizen. Standard Golf and the Vorhees Family Foundation made a generous commitment to the Golf House Iowa project. 

Innovation, old fashioned work ethic and nimble manufacturing capabilities are characteristics that have served the company well throughout periodic challenges. In 1992, a fire destroyed the original building on East Fourth Street in Cedar Falls. Six months later, a new 75,000 square foot facility opened in the Cedar Falls Industrial Park, where it operates today. In 2020, the industry was turned upside down with the global pandemic.

“I remember attending the 2020 PGA Show in Orlando, and just a few weeks later, Covid-19 exploded, and everything came to a grinding halt,” Pauli said. “We had virtually no sales for about three months. But then our engineers, product developers and staff came together and developed the no touch golf products that hit the market within a few months and helped courses stay open. In fact, golf got a huge shot in the arm during the pandemic, things quickly rebounded and so many new people were introduced to the game.”

The National Golf Foundation estimates there are 25 million “traditional” golfers playing at least nine holes in 2022, and some 40 million when the off-course playing – simulators, public driving ranges – are factored in. A record 529 million rounds were played in 2021, a five percent boost from the Covid surge of the previous year. that some 33 million rounds were played in 2021, up appreciably from 2019 and 2020 figures. Pauli and those interested in growing the golfing public hope that many of the new golfers remain interested in the game. 

As for the future, Pauli maintains that Standard is well positioned to again adapt to changes and provide new and innovative products for its customers. “We’ll continue to find new ways to assist golf course superintendents and driving range operators to make their work easier and the enhance the experience of all golfers.”

Today Standard Golf Golf has transformed into the world’s most complete manufacturer and distributor of golf course accessories, offering more than 4,000 unique and innovative products for golf courses across six continents.

“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

2022 IGA Annual Awards Banquet Recap

The 2022 IGA Awards Dinner took place Thursday, 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 – Jeff Moore, Finkbine Golf Course

Club Manager of the Year – Deb Jaycox, Spencer Golf & Country Club

9-Hole Superintendent – Scott Rohlfsen of Jesup Golf & Country Club

18-Hole Superintendent – Anthony Mieske, Crow Valley Golf Club

9-Hole Course of the Year – Gateway Recreation, Inc., Monroe

18-Hole Course of the Year – Fort Dodge Country Club

George Turner Distinguished Service Award – Rick Brown, Pleasant Hill

Sean Flanders Volunteer of the Year Award – Carolyn Frescoln, Norwalk

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

Senior Player of the Year – Mike McCoy, Norwalk (View video)

Super Senior Player of the Year – Pat Ryan, Marshalltown (View video)

Read more about the Men’s Players of the Year

Women’s Player of the Year – Ruby Chou, Ames (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 – Bella Pettersen, North Liberty (View video)

Junior Boys’ Player of the Year – Maxwell Tjoa, Cedar Falls (View video)

Read more about the Junior Players of the Year

IGA bestows 2022 GTDSA upon Rick Brown

Rick Brown ponders the action in one of the hundreds of Iowa Golf Association tournaments over his 37-year career as a sports writer with The Des Moines Register.

A passion for the game. An appreciation and deep understanding of what it takes to play at a high level. A life-long love affair for the game. An ambassador for Iowa golf. Long-time Des Moines Register sportswriter/columnist and Iowa golf envoy Rick Brown embodies these qualities – and captures the spirit and essence of such by being honored with the Iowa Golf Association’s 2022 George Turner Distinguished Service Award.

For nearly 40 years, Brown served as Iowa’s foremost golf writer, columnist and historian in his role at the Register. The position took Brown to the pinnacle of golf’s professional events, covering nearly two dozen majors and three Ryder Cup contests, including the 2006 staging at the K Club in Klidare, Ireland, featuring the debut of Iowa native Zach Johnson. Two years later, Brown covered the 2008 Masters Tournament where Johnson was the defending champion.

“The entire Augusta experience was just awe-inspiring,” Brown said. “I grew up watching The Masters and dreaming of going down Magnolia Lane. To actually be there was surreal – I felt as though I was walking on air the entire week. And to see this kid (Johnson) from Cedar Rapids and Drake University compete against the best players in the world was phenomenal.” 

But Brown also relished his assignments covering Iowa’s major tournaments, such at The Fort Dodge Amateur, The Northwest Amateur, Herman Sani, The Iowa Masters and Iowa Amateur, among others.

“To be honest, I enjoyed covering Iowa’s tournaments just as much as the PGA Tour,” Brown stated. “I’ve always admired and respected Iowa’s top amateurs as they competed with their heart and soul. There’s nothing like being there on the final round of the tournament with the title on the line.”

Brown’s contributions to the IGA are extensive. In 2019, following a year of meticulous research, the book “Golden Harvest – Iowa’s Rich Golf History” was released. A 450-page treasure trove, the book traces the more than a century of the game’s history in Iowa, sharing remarkable stories and achievements.

“We owe Rick a debt of gratitude for the painstaking research he invested to tell our Iowa golf story,” noted Mike McCoy, Iowa’s most decorated amateur golfer.

Brown currently serves on the IGA’s Hall of Fame selection committee, communications committee and has written several stories for the website. 

Rick Brown poses with Iowa native Zach Johnson and the Claret Jug, symbolic of Johnson’s triumph in the 2015 Open Championship. Brown will receive the 2022 George Turner Distinguished Service Award at the IGA’s annual awards banquet December 8 at Terrace Hills Golf Course in Altoona.

Brown retired in 2015 following a 37-year work career spent entirely at the Register. He was named Iowa Sportswriter of the Year 11 times as selected by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association and won six first-place writing awards from the Iowa Associated Press Managing Editors. He was inducted into the University of Iowa’s Kinnick Wall of Fame in 2016 and enshrined into the Iowa Golf Association’s Hall of Fame in 2017. 

A native of Fort Dodge, Brown’s career path may have been predestined. His late father, Bob Brown, served as sports editor of The Fort Dodge Messenger for many years. As a youngster, he would listen to athletic contests on the radio and keep a box score as the game was broadcast. As a high schooler, he worked the Messenger sports desk on Friday nights taking phone calls from coaches and writing capsule summaries of area football and basketball games. He spent two years at Iowa Central Community College before receiving undergraduate and graduate degrees in journalism from the University of Iowa. A 37-year career at The Des Moines Register began in 1978. Brown will be recognized during a ceremony on Thursday, December 8, at Terrace Hills Golf Course in Altoona.

“Golf has been such a wonderful element of my life for so many decades,” Brown said.

Decorated Iowa golf sportswriter Rick Brown poses on the Hogan Bridge with the backdrop of Augusta National’s iconic 12th hole in the background. Brown was among a select group of golf writers who received the honor of playing Augusta National the day following the 2008 Masters Tournament.

Support the future of golf in Iowa on Giving Tuesday – Nov. 29th

Giving Tuesday is a global day of giving back. Today, November 29, you’ll have the chance to join people around the world and support a cause close to your heart. This Giving Tuesday, help the Iowa Golf Association Foundation give the gift of golf and education to a junior golfer in the State of Iowa by supporting the Iowa Golf Association Foundation’s Youth on Course and/or Scholarship Programs.

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

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

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

The Ann Griffel Scholarship was named after the long time IWGA President, Ann Griffel. Ann was inducted into the Iowa Golf Hall of Fame in 2006 to honor her contributions to the game. Since 1963, 263 students have received this scholarship. The IGAF awards $2,000 Ann Griffel Scholarships to Iowa high school senior girls who intend to further their education at an Iowa institution of higher learning, whether a college, university or trade school.

The Herman Sani Scholarship was established in 1958 in memory of Herman Sani who had a passion for golf and for young people. As of 2021, 199 college-bound students have been awarded this four-year scholarship. Each recipient receives $8,000 ($2,000 per year) over a consecutive four-year period.

To donate and read more about each scholarship program visit

Golf is a game of a lifetime. It takes us to beautiful places, provides us with exercise, helps instill values such as honesty, integrity, respect and sportsmanship – things that have served us all well in the game of life. As you think about making a donation, I ask that you reflect on what golf has done for you, where it has taken you, who you have met through the game, and how much you would like for a young boy or girl to have that same experience and opportunity.

The creation of Golf House Iowa will provide a permanent home to preserve, promote, and protect the game of golf in our great state. We plan to include the Iowa Golf Hall of Fame and Museum, a space for educating golfers, areas to promote and teach the game, and office space for the Iowa Golf Association, IGA Foundation, Iowa Golf Course Superintendents Association and First Tee – Central Iowa.

For more information and to donate towards Golf House Iowa visit

2023 IGA schedule, USGA qualifying locations announced

The 2023 IGA Championship calendar has been released. The schedule includes a tremendous lineup of IGA Member Clubs that will serve as host sites for next year’s IGA championships and USGA Qualifiers. There will also be some changes to a few championships, including an expansion of the Iowa Mid-Amateur and the hosting of qualifying events for the Iowa Amateur.

The Iowa Amateur will return to Glen Oaks Country Club in West Des Moines from July 24-26. This will be the second time Glen Oaks CC hosted the state’s biggest amateur event, having previously hosted in 2011 (won by Gene Elliott). Qualifying events will return for the Iowa Amateur Championship as well, the first time since Glen Oaks CC last hosted in 2011. There will be three sites across the state in July where players who are not exempt can attempt to qualify and make the field of 132 that will tee it up at Glen Oaks CC.

Glen Oaks CC will also be the home of Iowa’s U.S. Open Local qualifier in 2023. The club will host top amateurs and professionals on Monday, May 1, as they try to move on to the sectional round and, perhaps, the championship itself at Los Angeles Country Club.

The Iowa Women’s Amateur will return to Finkbine Golf Course, one of the top collegiate courses in the midwest, in Iowa City for the fourth time. Finkbine also hosted the Iowa Women’s Amateur in 2016 (won by Jessie Sindlinger), 2010 (Kristin Paulson) and 2001 (Mary Anne Locker). The 2023 edition will be played Sun-Tues, July 16-18.  Finkbine GC continues to make wonderful improvements to its facility, including a brand new clubhouse and updated practice facility.

Talons Golf in Ankeny will be the home of the men’s and women’s IGA Match Play Championships for the fourth straight year. The event will take place June 27-30. Talons Golf is a privately-owned course routed between beautiful rock-walled streams and covered bridges. As a popular venue for this event, many players, both men, and women, will look to add their names to the list of IGA Match Play champions.

The Iowa Mid-Amateur Championship will expand to 54 holes in 2023, allowing top finishers to receive World Amateur Golf Ranking points. Geneva Golf & Country Club in Muscatine will host the event next spring, May 18-20. Geneva G&CC has become a frequent stop for IGA events over the past few years, hosting the Senior Match Play in 2021 and U.S. Mid-Amateur qualifying in 2022. They also were home to the annual Iowa Cup Matches in 2022 (hosted by the Iowa PGA) which featured many top amateurs.

The Herman Sani Tournament will return August 11-13, to Johnston’s Hyperion Field Club. Since 2013 the event has rotated between Echo Valley Country Club and Hyperion and continues to feature the state’s best amateur and professional golfers vying for the trophy. Hyperion will also be home to the annual Iowa Cup Matches that feature the state’s top amateurs and professionals competing in a “Ryder Cup Style” competition on Sept 28-29.

The Senior Amateur Championships will head to venues that have hosted IGA championships in the past but never these specific events. The Iowa Senior Women’s Amateur will be played at Prairie Links Golf Club in Waverly on August 6-7 while the Iowa Senior Amateur (Men’s) will be played at Dubuque Golf & Country Club on August 23-25.

In addition to those championships listed, the IGA will conduct events at the following venues – Burlington Golf Club (IGA Four-Ball – May 5-6), Lake Panorama Nat’l GC (IGA Senior Match Play – May 14-16), Echo Valley CC (Iowa Women’s Forever 39 Match Play – June 5-6), Jester Park Golf Course in Granger (Father/Son, Parent/Child – June 17-18), Pheasant Ridge Golf Course (Iowa Junior & Girls’ Junior Amateur – June 19-21), Elmcrest Country Club (IGA Women’s Club Team – Aug. 14), and Davenport Country Club (IGA Club Team – Oct. 2).

The IGA Women’s Four-Ball 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. Here are the sites for this year’s qualifying events:
• Glen Oaks Country Club, West Des Moines – U.S. Open Local Qualifier – May 1
• Ames Golf & Country Club, Ames – U.S. Junior Amateur Qualifier – June 12
• Coldwater Golf Links, Ames – U.S. Amateur Qualifier – July 10
• Des Moines Golf & CC (South), West Des Moines – U.S. Senior Amateur Qualifier – July 27
• Beaver Hills Country Club, Cedar Falls – U.S. Mid-Amateur Qualifier – July 31
• Des Moines Golf & CC (North), West Des Moines – U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur Qualifier – Aug 17
• Cedar Rapids Country Club, Cedar Rapids – U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Qualifier – August 28

Three qualifying events for the 121st Iowa Amateur will be held across the state. Those sites are as follows:
• Terrace Hills Golf Course (Altoona -Central qualifier) – July 5
• Ellis Golf Course (Cedar Rapids – East qualifier) – July 11
• BVU Golf Club at Lake Creek CC (Storm Lake – West qualifier) – July 12

Also new in 2023 will be a partnership with Strackaline to provide options for IGA players to purchase detailed yardage books and green guides at a discounted rate. More information will be forthcoming on that partnership after the first of the year.

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.

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