The Iowa Golf Association (IGA) congratulates the 2023 recipients of the Ann Griffel (above right) Scholarship Award: Alexa Poppen, Emma Stock, Laura Klaessy, Maura Peters and Addison Berg. Each recipient will be awarded a one-year scholarship of $2,000. Since 1963, the Ann Griffel Scholarship Award has been helping students further their education. A total of 258 students have earned the honor of receiving this prestigious scholarship.
Alexa Poppen, of West Branch, is the daughter of Kami and Dave Poppen and plans to attend the University of Iowa to major in Management and Finance.
“I am grateful to have received this scholarship. I believe golf is a great way to connect with others and I look forward to playing the game for many years,” she said.
Emma Smock, of Oelwein, is the daughter of Todd and Deena Smock and will attend Wartburg College on the Pre-Physical Therapy track.
“I am very thankful and honored to receive this scholarship. The game of golf has taught me to be patient and relax in more than just golf but my everyday life in general. Having a few setbacks but finishing strong is another thing that golf has brought me. I have gained much knowledge and mental toughness for anything brought my way,” she said.
Laura Klaessy, of Grimes, is the daughter of John and Sara Klaessy and will study Elementary Education at Simpson College.
“Ann Griffel was an inspiration to many young women golfers, and it is a great honor for me to be a recipient of the Ann Griffel Scholarship. Golf has taught me to become mentally tough and become a student of the game and was an important part of my high school career. I look forward to continuing to play the game at Simpson College next fall,” she said.
Maura Peters, of Bettendorf, is the daughter of Benjamin and Jennifer Peters. She will be attending the University of Iowa to play on the women’s golf team and study biomedical engineering.
“I am so grateful to have been chosen as one of the 2023 Ann Griffel Scholarship recipients. The game of golf has helped mold me into the person I am today, teaching me all sorts of valuable lessons. I learned to problem solve, manage my emotions, be patient and most importantly, positive. I am so happy to have chosen a sport and hobby that has allowed me to form so many new relationships and friendships, and I cannot wait to immerse myself in this incredible game for the rest of my life,” she said.
Addison Berg, of Swisher, is the daughter of Aaron and Deana Berg. She will be attending the University of Northern Iowa with an undecided major at this time. She will also be a member of the golf team.
“Golf has been important to me from an early age. It has taught me so many important lessons such a as mental toughness. Golf is so unique because your always competing with yourself. You have to be able to put bad shots behind you, and you can’t play defense. You just have to go out and play the best you can every time,” she said.
The Ann Griffel Scholarship Award was established in 1963 as just one $350 scholarship awarded by the Iowa Women’s Golf Association (IWGA). The award has evolved into a $2,000 scholarship awarded to multiple high school senior girls who intend to further their education at an Iowa institution of higher learning, whether it be a college, university or trade school.
The Iowa Golf Association Foundation (IGAF) was established to preserve the game and develop more programs to promote the future of golf in Iowa. The IGAF awards the Ann Griffel Scholarship Award annually. This scholarship was named after the long-time IWGA President, Ann Griffel, who started the Girls’ State Junior, Forever 39 Match Play, State Wife-Husband and the Senior Women’s Championships in her 23-year term.