Featuring 100 Women – 100 Competitive Holes

100 Competitive Holes: Fundraising for the Future

In celebration of the 100th Iowa Women’s Amateur, the IGA is excited to share the 100 Competitive Holes Fundraiser. Six highly competitive, engaging women have committed to playing 100 competitive holes of golf between now and the first round of the Iowa Women’s Amateur. Money raised will go towards enhancing the overall player experience at the championship and any net proceeds will be donated to the IGA Foundation to support women’s programming. The mission statement for this centennial event is ‘Centennial Celebration: Champion our Women’. Within the mission statement, we wanted to focus on centennial, celebration, and champion as the three categories of women who exemplify this fundraiser.

Centennial: Women’s Golf Today

The two individuals who embody the present state of women’s golf are Kelly Fosse of Grinnell and Fiona Watson of Des Moines. Both are mid-amateurs and participate in nearly all IGA Women’s events.

Fiona Watson is a native of Scotland and first came to Iowa in 1994 when she enrolled at Iowa State University. After an accomplished four-year career on the golf course, one that saw her share in the school record for the low 18-hole score, Watson transitioned into the role of assistant coach for Julie Manning. While she was the first player from overseas to be recruited to ISU, it quickly became a trend and many more soon followed.

Throughout her playing career, Watson has collected many IGA titles, most recently at the 2023 Iowa Forever 39 Match Play Championship. She has also qualified for the U.S. Women’s Amateur and U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur. Though she is not quite eligible, Watson is sure to try her hand at qualifying for the U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur when the time comes.

“Golf in Iowa had been a magical part of my life. It’s provided me with so many opportunities and experiences that I have been able to capitalize on. So, I was both honored and excited to be asked to participate in the 100 Competitive Hole Fundraiser and the chance to help create an experience to remember for the 100th Iowa Women’s Amateur.”

Very rarely does a player come along to IGA events and truly dive in head first as Kelly Fosse did in 2023. The Grinnell resident played in four IGA women’s events in her first year of joining the circuit and quickly made friends with many of her competitors. Outside of the IGA, Fosse also participates in the Amateur Tour and Heart of a Lion Amateur Golf Tour, established by former PGA Tour standout John Daly.

After growing up playing golf, Kelly elected to put her clubs down in high school to focus on other sports. The hiatus didn’t last for long, as she would once again pick up the game during her college years at the University of Iowa. Outside of IGA and Heart of the Lion Tour events, Fosse participates in the Amateur Players Tour and weekly leagues at local courses. Off the course, she works as a Farm Mutual Reinsurance Territory Manager at Grinnell Mutual and also volunteers as a firefighter for the Grinnell Fire Department. She’s been with the department for nearly four years and routinely responds to structure and grass fires as well as vehicle accidents, hazmat incidents, and rescue operations. Simply put, no two days are ever the same. Through her involvement with the Grinnell Fire Department, Fosse began participating in the Tunnel to Towers Foundations 5K in New York City. The annual fundraiser is in honor of Stephen Siller who lost his life in the line of duty the morning of September 11th, 2001. Proceeds from the fundraiser are put towards helping America’s heroes who have made the supreme sacrifice of life or limb.

“I am honored to have been chosen to participate in the 100 Competitive Holes Fundraiser for the 100th year of the Iowa Women’s Amateur. I am so incredibly thankful for the Iowa Golf Association and other Iowa amateur tours that have provided women opportunities to play competitive golf. The game of golf has impacted my life incredibly by fostering personal and professional growth, creating a competitive spirit, teaching me diligence in following my dreams, and allowing me to make valuable friendships along the way. My hope is for this fundraiser to not only encourage young female athletes to put themselves out there and reach their full potential in the game of golf, but also for other women to be inspired by the talent they are surrounded by and have the confidence to participate, regardless of age or ability level.”

Celebration: The History of Women’s Golf

The two individuals who embody the establishment of women’s golf are Laura Leszczynski of Saint Marys and Noreen Christians of Urbandale. Both are seasoned veterans in respect to women’s golf in Iowa having played in IGA events for dozens of years combined.

Laura Leszczynski has quickly established herself as a top competitor on the senior circuit in Iowa. A three-time IGA Senior Women’s Player of the Year recipient, Leszczynski’s name is always in contention when looking at the leaderboard. Last year alone she scored two victories and a pair of runner-up finishes in IGA championships. Along with her Player of the Year titles, Leszczynski also has a firm hold of the Iowa Senior Women’s Amateur having lifted the trophy each of the last three years. Outside of Iowa, she has also qualified for the U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur, most recently in 2022.

“I’m honored to be part of the 100 Competitive Hole Fundraiser, an event that not only celebrates the rich history of the Iowa Women’s Amateur but also champions the spirit of community and philanthropy. Participating in this fundraiser is a unique opportunity to connect with fellow golf enthusiasts, challenge my limits, and contribute to a cause that extends beyond the greens. It’s about being part of something larger than the game itself—a commitment to fostering talent, supporting women’s sports, and making a meaningful impact in our community. I’m excited to embark on this journey, share my progress, and see how our collective efforts can make a difference. Together, we’re not just playing for a title; we’re driving change, stroke by stroke.”

Noreen Christian, of Urbandale, has been participating in IGA events since 2021. Events ranging from one-day IGA Mid-Am Series events to the Wife-Husband to the Forever-39 Match Play, Christian is no rookie to the ever-changing formats. Outside the IGA, she is heavily involved with the LPGA Amateur Des Moines Chapter. With events during the warm months throughout Iowa, Noreen also travels across the U.S. to participate in LPGA Amateur championships, never missing an opportunity to tee it up and grow the game.

“Most that know me well would say I live in 2 seasons, golf, and no golf. It is an honor to be representing the many women in Iowa who also share this same passion for golf. The IGA and the LPGA Amateurs have led me to new friends, beautiful and different golf courses, and equipped me to attempt any course/opponent, no matter the challenge.”

Champion: Supporting the Future of Women’s Golf

It’s easy to look at Paige Hoffman and Anna Jensen and call them the future of women’s golf in Iowa. However, if one were to look closer, they would find that Hoffman and Jensen are here in the present and have made a name for themselves capturing the most prestigious events Iowa has to offer.

Paige Hoffman, of West Des Moines, has been participating in IGA championships dating back to her junior golf days. Along the way, she has built up quite the resume. Her participation includes the IGA Parent-Child Championship, Iowa Junior Girls’ Amateur, IGA Women’s Four-Ball (2x champion), IGA Women’s Match Play, and Iowa Women’s Amateur (2019 champion). She has excelled at every level scaling from the junior ranks to the collegiate level and now the amateur level. Additional information on Paige’s career will shared in a future release article.

“Through tournament and internship experience Iowa Women’s Golf has taught me how to be a stronger competitor, a better communicator, and a more well-rounded person. The Iowa women’s golf community is a group of fun and spirited women that I am proud to represent. I am excited to be a part of this fundraiser to help celebrate the past, present, and future of Iowa women’s golf through the 100th Iowa Women’s Amateur.”

Anna Jensen of Dubuque followed a similar path to Hoffman, excelling early and often. Jensen, a senior at the University of Northern Iowa, has been competing in IGA championships since her junior days. 2022 marked the biggest victory of her IGA career, capturing the Iowa Women’s Match Play Championship over fellow fundraising participant, Paige Hoffman. As a panther, Jensen’s career has been highlighted by frequent top-ten finishes including two top-fives this past fall.

“I am truly honored to represent Iowa women’s golf in this fundraiser for the 100th Women’s Amateur. I am a huge advocate for women’s sports, especially women’s golf, because I know first-hand the blessings playing competitive golf has given me. I grew up playing IGA events and specifically in the Women’s Am. Through it, I have learned so many valuable lessons and I have found so many lifelong friendships with my competitors. I think it is important to continue to grow the field and allow many more girls and women to be able to share in this amazing experience.”


Next week on Women’s Wednesday…

The Iowa Women’s Amateur is one of the toughest tests a player can face within the state borders. With a field made up of the top juniors, mid-amateurs, and seasoned veterans, it often requires many years and close calls for players to finally get their hands on the Fladoos trophy. For a select few, the wait didn’t last long, staking their claim in Iowa Women’s Amateur history all before receiving their high school diploma.

Includes championship history, weekly feature articles, player information, photo archives, past champions, and much more!
Scroll to top