Featuring 100 Women – The Fladoos Trophy

The Fladoos Trophy – Iowa’s Trailblazing Sisters

It’s all in the family. Golfers often say that their family got them into the game whether it be parents, grandparents, or sometimes siblings. Numerous family members and sisters have added their names to the Iowa Women’s Amateur trophy in its 100-year history. But who was the first? The answer is simple; Sharon and Jacque Fladoos so it’s only fitting the trophy is now named the Fladoos Trophy.

Debuting in 1970, the Fladoos trophy was presented to Ann Griffel, president of the I.W.G.A. with the following message: “Our family has given thought to express in some manner its sincere appreciation for Iowa’s excellent annual golf Championships open to both juniors and adults.

The five members of our family have thoroughly enjoyed these championships in past years as participants and spectators. We feel it was through these championships our three children and the many other Iowa youngsters were given their first opportunity to test their golf games and upon which to build their golf reputations.

We would, therefore, like to present to the Iowa Women’s Golf Association in 1970- here at the Dubuque Golf and Country Club, site of the 44th Anniversary Championship- a perpetual silver trophy to be presented annually to the Iowa State Women’s Amateur Champion.”

Sharon (pictured right), the older of the two, began competing in IWGA and USGA championships from an early age. At just 13, she became the youngest golfer to advance to the U.S. Girls’ Junior semifinals. That same year, 1956, she would also be named runner-up at both the Iowa Girls’ Junior and Iowa Women’s Amateur. It was just the beginning as the Dubuque native quickly began her impressive seven-year run of amateur golf not only in Iowa but on the national stage.

Her 1958 and 1959 resume included back-to-back runner-up finishes at the Iowa Women’s Amateur as well as the Western Junior Girl’s Championship. Her runner-up finish in the 1958 Western Junior Girl’s Championship was to none other than future World Golf Hall of Famer Carol Mann. The streak of second-place finishes was finally broken in 1960 as she captured her first Iowa Women’s Amateur title and got her hands on the elusive Western Junior Girl’s title.

Even with her near misses, she still found a way to capture tournament titles. From 1958 to 1961, she captured both the Iowa Junior Girls and Iowa High School State Tournament titles each year. Finding comfort in defending her Iowa titles, Sharon kept the Iowa Women’s Amateur trophy under lock and key from 1960 to 1962 earning three straight victories.

While Sharon was busy building her decorated career, her younger sister Jacque (pictured right with Ann Griffel) followed along knowing she would have big shoes to fill. Always up for the challenge, Jacque quickly took the junior golf reins and extended the Fladoos family streak of High School State golf titles as she earned medalist honors in 1962 and 1963.

It wouldn’t be the last time she won the state title either, as she returned to championship form in 1965 to collect her third individual title. In her sophomore year of high school, Jacque matched another one of Sharon’s accomplishments; capturing both an individual High School State title and the Iowa Junior Girls’ Amateur within the same calendar year. Jacque’s record at the Iowa Women’s Amateur also mirrors that of Sharon as the younger Fladoos captured three total victories between 1966 and 1969.

Though separated by five years, Sharon and Jacque’s careers were nearly identical. Such as with the trophy naming, it was fitting both were inducted into the Dubuque Senior High School Hall of Fame (1992 and 1996) as well as the inaugural class for the Iowa Coaches Association Hall of Fame (2008).

While there have been two other sets of sisters to successfully capture Iowa Women’s Amateur titles, none have been more prolific than the Fladoos sisters. Though Jacque has passed away, her and Sharon’s legacy remains alive and well every time the Iowa Women’s Amateur rolls around. The Fladoos Trophy; was named in honor of the trailblazing sisters who guided women’s golf in Iowa to unchartered territory and new heights.

Next week on Women’s Wednesday…

Six women from six different cities with one thing in common: a love for the game. See how a passion for the game has inspired these players to grow the game for present and future players.

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