Gladson, Miller headline Iowa Golf Hall of Fame Class of 2018
The Iowa Golf Hall of Fame will add five new members in 2018, bringing the total number in the Hall of Fame to 79. Two living inductees, Ivan Miller and Larry Gladson, have been elected along with three historical (posthumous) honorees – Bill Sheehan, Charlie Burkart and Tom Chapman, Sr.
Known as the ‘Minnow King’, Ivan Miller was credited with well over 100 golf tournaments titles across the state of Iowa during the 1970-80s.
Miller, an art teacher by trade, spent every weekend in the summer traveling to as many as three one-day events. His dominance at these events earned him the ‘Minnow King’ moniker.
Miller, the IGA Player of the Year in 1978 and 1980, also had success in larger events too – winning the 1980 Northwest Amateur and Iowa Masters. He also won the 1982 Fort Dodge Amateur.
Miller also mentored many golfers during his teaching days, as he served as golf coach in Eldora for over 40 years.
As described in his nomination, “Miller was the full package with tremendous power, high-flying irons and a great short game. With a push of his glasses up on his nose and a hitch of his trousers, he unleashed if not the most winning career in Iowa golf history, then one of them for sure.”
Larry Gladson, Head PGA Golf Professional, Elmcrest Country Club, Cedar Rapids, has been a fixture in the game of golf in the state since the mid 1980s.
Gladson, who has mentored 13 current PGA members and 9 Head PGA Golf Professionals, has instructed many junior golfers who have gone on to play collegiate golf. Four of his juniors have gone on to play professionally, including his most famous pupil, Zach Johnson.
In 2011, Gladson assisted in organizing the Zach Johnson Foundation Classic, which annually includes over 150 volunteers, 130 players, and over 3,000 spectators. The event raises over $750,000 annually for children around Cedar Rapids.
Gladson has also been honored for his work as a teacher and for his involvement with the Iowa Section PGA. His accomplishments include:
-2014 President’s Award presented by Iowa High School Golf Coaches
-2013 #1 Teacher in Iowa by Golf Digest
-2008, 2013 Ping Club Fitter of the Year
-2005 Golf Digest and Golf Magazine Top Teacher by Region
-2004 Iowa PGA Teacher of the Year
-1992-2001 Iowa PGA Board Member
-1998-1999 Iowa PGA President
-1994, 1998 Iowa PGA Golf Professional of the Year
-1998 Iowa Golf Association Golf Professional of the Year
-1996 Iowa PGA Bill Strasbaugh Award (mentoring fellow professionals, service to PGA, service to community)
-1987, 1993, 1995 Iowa PGA Merchandiser of the Year
In a letter of recommendation for Gladson, Iowa Golf Hall of Fame Member Zach Johnson said, “When I think of my childhood golfing days, Elmcrest CC comes to the forefront. This club fostered my love for the game, cultivated my passion for competition, instilled the proper values golf demands, promoted the game as “fun”, and allowed me to chase my dream. Larry Gladson created all of these notions. He taught me more than the basic fundamentals. He taught me much more important ideals like patience, humility, integrity, and selflessness. For lack of a better term, Larry is the ‘model-pro’. I am confident the many Elmcrest kids that earned college golf scholarships, became club professionals, playing professionals, or just golf enthusiasts are thankful for his wisdom and direction. I certainly am.”
Charles (Charlie) Burkart
Charles (Charlie) Burkart, who was involved in golf at an early age and would become a golf pro in Iowa City, began his career in the early 1930s when he borrowed money to buy a driving range – the first such thing in Marion, Iowa. Later a gentleman by the name of Nick Carter built a daily fee golf course in (then) Kenmore in 1934 and hired Burkart as Head Professional. In July of 1947, several prominent businessmen leased the golf course from Mr. Carter, thus forming Elmcrest Golf & Country Club.
Burkart was there from the beginning and for 42 years of service to the community and the membership of Elmcrest, retiring in 1975.
Burkart was known as an excellent player for his flawless swing and record-breaking rounds of golf. One of his greatest contributions to the game was his love of children and his efforts to involve them by organizing youth clinics and programs. Burkart spent many of his hours working patiently with junior golfers, diligently teaching them golf etiquette and the skills to play the game. His belief in sharing and passing down the traditional ‘grand old game’ served to make him one of the great promoters of golf in Iowa.
Burkart was a life member of the Professional Golfers Association of America and Past President of the Iowa Section of the PGA. He truly believed and exemplified the Code of Ethics of the PGA, which states that the name “Professional Golfer” must be a synonym with pledge of honor, service and fair dealing, professional integrity, fidelity to the game, responsibility to employers and employees and others. Charlie lived by these rules.
Today the memory of Charles Burkart lives on. The Charlie Burkart Scholarship Fund, administered by the Iowa Section PGA, formed in 1984 by his daughter, the late Lynn Hendryx and former Elmcrest professional Larry Hartzell.
The Burkart Scholarship is a $1,500 scholarship renewable each year for four years. Scholarship winners are selected on the basis of their interest and activity in golf, the potential for future contributions to the game, leadership skills/community involvement, then on their academic/professional ability and financial need.
William (Bill) Sheehan
William (Bill) Sheehan was a force on the fairways of Iowa in the early 1900s. From 1909-1912 he captured the Iowa Amateur three times (09, 11, 12). During the same timeframe he was the Des Moines City Champion (1909-1912), including a 7&6 win over Fred Carr for this fourth title in a row in 1912 at Waveland Golf Course.
His four Des Moines Men’s City titles are third all-time behind Jon Brown and Bob McKee. He was especially dominant during his time, especially when you consider how few tournaments there were to play in back then.
Tom Chapman, Sr.
Tom Chapman Sr. was a legend in Iowa amateur golf. He spent his life in Iowa, except for his stint fighting in World War II. It was after the war when his amateur golf career really took shape.
His college golf career at the University of Iowa was interrupted by the war where he was a fighter pilot in the Army Air Corps. Tom flew the Burma campaign in Southeast Asia. In off hours he played cards with members of his squadron – one of those men was Lee Marvin, who would become a star in Hollywood. On returning to Iowa City, and the University of Iowa, he became captain of the golf team.
For more than two decades he was a dominant force on the Northwest/North-Central golf circuit playing from his home base in Sioux City, Mason City and Fort Dodge. Considered one of the longest hitters of his day, Chapman, Sr., won many tournament titles in Northwest Iowa, including three Ft. Dodge Amateurs (1954 in a tie with Bill Black, 1956 and 1962).
Chapman, Sr., joins his son, Tom Chapman, Jr., in the Iowa Golf Hall of Fame.
Each year, the Iowa Golf Association Iowa Golf Hall of Fame Committee meets in November to discuss nominations. The committee members then have the month of December to study accomplishments of the nominees and vote. The Chairman of the Committee and the IGA Executive Director then open the ballots in early January.
These five individuals will be honored during an induction ceremony at a time and place to be determined. Once ceremony details are finalized, they will be announced at iowagolf.org.