Cedar Rapids | Inducted 2018 | Category: Club Professional

Larry Gladson, the head PGA Golf Professional at Elmcrest Country Club, Cedar Rapids, has been a fixture in the game of golf in the state since the mid 1980s.

Larry’s love for the game started in high school at Hempstead in Dubuque, then continued as he played collegiately at the University of Northern Iowa. Soon after college he began teaching the game back home in Dubuque then, in 1986, he moved to Cedar Rapids and Elmcrest Country Club, where he has been ever since.

Gladson, who has mentored 13 current PGA members and nine 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.

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.”

Career Highlights

  • 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
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