Belle Plaine | Inducted 2010 | Category: Amateur Golfer/ Professional Golfer

Nielsen grew up playing on sand greens in Belle Plaine and went on to attend the University of Iowa.  He won several amateur events in Iowa, including the 1975 Iowa Amateur, and was named Iowa Player of the Year that year.

He turned pro in 1976 and competed for a brief time on the PGA Tour highlighted by two top ten finishes before pursuing a career as a club pro.  Nielsen was a dominant player in the Western New York Section PGA winning its Section Championship nine times and the Match Play Championship 10 times from 1984 through 2002

Lonnie played the PGA Champions Tour full time from 2006-09, occasionally from 2010-2017, winning two titles and has amassed almost $5 million in winnings.  Nielsen’s best year was 2008 when he finished 11th on the money list with over $1.2 million in cash.

Career Highlights


  • Northwest Amateur Champion: 1974
  • Lake Creek Amateur Champion: 1975
  • Iowa Amateur Champion at Ottumwa Country Club: 1975
  • Iowa Player of the Year: 1975
  • Fort Dodge Amateur Champion: 1976
  • Waterloo Open Champion: 1979
  • Herman Sani Invitational Winner: 1976 and 1982


  • Nine-time Winner of the Western New York Section Champion
  • Ten-time Winner of the Western New York Section Match Play Championship from 1984 – 2002
  • Won the Commerce Bank Championship in 2007
  • Won the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open in 2009
Scroll to top