Cedar Rapids | Inducted 1989 | Category: Amateur Golfer

Career Highlights

  • Over 30 years on IWGA Board
  • Six-time Iowa Women’s Amateur Champion – 1953, ’63, ’65, ’68, ’70, ’72
  • Eleven-time Iowa Senior Women’s Amateur Champion – 1981, ’83-’90, ’92, ’93
  • Five-time Forever 39 Champion – 1968, ’76, ’77, ’94, ’97

Corkey Nydle was an instrumental part of women’s golf for almost 50 years. Not only was she visible as a player but she helped start the Iowa Women’s Golf Association and was a part of the IWGA Board for over 30 years holding nearly every position. One of her biggest accomplishments as a member of the IWGA Board was the promotion of junior golf in the state and the creation of the 4-State Girls’ Junior Golf Tournament involving Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri beginning in 1969 and continuing today. She also served on the USGA Junior Girls’ committee for years.

Corkey’s playing career was as impressive as they come. It included a total of 23 individual IWGA Championships and five team titles. These championships included six Iowa Women’s Amateur titles, the first occurring at age 17 in 1953 and her last in 1972. She also won 11 Iowa Women’s Senior Amateur titles, including an amazing stretch between 1983 and 1991 where she won eight titles in a row. Her career also included five Forever 39 titles, as well as five Iowa State Team titles with her teammates at Ellis Park in Cedar Rapids.

Corkey’s accomplishments also earned her a place in the Des Moines Sunday Register Iowa Sports Hall of Fame in 1994. She was the third female golfer to be inducted, joining Ann Casey Johnstone and Lucile Robinson Mann.

A competitor with unsinkable spirit, Corinne Major Nydle grew up in Ottumwa and earned her nickname because of her love for water. “I guess I swam a lot and people said I floated like a cork,” she once explained.

A master at self-deprecating humor, Corkey played in the Iowa Women’s Amateur 46 times, including one stretch of 25 in a row, between 1946 and 2003.

Her six Iowa Women’s Amateur titles matched the number won by her advisor at Stephens College, Ann Casey Johnstone. The first of Corkey’s six victories when she beat Ann in the 1953 finals. That also ended Johnstone’s 20-match winning streak. Nydle considered that the greatest victory of her career because she looked up to Ann so much.

That would be Corkey’s only title under match play. The championship switched to medal play in 1957. It took 10 years for Nydle to play her way into the winner’s circle again. She won the 1963 title at Dodge Park golf course in Council Bluffs. She won without drama, dusting the field by 13 shots. Her other titles came in 1965, at the Wakonda Club in Des Moines; in 1968, at the Spencer Country Club; in 1970, at the Dubuque Golf and Country Club; and in 1972, at Crow Valley Golf Club in Bettendorf. A seventh title eluded her. She finished a runner-up in 1976 at Elmwood Country Club in Marshalltown, but it wasn’t close. Susie Shinn of Waterloo won by 11 shots.

“My mind doesn’t stay with it like it used to,” Nydle said in 1997. “I hit some good shots and do some dumb things…just like a teenager.” After moving to Florida, Corkey won 12 consecutive medals at the Florida Senior Games. She won in 2015 despite shooting 100 “for the first time in 20 years. I was in 10 sandtraps. That’s how you shoot a 100.” Corkey Nydle passed away in 2024.

Click here to Read about her Induction into the Iowa Sports Hall of Fame

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