Waterloo | Inducted 2012 | Category: Professional Golfer

Ken Schall has been successful as an amateur and professional player, a club pro and a teaching pro.

The highlight of Schall’s amateur career was a victory in the 1981 Iowa Amateur, where he holed a 15-foot par putt on the final hole to win by a shot. He turned pro in 1982, reaching the final stage of qualifying for the PGA Tour five times before making it in 1991. Playing as a 32-year-old rookie, Schall’s best finish in 30 starts was a tie for 11th at the Chattanooga Classic. He spent the 1982 season on the Hogan (now Korn Ferry) Tour, then he headed for the pro shop.

Schall became a club pro, first at Sunnyside in Waterloo then Glen Oaks in West Des Moines. He also spent one season as the golf coach at Drake, and Zach Johnson was one of his players. Then Schall turned the page again and became a highly successful, and respected, full-time instructor.

Schall was named Iowa PGA Section Player of the Year seven times. He won four Iowa PGA Section titles and four section match-play titles. He won the Iowa Open and Sani titles in 1988, and collected both of them again in 1995. He also won the 1998 PGA Northern Regional Championship.

Ken was president of the Iowa PGA Section from 2005 to 2007. In 2003, he was presented with both the Iowa PGA Horton Smith Award and was named the section’s Professional of the Year. He was also the PGA Professional of the Year in 2007.

Schall played in nine major championships – seven PGA Championships and two U.S. Opens. Ken cut his golfing teeth in Waterloo, one of many outstanding players that city has produced.

“When I was a kid you could get a season pass for $5,” Schall recalled. “You had access to all three courses. You just had to tee off before 10 a.m. or something like that. If you wanted to go all in, you could spend something like $39 for the summer and have unlimited access to those courses. The City Junior winner in each group got the coveted pass every year. That was kind of a big deal.”

Waterloo is where Schall also learned how to compete, and win.

“When I was a junior in high school, I bet there were 20 to 25 kids shooting right around par all the time,” he remembered, Schall also learned from one of Iowa’s all-time greats, Jack Rule of Waterloo.

“In my book, he’s one of the great golf talents of all time,” Schall said. “I got to caddy for Jack a couple of times at the Waterloo Open when I was in junior high. That had a huge impact on my life.”

Career Highlights

  • Has played in 9 Major Championships – 7 PGA Championships and two U.S. Opens
  • 1981 Iowa Amateur Champion
  • 1988, 95 Iowa Open Champion
  • 1988, 95 Herman Sani Invitational Champion
  • 4-time Iowa PGA Section Champion
  • 4-time Iowa PGA Match Play Champion
  • 1998 PGA Northern Regional Champion
  • 7-time Iowa PGA Player of the Year
  • Qualified and played the PGA Tour in 1991 – best finish 11th at Chattanooga Open
  • 2003 IGA PGA Professional of the Year
  • 2003 Iowa PGA Horton Smith Award
  • 2007 PGA Professional of the Year
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