Spirit Lake | Inducted 2015 | Category: Golf Professional

In a career spanning more than 30 years Curt Schnell has distinguished himself as both a player and a teacher of the game.  He has worked the majority of his career in Iowa with a five-year stint in Nebraska from 1997 to 2002.

A native of Milford in Northwest Iowa, Curt’s career as a club professional began in 1981 at Spencer Golf and CC.  He served as an assistant professional and teaching professional until 1997 with stints at Crow Valley GC in Davenport, Des Moines Golf & CC and Glynns Creek GC near Davenport.  During this period he was twice named Iowa Section PGA Teacher of the Year, in 1991 and 1996.  His competitive game also excelled during this time as he earned Iowa Section Player of the Year honors in 1991 and 1992.

In 1997 Schnell was named Head Golf Professional at Oak Hills CC in Omaha, Neb.  In a five year span he was named Nebraska Section Teacher of the Year twice (1998 and 2000) and took home Nebraska Player of the Year honors in 2000 and 2001.

Curt returned to Iowa in 2002 to become the Director of Golf at Crow Valley Golf Club.  He earned his third Iowa Section Player of the Year award in 2004 which was highlighted by his victory in the 12- state Northern Region Club Professional Championship.

In 2005 Schnell became co-owner, with his brother Steve, of the Okoboji View Golf Course near his hometown of Milford, IA. Curt left Crow Valley in 2008 to become fulltime Golf Professional and Manager of Okoboji View. (Steve is the Golf Course Superintendent.) He has kept his game in pretty good shape after turning 50, winning Iowa Section Senior Player of the Year in 2009 and 2012.

Crow Valley member and current President of the IGA Foundation, Joe Kehoe, was one of Curt’s students. “He taught the game in a way that was understandable and motivating and was equally effective with skilled and beginning golfers,” said Kehoe, in a letter supporting the nomination.

“Curt has had an impact on golf in Iowa in almost every way you can – player (amateur and professional), teacher, mentor and club professional,” said Kehoe.

Another support letter from Crow Valley member Michael Hawes gave a summary that is representative of many of the other letters received: “Curt is not only a great instructor and player, but a wonderful husband and father who has dedicated his entire life to this game,” Mr. Hawes stated.  “I can think of no one more deserving of inclusion into the Iowa Golf Hall of Fame than Curt Schnell.”

Career Highlights

  • Iowa Junior Amateur Champion – 1976
  • 3-time Iowa Open Champion – 1078 (amateur), 1982, 1993
  • 3-time Iowa Section PGA Player of the Year – 1991, 92, 2004
  • 2-time Nebraska Section PGA Player of the Year – 2000-01
  • 2-time Iowa Section PGA Senior Player of the Year – 2009, 2012
  • Northern Region Club Professional Champion (12 states), 2004
  • Qualified for 14 National Club Professional Championships
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