Des Moines | Inducted 2017 | Category: Amateur Player

While in college, Brad Schuchat would capture the 1969 Iowa Amateur.

Brad Schuchat was 5 years old when his parents joined the Des Moines Golf and Country Club.

“That’s where I got exposed to golf,” Schuchat said. “Marty (his brother) and I competed in all the golf events the club had to offer.”

Schuchat also started working with the pro at Des Moines Golf, Joe Brown, another Iowa Golf Hall of Fame member, “He was a great role model,” Schuchat said.

Schuchat was 16, and a junior-to-be at Des Moines Roosevelt, when he made a name for himself by winning the 1965 Iowa Junior Amateur at Veenker Memorial in Ames. He drew more attention later that summer when he tied for 20th at the Sani Invitational at Hyperion.

He helped Des Moines Roosevelt with a state high school title as a senior in 1967, and decided to attend the University of Iowa. That summer, he played in the Iowa Amateur at Finkbine and tied for third. Tom Chapman Jr. won the title, Bob Leahy was second, John Liechty tied for third and Steve Kehrer tied for sixth. Those five players would combine to win 10 Iowa Amateur titles during their careers.

After finishing second to Liechy at the 1968 Sani, Schuchat broke through with a victory at the 1969 Iowa Amateur at Green Valley in Sioux City. It was a windy and rainy week of competition, and the scoreboard reflected that. No one in the field broke 70 the entire week. Schuchat had a second-round 81. And when he finished, he learned that his grandfather, Boyd Brewer of Indianola had passed away.

“He was a great golf fan and we were very close,” Schuchat said after learning of his grandfather’s passing.

Tied for sixth and two shots out of the lead heading into the 36-hole finale, Iowa Golf Association officials allowed Schuchat to play in the second group off the tee so he could return to Des Moines as soon as possible to be with his family. Schuchat shot 74-70 and finished two shots in front of J.D. Turner.

Brad went on to add the Tournament of Champions title that summer, closing with a 66 to finish two shots ahead of Leahy.

His most productive year was 1970. Brad won two college tournaments that spring, the Northern Collegiate Championship in Champaign, Ill., and the Indiana Collegiate. Then a final-round 70, the best of the day, gave him a three-shot victory over John Benda at the Iowa Masters. And he finished 69-69 to win the Sani by three shots. His mentor, Joe Brown, was second. And he defended his title at the Tournament of Champions. He also collected the Iowa Golf Association’s Player of the Year award. Schuchat’s 70.3 stroke average in seven designated major championships was the lowest since the IGA started naming a player of the year in 1960.

Schuchat had a 70.6 stroke average, the best in the state, in 1971. But Liechty was named the state’s top amateur because Schuchat didn’t play in the Iowa Open, one of the required events.

Brad tied for ninth in the 1971 U.S. Amateur in Wilmington, Del. He was tied with Gil Morgan and beat future U.S. Open champions Tom Kite and Andy North. He also played in the inaugural Quad Cities Open at Crow Valley in Bettendorf as an amateur and tied for 29th.

Schuchat took a swing at professional golf after that, but came up short in several attempts to make the PGA Tour. He did win the 1975 Sani as a professional, and qualified for the U.S. Open in 1974 and 1976.

He filed a request with the USGA to get his amateur status back. That request was granted in December of 1979. His first victory after that came in the 1980 Des Moines City championship.

Later that summer Schuchat won both the Iowa Amateur and Iowa Open, joining Art Bartlett of Ottumwa (1928) to win both in the same season. His Iowa Amateur title came on familiar turf, at the Des Moines Golf and Country Club.

“I did know the greens better than most people and that was an advantage,” Schuchat said.

His Iowa Open victory came by three shots at Echo Valley Country Club in Norwalk.

He tied for third in his Iowa Amateur defense in 1981, and tied for fifth in 1982, and then dropped out of competitive golf for the most part after that.

“When Brad was in his prime, I used to watch him practice over at Willow Creek,” Iowa Golf Hall of Famer Mike McCoy said. “He was just a tough competitor.”


Career Highlights

  • Herman Sani Open Champion – 1970, 1975
  • IGA Player of the Year – 1970
  • Iowa Masters Champion – 1970, 1971
  • T9th at U.S. Amateur, alternate to The Masters – 1971
  • U.S. Open competitor – 1974, 1976
  • Iowa Amateur Champion – 1980
Schuchat was known as a fierce competitor, yet was described as one who would play with a high level of integrity and respect for the game.
Following his collegiate days in Iowa City, Brad Schuchat would travel the state, and the country, winning many tournaments.
The respect for Brad Schuchat goes well beyond the titles he collected over his career.
Scroll to top