Iowa Golf Association Announces Updates to Player of the Year System

The Iowa Golf Association (IGA) Board of Directors, upon the recommendation from its Rules & Competitions Committee, recently approved minor changes to its Player of the Year system, aimed at recognizing and rewarding outstanding achievements in golf across the state. These updates reflect recent changes made by the USGA and their qualifying process, as well as a new tournament on the Women’s side.

Exempt Players to USGA and R&A Championships:
Beginning in 2024, points will now be awarded to United States Golf Association (USGA) and Royal & Ancient (R&A) Championship exempt players equal to those players that make the final field due to qualifying events. A large impetus for this change is due to the USGA and R&A relying more and more on WAGR standing to grant exemptions into their championships, meaning more players are earning exemptions than before. Players who are exempt from previous championship finishes will also be eligible to receive qualifier points.  Exempt players are required to “tee it up” in the national championship to receive points. If they never enter, or enter and ultimately withdraw prior to starting, then no points will be awarded.

USGA – State Amateur Exemptions
The IGA has learned that three of our champions – the Iowa Amateur, Iowa Women’s Amateur, and Iowa Girls’ Junior Amateur – will earn exemptions into the respective USGA National Championship (U.S. Am, U.S. Women’s Am, & U.S. Girls’ Junior Am). Those players will also earn points equal to those who have earned their way through a qualifying event in the various point systems.

“We are delighted to unveil these updates to our Player of the Year program,” said Mike Purcell, Chair of the Rules & Competition Committee. “The increase in USGA exemptions through our IGA competitions and through WAGR (World Amateur Golf Rankings) has directly impacted and benefited our Iowa golfers. We feel it is appropriate to recognize the achievement of earning the exemption as it has come from outstanding golf and ultimately means the player has earned the right to play in the national championship, just as outstanding golf in a qualifying event grants players that same opportunity.”

Revamped U.S. Amateur Qualifying Points:
With the U.S. Amateur Qualifying now featuring two stages, the IGA has introduced new points scales to accurately reflect the evolving structure of this prestigious event. These updated scales will provide equitable opportunities for participants at each stage of the qualifying process, ensuring that their achievements are duly recognized within the Player of the Year standings. 

Inclusion of Carroll Women’s Amateur:
In a further step towards growing the women’s game, the IGA Women’s Player of the Year systems will now incorporate the Carroll Women’s Amateur in the point system. 2024 will mark the inaugural event hosted at Carroll Country Club. By integrating this event into the points standings, the IGA reaffirms its commitment to rewarding additional playing opportunities for female golfers that are created throughout the state.

The Iowa Golf Association looks forward to a successful season ahead, filled with spirited competition and memorable performances on the links. For more information about the Player of the Year system and standings, please visit

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