Luther College’s Fjelstul named GTDSA winner for 2021
Scott Fjelstul (right), Luther College men’s golf coach, has been named this year’s George Turner Distinguished Service Award recipient for his years of service to the game of golf. He will be recognized during a ceremony at Glen Oaks Country Club in West Des Moines on Dec. 17.
Fjelstul, a 1983 graduate of Luther College, has been the head coach for the Norse for over 34 years, has led the Norse to five of Luther’s 11 conference titles (1997, 1999, 2008, 2016, 2017) and has had five teams qualify for the National Tournament (1996 [T13], 1997 [12th], 2008 [21st], 2016 [T33], 2017 [T29]).
His teams have finished first or second in the Iowa Conference 17 of the past 27 years and has been named Iowa Conference (now American Rivers Conference) Coach of the Year a record 10 times (1992, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2016, 2017) and was named the NCAA Division III District 5 Coach of the Year in 1996.
Collectively, 50 student-athletes have earned 80 all-conference honors, including six conference Most Valuable Players, six All Americans and 31 Golf Coaches Association of American Academic All-Americans during his tenure.
“Coach Scott Fjelstul has been the face of Luther Men’s Golf for nearly 35 years,” Andrew Peter, a former player for Fjelstul said. “His professionalism, work ethic and passion for the game are qualities that have made him an ideal leader and mentor at Luther College and in the college golf community. Speaking from my personal experience, Scott and his players welcomed me with open arms when I enrolled at Luther as a transfer student-athlete in 2012, and I will be forever grateful for the relationships built and memories shared during my two years playing for him. Coach went to great lengths to ensure that our experience as student-athletes was entirely positive, and he served an important role in helping me and my teammates mature to become quality young men.”
Dan Hammes, Commissioner American Rivers Conference, also had high praise for Fjelstul.
“As with the game of golf, Scott Fjelstul is an individual of honor and integrity, demonstrated through his 34-plus years of successfully leading student-athletes on and off the golf course,” Hammes said. “Scott’s impact and dedication to his student-athletes, Luther College, the conference, and the game of golf have been remarkable. When you consider the time he has devoted and the totality of people he has impacted, Scott has established and continues to build an incredible legacy.”
The Iowa Golf Association named its distinguished service award after Turner in 2003. His name value runs beyond state borders. Turner qualified for and played in the 1981, 1984 and 1993 U.S. Senior Open and the 1988, 1990 and 1991 U.S. Senior Amateur. Off the course, George has been an Iowa Golf Association volunteer for decades, helping run numerous events. George and John Nervig took over operations of the Iowa Masters from the late Harry Burrell 20 years ago. It’s not an official Iowa Golf Association event unless George Turner was somewhere on the course! (Courtesy of Rick Brown)