West Des Moines | Inducted 2019 | Category: Superintendent

Rick Tegtmeier has been grooming fairways in Iowa for over 45 years.   In 1973 – at only 14 years of age – Tegtmeier began on the grounds crew at Rockford Country Club in Rockford, Iowa.  At 17, he was named superintendent. At age 20, he took the head position at Urbandale Golf & Country Club where he remained for two years.  After spending a year at Hinsdale Golf Club in Illinois, he joined the staff at Des Moines Golf & Country Club in 1983, where he was the superintendent of the North course. In 1989 he left Des Moines Golf & CC to take the head superintendent position at Elmcrest Country Club in Cedar Rapids, where he remained for 17 years. In 2006, Tegtmeier moved back to Des Moines Golf & Country Club as the Director of Grounds, where he remains today.

Tegtmeier was honored by TurfNet as the national Superintendent of the Year in 2017.

John Reitman from TurfNet wrote, “Tegtmeier was recognized not just for staging a virtually flawless venue for the 2017 Solheim Cup.  He also won acclaim for his four years of hard work and preparation leading up to the event and, most importantly, how he used the event to help others, including fellow superintendents throughout Iowa.  Tegtmeier wanted to prove to the world that Iowa superintendents were more than capable of producing a venue that rivaled anything in professional championship golf, so he opened the door to any Iowa greenkeeper who wanted to help prove his point.  In all, 87 volunteers showed up to work. The flawless conditions, large crowds and patriotism turned the Solheim Cup into an experience that was almost surreal.”

Past President of the GCSAA Sean Hoolehan, CGCS said, “While I was President of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America I often asked Rick to participate on important committees and task groups.  He was a pioneer in the use of technology and a leader in using that knowledge to increase quality and productivity of superintendents. Rick was one of the most respected superintendents in the country well before the Solheim Cup.”

Career Highlights

  • He is one of only 80 people worldwide to currently have the designation of Master Greenkeeper, which he obtained in 2015.
  • In 2017 Des Moines Golf & Country Club played host to the LPGA’s Solheim Cup matches.
  • Tegtmeier oversaw four years of renovations to the 36 holes at DMGCC, as the club did extensive work on nine holes each year.  Under Tegtmeier’s guidance, the work was completed on schedule and the club provided a pristine playing surface for the best female golfers from the U.S. and Europe.
  • He served on the Iowa Golf Course Superintendents Association board from 1992-1996, including as President in 1995.
  • Since 2016 he has served on the Board of Trustees of the Iowa Turfgrass Institute.
  • He was a member of the USGA’s Green Section committee from 2010-2015.
  • From 1996 to 2004 he served on eight different Golf Course Superintendents Association of America committees or task forces.
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