The Iowa Golf Association Foundation serves as host for two college scholarship programs - The Herman Sani Scholarship & the Ann Griffel Scholarship. Read more about each program below.

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Ann Griffel Scholarship

About the Griffel Scholarship

This scholarship was named after the long time IWGA President, Ann Griffel. During her 23 year term, the Girls’ State Junior, Forever 39, State Wife-Husband and Senior Women’s Championships were started. Ann was inducted into the Iowa Golf Hall of Fame in 2006 to honor her contributions to the game. Since 1963, 258 students have received this scholarship.

The Iowa Golf Association Foundation (IGAF) was established to preserve the game and develop more programs to promote the future of golf in Iowa. The IGAF awards $2,000 Ann Griffel Scholarships to Iowa high school senior girls who intend to further their education at an Iowa institution of higher learning, whether a college, university or trade school.

History of the Scholarship

The following was written by Ione Reid in 1981 and edited by Sally Sharp in October of 2001.

Since 1963 scholarships have been given to girls entering college. The first scholarship was given to Louise Ostreko. On June 10, 1980 at the Olde Indian Creeke Country Club in Marion, Iowa scholarships were presented to Linda Bettenhausen, Emmetsburg; Diane Thiede, Hampton; Diane Dave, Cedar Rapids; Barb A. Mueler, Orange City and Alicia Eckstein of Boone, Iowa. The first scholarship in 1963 was for $350.00. In 1985 the scholarship award was raised to $1000.00. There is also a letter in the historians records from Mrs. Lyle E. Shultz (Executive Secretary to Mrs. Drew Reid postmarked June 1980 that states that this tournament was designated as IWGA tournament in 1932. Certificate of Incorporation, September 28, 1965. This letter listed all the winners of the IWGA Scholarships beginning with 1963 through 1980. Between 1980 through 1990 the winners of the IWGA scholarship were listed on a separate piece of paper but are not signed by anyone.

In 1972 the requirements of the IWGA Scholarship Award was stated as follows:

The Iowa Women’s Golf Association awards annually a full tuition scholarship to an Iowa high school girl graduating from an Iowa high school and enrolling at Iowa State University, State University of Iowa or University of Northern Iowa. This scholarship is open to: 1) Girls of excellent character; 2) Girls who meet entrance requirements at the three universities; 3) Girls who are recommended by one or more high school officials; 4) Girls who are recommended by member golf associations of the IWGA; 5) Girls who have participated in at least one golfing event, either the Iowa Junior Girls’ Tournament, the Iowa Women’s Tournament, or one local city, club, or high school golfing event; 6) Girls who complete an application and submit it by April 1 of the graduating year. Incomplete or late applications will not be considered; 7) Golfing skill has no direct bearing on the scholarship award. Award of Scholarship will be made by the Scholarship Committee of the Iowa Women’s Golf Association. Send application by April 1st to Mrs. Kenneth Watts, 3102 Terry Dr., S.E., Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52403. Additional application blanks may be obtained from Mrs. Watts.

In 1973 the IWGA awarded two $750.00 scholarships to two Iowa high school girls graduating from an Iowa high school, and enrolling at any accredited state or private college of Iowa. This is different from the statement made in 1972 of awarding a full tuition scholarship. Also there is written paper in the historians records that there were three scholarships awarded in 1973.

1980 is the first year that this writer can find of any winners of the scholarship awards, and even though the IWGA book states that they are only awarding two scholarships of $750.00 each the records that were found lists five winners for 1980.

1981 was the first year for six scholarships.

The 1982 IWGA book states that this is the 20th annual scholarship awards and that this year they are awarding several $750.00 scholarships to Iowa high school girls.

1985 was the year that the Scholarship award was changed to the 23rd Ann Griffel IWGA Scholarship Awards and the awards were changed to $1000.00.

1994 was the first year that the winners of the Ann Griffel IWGA Scholarship award were listed in the IWGA book.

At the October 2005 fall board meeting it was decided to change the six annual Ann Griffel scholarships to $1500.00 each, beginning in 2006.

Herman Sani Scholarship

About the Sani Scholarship

The Herman Sani Scholarship Program was established in 1958 in memory of Herman Sani who had a passion for golf and for young people. The purpose of this scholarship is to assist Iowa Students to further their education. As of 2022, 202 college-bound students have been awarded this four-year scholarship.

The Iowa Golf Association administers and maintains the Herman Sani Scholarship Program. Each recipient receives $8,000 ($2,000 per year) over a consecutive four-year period as long as the student is making reasonable academic progress. Each year, the recipients and their families are honored at the Herman Sani Scholarship Award Banquet which is held the day before the first round of the Herman Sani Golf Tournament.

The Sani Scholarship Selection Committee, made up of nine members and three emeritus members, accepts applications and determines the recipients based on specific criteria. Many Sani scholars have gone on to achieve fame in the golf industry. The first scholarship was awarded to J.D. Turner from Perry, IA in 1958. The former Des Moines Golf & Country Club pro is now living in Savannah, GA and has been named one of the top 50 golf instructors by Golf Digest.

About Herman Sani

Herman Sani was was the first director of the Iowa Golf Association and served the organization for over 30 years. He was a Hyperion member for over 50 years. During his tenure, he served for 15 years on the Board of Directors, was Chairman of the Greens Committee for 20 years and served as Club President in 1934.

In 1936 during the Great Depression, Mr. Sani purchased the Hyperion Field Club for back taxes on the courthouse steps and gave it back to the membership. No record exists that he was ever reimbursed for his generosity.

About the Sani Tournament

The Herman Sani Tournament began in 1950 and has become one of the major championships on the Iowa Golf Association schedule. In the beginning, the tournament rotated sites between Hyperion Field Club in Johnston, Wakonda Club in Des Moines and Des Moines Golf & Country Club. Then, in 1958, it settled into a permanent home at Hyperion until 2012.

After being run by the staff and members at Hyperion, the IGA took over administration duties in 2013. Echo Valley Country Club in Norwalk hosted the 2013 tournament and now the tournament rotates between Hyperion and Echo Valley.

The tournament brings together the state’s top amateurs and professionals in a 54-hole championship. Past winners include many players who went on to fame on the PGA and Champions Tours, including two-time major champion Zach Johnson (2000 Champion).

While crowning a deserving champion is important, equally so is the recognition of the scholarship recipients for the given year. Since 1958, 158 students have been awarded Sani Scholarships. Currently, the scholarship is valued at $8,000 with $2,000 provided annually over a four-year period. Proceeds from the tournament and events surrounding the tournament go directly to the Sani Scholarship fund.

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