|IGA 2011 Annual Awards Winners
On Friday, November 4th the IGA Board of Directors named the 2011 Annual Award winners of the Iowa Golf Association. We are pleased to announce this year’s honorees.
9-Hole Course of the Year
The IGA is pleased to name Stone Creek Golf Club as the 2011 9-Hole Course of the Year. Located in Williamsburg, this DA Weibring designed layout is home to over 100 IGA members. The club has appeared on lists of top 9-hole golf courses in America and is receiving this IGA honor for the second time (2002). Stone Creek played host to the inaugural IGA Senior Shootout in 2011 and received rave reviews from the participants; it’s a “must play” golf course in Iowa.
18-Hole Course of the Year
The recipient of the 2011 IGA 18-Hole Course of the Year is Spirit Hollow Golf Course in Burlington. Since opening in 2000, Spirit Hollow has consistently shown a strong desire to give back to the game. Host of a U.S. Amateur Qualifier in 2007 and a pair of IGA Match Play Championships (’05 and ’11), Spirit Hollow is preparing to showcase their continually improving championship layout in July of 2012 as host of the 110th Iowa Amateur Championship. This award recognizes of the commitment owner Randy Winegard, Superintendent Dave Beik and Club Manager Aaron Luttenegger each put forth to make Spirit Hollow a truly great course.
9-Hole Superintendent of the Year
Gregg Winkel from Algona Country Club is the 9-Hole Superintendent of the Year. Gregg has been the superintendent at Algona CC for over 25 years. During his tenure he has had no fewer than eight assistants go on to earn Turf Management degrees leading to superintendents positions or other turf related positions. Algona CC President Jack Williams spoke highly of his unselfishness, perseverance and ingenuity in a supporting letter that conveyed how much Gregg is appreciated by the members of Algona CC.
18-Hole Superintendent of the Year
The IGA 18-Hole Superintendent of 2011 is Brett Hetland of Brooks National Golf Club in Okoboji. Under the leadership of Certified Golf Course Superintendent Hetland the property is more than just a great golf course, it stands as an excellent example of environmental stewardship as well. Brooks National’s President and CEO Tom Davies says, “Brett is passionate about the environment. The club sees his passion and gives him free rein to do whatever he needs to do to make our course as ‘green’ as he can.” Davies isn’t the only one who recognizes his passion, the Iowa Golf Course Superintendents Association awarded Brett with their first-ever Environmental Stewardship Award in 2010 and the IGA is pleased to bestow the 18-hole Superintendent award to Brett in 2011.
Club Manager of the Year
Davenport Country Club’s Scott Azinger has been chosen as the 2011 Club Manager of the Year. Scott started at Davenport Country Club in 1984 as the Superintendent and in 1997 became the General Manager and Chief Operating Officer at the club. During his tenure Scott has lead the club through construction of a new clubhouse (2000), golf course renovation (2000), bunker renovation (2003), new aquatics center (2009) and a renovation to the upper level of our clubhouse (2011). Scott is also respected by his peers; he is currently serving as President of the Tall Corn Chapter of the Club Managers Association of America (CMAA) for the 2011-12 term. The IGA is pleased to honor Scott Azinger with the 2011 Club Manager of the year.
PGA Professional of the Year
Mitch Merrill has been selected by the IGA as the PGA Professional of the Year. Mitch was elected to PGA membership in 1986 and has been the head golf professional at Sioux City Country Club since 1991. In 1996 he became a PGA Master Professional, a title that less that 2% of PGA members own. Mitch is recognized as a great supporter of junior golf. He has raised over $18,000 to promote Junior Golf in Siouxland by conducting an annual golf marathon. Mitch also served as president of the Nebraska Section PGA in 2000-2001. The IGA is pleased to honor Mitch with this award.
IGA member clubs and employees of those clubs are eligible for these awards that have been bestowed annually since 1981.