Recent Iowa PGA News
March 16, 2015
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE FROM THE IOWA GOLF ASSOCIATION:
The Iowa Golf Association is pleased to announce the election of two new members to the Iowa Golf Hall of Fame. Curt Schnell of Spirit Lake and Brad Gregory of Waterloo now living in Chandler, AZ, will be inducted as the “Class of 2015” on the evening of Wednesday, June 17, 2015.
Details of the site and times for the induction will be announced soon. This induction will raise the total membership in the Iowa Golf Hall of Fame to 68.
Brad Gregory started his PGA Professional career in 1981 at the Red Carpet Golf Club in Waterloo, Iowa. He demonstrated an interest and talent for the Rules of Golf and has risen to the top of his profession. Gregory was appointed to the PGA Rules Committee in 1998. For the last ten years, he has served as Vice Chairman and then Chairman of this Committee. He is now the Committee’s immediate past Chairman. Gregory also serves as the Director of Rules for NCAA Division I Championships.
Gregory is recognized worldwide as one of the top officials and educators on the Rules of Golf. In more than 20 years of service he has traveled the world to administer and teach the rules. He has officiated over 125 national and international championships including 37 majors and five Ryder Cup matches.
Gregory spent the first half of his PGA career at Red Carpet Golf Club in Waterloo and also worked with the Standard Golf Company in the research and development of new products. It was during this time that his passion for the rules became evident and he was appointed to the PGA of America Rules Committee while still living in Iowa.
For the past 16 years he has served as an instructor for USGA/PGA Rules Workshops. He moved from Iowa to Arizona in 2001 and teaches seminars for the Southwest Section PGA and the Arizona Golf Association and has returned to Iowa from time to time to teach rules seminars for the Iowa Section. He was twice honored with the Southwest Section PGA Horton Smith Award, in 2006 and 2013, for distinguished service in PGA education.
In a letter of support for Brad’s nomination, Kerry Haigh, the Chief Championships Officer for the PGA of America said, “I have known Brad for many years and watched him develop into one of the best rules officials in the country. He is dedicated, hard-working, knowledgeable and a true professional in his dealings with all aspects of Championships and Tournament golf.”
“Brad is known within the golf industry as one of the most level headed, well versed and respected rules officials,” wrote Greg Mason, a Past President of the Iowa Section and longtime friend. “His contributions to the game of golf through the Rules of Golf and with Standard Golf have improved the lives of many in the golf business.”
In a career spanning more than 30 years Curt Schnell has distinguished himself as both a player and a teacher of the game. He has worked the majority of his career in Iowa with a five-year stint in Nebraska from 1997 to 2002.
A native of Milford in Northwest Iowa, Curt’s career as a club professional began in 1981 at Spencer Golf and CC. He served as an assistant professional and teaching professional until 1997 with stints at Crow Valley GC in Davenport, Des Moines Golf & CC and Glynns Creek GC near Davenport. During this period he was twice named Iowa Section PGA Teacher of the Year, in 1991 and 1996. His competitive game also excelled during this time as he earned Iowa Section Player of the Year honors in 1991 and 1992.
In 1997 Schnell was named Head Golf Professional at Oak Hills CC in Omaha, Neb. In a five year span he was named Nebraska Section Teacher of the Year twice (1998 and 2000) and took home Nebraska Player of the Year honors in 2000 and 2001.
Curt returned to Iowa in 2002 to become the Director of Golf at Crow Valley Golf Club. He earned his third Iowa Section Player of the Year award in 2004 which was highlighted by his victory in the 12- state Northern Region Club Professional Championship.
In 2005 Schnell became co-owner, with his brother Steve, of the Okoboji View Golf Course near his hometown of Milford, IA. Curt left Crow Valley in 2008 to become fulltime Golf Professional and Manager of Okoboji View. (Steve is the Golf Course Superintendent.) He has kept his game in pretty good shape after turning 50, winning Iowa Section Senior Player of the Year in 2009 and 2012.
Crow Valley member and current President of the IGA Foundation, Joe Kehoe, was one of Curt’s students. “He taught the game in a way that was understandable and motivating and was equally effective with skilled and beginning golfers,” said Kehoe, in a letter supporting the nomination.
“Curt has had an impact on golf in Iowa in almost every way you can – player (amateur and professional), teacher, mentor and club professional,” said Kehoe.
Another support letter from Crow Valley member Michael Hawes gave a summary that is representative of many of the other letters received: “Curt is not only a great instructor and player, but a wonderful husband and father who has dedicated his entire life to this game,” Mr. Hawes stated. “I can think of no one more deserving of inclusion into the Iowa Golf Hall of Fame than Curt Schnell.”
A Brief Summary of Curt Schnell’s career highlights as a player:
• Iowa Junior Amateur Champion – 1976
• 3-time Iowa Open Champion – 1978 (amateur), 1982 and 1993 (pro)
• 3- time Iowa Section PGA Player of the Year – 1991, 92 and 2004
• 2-time Nebraska Section PGA Player of the Year – 2000-01
• 2-time Iowa Section PGA Senior Player of the Year – 2009, 2012
• Northern Region Club Professional Champion (12 states), 2004
• Qualified for 14 National Club Professional Championships
Complete details on Curt Schnell’s playing career will be posted on the Iowa Golf Hall of Fame webpage soon.
The Iowa Golf Hall of Fame is operated by the Iowa Golf Association under its charitable arm the IGA Foundation which is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization dedicated to preserving, protecting and promoting golf and its positive values. Tax deductible donations and gifts to support the development of the Iowa Golf Hall of Fame are welcome and encouraged.