Original Press Release published by Iowa Golf Association at www.iowagolf.com on January 18,2012.
The Iowa Golf Association is pleased to announce the election of four new members to the Iowa Golf Hall of Fame. Gene Elliott of West Des Moines, Dave Rummels, originally from West Branch, and Ken Schall of West Des Moines, will be inducted this spring. In addition, the late Ted Lockie of Bettendorf was elected under the “historical category”. The date and place for the 2012 induction ceremony will be announced soon.
The “Class of 2012” will raise the total membership in the Iowa Golf Hall of Fame to 57.
Ken Schall, PGA
After a brief amateur career highlighted by a victory in the 1981 Iowa Amateur, Ken Schall turned professional in 1982 has been a leading player, club professional and ambassador for the game of golf. Ken received his PGA Class A Membership in 1987 and has won the Iowa PGA Section Player of the Year award a record seven times!
Schall qualified for and played on the PGA Tour in 1991. His best finish was 11th at the Chattanooga Open. He has competed in seven PGA Championships and two U.S. Opens.
After his brief stint on the Tour, Schall returned to Iowa and has held the head professional job at two outstanding clubs; Sunnyside Country Club (1998-2004) and Glen Oaks Country Club (2005-Present). His remarkable playing record includes four Iowa Section Championships, four Section Match Play Championships, two Iowa Opens, two Herman Sani Invitational titles and the 1998 PGA Northern Regional Championship.
Ken served as the President of the Iowa Section PGA from 2005 until 2007 and was named PGA Professional of the Year in 2007. In addition to his many awards and accomplishments Ken has played a vital role in leading the Iowa PGA to develop and activate the GIVE Foundation (Golf for Injured Veterans Everywhere).
The sentiments expressed by his colleagues in supporting his nomination were summarized by Iowa PGA Executive Director Troy Christensen: “Ken’s unselfish contributions to the game of golf and his numerous accomplishments make him the perfect inductee into the Iowa Golf Hall of Fame…I am impressed with his playing career, but I am more impressed by what Ken has given to the game off the golf course”.
Elliott has enjoyed an illustrious career as a player and as a volunteer USGA Committee member and Iowa Golf Association board member. A native of Bettendorf, Gene has competed on the national level his entire career. In 1980 he was the individual medalist in the Iowa High School Championship and went on that summer to win the prestigious Western Junior playing against many who would go on to PGA Tour careers. He was heavily recruited by major colleges but opted to stay in Iowa and play for his beloved Hawkeyes.
Elliott turned pro in 1985 and won the Iowa and Missouri Opens. After narrowly failing to earn his PGA Tour card Gene went on to play on the Canadian Tour winning the Quebec Open and finishing 10th on the 1988 money list. In 1989 he earned his European Tour card and played in 10 events throughout Europe.
After returning to Iowa and the family business, he was reinstated as an amateur in 1995 and was back playing for the love of the game. He quickly established himself as a world class amateur winning the Iowa Open and the Terra Cotta Invitational in Naples, Fla. He had a major win at the Porter Cup in 1998 and was medalist at the U. S. Amateur at Pebble Beach in 1999.
He has played in 20 USGA Championships including seven U.S. Amateurs and 10 U.S. Mid-Amateurs. He has advanced to Sectional Qualifying for the U. S. Open 14 times. He has won the Iowa Open and Iowa Amateur two times each and the Iowa Mid-Amateur three times. He was named IGA Player of the Year in 2002 and 2011.
In addition to his competitive record Gene has served as a volunteer to the game on the USGA Mid-Amateur Committee for seven years (1999-2006) and as an IGA board member since 2004.
In his letter nominating Elliott close friend and 2011 Hall of Fame inductee Mike McCoy said: “Gene has conducted himself as a true gentleman throughout his life both on and off the golf course. He has developed friendships throughout the golf world and is universally respected and liked by all”.
Dave Rummells started his career in West Branch and went on to a distinguished career on the PGA Tour. He was a two-time Iowa High School State Champion (1975 & 1976) and was inducted into the Iowa High School Golf Coaches Association Players Hall of Fame in 2011. He was a letter winner for the University of Iowa in 1977-78 and 1980-81. Dave’s short amateur career was highlighted by a Herman Sani Invitational win and IGA Player of the Year award in 1981.
Rummells was a fulltime member of the PGA Tour from 1986 through 1998. His best finish was a 2nd in the Buick Invitational of California. He made 192 cuts in 337 career starts and had 23 top ten finishes on the PGA Tour. Highlights included a 6th place finish in the 1988 PGA Championship, a tie for 5th in the 1989 PGA and a tie for 31st at the 1989 Masters. He ended up with over $1.9 million in career earnings on the PGA Tour.
In the 1990’s he won twice on the Nationwide Tour, the 1996 Nike South Carolina Classic and the 1997 Nike Knoxville Open. He joined the Champions Tour in 2008, qualified for the 2011 U.S. Senior Open and won the 2011 Texas Senior Open.
In a letter supporting his nomination, family friend Kerry Jones recalled growing up with Dave in West Branch. “Not only is Dave a phenomenal golfer but he is also a terrific person, great husband and father. In the times I have visited him or seen him in passing he always has a smile and takes the time to chat. He also is still that same small town Iowa boy who remembers where he came from and what got him to where he is today”.
Ted Lockie – Historical Category Selection
Born in Riceville, Iowa in 1906 Ted Lockie was an Iowa farmer who became a quiet legend as a golf course architect, professional and golf equipment inventor. His golf career did not start until the late 1940’s when he built the first driving range in the Quad Cities with Jack Fleck. He went on to build and/or renovate nearly 50 golf courses throughout the Midwest.
As an inventor Lockie created many devices to make the work at golf courses and driving ranges easier and more efficient. One of his most notable inventions was the “Lockie Rubber Tired Range Picker” which revolutionized the way range balls were gathered and is now known as the “Wittek Picker”. He also worked with Gary Adams and TaylorMade on their early metal wood designs. Some people credit Lockie with inventing the technique known as “splining” for golf club shafts so that the performance of a shaft could be optimized.
Lockie retired and moved to Florida in 1972 at the age of 66, but his curiosity and inventiveness continued. When Ted turned 80 he opened a golf club repair and assembly shop that he ran until he passed away in 1998.
In his letter supporting the nomination of Ted Lockie, Robert Wittek, Sr. of the Wittek Golf Supply Company in Chicago said: “He touched most every aspect of golf, from manufacturing golf equipment to building golf courses. Not to mention, he was one heck of a player. His love of and commitment to golf allowed him to be a major contributor to the well-being of the game”.