Mark Egly Wins 2022 Iowa PGA Deacon Palmer Award
Riverside, Iowa – Mark Egly of Des Moines Driving Range has been named the 2022 Iowa PGA Deacon Palmer Award winner by the Iowa PGA Award’s Committee. The "Deacon Palmer Award" bestows special recognition on a PGA Golf Professional who personally displays outstanding integrity, character and leadership, in the effort to overcome a major obstacle in their life. This individual is an unsung hero/heroine at their facility and in their community, who serves to inspire, empower and assist others, both inside and outside of the game.
When asked on what this means to win, Egly responded with, “It is very hard to put into words an award that is named after a friend of almost 50 years father. A friend who once arranged to have my 12-year-old son Taylor come to see him so that he could tell Taylor about our friendship, all our work together as PGA professionals, and so much more about the things we had done together to make this world a better place. On June 28th, 1973, I first met Arnold Palmer at the age of 17. By the end of that day, I had gained a lifelong mentor and friend, a friend who was willing to share every ounce of wisdom he had with me throughout our lives. Today, all I can say is that I am very proud and thankful to be the recipient of an Award that bears the Palmer name, for I know everything that the award stands for and how the Palmer’s strongly shaped the path of my life! What does winning the Deacon Palmer Award mean to me? More than any words can properly express adequately!”
With Mark Egly’s leadership in recent years, the impossible is being accomplished in many people’s eyes, changing the Standard of Care for the medical community and the way that physicians and patients are being treated in the present and future. Lives have already been saved with Mark’s discoveries of a rarely diagnosed medical condition!
Mark has personally been inspired by Arnold Palmer on and off the golf course over the last 49 years. In the healthcare arena by Arnold and his late wife Winnie, by all the charitable work the Palmers have accomplished in the Orlando area. Mr. Palmer was a mentor, hero, and close friend to Mark from early in Mark’s life because of another hero of Mark’s, Dave Hill. Dave and Arnold were best friends as they played on the PGA Tour at the same time. Mark was fortunate to meet Mr. Palmer when Mark was just 17 years old when Arnold came to Jackson, Michigan, for the day. It was a day that day would change
young Mark’s life forever! Their friendship and relationship led to the hiring of Mark at Des Moines Golf and Country as the Head of Golf Instruction in 1979.
Obstacles have been something Mark has had to overcome his entire career and life! For his entire life and the last three years, Mark has been overcoming major health obstacles that stand to start helping millions here in the USA and the world today!
In 1965, Mark was working on the farm in Prescott, IA, back when you did work in the pasture with horses. Mark was riding a “Barn Sour Horse” named Sonny. In the pasture, Sonny reared up, like Silver did in the Lone Ranger, and headed to the barn, as barn sour horses do without any regard for the rider. As Sonny returned to the barn, he ran over the road, down through the ditch, fell, and then rolled over on Mark. That fall broke Mark’s upper left arm in half on the growth plate at a 90-degree angle. His entire left arm was strapped to his body for almost four months and an extended stay in the hospital, with the fear he would have a withered left arm for the rest of his life. His entire summer was free of all athletic activities until he found he could hit golf balls with just his right arm and also pitch and chip the ball, and putting was easy. In the following years, a PGA Tour winner named Larry Hinson became a person of interest. Larry had a withered left arm from polio and could still perform at a high level! This era in the early years of life shaped Mark’s curiosity that golf could be played well without the head down or using the left arm at all! To this day, hitting golf balls with just the player’s strong arm alone is a staple drill that makes his players hit it farther than many others.
On May 18th, 1990, Mark crossed into Illinois from Iowa on the I-80 bridge over the Mississippi River just before 6 AM, heading to the US Open qualifying in Michigan. The Iowa side of the bridge was well- marked, but the Illinois side had no barricades in place. Mark’s car pulled into the unmarked excavated holes in the road on the bridge. Three barricades that had blown over in the night’s high winds entered Mark’s undercarriage, the console of the car's armrest, and the gas tank. The armrest barricade destroyed Mark’s right shoulder and, in essence, ended Mark’s competitive golf career after surgery the following April.
A young man was texting while driving 50-plus mph on Oralabor Road in Ankeny, Iowa. The young man crossed the median and plowed into Mark’s driver-side door at a 70-degree angle while they were sitting in the divided higher turning lanes. The impact into the driver’s side door spun the Hummer with Mark and his daughter Tess inside. The impact spun Mark, Tess and the Hummer over 300 degrees around. This accident caused multiple fractures to Mark’s back, injuring the neck as well.
In the summer of 2012, Mark had a young lady texting while running a red light on Merle Hay and Hickman in Des Moines, Iowa, hit Mark almost head-on and spun Mark’s SUV 90 degrees and totaled his SUV, causing more back and neck injuries, along with a concussion for Mark.
Many may not know Mark as a competitive golfer. But from 1983 to 1989, Mark qualified for PGA Tour Events in 5 of those years. He won many times, including two Majors, the 1990 Iowa Open and the 1988 Iowa PGA Match Play Championship. The 1990 accident on the Mississippi River bridge ended the very best years of Mark’s competitive golf career. Fighting back to overcome these difficulties and obstacles, Mark won again in the Iowa Section, including a Senior Major, The 2007 Senior October Shootout. In 1995 Mark was blessed to qualify for one last PGA Tour Event, The John Deere Classic.
Pain and living with headaches and pain from all the injuries from all these accidents. All these accidents caused a high level of long-term pain throughout these years for Mark. Up until recent times, very few have known about these incidents and misfortunes, with many individuals just thinking Mark wasn’t any good at golf anymore or even ever. Mark never stopped trying or gave up on life or golf.
Going to the hospital to see Doctor Michael Foggia Sr. on February 26th, 2018 to investigate his illness. The problem was the loss of over 40 pounds, a lifelong battle with a cough, and coughing almost every minute of the day. After numerous tests, an x-ray showed Mark had COPD and emphysema. It was a very odd diagnosis because Mark has never smoked once in his life and did not ever work in a dangerous environment. It looked like Mark was headed down the path of his father, who died of lung cancer without ever smoking!
Mark’s education allowed him to receive a degree in education, and he studied alongside pre-med and pre-vet students while doing his degree work. This was always an area of interest for Mark as he spent endless hours investigating the medical side of why his family members had been dying young of unique cancers for the last 150 years! After just five days of researching how he could have emphysema without ever smoking, he found a possibility of what could be attacking his family. It is a rarely diagnosed condition that is called Alpha1 Antitrypsin Deficiency. AATD is an Orphan disease that, in 2018, had only been found approximately 8,000 times ever!
Mark was tested soon thereafter, and his diagnosis was accurate. Fortunately for Mark, he was still alive, as the survival rate to live to age 60 is only 15% undiagnosed; Mark was 62 at the time of diagnosis. Since February 26th, 2018, Mark has now had over 250 medical professional visits and weekly trips to the hospital to live stronger every day! Mark has become a pin cushion and a test subject for Alpha1 Antitrypsin Deficiency. Yearly MRIs are the name of the game for researchers and Mark for this condition, Alpha1 Antitrypsin Deficiency.
On December 22nd, 2018, Mark was at the hospital in Des Moines, wishing his helping group of medical professionals Merry Christmas. While there, the University of Iowa’s Internal Medicine Department called him and demanded that he be in Iowa City the next morning at 8 AM.
After arriving at the University of Iowa Hospital the next day, from 8:30 to 8:36 am, Mark was told to get his affairs in order, as he had a 30% chance to live 6 months and little to no chance to live 5 years as you have a spot on your pancreas. The odds improved as the day went on.
A year later, the spot had shrunk significantly. It was the first time this had ever happened to a patient at the U of I hospital without surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation. Four years later, Mark is living and doing well following the new protocols Mark put in place, including weekly infusions of the Alpha1 protein Mark is deficient in.
In 2020 Mark put all his research into a medical patent that was filed in November 2020. It is in a form that is easily found now online on his markegly.com website, or his Alpha1life.com website.
To be straightforward, Mark has made medical discoveries that could hopefully impact 15% of our society. Doctors say they do not know what causes our bodies to attack itself! Mark’s patent shows how 152 autoimmune diseases are caused by an excess of white blood cells called neutrophil elastase.
Mark is now regularly teaching through many avenues regarding his discoveries and how they impact so many medical specialties, as you can see on his Unitingdoctors.com website.
Egly has won the Teacher of the Year Award in 2002, 2006, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2016, and 2021. Mark also won the Professional Development Award in 2017 and the Player Development Award in 2015, 2017, 2019, and 2020. Egly was inducted into the Iowa Golf Hall of Fame in the Spring of 2022.
The Iowa PGA Congratulates Mark Egly as our 2022 Iowa PGA Deacon Palmer Award.
Jordan Sisk Named Charlie Burkart Scholarship Recipient
Jordan Sisk, Keokuk, Iowa native has been selected as the 2022 Charlie Burkart Scholarship honoree by the Iowa PGA Foundation Charlie Burkart Scholarship committee.
Jordan will be attending Eastern Iowa Community College-Muscatine Community College Campus. He thought of everything from Petroleum Engineering to joining the F.B.I. as a Behavioral Analyst at first. He eventually found something that filled his sports interest and gave him a career option, that being a Golf Course Manager. Being a Golf Course Manager would allow him to fulfill his sports addiction and also make a career out of something that he loves to do – golf.
Hopefully in two years he will receive his Associate Degree in Applied Science and start that dream of his to get a full-time job working at a golf course. His main goal from that journey will be to one day work at Augusta National Golf Course in Augusta, Georgia. He knows that is a big goal to set when he hasn’t even started the program. He was told to aim for the moon so if he falls short, he can land in the stars. In ten years, he wants to be the superintendent of a medium-sized golf course somewhere in the south, along with being able to live somewhere on the golf course. He wants to be able to give back to the game of golf since it has given him so much already.
Jordan was asked on what this award mean to him. “Being named the recipient for the Burkart Scholarship is such a tremendous honor. It goes to show that golf can make such an impact upon someone's life outside the game itself. Having the opportunity to play in the Iowa PGA Junior Tour events is something that I will forever be grateful for as it allowed me to grow myself as a person and let me do what I love most in golf. Additionally, it has also opened my eyes to the countless career possibilities that are associated with the game of golf. Getting this scholarship will now propel me towards my goal of becoming a golf course superintendent and will allow me to be able to give back to the game that gave so much to me. The Iowa PGA is such a tremendous organization and I plan on representing them in a positive way to hopefully grow the game of golf in the future.”
Dana Hendricks has some nice words to say about Jordan. “Jordan has been active in every aspect of his school and community while maintaining a 4.0 GPA He also has been on Honor Roll all three years and has served on Student Council for two years. Jordan understands the concept of giving back because he is on the Youth Leadership team that does just that, sets an example, volunteers, and gives back to those within our community. He bags food at the Crossing for those in need and participates in community trash pick up to promote our community. Those characteristics have led to the Student of the Month Award, and ultimately the Citizenship K Award, which is given to the best of the best within our school.”
“There are certain qualities we look for in our students, and some students stand out because of these qualities. Jordan can handle adversity. He has proven leadership. He is extremely trustworthy. Academically, and in daily interactions, Jordan stands out among the crowd. Beyond an ideal student, though, lies his true worth: he is an amazing young man. I am confident Jordan Sisk would make an excellent choice for this scholarship. I look forward to witnessing all the successes he has in store for the future, and I am certain he will excel with the help of this scholarship and make your organization proud.” Zachary S. Short, M.A., M.S.E. of Keokuk High School.
The Iowa PGA Congratulates Jordan Sisk as our 2022 Charlie Burkart Scholarship Award Winner.
Shepherd Named Career Advancement Scholarship Recipient –
Shayne Shepherd of Pinnacle Country Club has been named the 2022 Iowa PGA Career Advancement Scholarship winner by the Iowa PGA Scholarship Committee.
The Iowa PGA Section Foundation annually awards a career advancement scholarship to assist individuals in furthering their education toward career development. Applicants who are interested in pursuing a career in the golf industry or other career requiring educational training are welcome to apply for a one year $1,000 scholarship.
The main career goals I have are to become a Head Golf Professional or Director of Golf at a very respective golf course, and I want to be a Head Golf Coach for a good NCAA D1 College. These goals can be obtained if I can continue to work hard, push myself and finish my PGA Program in good standing over the next few years.
Those are my main career goals; however, I have other goals as well. I want to continue to grow the game of golf through PGA Junior League, Junior Clinics and Ladies events/leagues. Secondly, I want to start a scholarship at a college I am the Head Coach at that is given to underprivileged individuals that came from nothing, like myself. I know what it feels like, and I want to do anything I can to give golfers the opportunity to go to college and play the sport they love for little to no money.
Mikes Armes, PGA Assistant Golf Professional at Pinnacle Country Club, “I would describe Shayne as intelligent, hardworking, eager to sharpen his skill set personable, reliable, and loyal. Shayne is aware of what it takes to be a Golf Professional and is doing everything to make both himself and the Pinnacle team a success. Shayne has become an asset to Pinnacle and the lowa Section as well. Shayne has assisted in GIVE, attended the spring meeting also attended the spring Associates education program conducted at Riverside and the lowa PGA Assistants Association. At Pinnacle Shayne is helping teach our Jr. Clinics, Ladies Clinics, and is the assistant coach for PGA Jr. League. As you can see Shayne is doing everything to not only be a successful PGA Professional but be a future leader within the lowa Section as well.”
This is Shepherd’s first Iowa PGA Section Award.
Shepherd was quoted saying, “This solidifies my hard work that I’ve been putting in through the years knowing I’m in the right track. I will be donating the money I won to the golf team that I coach. Thank you to Erin Strieck and Mike Armes for assisting me while doing the PGM Program and for being great mentors to me.”
The Iowa PGA Congratulates Shayne Shepherd as our 2022 Iowa PGA Career Advancement Scholarship.
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