Feilmann Named Deacon Palmer, Nitzschke Henrich Named Patriot Award-
Grant Feilmann Wins 2023 Iowa PGA Deacon Palmer Award-
Riverside, Iowa – Grant Feilmann of Wakonda Club has been named the 2023 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.
Grant’s career as the Head Golf Professional at Wakonda Club showcases his dedication to supporting and uplifting those around him, serving as an unsung hero in his facility and community. He overcame a major personal obstacle, Cauda Equina Syndrome, with remarkable strength and determination, inspiring others to persevere in the face of adversity.
When asked on what this means to win, Feilmann responded with “I am deeply humbled to be honored by the Iowa PGA. This award belongs to all of my fellow PGA members, friends, and family that helped me through my tough times. I am truly thankful to my entire support team during my injury and recovery.”
Grant’s commitment extends to mentoring aspiring PGA members and staff, playing a pivotal role in league operations, and leading the merchandise operation at Wakonda Club. He goes beyond his golfing career, actively engaging with local organizations, schools, and charitable initiatives, showcasing the positive influence of PGA Professionals beyond their roles. Grant’s resilience in the face of personal challenges exemplifies the dedication and professionalism of PGA Members, inspiring his peers and the broader community. He has left an indelible mark on the Iowa PGA Association, his colleagues, and the game of golf through his unwavering commitment and positive impact.
Aaron Krueger, PGA Director of Golf at Wakonda Club, commends Grant’s extensive responsibilities, which include merchandising, league management, and supervision of staff. Grant’s absence was felt by the club’s members and staff, emphasizing the sense of community he fosters.
Grant’s achievements, including Assistant of the Year in 2016 and Merchandiser of the Year Private in 2021, further underscore his excellence in the golf industry. The Iowa PGA congratulates Grant Feilmann as the well-deserved 2023 Iowa PGA Deacon Palmer Award winner. His exceptional character, leadership, and dedication to helping others overcome obstacles make him a true exemplar of a PGA Professional.
The Iowa PGA Congratulates Grant Feilmann as our 2023 Iowa PGA Deacon Palmer Award.
Carol Nitzschke-Henrich Wins 2023 Iowa PGA Patriot Award-
Carol Nitzschke-Henrich of Bright Grandview Golf Course has been named the 2023 Iowa PGA Patriot Award winner by the Iowa PGA Award’s Committee. The Patriot Award is presented to an Iowa PGA Professional who personifies patriotism through the game of golf and demonstrates unwavering commitment and dedication to the men and women who have valiantly served and protected the United States of America.
When asked on what this means to win, Nitzschke-Henrich responded with, “I am grateful to receive the Patriot Award. Working with the veterans is my way of showing the Veterans how grateful I am for their service. Whether they are a beginner or have played golf before, they can all learn new ways that can improve their games. It is very rewarding for both of us when they hit a really good shot.”
When Carol moved to the Des Moines area late in November 2008, she heard about the G.I.V.E. (Golf for Injured Veterans) Program that the Iowa PGA had in Riverside Iowa. It sounded like a great program to get involved with. When the G.I.V.E. Program started back up in the Spring of 2009, Carol heard that they could use some Instructors to help with the veterans. That’s when she started driving 220 miles round trip to Riverside to help with the G.I.V.E. Program and teach veterans on Saturdays as often as the weather allowed.
In 2013, she was approached by Mark Burke to see if she would be interested in helping with G.I.V.E. in the Des Moines area in conjunction with the Central Iowa VA Medical Center. Carol jumped at the chance to help the Veterans in Central Iowa. We held the G.I.V.E. Classes at Willow Creek where Mark and her both worked.
In 2014 the class moved to Warrior Run Golf Course in Norwalk where it stayed for 9 years. The unexpected death of Mark Burke and the owners of Warrior Run deciding not to open the course in 2023, we needed to find a new home for the G.I.V.E. Program. This year the G.I.V.E classes are being held at Terrace Hills Golf Course in Altoona, Iowa. Where she now manages and runs the program in Central Iowa.
Nitzschke-Henrich worked as a Teaching Professional for over four years at the National Tee Tournament in Iowa City, to help the legally blind and eligible disabled veterans the opportunity to develop new skills and strengthen their self-esteem through golf.
She was instrumental in helping in Washington, Iowa with a group of women veterans with their swings. Two other female teachers and her were on the driving range all day to help them when they finished or when they were just passing by the range. They could stop at the driving range for some help. She would work with their swings and then they would finish their round or just stay at the range and practice. It’s always a great feeling when they hit a good shot and they are excited to keep playing.
Setting up the class and working each week with the G.I.V.E. students is always rewarding. It’s great to see the excitement and enthusiasm they show when they hit a good shot. It’s even better when they hit a couple of good shots in a row. They know they can do it and the good shots start to happen more often. They are very thankful for this great program and I’m thankful that I can help them.
Carol is there for the veterans when they have questions, if she doesn’t know the answer she will see if she can find an answer for them or direct them in the right direction. She has run the Central Iowa G.I.V.E. program in the Des Moines area and has worked with the program since moving to Des Moines.
We work with the VA Central Iowa Healthcare System. The last couple of years she has worked with a Blind Group of Veterans and set up small 9-hole tournaments or play days 3 to 4 times during the summer. After golf they would eat lunch and visit their friends. It was great to see their excitement to be out golfing with their friend. She has built an extensive network of PGA Professionals over the past years.
Her husband and her emptied a large steel shelving unit, took it apart and moved it to its new home. And set it back up so it could get filled back up. Carol has recruited volunteers to move the clubs, other golf equipment, bags, tees, balls, golf shoes, a couple more shelving units, and many other things that we have collected for the G.I.V.E. program. Under her leadership the volunteers were able to move almost everything that day.
Having grown up as the daughter and niece of WWII veterans, she has felt passionately about giving back and supporting veterans in any way that she can. Carol was born a helper, always looking for ways to be useful and helpful to others.
SGM Jim Dickerson, PGA Life Member, had some nice words to say, “Carol has been an integral member of the GIVE Foundation family since the inception of the Des Moines chapter at Willow Run, then Warrior Run under Mark Burke, PGA, and now leading the program at Terrace Hills after Mark’s sudden passing. Carol has continually projected the GIVE Foundation’s mission of enhancing our veteran’s physical, emotional, and social we’ll being.”
“This is a five-week program but has four classes over the Summer. Carol, after the tragic death of Mark, has taken over the lead role. Not only with the classes, but we had the arduous task of moving our operation from Warrior Run, which closed down, to Terrace Hills. Carol organized a group of volunteers to move all of our equipment, since we give used and new equipment to our Veterans to Altoona from Norwalk, no easy task,” Jeff Delvaux Executive Director, GIVE Foundation said about Carol.
Linda Burke wife of her late husband Mark Burke had this to say, “When the GIVE Central Iowa Chapter had to move to a new location this year, she organized volunteers to assist in relocating the large inventory of golf equipment and merchandise that had been donated to the veterans through this program. She is a true patriot and deserves the recognition of this award for not only her dedication in assuring that the Central Iowa Chapter continued to grow and flourish, but also for her previous years of service to veterans.”
“Many of us veterans who are old enough, have lived thru some years when we wore a uniform during an unpopular war. Many of the general public treated us as if WE were the enemy. Even though it is now many years later, those hurtful feelings don’t really go away completely. It is a wonderful feeling to be treated just the opposite from that, and that’s exactly how Carol treats each and every one of us,” Mickey Dawson, U.S. Navy has this to say about Carol.
Klay Queck, CTRS Recreation Therapist had this to say, “This program is life changing for those Veterans that participate in making the sport of golf affordable and accessible. Without Carol’s dedication, expertise, and knowledge this program wouldn’t be what it is today.”
The Iowa PGA Congratulates Carol Nitzschke-Henrich as our 2023 Patriot Award Winner.
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