Strieck Named 2023 Iowa PGA Golf Professional of the Year-
Riverside, Iowa – Erin Strieck, Iowa PGA Section President (2021- 2024) and PGA Director of Golf at Pinnacle Country Club has been named the 2023 Iowa PGA Golf Professional of the Year. The Golf Professional of the Year Award is the highest honor paid to an Iowa PGA Golf Professional. The honoree is chosen based on leadership abilities that stand above the rest, contributions made to their facility’s success, and excelling as an overall golf professional at the Iowa PGA Section level.
When asked on what this means to win this award Strieck responded with, “I find it hard to put into words what it means to be named 2023 Iowa PGA Golf Professional of the Year. It is an honor to be nominated by your peers for our Section’s highest honor. My career in the golf business has had many turns and I cannot do what I do without the support of my family especially my wife Haley and daughter Meyer. Thank you to the mentors who have guided me in this golf journey. I have been blessed to work at amazing facilities all around this country, but nothing is better than Pinnacle Country Club. Pinnacle Country Club staff and members, thank you for believing in me!”
Erin was elected to membership in 2001. Her time as a PGA Golf Professional has brought her great joy and pride. She prides herself because through her career in golf, she has had several first that have helped define her as a PGA Golf Professional. At 16 years old, she was the first girl/female hired to work in the bag room at Crow Valley Golf Club in Davenport, Iowa. Mike Nedelcoff and Butch Haverland gave her the opportunity to find her passion in golf. Not only was she passionate about playing the game, but she began to find the real passion of helping people play the game that she loves.
As her golf career progressed, she has worked at amazing facilities and for companies that looked beyond the fact that she was a female. A large majority of her time as a PGA Golf Professional was spent at Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa in Galena, Illinois. While at Eagle Ridge, she made her way through each of the roles as a Golf Professional; starting as an Assistant Golf Professional moving to Tournament Coordinator then Head PGA Golf Professional and finally the PGA Director of Golf.
When she was hired as the PGA Director of Golf, she was the first female in the Illinois Section to have this role. At the time, she was also one of 200 female PGA Golf Professionals Nationally to assume this role. Being the Director of Golf at a 63-hole Golf Resort was not only the most challenging role, but also the most rewarding. If she could operate a golf budget of over 3 million and supervise 100 golf employees, she could handle anything thrown her way. Little did she know, there was more to come.
After leaving Eagle Ridge, her next adventure began at Fyre Lake Golf Club in Sherrard, Illinois. She was hired as the PGA Director of Golf and Merchandise. She chose this opportunity to be a part of building a golf facility from the ground up. Up to this point in her career, she walked into successful golf facilities. Being the initial Director of Golf and Merchandise at Fyre Lake was going to give her the opportunity to put her name and her stamp on a facility. A week before opening, the bank holding all the notes for the property shut them down. They could not be open for the foreseeable future. She quickly went from being the Director of Golf to working in Golf Maintenance; she found herself mowing grass and picking weeds from bunkers. She worked in this capacity for two years and ultimately left for another opportunity.
She feels that one goes through life each day, trying to do the best one can. Not once has she looked back and said, “I wish I would’ve made a different decision.”
Being at Frye Lake gave her the opportunity to move to another amazing facility, Spirit Hollow in Burlington, Iowa. Once again, she embarked on a new adventure to be the Director of Golf and Merchandise at Spirit Hollow. Spirit Hollow is an amazing facility and when she was hired. They have 18 holes of championship golf. The course was voted as the second-best public course in Iowa, and they hosted several golf events, including the GOLFWEEK College Challenge and the NJCAA National Golf Championships. At the time she was at Spirit Hollow she embarked on a vision that would change the face of the property by adding lodging. They were tasked with designing and general contracting seven (7) lodge rooms in the clubhouse. Before leaving Spirit Hollow, she added Director of Lodging to her title, another experience she relishes within her career.
Leaving Spirit Hollow was a difficult decision, but the best decision she had made in her life thus far. Since leaving Spirit Hollow and for the past nine years, she has been the Head Golf Professional/Director of Golf at Pinnacle Country Club in Milan, Illinois. Her hire at Pinnacle made her the first woman Head Golf Professional to be hired in the Quad Cities. Her time at Pinnacle has been the most fulfilling of her career to date. She has seen the membership at Pinnacle grow from 225 to 300 members. What was once a non-existent ladies’ association at the club, has now grown to over 50 ladies regularly playing in league and in major club events.
Her experiences over the almost 25 years as a PGA Golf Professional have brought her so many amazing experiences and have given her the opportunity to make life-long friendships.
Over the past eight years, she has taken an active role within the Iowa Section. She served on the Iowa PGA Board from 2015-2017. In the fall of 2017, she was elected Secretary of the Iowa Section, becoming the first female in the Iowa PGA Section elected to the executive board and now as the first female President. This experience has been a true honor. In addition, she has been a member of the National PGA Scholarship Committee for the last three years. This committee awards academic scholarships to children of PGA members.
The PGA of America established PGA LEAD to identify, mentor and progress PGA Members from diverse backgrounds along a guided path to leadership roles in the association. In addition, PGA LEAD aids in developing PGA members who desire to serve and make an impact on nonprofit boards within their communities. PGA LEAD is about mentoring PGA professionals and giving them the tools to succeed. She was honored to have been a member of PGA LEAD, Cohort II, Class of 2017-2018. Being a member of PGA LEAD, gave her a desire to do more, within the Iowa Section and was the driving force behind her running for and being elected to the executive board.
She believes being a good leader goes hand in hand with being a good PGA Golf Professional. The following characteristics describe her leadership skills and abilities: She is honest and dependable, She listens with intention, and she works to motivate others to be confident. She believes in doing the hard work with her staff; Strieck has never seen herself as one step ahead, instead she believes in working side-by-side with them. When we all work together, we all experience success.
Strieck has a passion for being the best PGA Golf Professional she can be. One example of her leadership in action occurred during the fall of 2022. She had the opportunity to spearhead and develop the Iowa Section Strategic Plan with the help of Iowa PGA Section Past Presidents, current Iowa PGA Board members, current Iowa PGA Foundation Board Members, current Iowa PGA Assistants Association Board Members and the Iowa Section staff. This group established the mission, vision, values, goals, and objectives of the section. Being able to facilitate the strategic plan has been one of the best experiences during her Presidency; to help carry out the plans and goals of the Past President’s before her and continue to move the Iowa section forward is a huge honor.
She believes being a mentor for our young professionals and having a strong sense of leadership is essential in trying to inspire Golf Professional. We must create environments for assistants and PGA professionals to grow in their personal and professional lives. Strieck believes the Iowa PGA Section is at the forefront of creating this environment. In 2020, she was fortunate to be involved in reviving the Assistants’ Association in the section. The purpose of the Assistant’s Association is to guide golf professionals for future success as PGA Members. The goal of our Assistant’s Association is to elevate the standards of Iowa PGA Associate Professionals through mentoring, networking, and promoting the game of golf. We will accomplish this by providing leadership, educational opportunities, tournament competitions and building personal relationships amongst Associate Professionals in the Iowa PGA Section community.
Strieck will always be an advocate for Iowa PGA members and associates. Her desire has always been to provide leadership, mentorship, and inspiration to others throughout her tenure on the executive board and beyond. In her facility, she includes our assistants in the day-to-day operations, which includes purchasing merchandise, facilitating golf events, providing instruction, and managing the schedule. She wants to ensure they acquire the skills necessary to be an effective golf professional in the future. We work together closely to carry out operations that ensure the success of the golf shop and the facility.
When it comes to ‘growing the game of golf’ at Pinnacle Country Club, she has made it their mission to promote the game of golf, not only to their members, but to the surrounding communities. Pinnacle is a private club in a rural area of Illinois and there are only a few courses in the area with the ability to provide PGA instruction. They are fortunate to have an ownership who shares her vision of giving back to the community. She wants to ensure everyone can learn the game of golf, Pinnacle Country Club member or not. They offer a variety of learning opportunities for beginners and juniors outside of their membership.
Each spring, they offer a beginner’s lesson series. This series covers every aspect of the game from how to check-in at the golf shop to sinking their first putt. Not only do they have the junior lesson series, but last year they also started their own Pinnacle PGA Jr. League team. For the first time ever, they had enough junior golfers connected to Pinnacle that were interested in learning and playing the game of golf. Their Jr. League team is comprised of members’ children and grandchildren as well as some non-members that learned of Pinnacle’s team through golf lessons. They are not concerned about their team being members only, we want to provide all children with the opportunity to play in this fun event.
When she first started at Pinnacle, the ladies felt less than important. Her main goal was to change that culture, to make sure the ladies felt they belonged and were welcome on the golf course at Pinnacle. She is proud to say that the culture has dramatically changed, and the ladies are now more involved than ever. In the last three years, they have doubled the number of women that have established handicaps. They now have a weekly women’s golf league, ladies match play events, and specific flights for women in all our major club tournaments. They even had ladies participate in and win events that used to be considered “male-only”.
In addition to growing the number of juniors and women that are consistently playing golf, she has contributed to growing the overall membership at Pinnacle. She has worked to ensure that Pinnacle is seen as a welcoming club. Sometimes country clubs can be intimidating to people, so she has made it her goal to help people fit in and has worked hard to create a sense of community. They consistently have full golf events and a great participation in other club functions. The culture that they have created, through golf and other fun events, has contributed to an atmosphere where people want to connect, be involved, and ultimately continue as members.
Tom Nonnenmann had a few words to say about Erin, “Erin’s ability as a golf instructor is unmeasurable. Our family has taken private lessons from Erin many times. When we go to her with a swing problem, within the first or second swing, she can identify the issue and tell us what we need to do to correct it. Her knowledge and teaching ability is outstanding which makes the corrective process much easier. We have highly recommended her to others that need instructional assistance.”
“I have personally witnessed Erin’s leadership at Section and National PGA meetings both in and out of the boardroom. Erin and her Iowa section board are currently in the process of evaluating and extending the five-year strategic plan and vision for the section, while also organizing the Iowa Section’s largest financial contribution in its history to the Iowa Golf House project,” Matt Sherlock, Honorary President of Iowa PGA, PGA General Manager of MK Shops Inc.
Jeff Smith, PGA of Harvest Point Golf Course had a few nice words to say, “Erin currently serves as PGA Head Golf Professional at Pinnacle Country Club where she operates and manages a very active membership. Erin has lofty goals and leads by example; her motto continues to be, “Don’t talk about it, be about it”. Pinnacle Country Club hosts annual section events, offers a full-service golf shop with customer service being a high priority. Erin has been a member of the Iowa PGA Board of Directors since 2015; she was elected Iowa PGA Section Vice President in 2019 and in 2021 she became the first female President of the Iowa PGA Section. Erin is very active in the PGA at both the Section and National levels, along with numerous community activities. Erin was part of the 2017-18 PGA LEAD program tailored to leadership development with emphasis in volunteer leadership roles. Her (fomer) assistant golf professional, Mike Armes, is now in the current PGA Lead program.”
Strieck won the Professional Development Award in 2020.
On behalf of the Iowa PGA Members, Associates and Iowa PGA staff we congratulate Erin Strieck as the 2023 Iowa PGA Golf Professional of the Year.
The Iowa PGA Section also selected eleven other Award Winners. All will be honored at the All-Star Pro Golf Special Awards Luncheon to be hosted by Riverside Casino & Golf Resort on Tuesday, October 23, 2023. The 2023 Iowa PGA Junior Tour Player of the Year winners will also be invited and honored.
2023 Iowa PGA Awards
Golf Professional of the Year
- Erin Strieck, Pinnacle Country Club
Assistant Professional of the Year
- Melaine Tomzcuk, Davenport Country Club
Golf Executive of the Year
- Matt Ruehling, Des Moines Golf & Country Club
- Terry Anderson, Elks Country Club
Professional Development Award
- JR Millar, Lake Bracken Country Club
Teacher of the Year
- Bryan Haas, Lake House Sports
Player Development Award
- Brian Johnson, Elmcrest Country Club
Youth Player Development Award
- Nate Lubs, Golf Waterloo (Irv Warren Memorial GC, South Hills GC and Gates Park GC)
Deacon Palmer Award (New in 2021)
- Grant Feilmann, Wakonda Club
Patriot Award of the Year
- Carol Nitzschke-Henrich, Bright Grandview Golf Course
Private Merchandiser of the Year
- Luke Donah, Cedar Rapids Country Club
Public Merchandiser of the Year
- Ben Montgomery, Airport National Golf Course
Resort Merchandiser of the Year
- John Schlaman, Eagle Ridge Golf Resort & Spa
Sales Representative of the Year
- Jim Owens, Callaway Golf
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