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Teacher of the Year Ken Schall, Bidney and Egly Win Player Development Award

October 13th, 2020

Schall Wins Teacher of the Year

Riverside, Iowa – Ken Schall of Ken Schall Performance Studio has been named the 2020 Teacher of the Year by the Iowa PGA.  This honor is based on a professional’s entire record of achievements over their career. The award is determined based off the nominee’s overall impact in teaching at the nominee’s facility, unusual, innovative, or special teaching programs initiated or implemented, instructional articles, videos or publications written or produced, list of outstanding golfers whom the nominee has instructed, involvement in junior golf activities and in the community and innovative contributions.
 
“I am thrilled to win this year’s Iowa PGA Teacher of the Year Award! I have been teaching golf for nearly 40 years now, and the success of my students is still what drives me,” Schall commented on what it means to him to win this award.
 
This is Schall’s third time winning the Teacher of the Year as he previously won in 2017 and 2018.  He was also the 2003 Professional Development Award (formally known as the Horton Smith Award) winner. Schall has also received Iowa PGA Section Player of the Year in 1984, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1995, 1996 and 1998. Ken also won Golf Professional of the Year in 2007.
 
A couple of his students have turned pro and have serious aspirations of making it to the PGA Tour. Broc Everett, 2017 Division 1 NCAA Individual Champion at Augusta State, has conditional status on the Korn Ferry Tour and will go to Q school this fall. Jeff Swegle graduated from Stanford 2 years ago and plans to attend Q school as well. Jeff just won the Herman Sani Invitational and has cashed 4 checks in 5 events on the Dakota Tour.
 
Schall is also proud to include students from the “Old Guard” as well. Gene Elliott has been a long-time student and has achieved tremendous success in numerous USGA events. A Runner-Up finish in the British Senior Amateur 2 years ago and back-to-back victories in the Canadian Senior Amateur in 2018 and 2019. Gene was ranked the #1 senior in the world by Golfweek for a period of 1 year. He just competed in the US Amateur at Bandon Dunes at the age of 56.
 
Schall has been blessed to have the trust of a multitude of accomplished players, but of the nearly 1,500 lessons that he will give this year, the majority of his students are rank and file golfers who simply want to get better. He takes this responsibility seriously because he believes that teaching professionals play a very important role in keeping players in the game.
 
Covid – 19 forced him to close his teaching studio for 6 weeks in April-May. Schall is fortunate to have access to Echo Valley Country Club, where he is a member and also provides instruction on Tuesday afternoons and Sunday mornings. Schall was able to utilize the practice facility at Echo Valley during this difficult time. He requires the use of masks in his studio and is diligent about keeping things sanitized.
 
“Schall has hundreds of students and still finds time to be personally invested in each one of them. Back in eighth grade I didn’t know I was capable of playing at the level I do now. I owe a tremendous amount of that to Ken. I think it says a lot when people will travel from hours away to get lessons from Ken. That shows that as a teacher you are doing something right,” said student Andrew O’Brien.
 
“I appreciate everything that he has done for me as a friend and coach and I know that all his students appreciate the hard work that he puts into all of us! Thanks, Ken for all you do,” said student Jarred Bowser.
 
“He has helped me with the recruiting process. He has reached out to so many college coaches talking to them about me and sending them swing videos. I don’t think I would have as many options if Ken had not done that.” Hunter Johnson commented.
 
“He’s always there to give advice about golf, school, college, and daily life. He cares for all of his students and wants them to succeed in both golf and life in general; there is no one more deserving than Ken for the Teacher of the Year Award.” Rylee Heryford commented.
 
“His teaching style is very hands on which makes it very easy to understand a change right away, it’s just a matter of executing it correctly. He makes the game more enjoyable and you want to come practice to fix the changes he’s encouraged.” Saffire Sayre commented about Ken.
 
The Iowa PGA Congratulates Ken Schall as our 2020 Teacher of the Year.
 
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Bidney Wins Youth Player Development Award

Riverside, Iowa –
Sarah Bidney of Wakonda Club has been named the 2020 Iowa PGA Youth Player Development honoree. This honor is based on the Professional’s entire record, with emphasis placed on his/her performance and achievements over the past two years. The honoree should also promote junior golf throughout the Section.  
This is Bidney’s second year winning Youth Player Development Award having previously won in 2015.  She has also won Teacher of the Year in 2010, 2012 and 2015.
 
We asked Bidney what winning this award meant to her, “So much! In my 19 years as an instructor/coach a majority of my time has been with junior golfers, it is so amazing and rewarding to see the juniors set goals and reach them! To see the love of the game grow with each junior is tremendous. I feel very humbled and honored to be this year’s award recipient and equally as honored I’m able to be in each child’s life. Especially this year with the pandemic and all the way life changed for our children; to be able to provide them with something normal and positive during these times was not something I took lightly,” Bidney commented.

“In my fifteen years in club management, I have yet to see a program compare to Sarah’s. Clubs across the nation strive tirelessly to build programs to the caliber we have at Wakonda. For over five years at Wakonda, Sarah has single handedly managed our player development programs for golfers of every age. Her Academy Development Pathway leads youth from recreation to competition seamlessly, successfully, and at their own pace. Over 250 junior golfers participate in her programs every season. She evaluates the programing seasonally to ensure it is working and still relevant; constantly making adaptations and improvements. She utilizes technology to communicate with our members effectively and efficiently, and social media avenues to reward and recognize our Wakonda juniors. She has not only grown our seasonal instruction but added a 12-month player development program. The all-around program she has built and culture that has come with it is instrumental in its impact on our club. What she has built at Wakonda, many clubs emulate, and spend years trying to achieve.” Rheanne Kinney, General Manager at Wakonda Club stated.

“My two boys, Dewell and Elijah, have been fortunate to work with Sarah for the past four years. Choosing a golf instructor for my boys was not going to be an easy task for me. I was very particular in what I was looking for, and quite honestly, was never very excited about many of the junior programs I had reviewed. This was all before Sarah walked into our life. When I met with Sarah to learn about the Operation 36 program and other junior programs she was implementing, I was sold, and have never had second thoughts since. Both of my children love working with Sarah. Not only has she made them better players, she has also given them understanding and respect for the game of golf. I can safely say that both of my boys have a better understanding of the golf swing than I do. Communication is one of Sarah's greatest skills, and the way that she communicates with juniors to help them improve and stay motivated is exceptional.” Bo Anderson commented.

“The most exciting and successful junior program has been Operation 36.  Sarah was one of the first in the country to adopt an Operation 36 program and has fully implemented it at Wakonda Club with tremendous success.  Through Operation 36, Sarah gives each junior weekly instruction and competitive opportunities.  This program teaches kids to score on the course by trying to break 36 from their designated yardage for 9-holes.  Doing so allows them to advance to longer yardages if they can shoot 36 or better.  Sarah took a risk in offering this program and it has really paid off.  The participation level is beyond what she can handle alone, so she hires our other Golf Professionals on staff (Grant Feilmann – Head Professional; and Tyler Christians – Assistant Professional) to teach with her throughout the season.  This allows our other staff to teach a significant amount of time and make additional income in doing so.  Sarah’s programs have given our staff both experience and income as they have grown.  Parents and juniors love Operation 36, kids are learning to properly compete,” Aaron Krueger, Honorary President and PGA Director of Golf at Wakonda Club commmented.
 
The Iowa PGA Congratulates Sarah Bidney as our 2020 Youth Player Development Award Winner.
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Egly Wins Player Development Award

Riverside, Iowa –
Riverside, Iowa – Mark Egly of the Des Moines Driving Range has been named the 2020 Iowa PGA Player Development honoree. The Player Development Award is designed to recognize a PGA Professional for extraordinary and exemplary contributions and achievements in the area of player development. This award considers the PGA Professional’s growth of the game leadership commitment at the Section and National levels and the impact made at their facility.
 
This is Egly’s fourth Iowa PGA Player Development Award having won previously in 2015, 2017 and 2019.  He was also the 2017 Professional Development Award (formally known as the Horton Smith Award) winner. Egly also won Teacher of the Year in 2002, 2006, 2011, 2013, 2014 and 2016.
 
Mark’s passion and dedication to his players is evident in the amount of time and effort he puts into his clinics, group and individual lessons. Mark has proven what it takes to be a great Teaching Professional in this industry and the Iowa PGA. His mission is to increase the number of students who start and then continue to develop their skills no matter what their level of play. 
 
“The public looks upon its PGA Professionals as community leaders. As PGA Golf Professionals, there is no better way for us to do this, especially with our youth, than supporting them through golf.” remarked Egly.  “With golf we can provide a safe, healthy experience, that can lead to forming solid relationships and making friends along the way that can last their entire lifetimes!”
 
Mark has over 5 decades of vast teaching experience which includes numerous unique and innovative concepts, drills and methods.  He has donated countless hours to high school golf teams and players who are looking to get programs started or improve their games.  The success of Mark’s students ranges from high school state golf to amateur and professional successes both locally and on the national stage.
 
His gratitude and desire to give back includes overseeing the donation of dozens of sets of clubs to junior golfers who could not afford quality golf clubs and equipment earlier this year. He also allows all PGA Members to instruct at his facility as well as groups like the Drake Men’s and Women’s programs, Grandview University Men’s and Women’s program and high school teams to use his golf facility free-of- charge. Mark has also facilitated The First Tee of Central Iowa since 1996.
 
 The Iowa PGA Congratulates Mark Egly as our 2020 Player Development Award Winner.

 
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For more information and schedule updates, fans can follow the Iowa PGA on Facebook (facebook.com/Iowapga), Twitter (@iowapga) and YouTube (youtube.com/iowapga).  Fans can also get a behind the scenes look on Instagram (@iowapga).