April 2016 Coach Approach

Volume XXIX Issue #1

The board members of the Golf Coaches Association of Wisconsin are pleased to present the 2016 Spring Issue of The Coach Approach. In this issue you will find the following:

  • President’s Message
  • College Showcase
  • Summer Clinic Update
  • Spring Clinic Review
  • GCAW Scholarships Available
  • GCAW Team Academic All-State
  • Hall of Fame: Where are they now?
  • Spring Board Meeting Minutes

President’s Message

The 2016 Boy’s Season is here! Hopefully the recent snowstorms did not prevent too many of your teams from getting out and practice this past week. As is usual, we kicked off 2016 with the annual GCAW Spring Clinic. The GCAW returned to University Ridge for the clinic on Saturday, March 12th. We once again had near record attendance with approximately 90 high school coaches participating in the day’s activities.  Thank you to all of those who attended. The engagement level and dialogue of those in attendance was once again outstanding. You are all extremely dedicated and passionate coaches, open to learning and sharing your experiences with your coaching brothers and sisters. Thank you again for your participation. Also thank you to Andrea Wieland for her efforts in organizing this spring clinic. Her coordination with University Ridge, the Wisconsin coaching staff and her event programming was exceptional.

The clinic program this year once again included an incredibly thorough, educational and entertaining rules seminar by Bill Linnemann of the WSGA. It is easy to see why Bill is one of the most respected USGA Rules Officials in the country. Thank you Bill! Former GCAW President, Brian Scrobel, then led a very interactive brainstorming session on how to develop and sustain middle school age feeder programs for your high school teams. And once again, Coach Burcin and Coach Oehrlein from the Wisconsin Badger golf teams were the star attraction. They gave our members great advice on tracking player statistics and how to effectively coach players during competitions. Their graciousness with their time and facilities over the last couple years has truly made a significant impact on the value of the spring clinic to all attendees.

The GCAW’s lineup of educational events culminates this June with the annual summer clinic. You will see registration information in this edition for that event. The board is truly excited about bringing the Summer Clinic to Sentryworld and Stevens Point CC next June. Perennially one of the top public facilities in the country for the last 30 years, Sentryworld recently underwent a full-scale renovation of all 18 holes, entirely new clubhouse and banquet facility. If you haven’t seen it yet, you are sure to blown away in June. And Stevens Point Country Club is an incredible compliment to Sentryworld. One of my favorite private clubs in the state, it is known for its beautiful pine tree lined fairways and superb conditioning. Our members will also have the opportunity to learn from one of the top instructors and promoters of junior golf in the state, PGA Professional, Brian Dumler. Thank you not only to Brian, but also Danny Rainbow (PGA Director of Golf at Sentryworld) and Joe Hatch (PGA Head Professional at Stevens Point CC) for working with the Summer Clinic Committee to bring the event to Stevens Point.

To those coaches who have not attended either the spring clinic of summer clinic the past couple years, I strongly encourage to do so. The educational programming along with the venues and ability to network with and learn from your fellow coaches has never been better.

And lastly, let’s not forget the GCAW College Showcase. Registration is now open for your players and information is included in the edition. Again, this is a great opportunity for your players to showcase their talents for college coaches and learn about the recruiting process at the same time.

Good luck to everyone in the upcoming season!

dw signature




Dirk Willis, President – GCAW
PGA Professional

2016 College Showcase

The 2016 college showcase will take place at Whistling Straits on July 17 & 18, 2016.

The purpose of the College Showcase Tournament is to bring golf recruits and college coaches together.  The 2016 Showcase Tournament is open to all Wisconsin WIAA golfers (including classes of 2016 – 2020) and provides a unique opportunity to have their games evaluated by college golf coaches at every level.  For the golf coaches, the Showcase Tournament allows them to efficiently recruit multiple golfers and focus their evaluations on specific players and golf skills that they feel are most important to their program.

The GCAW College Showcase draws college coaches from as far away as Ohio and Kansas.  In total 48 D1, D2, D3 and NAIA programs were at the 2016 event, in addition to several scouts for national recruiting organizations.

The 2016 Showcase Tournament is going to be a two day event. Day one at the Straits will start with skills events, including ball-striking, video and launch monitor. NCAA and NAIA round table question and answer discussions will also take place on Day one during the dinner reception in the Irish Barn. Day two will start with 7:00am tee times on the Irish Course at Whistling Straits followed by awards. All golfers will get an Adidas golf shirt, a TaylorMade showcase numbered hat, a numbered bag sticker and a Showcase program.

COST $160.00 or $200.00 if your coach is not a member of the GCA of Wisconsin

WISCONSIN PGA points for this event will be 200 points for the winner (Boys & Girls)

Registration is open on a first come basis to all Wisconsin golfers looking to play college golf. It is not required, however it is recommended that the boys should have a USGA index of 7 or lower and girls should have a USGA index of 14 or lower. Your high school golf coach should be a member of the GCAW.

Sunday July 17th 2016:

1:00pm – 6:00pm           Registration (Whistling Straits Practice Facility)
2:00pm – 7:00pm           Golf Skills Stations, Launch Angle and ball speed measurements and Range time
7:00pm – 8:30pm          Coaches Round Table and Dinner Reception – Irish Barn

Monday July 18th 2016:

7:00 – 9:00am               Tee Times off #1 and #10 – 18 Hole Medal Play Event
Approx: 2:00pm           Awards in Irish Barn at Whistling Straits

Registration opens April 1, 2016

For more information, visit http://golfcoacheswi.org/college-showcase/

2016 GCAW Summer Clinic Update

The 30th Annual GCAW Summer Clinic at SentryWorld GC and Stevens Point CC  

2016 GCAW Summer Clinic Registration Form

The GCAW is taking the Summer Clinic to the newly renovated and award winning Sentryworld Golf Complex!  Take advantage of this opportunity to experience all that is new at this world class Robert Trent Jones Jr. designed facility.  In addition, GCAW members will have the opportunity to play one of the truly great and under-rated private clubs in the state, Stevens Point Country Club.  This Lawrence & Roger Packard designed facility is re-nowned for it’s beautiful  pine tree lined fairways and immaculate conditioning. http://www.sentryworld.com/ and http://stevenspointcountryclub.com/

Monday, June 20th:  Golf at Stevens Point CC followed by dinner at SentryWorld GC

1:00pm – 18-hole Stroke play tournament at Stevens Point CC
7:00pm – Dinner / Annual meeting / HOF Induction (s) at SentryWorld GC Conference Center

Coaches Social to follow meeting and dinner

Tuesday, June 21st:  All events at SentryWorld GC

8:30am – Coaches Clinic with Brian Dumler, Director of Instruction at SentryWorld GC
10:00am – 18-hole Scramble play tournament with flights at SentryWorld GC

Stay tuned for information on special rates on lodging in the Stevens Point area.

2016 Spring Clinic Review

80 coaches attended the 2016 Spring clinic on March 12, 2016 at University Ridge Golf Course.  The day started with a brief review of upcoming GCAW events and reminders by President Dirk Willis, including information on the GCAW Scholarship, Summer Clinic, and College Showcase Event.  Dirk also reminded coaches to watch the required WIAA Sport Video, currently online at the WIAA website.

Again this year we were fortunate to have the WSGA’s own Bill Linneman present us with 2016 rules changes, and go through the WIAA rules exam, another coaching requirement currently on the WIAA website.  Much of the focus was on some of the rule changes for 2016—involving rule 6-6d.  We must realize that we are very fortunate to have Bill Linneman help us with WSGA rules, as he was one of only 12 rules officials in the United States that received a perfect 100% on the USGA/PGA rules exam!  He knows the “Decisions on the Rules of Golf” book almost by memory—which to most reads like an overwhelming law book.  If you ever have a question about the Rules, especially if a situation arises where coaches are not sure on how to rule, please contact Bill at the WSGA at 414-254-5179 or the WSGA Office at 414-443-3560.

After Bill’s Rules Clinic, we then welcomed three brief speakers to enlighten us with different, but relevant topics for high school golf coaches.  Brian Scrobel (GCAW Past President) spoke about how he has been able to have 40+ students each year come out for golf at Brookfield Central High School.  Even his girls program had over 40 players this past fall!  His ability to get middle school-aged kids interested in golf has tremendously helped boost his numbers.  We also learned about opportunities after high school for students who are interested in working in the golf business from Scott Kennedy, PGA, and Director of Golf Instruction at Southwest Wisconsin Technical College in Fennimore.  We were enlightened to hear that the golf industry is NOT dying—contrary to popular belief these days—and there are several job opportunities available and ready to be filled every day!  Lastly, before our lunch break we heard from Eau Claire Memorial High School’s Assistant Golf Coach, Mark Barstad, about a “rules mat” he developed to help teach novice players about common rules of golf, and rule options in various competitive scenarios.

Our key-note speakers, University of Wisconsin Head Coaches—Todd Oehrlein (Women’s Program) and Michael Burcin (Men’s Program)—then welcomed us to the indoor practice facility to talk about various coaching philosophies they use with their players throughout their seasons.  They took us through a typical day of practice for the UW Teams—including some “Transferrable Drills” they use so the players are put into situations they might face when playing in tournaments.  They also discussed their favorite stats, various websites they use to compile tournament stats, and how they set goals with players using this information.  We are very fortunate to have these two incredible coaches share information with us, and answer our questions—everyone left with several coaching tips that will perhaps impact how they will coach their high school players this season, and beyond!

Overall, we had a very successful Spring Clinic and hope to continue our partnership with University Ridge and the UW Coaches in the future!  Thank you to all who presented, and to all who attended!  Please let us know if you have any feedback for future Spring Clinics.

GCAW Scholarships Available

The Golf Coaches Association of Wisconsin is offering scholarship awards to at least two high school female golfers and at least two high school male golfers. One female and one male will receive $1000, and at least one female and one male will receive $500. The GCAW may award more runner-up scholarships ($500), depending on the quality of the applicants. Each applicant must meet the following requirements:

  1. Must be (or have been) a member of a high school golf team for four years.  Committee will consider exceptions on a case by case basis.
  2. Must be a senior in high school, graduating in the spring of 2016.
  3. Must be attending a college, university, or technical school the following school year.
  4. The coach of the high school golf team must be a member of the Golf Coaches Association of Wisconsin. A letter of recommendation from your golf coach is an important part of this application.
  5. Must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.75 based on an unweighted grading system. Students with an official IEP may be exempt from this requirement upon proof of disability.

The GCAW Scholarship Committee will be looking for proof of:

  1. Dedication, commitment, and work ethic.
  2. Excellence in areas of service, citizenship, character, and leadership.
  3. Excellence in academics and depth of curriculum.

For more information along with the application form, visit http://golfcoacheswi.org/scholarship/

Team Academic All-State

The Golf Coaches Association of Wisconsin recently announced its 5th annual Team Academic All-State award.  This recognition was established to recognize high school golf teams with the highest team grade point averages (‘team’ is defined as the five designated golfers on the roster at the fall 2015 WIAA regional tournament).   The three teams with the highest cumulative team GPA in each division (D1- D2) were recognized with gold, silver, or bronze medals for each student-athlete, and their schools received a certificate to note this accomplishment.  Schools with at least a 3.25 team GPA received a certificate acknowledging honorable mention status.  The coaches association salutes the outstanding academic performance of our student-athletes.

This year’s honorees in each division were as follows:

D1:  Brookfield Central-1st, Oskhosh West-2nd, and Onalaska-3rd.

D2: Little Chute-1st, Wrightstown-2nd, Hayward-3rd.

The complete list, including those schools receiving honorable mention recognition can be found on the GCAW website at http://golfcoacheswi.org/girls-academic-all-state/ (scroll to bottom third of page to see the ‘team’ honorees.)

Hall of Fame: Where are they now?

Good question!  The GCAW is looking to update our records.  We are looking for current information on members of our Hall of Fame.  If anyone has or knows where these Hall of Fame Members are now, please email Chuck Menzel at cmenzel@new.rr.com.

We are looking for information (address, city/state/zip, phone #, cell phone # and email address) for the following members:

Richard Woerful, Gil Rodencal, Hal Metzen, Harry Max, Nate DeLong, Clark Byam, Leo Kerschitz, Hugh Stewart, Greg Shimanski, Ken Check, Ted Callis, John Ashenfelter, Mert Wulf, Andy Labarbera, Erv Benka, Paul Naumann, Al Forsythe, Rod Hanson, Stu Anderson, Gayle Wilfong, Mary Beth Nienhaus, Joe Harlow, Mardell Allen, Joan Olson, Singh Grewel, Don Marx, T.J. Dieck, Bill Ehren, Tom Tallmadge, Gary Oftedahl, Dick McKichen, Mike Duchin and Rollie Christensen.

Spring Board Meeting Minutes


Andrew Delong, Dirk Willis, Steve O’Brien, Ray Johnson, Scott Helms, Brian Scrobel, Tony Pritchard, Becky Halverson, Ray Johnson, Eric Holen, Jeff Schmidt, Jay Christiansen, Carole Zierden, Dick Kyes, Bob Sullivan, Tonya Gnewikow, Andrea Wieland

Meeting called to order at 6:02 pm by President Dirk Willis

  • Personnel Report

Mark Johnson will be resigning after the summer clinic. The board expressed it’s thanks to Mark for his years of service, with special appreciation for his leadership in his role as Membership Chair.

  • In an effort to replace what Mark has done in his role as membership chair the board is looking into 123Signup, a web based membership service.
  • Some of the features include
    • Automated email reminders
    • Payment with PO is still an option
    • PayPal account would still be active and usable with this system.
    • Allows us to maintain levels of membership.
  • Initial Setup of $299
    • 3 people training
    • 0-100 $49/month
    • 100-500 $49 +$.35 per member/month
    • Or $1200/year
    • Password protected accounts
  • Vote to accept 123Signup and begin using it after the summer clinic was unanimous.
    • Tony, Ray, and Andrea will work with 123signup to create
  • Motion to accept Personnel Report by Dick Keys, 2nd by Tonya Gnewikow. Motion passed unanimously.

2) Fall Board – review and accepted

  • Motion to accept Fall Board Minutes by Bob Sullivan, 2nd by Andrea Wieland. Minutes passed unanimously.

3) Treasurer’s Report

  • The Association is in good financial shape. The GCAW demonstrated modest financial gain over the previous financial year.

4) Membership Report

  • At this point we have 303 members, up roughly 35 from last year.

5) WIAA Report

  • Over the winter Tom Shafranski, from the WIAA, approached Dirk about the GCAW sponsoring the Live Broadcast of the WIAA State Tournament.
  • The board has some questions regarding the sponsorship.
    • What does the GCAW get for the sponsorship?
    • What is the price?
    • Dirk will email Tom S. inquiring about the details.
  • WIAA contacted Dirk inquiring whether Birchwood could host at Tag-a-long golf course without having a range.
    • The WIAA is searching for a host, Birchwood has offered to host, but won’t have the range. The board has no objection to Birchwood hosting this event.

6) Hall of Fame

  • One Nomination for HOF. Bill Burkholtz, a GCAW past president.
  • Two individuals nominated for the Friends of Golf award: Ryan Hudson – Sparta, Mike Sobotta – Arcadia Country Club.
  • The committee is still looking at creating a distinguished service award.
  • Committee will present at summer meeting.
  • Motion to accept the report by Dick Kyes, 2nd by Carole Zierden. Report accepted

7) Spring Clinic Report

  • 77 people attending
  • 9:00 start
  • Bill Lindemann. will be there to do the rules test.
  • Break at 11:00
  • Scott Kennedy PGA – teaches the program at Southwest Tech College will speak briefly about his program.
  • Brain Scrobel – Talk about Middle School Programs and developing youth interest
  • Lunch
  • UW Men’s coach, Mike Burcin and UW Women’s Coach, Todd Oehrlein, will be working with the group in the practice facility.
  • Motion to accept the report by Becky Halverson, 2nd by Scott Helms. Report passed unanimously.

8) Academic All-State Update (Sullivan)

  • Academic All-State Chair, Bob Sullivan, has process all of the Academic All-State applications. Results of Academic All-State and Team Academic All State can be found on the GCAW Website.
  • www.golfcoacheswi.org

Motion to accept report by Tonya Gnewikow, 2nd by Eric Holen. Report passed unanimously.

9) Coach Approach Report

  • Coach Approach Chair, Ray Johnson, reported the Coach Approach will now simply be a page on our website rather than a email sent by MailChimp.

10) Website Report (Ray Johnson)

  • 2015 – 125,000+ website clicks
  • May was busiest month
  • April was second
  • Homepage viewed the most
  • Results page second
  • O.W Third

Some discussion regarding www.wisconsin.golf.com and Rob Hernandez. Rob is requesting results from all meets/tournaments.

Motion to approve the report by Jay Christiansen, 2nd by Brian Scrobel. Report passed unanimously.

11) Summer Clinic Update (Willis)

  • Monday the 20th at SP CC 1:00 PM ShotGun Stroke Play
  • Dinner will be at Sentry World to see new clubhouse 7:00
  • All events at Sentry World
    • 8:30 Coaches Clinic
    • 10:00 Scramble
  • Registration fee $205 Both Days
  • 1 day $130
  • Dinner only $40
  • Registration going through Brandy
  • Moving forward, Brandy and Brian will be handling the Summer Clinic.
  • Tom Shafranski will work on hotel specials, Dirk will contact Tom.

12) Showcase Update (Willis / Delong / Scrobel)

  • Date conflicts with 2 day Players Tour event
  • Sunday, July 17 – Monday, July 18th
  • 100 players
  • Cost remains at $160/$200
  • Registration will go live the week of 3/28.
  • Some discussion regarding adding a younger population.
  • Motion to approve report by Dick Kyes, 2nd Tonya Gnewikow. Report passed unanimously.

13) Marketing Committee Discussion and Report (Taebel, email)

  • The board has moved forward with the partnership with Precision Pro.

14) Scholarship Update (Christiansen)

  • Scholarship Application has gone live, application deadline is May 20. No notable changes in application process.
  • Application can be found on the website.
  • Motion to accept report by Becky Halverson, Second by Jeff Schmidt. Report passed unanimously.

15) Retired Coach Update (Menzel)

  • Two retired coaches added.
  • Roger Pickert and Rick Pladwitz

16) Junior PGA Update (Landenberger)

  • Andy Landenberger could not be present, therefore he reported via email. The report can be found below.
  • This report contains information about the Junior Foundation Board, Event updates, Memberships and Drive, Chip & Putt events.

Board & Event Updates

The Junior Foundation board has seen many changes over the past year. The board added new board members and created three committees (Finance, Membership/Marketing, Events) to come up with new strategies and ideas. They met for the first time back in October. Board includes: Nate Colson, Mark Rechlicz, Ed Elsner, Michael Bielawski, Jill Noyce, Rob Elliott, Andrea Weiland, Peter Lake, David Roesch, Bill Graham, Jason Samuelian, Steve Fischer, Lindsay Koth, Katie Elliott and Paul LoCicero.

The Lake Arrowhead Invitational was moved from August to June. The goal is to have the older players support this event more. Date is June 26-27.

The Tour Championship will be a new event and fall into the August date that Arrowhead moved from. Looking to schedule a two day 36-hole event on August 7-8. Juniors will qualify throughout the summer for this event.

A summer scramble event will be added to the schedule. Old Hickory GC will host on July 29th.  In past years we have only run the scramble as a fall event.

A Team Championship event will be added to the schedule. Reedsburg CC will host on July 14th. This event will allow juniors to play in a team format while also competing as an individual. The idea is to be like a high school team format, but juniors would register with friends or with high school teammates.

Junior Memberships & Junior Packet Mailing

Online registration started on January 20th. Junior members will be able to register for events starting April 4th. Non-member registration opens April 19th. All PGA Professionals and golf courses will receive the Junior Packet mailer; this mailing contains all information about junior events in our state. Please share this information with your juniors. We will also email you the membership application and junior calendar to forward out to your juniors and parents.

Highlighted Dates for 2016- visit wiscjuniorgolf.com for full schedule

June 12 -13 – Players Tour event at Blackwolf Run (Meadow Valleys Course)

June 21 -22 – Junior Championship at Brown Deer Park & Dretzka Park in Milwaukee

June 26-27 – Lake Arrowhead Invitational

June 28 – Junior Best-Ball at The Bull at Pinehurst Farms (members only event)

June 29-30 – 19th Annual Junior Cup Matches hosted by SentryWorld
July 1 – Whistling Straits (Irish Course) Junior Tour event (members only event)

August 1-2 – Girls Match Play event

August 3 – Girls Only 18-hole stroke play at SentryWorld

Drive, Chip & Putt Events

Registration is open for DCP events. Kids can register at www.drivechipandputt.com. Registration is FREE for these events for kids ages 7-15. This summer we will administer 6 qualifiers and 1 sub-regional event. We expect to reach 900 entries this year. Sub-regional winners advance to regional at Hazeltine CC and winner from there go to Augusta in 2017.

17) WSGA Update (Janzen)

  • No Report

18) New Business

  • Some discussion about Board Gift. Scott will take orders for a Board jacket.
  • Some discussion regarding GCAW College Showcase promo video. Delong will continue to work with his Independent Study on video completion.
  • Carole requests everyone works to get donations for summer clinic raffle.
  • Some discussion regarding the WIAA providing on-course signage displaying spectator guidelines during all WIAA Tournament Series events. The board only sees the value in it, there was no action taken, or planned to be taken at this time.

Motion to adjourn Carole Zierden, 2nd by Jay Christiansen. Motion to adjourn passed unanimously.

Meeting adjourned by President Dirk Willis at 9:02 pm.