Scott McCarron and his secret weapon at Wakonda.

Scott McCarron leaned on a secret weapon when he won the Principal Charity Classic last year.

It was a guy who started working as a caddie at Wakonda Club when he was 10 years old. A guy who later became a member, won an Iowa Amateur and a Trans-Mississippi here and knows the ins and outs of this rolling, ageless old-school beauty as well as anyone.  A guy who has gone on to become the most accomplished amateur golfer in Iowa history.

“After you’ve played here a thousand times you know which way the ball is going to bounce,” said Mike McCoy of West Des Moines, aka Mr. Secret Weapon.

McCarron was a PGA TOUR Champions rookie last season when he arrived at Wakonda, a course he knew nothing about.

“I got here Tuesday, and it rained and rained,” McCarron said. “The course finally opened up and I played, 1, 2, 3 and maybe 4. Then it started raining again. And then I was in the Wednesday Pro-Am, and I was playing with Mike. I thought, “This is great, at least I can learn it.”

McCarron already knew McCoy through Mark Loomis, a friend of McCoy’s and McCarron’s producer at Fox Sports. McCarron did some analysis on the network’s golf coverage.

McCoy has won the Iowa Amateur six times, including 1995 at Wakonda. He won the Iowa Mid-Amateur six times. He won the 2013 U.S. Mid-Amateur, punching his ticket to the 2014 Masters. McCoy is an 11-time Iowa Amateur of the Year and six-time Iowa Senior Amateur of the Year. The crowning achievement came when he was selected to the 2015 Walker Cup team.

So that is the depth of knowledge and success McCarron tapped into when he got to Wakonda.

“(McCoy) was teaching me a lot about off the tees, because there’s a lot of blind shot,” McCarron said. “There’s a lot of shots where, yes, I can hit driver and carry some of those things, but you’ve got to lay back off the tee if you want to hit a full shot because you don’t want to be stuck with a downhill lie. So he was giving me a lot of strategy about what I needed to do to play this golf course. Going around with him was like going around with a seasoned veteran. He was like my caddie for the day, teaching me where to go.”

The next morning, McCoy left town to start preparations for his U.S. Open sectional qualifier in New Jersey five days later.  McCarron felt like he needed to play Wakonda again, but he wasn’t scheduled to play in Thursday’s Pro-Am.

And then friend and college roommate at UCLA, Brandt Jobe, mentioned to McCarron that he was looking for a way to get out of playing in Thursday’s Pro-Am.  McCarron immediately called Greg Conrad, the Principal Charity Classic’s tournament director.

“I said, ‘Hey, I want to take his spot, let’s work it out,’ ” McCarron recalled. “And they were able to do that and put it together.”

After another look at Wakonda, McCarron went out and shot 68-68-65 to finish one shot in front of Miguel Angel Jimenez and Billy Andrade. McCarron birdied the final three holes, and had just one bogey the entire tournament.

McCoy was keeping track of Sunday’s final round from New Jersey.

“I was thrilled for him, because I knew it meant a lot to him,” McCoy said. “And it was fun that I had a chance to send a day with him.”

It was McCarron’s first victory on the PGA TOUR Champions, and two more have followed. He added the 2016 Dominion Charity Classic and the 2017 Allianz Championship, making eagle on the final hole.

McCarron has had four other Top 10 finishes this season, including a tie for second at the Regions Tradition and a fifth at the Senior PGA Championship in his last two events.

Bernhard Langer won the Regions Tradition and Senior PGA Championship. McCarron is second on the PGA TOUR Champions money list with earnings of $784,351. Langer has more than doubled that.

“Bernhard Langer inspires me every day,” McCarron said. “There are days when I’m like, “I don’t really feel like working out, but I know Langer is probably working out.’ I should probably call him and see if he’s actually working out so I can sit on the couch, eat and watch TV.”

Langer inspires McCarron to dig a little deeper.

“He practices hard,” McCarron said. “He does his homework for golf courses. He’s here early and he doesn’t make many mistakes. He’s tough to beat. I have to play really, really well, and not make many mistakes, to have a chance to beat him.”

Thirty-two of the Top 40 players in the current Charles Schwab Cup standings are in the Principal Charity Classic field. Tom Lehman, who has finished fifth or better in all five of his Principal Charity Classic appearances, and Stephen Ames join Langer and McCarron as 2017 winners in the PGA TOUR Champions. But only McCarron has a secret weapon at Wakonda.

“He gives me more credit than I probably deserve,” McCoy said. “He hit all the shots, and I suspect he’ll do well. Wakonda is a great golf course, but it doesn’t suit everybody. The guys who figure it out, it can be had with the right game plan.”

By Rick Brown, Principal Charity Classic Senior Reporter

 

 


Bernhard Langer has Wakonda on his mind.

The number sits on top of a very high mountain: 45.

Hale Irwin has won an unprecedented 45 PGA TOUR Champions titles in his World Golf Hall of Fame career.

Bernhard Langer is now second on that list, with 32 victories. Can a man who turns 60 years old on August 27, a Hall of Famer in his own right, reach the top of that mountain?

“There are many other goals,” Langer said Wednesday at the Principal Charity Classic. “The goal is to improve, to get better.”

That’s a scary thought for the other players on the PGA TOUR Champions.

Langer comes to town riding momentum from victories in back-to-back majors, the Regions Tradition and Senior PGA Championship. His nine major triumphs are the most ever. Jack Nicklaus won eight.

He’s won $1,664,651 this season, more than double the No.2 money winner, defending Principal Charity Classic champion Scott McCarron.

Langer is on a fast track to surpass the $2 million mark for the sixth straight season. His $22 million and change in career earnings is second all-time to Irwin’s $27 million.

Langer’s won the Schwab Cup four times, including three years in a row. He’s won the Arnold Palmer Trophy, which goes to the leading money winner, eight times. He’s won the Jack Nicklaus Award, which goes to the player of the year, six times. He’s won the Bryon Nelson Award, which goes to the player with the lowest stroke average, five times.

Langer calls those achievements “short-term, intermediate goals. And then if I achieve some of that, I might have a shot at Hale Irwin. But it’s very unlikely.”

This week poses a different challenge for the two-time Masters champion. He’s out to unlock the secret of Wakonda, a course that has had his number on his previous two visits.

Langer tied for 31st in 2013, and tied for 48th in 2015. Both were his poorest finish of the season. Now he’s looking to turn that around.

“It has been on my mind,” Langer said. “I’ve been pondering what it is. I haven’t had a win here, or a top three, which I have had at many other places. It’s a different golf course. Very hilly, with lots of sidehill, downhill and uphill lies. It’s a very undulating course in general. But the greens are also tricky. I’m going to be contemplating that more in the next couple of days.”

Langer’s play at Wakonda is out of character. In addition to his 32 career victories, he’s had 26 runner-up finishes and 21 thirds. He’s had 140 Top 10 finishes in 196 events, a salty 71.4 percent.

As he prepares for Friday’s first round, Langer said he’s going to “see where I might have made mistakes in the past, or what part of the course gets me so I don’t perform as well as the others do.”

Langer has won at least once in each of the 11 years he’s played on the PGA TOUR Champions. And he’s shown no signs of slowing down. His secret?

“It’s not a diet,” Langer said. “I love desserts. I’m a sugar addict. On the other hand I eat reasonably well. I love vegetables and salads and all that kind of stuff. I don’t drink much alcohol. I don’t take any medication of any sorts. I try and live a healthy, active lifestyle. I work out. I have good genes. Maybe that’s what it takes.”

Being able to compete at a winning level consistently requires “a whole list of things,” Langer said. “It’s like a puzzle. It all has to come together. You’ve got to be healthy. Otherwise you can’t play the game you want to. You have to pace yourself. You have to have a good support system…your family around you, coaches, caddies, things like that. And you have to be eager and willing to work at it still.”

For four decades, that’s just what Langer has done.

“But I take a lot of time off, “ Langer said. “I get away from the game. When I do come back, I’m usually hungry and eager to do what I need to do.”

One of Langer’s many Top 10 finishes came at the 2012 Principal Charity Classic at Glen Oaks. This is his fifth appearance in the event.

“I think it’s a great event,” Langer said. “The people are phenomenal here. They do such a great job of putting so much effort into it. It’s been very well supported. I’m happy to be here and support the tournament. They raise a lot of money for charity. That’s what it’s all about.”

By Rick Brown, Principal Charity Classic Senior Reporter


Bernhard Langer, defending champion Scott McCarron highlight 2017 Principal Charity Classic field.

The Principal Charity Classic®, presented by Wells Fargo, is pleased to announce the player field for this year’s tournament, set for June 6-11 at historic Wakonda Club near downtown Des Moines.

The Principal Charity Classic was named the PGA TOUR Champions Tournament of the Year in 2016 and has raised nearly $10 million to benefit Iowa children’s charities in the past decade.

Defending tournament champion Scott McCarron, now a three-time PGA TOUR Champions winner after earning his first career PGA TOUR Champions victory at the 2016 Principal Charity Classic, will be joined by 77 additional competitors, including:

  • Bernhard Langer, the 2016 PGA TOUR Champions Player of the Year and defending Charles Schwab Cup champion. The two-time Masters champion and World Golf Hall of Fame member has 32 career PGA TOUR Champions wins, the second-highest total in TOUR history (Hale Irwin leads with 45). With his recent victory at the 2017 KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship, Langer became the first player to win all five majors on the PGA TOUR Champions and surpassed Jack Nicklaus’ record for the most senior major titles (Langer now has nine total). Langer last competed in the Principal Charity Classic in 2015.
  • Past Principal Charity Classic champions Mark Calcavecchia (’15), Russ Cochran (’13), Jay Haas (’07, ’08, ’12), Bob Gilder (’02, ’11) and Tom Pernice, Jr. (‘14).
  • PGA TOUR Champions rookies Jerry Kelly, a native of Madison, Wisconsin, and David Toms, winner of the 2001 PGA Championship and 13 career PGA TOUR events.
  • Perennial fan favorites Fred Funk, Tom Lehman, Jesper Parnevik, Fuzzy Zoeller and Billy Andrade, who set a new Wakonda Club course record (63) during the second round of the 2016 Principal Charity Classic.
  • Iowa native Jerry Smith, a 2017 inductee into the Iowa Golf Hall of Fame. Smith, who received a sponsor exemption to play in the 2014 Principal Charity Classic, went on to earn PGA TOUR Champions Rookie of the Year honors in 2015. He has played in the Principal Charity Classic for the past three years, with a best finish of T14 in 2016.

Also included in the 2017 Principal Charity Classic field are five players who received sponsor exemptions: Jay Don Blake, owner of more than three dozen top-10 career finishes in official PGA TOUR events; Damon Green, past Principal Charity Classic participant (’11, ’12) and professional caddie for PGA TOUR star and Iowa native Zach Johnson; Gary Hallberg, one of only 12 players to win a tournament on the PGA TOUR, Web.com Tour and PGA TOUR Champions; Brian Henninger, two-time PGA TOUR winner and second-place finisher at the 2015 Principal Charity Classic; and Lonnie Nielsen, Iowa native and member of the Iowa Golf Hall of Fame.

Principal Charity Classic tickets start at just $20, and may be purchased online at www.principalcharityclassic.com or at the tournament gates. Kids 15 and under may attend the tournament for free if accompanied by a ticketed adult. Complimentary admission is also provided for all active duty, retired and reserve military along with their dependents.

For more information, visit www.principalcharityclassic.com.

2017 Principal Charity Classic Final Field

Michael Allen
Stephen Ames
Billy Andrade
Tommy Armour III
Woody Austin
Jay Don Blake +
Michael Bradley
Paul Broadhurst
Mark Brooks
Olin Browne
Bart Bryant
Tom Byrum
Mark Calcavecchia
Jim Carter
Russ Cochran
Marco Dawson
Glen Day
Scott Dunlap
Joe Durant
Steve Flesch
Dan Forsman
Carlos Franco
David Frost
Fred Funk
Bobby Gage
Doug Garwood
Bob Gilder
Bill Glasson
Mike Goodes
Paul Goydos
Damon Green +
Jay Haas
Gary Hallberg +
Todd Hamilton
Brian Henninger +
John Huston
Peter Jacobsen
Lee Janzen
Brandt Jobe
Jerry Kelly
Skip Kendall
Bernhard Langer
Tom Lehman
Steve Lowery
Billy Mayfair
Blaine McCallister
Scott McCarron *
Larry Mize
Lonnie Nielsen +
Scott Parel
Jesper Parnevik
Craig Parry
Steve Pate
Tom Pernice Jr.
Tim Petrovic
Phillip Price
Tom Purtzer
Fran Quinn
Loren Roberts
Gene Sauers
Wes Short, Jr.
Joey Sindelar
Jeff Sluman
Jerry Smith
Rod Spittle
Kevin Sutherland
Esteban Toledo
David Toms
Kirk Triplett
Bob Tway
Scott Verplank
Duffy Waldorf
Willie Wood
Fuzzy Zoeller

Field notes

Final field will include 78 players; 4 event qualifiers currently TBD.

* denotes defending champion

+ denotes players receiving 2017 sponsor exemptions


Share a ‘Selfie For Good’ at the Principal Charity Classic.

Principal® is proud to announce the launch of “Selfie For Good,” a new fan promotion at the upcoming Principal Charity Classic®, presented by Wells Fargo. The annual PGA TOUR Champions golf event will take place June 6-11 at Wakonda Club in Des Moines.

Through the “Selfie For Good” promotion, Principal will award five fans with $500 in charitable dollars each day of tournament week (Wednesday-Sunday). Each fan will then select a charity to receive a $500 donation on their behalf. Over the course of the week, Principal will donate $2,500 to charity per day and $12,500 total.

To participate, fans should:

  • Take a selfie at the Principal Charity Classic.
  • Use the hashtag #PCC17 when posting their selfie to Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
  • Principal will randomly select five selfies per day and donate $500 to each winner’s favorite charity.*
  • Winners will have more than 7,000 charities they can direct their donation to from around the world.

The Principal Charity Classic, which is focused on supporting Iowa kids, raised a record $2,053,725 for local children’s charities in 2016. The tournament has raised nearly $10 million for Iowa kids in the past 10 years, and was named the 2016 PGA TOUR Champions Tournament of the Year.

“Fans have such a great time on the course during the Principal Charity Classic, and posting selfies on social media has become part of how they share their tournament experience,” said Beth Brady, SVP and CMO at Principal. “The ‘Selfie For Good’ campaign is a fun and personal way for fans to help give back and to make an impact on behalf of the charities that are most important to them. So, take and post those selfies!”

Get tickets

Tickets to the Principal Charity Classic start at just $20, and can be purchased online at principalcharityclassic.com or at the event’s main entrance gate during tournament week.

As a reminder, kids 15 and under may attend the Principal Charity Classic for free if accompanied by a ticketed adult. Complimentary admission is also provided for all active duty, retired and reserve military along with their dependents.

For more information about the Principal Charity Classic, visit principalcharityclassic.com.

*Approved charities are defined as organizations that are IRS-registered 501(c)3 with a non-private foundation status of 509(a)1 or 509(a)2. Other restrictions may apply.


Larry the Cable Guy Joins Principal Charity Classic Pro-Am Field

Popular comedian and actor Larry the Cable Guy is bringing his golf game to the 2017 Principal Charity Classic®, presented by Wells Fargo, in Des Moines. The annual event, named the 2016 PGA TOUR Champions Tournament of the Year, is slated for June 6-11 at historic Wakonda Club.

Larry the Cable Guy is a multiplatinum recording artist, Grammy nominee, Billboard award winner and one of the top comedians in the country. Born Daniel Whitney in Pawnee City, Nebraska, he has his own line of Larry the Cable Guy merchandise and continues to sell out theatres and arenas across the United States. His latest comedy special, “We’ve Been Thinking”, can be seen on Netflix, and he will also reprise his role as Mater in upcoming CARS 3 movie this June.

Fans can watch Larry the Cable Guy play in the Wednesday Pro-Am on June 7 at the Principal Charity Classic.

“I love to get out on the golf course and to make people laugh – and hey, when those two things go together, it’s a really good time,” said Larry the Cable Guy, who played in the AT&T Celebrity Challenge at Pebble Beach earlier this year and maintains a 12.8 golf handicap. “A tournament like the Principal Charity Classic is truly awesome. Des Moines is close to home for me, and when I heard this event had raised almost $10 million for Iowa kids, I wanted to be part of it.”

In addition to his success as Larry the Cable Guy, the Grammy-nominated funnyman is known for his charitable work. In 2009, Whitney and his wife Cara established The Git-R-Done Foundation – named after his signature catchphrase – to support organizations helping children and veterans. The charitable foundation has made numerous donations, including a $5 million gift to the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children in Orlando, Florida, to form The International Hip Dysplasia Institute in 2010. The couple’s son, Wyatt Whitney, was successfully treated for hip dysplasia at the hospital as an infant.

“We’re excited that Larry the Cable Guy was inspired to join us at the 2017 Principal Charity Classic after learning about the tournament’s charitable and community impact, which continues to grow each year,” said Tournament Director Greg Conrad. “He has achieved a lot of success in his career and has made it a personal priority to give back, especially in support of children’s and veteran’s causes. And supporting Iowa kids and the community is what the Principal Charity Classic is all about.”

The Principal Charity Classic raised a record $2,053,725 for Iowa children’s charities in 2016, bringing the tournament’s 10-year charitable giving total to nearly $10 million. More than 83,000 spectators attended last year’s tournament.

Get tickets

Tickets to the Principal Charity Classic start at just $20, and can be purchased online at principalcharityclassic.com or at the event’s main entrance gate during tournament week.

As a reminder, kids 15 and under may attend the Principal Charity Classic for free if accompanied by a ticketed adult. Complimentary admission is also provided for all active duty, retired and reserve military along with their dependents.

For more information about the Principal Charity Classic, visit principalcharityclassic.com.


Fred Couples Commits To Field For 2017 Principal Charity Classic

The Principal Charity Classic®, presented by Wells Fargo, the annual PGA TOUR Champions event in Des Moines, is pleased to announce legendary golfer Fred Couples has committed to play in the 2017 Principal Charity Classic. The tournament will take place June 6-11 at historic Wakonda Club.

Couples, who joins fellow World Golf Hall of Fame member Bernhard Langer in the tournament field, has won more than 60 professional golf events – including the 1992 Masters Tournament and the 1984 and 1996 PLAYERS Championships. In addition to his Masters win, Couples has recorded top-three finishes in the PGA TOUR’s three additional majors: the U.S. Open (T3, 1991), The Open Championship (T3, 1991 and ’05) and the PGA Championship (2nd, 1990).

Nicknamed “Boom Boom” because of his tremendous power off the tee, Couples is a five-time member of the United States Ryder Cup team. He has also served as captain of three victorious U.S. Presidents Cup squads (2009, ’11, ’13).

“We are thrilled to welcome Fred Couples back to Des Moines and the Principal Charity Classic,” said Greg Conrad, Principal Charity Classic Tournament Director. “Fred is one of golf’s true legends. Many of us grew up watching and cheering for him, and in awe of his effortless swing – which has allowed him to remain very competitive on the PGA TOUR, as well as the PGA TOUR Champions. Most importantly, we are excited for Des Moines, which continues to draw golf’s very best because of the community’s outstanding support.”

Since winning PGA TOUR Champions “Rookie of the Year” honors in 2010, Couples has notched 13 victories, including the 2011 Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS Championship and the 2012 Senior Open Championship.

Couples, 57, made his first and only previous appearance at the Principal Charity Classic in 2010, when he finished T11 with rounds of 70-70-66 at Glen Oaks Country Club in West Des Moines. The 2017 Principal Charity Classic will mark his first time competing at Wakonda Club.

 In addition to Couples, current player commitments for the 2017 Principal Charity Classic include 2016 tournament champion Scott McCarron and 2016 PGA TOUR Champions Player of the Year Bernhard Langer, as well as John Daly, Jesper Parnevik, Billy Andrade, Mark Calcavecchia, Fred Funk, Jay Haas, Tom Lehman, Rocco Mediate, Tom Pernice, Jr., David Toms and Fuzzy Zoeller, among other fan favorites.

The Principal Charity Classic was named the PGA TOUR Champions Tournament of the Year in 2016 and has raised nearly $10 million to benefit Iowa children’s charities in the past decade.

Get a ‘Couples’ of tickets for the price of one

To celebrate Fred Couples’ return to the Principal Charity Classic, the tournament is offering a special ticket discount for fans. To get a 2-for-1 price on Good-Any-One-Day tickets to the Principal Charity Classic, simply enter promo code COUPLES when purchasing tickets online at principalcharityclassic.com now through tournament week.

As a reminder, kids 15 and under may attend the Principal Charity Classic for free if accompanied by a ticketed adult. Complimentary admission is also provided for all active duty, retired and reserve military along with their dependents.

For more information about the Principal Charity Classic, including volunteer and sponsorship opportunities, visit principalcharityclassic.com.


Volunteer Profile: Meet Maggie Hatcher.

You may not know Maggie Hatcher, but she’s a very important person.

She is one of the approximately 1,200 volunteers who make the Principal Charity Classic run like clockwork. Or in Maggie’s case, a most experienced volunteer. She’s worked the tournament every year since it arrived in Greater Des Moines in 2001.

That covers 16 tournaments, three host golf courses, two title sponsors and one terrific volunteer.

“It’s a labor of love,” said Hatcher, who is from Harlan. “I’m going to be 79 in August. If the health holds, I’ll keep doing it.”

Principal Charity Classic volunteer Maggie Hatcher of Harlan.

Maggie has held three different jobs at the golf course in her volunteer career.

“I kind of go wherever,” she said. “And they take good care of me.”

Hatcher started as a walking scorer, then worked in radio control. Now Maggie serves as a marshal on Wakonda’s 14th tee.

Not bad for someone who got shut out the first time she tried to volunteer, at the 1999 U.S. Senior Open at the Des Moines Golf and Country Club. She applied, but all the spots had already been spoken for.

That U.S. Senior Open smashed records, and caught the attention of the PGA TOUR.

“All of a sudden, the PGA TOUR realized there’s a market out here,” Hatcher said. “I was so happy when I heard one was coming here. And we are so lucky. I have friends in Omaha, and they have a Web.com TOUR event there. They would give anything to have a PGA TOUR Champions event over there.”

It was the first week of December, 2000, when the PGA TOUR announced that a senior event scheduled for 2001 in Indianapolis, Ind., wouldn’t take place because Comfort Inns had dropped title sponsorship. Des Moines officials, expecting an event starting in 2002, suddenly had 10 months to make the Allianz Championship at Glen Oaks Country Club in West Des Moines a reality.

Maggie still has the golf shirt and pullover that volunteers were given that first year. She keeps it because one of her favorite players, Fred Couples, owned the company that made the shirt.

Maggie Hatcher, 78, displays her volunteer uniform from the 2001 Allianz Championship in Des Moines.

She used to keep a lot of things, like the golf balls the players signed and gave to her after each round, the pairings, the golf shirt she received every year and other momentos. She’s given most of that stuff away, or thrown it out.

“As you get older, you get rid of a lot of stuff,” Hatcher said.

But she has kept her tournament badges, the one keepsake from her annual trek to Des Moines. It’s the friends she’s made, the golfers she’s met and plenty of memories that mean more to her than material goods.

“I always had good people to walk with,” Maggie said. “I don’t care whether it was a name player or just some guy who was working every day who just loved the game of golf. I always liked to score the pro-ams, because you kind of get to know the player better, and you see the communication they have with the other four (amateur) players. They have to have the patience of God.”

Golf found its way into Hatcher’s life long before the PGA TOUR Champions made its way to Des Moines. She used to volunteer at an LPGA event in Springfield, Ill., and even served as tournament chairman one year.

“That’s something that stayed with me,” she said. “I’ve always been a big sports nut.”

Later on, she worked for Executive Sports in Delray Beach, Fla., which managed golf tournaments, including some on the PGA TOUR. Two years later she returned home to Harlan.

And when she heard that Greater Des Moines was getting a senior event, she jumped at the opportunity to volunteer.

When she started as a walking scorer in 2001, hole-by-hole scores were kept on paper and radioed into scoring central. In 2012, her last year in that job, she carried a hand-held device that automatically registered the score.

Hatcher learned one valuable lesson: when in doubt, the caddie is your best friend.

“Most of the guys are very easy to work for,” Maggie said. “But if I didn’t pick up a score or something, I just asked the caddie. I didn’t bother the player.”

Principal Charity Classic Senior Reporter Rick Brown and Maggie Hatcher at Wakonda Club.

Maggie wasn’t able to continue as a walking scorer in 2013 because of heart issues. So radio control became her home. But she felt like she was missing the action.

“I said, ‘You know, I want to get back out on the course,’ ” she said.

So in 2015, she joined up with some volunteer friends who used to work the 13th hole at Glen Oaks. They now keep things in order on Wakonda’s 14th tee. And that’s where she’ll be for her 17th tournament.

“We’re blessed with a tremendous volunteer tent, thanks to Bob Clark and his crew,” Maggie said.

Whether it’s a good meal or a thank you, Hatcher feels appreciated for the work she does.

“It’s fun,” she said. “And to me it’s the camaraderie, and coming back and seeing the people.”

By Rick Brown, Principal Charity Classic Senior Reporter

 


Thank you to our first responders.

New this year, the Principal Charity Classic in partnership with Electronic Engineering, is proud to provide first responders (law enforcement, fire, EMS) and their families with free admission and skybox tickets on Friday, Saturday and Sunday (June 9-11) of tournament week. This offer is a small token of thanks for their tireless work in our communities.

The first responders skybox on the 16th Green at Wakonda Club provides a great view of golf, and includes free food and drinks.

First responders can learn more and claim their skybox vouchers here: principalcharityclassic.com/firstresponders


Bernhard Langer Joins 2017 Principal Charity Classic Field.

The Principal Charity Classic®, presented by Wells Fargo, the annual PGA TOUR Champions event in Des Moines, is pleased to announce 2016 PGA TOUR Champions Player of the Year and defending Charles Schwab Cup champion Bernhard Langer has committed to play in the 2017 Principal Charity Classic. The tournament will take place June 6-11 at historic Wakonda Club.

The Principal Charity Classic was named the PGA TOUR Champions Tournament of the Year in 2016 and has raised nearly $10 million to benefit Iowa children’s charities in the past decade.

“We are tremendously excited to welcome Bernhard Langer back to Des Moines for the 2017 Principal Charity Classic,” said Greg Conrad, Principal Charity Classic Tournament Director. “His performance on the PGA TOUR Champions has been nothing short of spectacular, and he continues to raise his level of play every year. It’s incredible and inspiring to watch him.”

Langer, 59, recorded four victories last year – including two major championships – en route to claiming his record fourth Charles Schwab Cup title. The two-time Masters champion and World Golf Hall of Fame member was also named the PGA TOUR Champions Player of the Year for the sixth time in his decorated career.

Langer has 30 career PGA TOUR Champions wins, the second-highest total in TOUR history (Hale Irwin leads with 45). He previously played in the Principal Charity Classic in 2010, ’12, ’13 and ’15, with a best finish of T10 in 2012.

Strong early field for 2017

In addition to Langer, early player commitments for the 2017 Principal Charity Classic include 2016 tournament champion Scott McCarron and fan favorite John Daly, as well as Jesper Parnevik, Billy Andrade, Mark Calcavecchia, Fred Funk, Jay Haas, Tom Lehman, Rocco Mediate, Tom Pernice, Jr., David Toms and Fuzzy Zoeller, among others.

“The strength of early player commitments for our 2017 tournament reflects the quality of the Principal Charity Classic and its status as a premier event among PGA TOUR Champions competitors,” Conrad said. “Great players want to play in great events, and the fantastic support of the Des Moines community – from spectators and volunteers to sponsors and local media – does not go unnoticed by the players.”

Save with code ‘Langer’

In recognition of Bernhard Langer’s return to the Principal Charity in 2017, fans can save 17% on all available ticket options – including VIP Champions Club tickets – now through April 10 by using promo code LANGER when purchasing tickets online at www.principalcharityclassic.com.

As a reminder, kids 15 and under may attend the Principal Charity Classic for free if accompanied by a ticketed adult. Complimentary admission is also provided for all active duty, retired and reserve military along with their dependents.

For more information about the Principal Charity Classic, including volunteer and sponsorship opportunities, visit www.principalcharityclassic.com.


Volunteer at the 2017 Principal Charity Classic.

Volunteer registration for the 2017 Principal Charity Classic, the annual PGA TOUR Champions event in Des Moines, is open. This year’s tournament will take place June 6-11 at historic Wakonda Club.

The Principal Charity Classic was recently named the PGA TOUR Champions 2016 Tournament of the Year and has raised nearly $10 million to benefit Iowa children’s charities since 2007. The tournament is sponsored by Principal and presented by Wells Fargo.

“Approximately 1,200 volunteers help bring the Principal Charity Classic to life each year, and we couldn’t do it without their loyal and energetic support,” said Loralyn Werkmeister, Volunteer Coordinator for the Principal Charity Classic. “Our volunteers truly believe in the tournament and its charitable mission.

“In 2016, we had volunteers join us from 14 different states and Canada, ranging in age from 13 to 90. We’re looking forward to welcoming many of them back – as well as some new faces – for a great experience at our 2017 tournament.”

Becoming a volunteer

Both returning and new volunteers are required complete the online registration form at www.principalcharityclassic.com. Volunteers are asked to work a minimum of two (2) shifts during the championship, which range from 4-6 hours each, and to make a donation in support of Iowa children’s charities when registering.

Volunteer committee assignments ranging from on-course marshals, standard bearers and TV spotters to merchandise volunteers, shuttle drivers, Pro-Am operations and more. A full list of volunteer committee opportunities can be viewed at www.principalcharityclassic.com and are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. Individual assignments will be announced beginning in early April.

All 2017 volunteers will receive the following in exchange for their generous donation to support the tournament’s charitable mission:

  • Free admission for tournament week
  • Five (5) Good-Any-One-Day tournament tickets to share with family, friends, etc.
  • Meals on days of service
  • An invitation to the Volunteer Appreciation Party on June 5
  • The official volunteer uniform (one golf polo, one rain-resistant golf jacket and a hat or visor)
  • A one-time 25% off merchandise discount
  • A preferred parking pass

There are also a limited number of junior volunteer opportunities available for individuals age 13-18 during tournament week. The junior package includes a volunteer polo and hat or visor, free admission for the week, meals on days of service and five (5) Good-Any-One-Day tickets to share with family and friends. Juniors interested in volunteering should use the registration code junior.

Volunteer incentives

The Principal Charity Classic also offers a variety of unique incentives to reward volunteers:

  • Win free golf at members-only Wakonda Club. For each new volunteer that a returning volunteer recruits in 2017, they will earn one entry into a drawing for a twosome of golf at Wakonda Club. To participate, returning volunteers should simply ask their recruits to list their name in the “referred by” box when completing the online volunteer registration.
  • Register before March 6 to be entered to win an Honorary Observer experience. The winner will receive the opportunity to walk with PGA TOUR Champions players during tournament play. The winner’s name will be announced to the gallery as they are photographed with their PGA TOUR Champions threesome on the first tee. Players will then autograph the photo at the conclusion of the round as a special keepsake.
  • Register before April 3 to be entered to win an invitation to the 2017 Pairings Party. Volunteers who register by this date will be entered to win an invitation for themselves and a guest to attend the invitation-only Pairings Party celebration, which kicks off tournament week. Guests will enjoy complimentary food and beverage with tournament sponsors, Pro-Am participants, PGA TOUR Champions players, key Des Moines executives and other special guests.
  • Register by May 1 to be entered to win a set of Champions Club tickets for the 2017 tournament. The Champions Club provides two premier locations to watch the tournament action. Two outdoor locations on the 16th and 17th greens provide covered seating with a luncheon buffet – beer, wine and soda included.

For complete incentive details and more information, visit www.principalcharityclassic.com/volunteer.