October 31, 2023 | 6 min.
ByJack Mendesh

EDINA, Minn. (Oct. 31, 2023) – University of Minnesota Evans Scholars Chapter House President Krew Barber was named the 2023 Minnesota Golf Association’s Fritz Corrigan Evans Scholar of the Year at the MGA’s 123rd Annual Awards Dinner, Oct. 30 at Edina Country Club. Along with Barber, the MGA honored outstanding players, volunteers, and club representatives for their contributions to the amateur game of golf in Minnesota. They include: Kathryn Sartain, as the MGA Giles Kobilka Award winner, and Island View Golf Club, as the MGA Member Club of the Year

The evening’s highlights also included recognition of Lynn Anderson, Torger Ohe, Jerry Rose, and Caleb and Kathryn VanArragon as the MGA Players of the Year and John Mendesh as the MGA Warren J. Rebholz Distinguished Service Award honoree. (see this link to a press release dated Oct. 23, 2023).

The MGA Fritz Corrigan Evans Scholar of the Year award is bestowed annually to an Evans Scholar from the University of Minnesota Evans Scholars Chapter House for outstanding achievement in academics, leadership and community service. 

Krew Barber, 21, of Waconia, is a senior at the University of Minnesota majoring in Finance, carrying a 3.2 cumulative GPA. He caddied at the Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska before establishing an outstanding record of leadership within the Evans Scholars Program. He has participated in annual blood drives, mentored fellow scholars in the Carlson School of Management, and helped organize chapter events as the Minnesota Evans Scholars Social Chair. In 2022, Barber served as vice president of communications for the chapter and was elected to serve a second term on the executive board as the Minnesota chapter’s president in 2023. He has interned as a retirement plan analyst for DWC The 401K Experts in Minneapolis and plans a career in banking after graduation next spring.

The Chick Evans Scholarship program is a four-year college scholarship for deserving caddies sponsored by the Western Golf Association in association with the MGA. There are currently a record 1,130 Evans Scholars attending 24 universities around the country.

In 1996, the MGA renamed the Evans Scholar of the Year award in honor of Fritz Corrigan, a long-time supporter of the Evans Scholarship program who helped establish the Evans Scholars Chapter House at the University of Minnesota. 

Giles Kobilka Award

The MGA Giles Kobilka Award was given to Kathryn Sartain. The service award was created to recognize individuals whose exceptional and meritorious contributions align with the mission of the MGA and enhance the amateur game of golf in Minnesota. Sartain, 75, of Blaine, has been volunteering for the MGA for nearly two decades. Prior to her time with the MGA, she was an office administrator and spent her free time as a calligrapher for various organizations, which was her entrée into competitive golf administration. Sartain often contributes the most volunteer hours to the MGA, volunteering more than 150 hours on an annual basis. Having earned and maintained ‘Expert’ Rules of Golf certification, she primarily serves as a lead rules official at many MGA tournaments and USGA qualifying events, as well as a site captain for MGA qualifying events around the state. In addition to her volunteering with the MGA, she  served on the USGA’s Senior Women’s Amateur Committee, from 2010 to 2019, and regularly works at USGA events across the country. For her service, she previously received the MGA’s Presidents Award as the Volunteer of the Year in 2011.

The MGA award is named for Giles Kobilka, who passed away in 2020 after nearly 50 years of volunteer service to the MGA. Kobilka was highly regarded by volunteers and competitors alike not only for his personable nature, but also for his unwavering commitment to the volunteer ethos.

Member Club of the Year

Island View Golf Club was named the 2023 MGA Member Club of the Year in recognition of the facility’s support of the MGA Associate Member program and willingness to host MGA championships and qualifiers.

Island View was founded in 1959 near the shores of Lake Waconia by a handful of Waconia-area golfers. The founders, affectionately known as The Rock Pickers, created this golf course on farmland owned by the Lobitz, Peterson, and Schwictenberg families. The original nine-hole layout was fashioned into a challenging track with the help of the then-Interlachen Golf Professional Willie Kidd.

The Island View founders knew they wanted to become an 18-hole course and optioned land for that purpose. The second nine was added in 1973 and was designed by Island View member George Oftelie. Later updates and improvements were designed by Joel Goldstrand, Garrett Gill, and Kevin Nordby.

Island View has held several MGA events. They hosted the 2023 MGA Men’s and Women’s Mid-Amateur championships along with the 2021 MGA Women’s Amateur Championship. They have hosted the MGA Mid-Players’ and Senior Players’ championships in 2013, the MGA Senior Amateur Championship in 2017, the MGA Senior Four-Ball Championship in 1991 and 2010 and the MGA Junior Amateur Team Championship in 1976 and 1983. 

Island View got its name from nearby Coney Island on Lake Waconia. The island was a popular resort destination at the turn of the 20th century and the site of a 5-hole golf course called Coney Isle, according to research by Joe Bissen, author of “Fore! Gone: Minnesota’s Lost Golf Courses, 1897-1999." 

Currently, Island View actively supports the MGA’s non-profit mission through its MGA Associate Member program (708 active members) using the GHIN service. In recognition of this service to the game, the club received a plaque and will be featured in the 2024 Directory issue of Minnesota Golfer, the official publication of the MGA. 

About Edina Country Club

Edina CC was designed by Tom Bendelow and opened in 1923, originally as the Thorpe Country Club. In 2010-11, the team of Tom Lehman and Chris Brands redesigned the course, installing new green complexes, bunkers, tees and fairway grasses but retaining essentially the same course layout. ECC has been active supporter of amateur golf and the MGA since the facility first opened. In addition to hosting the MGA Amateur seven times since 1926, the club has hosted numerous MGA amateur competitions including four Mid-Amateur, two Senior Amateur, three Amateur Four-Ball, and the Players’ (state match play) and Mixed Amateur Team championships. ECC has also hosted the MGA-PGA Cup Matches, the MGA Senior Tour plus numerous USGA amateur and open qualifiers.

About the MGA

Established in 1901, with the formation by seven golf clubs to organize the state’s most prestigious and storied golf championship, the MGA Amateur Championship, the Minnesota Golf Association is today the governing body over amateur golf in the state, responsible for administering the Rules of Golf and committed to upholding and promoting the game of golf and its values for all golfers in Minnesota.
The MGA conducts 23 major amateur championships and 14 USGA qualifying events each year. Thanks to the support of its member clubs and associate members and the efforts of its volunteers and staff, the MGA provides a variety of services such as handicapping, course rating and measuring, an online golf news and information resource,, and an official publication, Minnesota Golfer magazine, which benefit all golfers throughout Minnesota.

Jack Mendesh

Jack Mendesh is the MGA’s caddie development and communications manager. He grew up caddying and playing golf in the Twin Cities and likes to give back to the game that has afforded so many enriching experiences in his life.

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