Minnesota Golf Association

Dombeck Named Evans Scholar of the Year

October 30, 2018

Players, Volunteers, Hall of Fame Inductees and The Member Club of the Year were recognized at the 118th MGA Annual Meeting and Awards Banquet.

EDINA, Minn. (Oct. 30, 2018) – University of Minnesota Evans Scholars Chapter House member Zach Dombeck (pictured at right) was named the 2018 Minnesota Golf Association’s Fritz Corrigan Evans Scholar of the Year, Oct. 29, at the MGA’s 118th Annual Awards Dinner at Oak Ridge Country Club in Hopkins. Along with Dombeck, the MGA honored outstanding players, volunteers and club representatives for their contributions to the amateur game of golf in Minnesota. They included: David Senner, as MGA Volunteer of the Year; and Minnesota Valley Country Club, as MGA Member Club of the Year. 

The evening’s highlights also included recognition of Ben Greve, Olivia Herrick, Leigh Klasse, Jerry Rose, Calab VanArragon and Sophia Yoemans as the MGA Players of the Year (see this link to a press release dated Oct. 25, 2018: www.mngolf.org/News ); in addition, the following 2018 MGA-PGA Minnesota Golf Hall of Fame inductees were recognized during the program: Harold Bend, Kelly (Varty) Burley, Art and Herb Cohrs, and Howie Johnson.   

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

Zach Dombeck, who caddies at the Minnesota Valley Country Club, is a senior at the University of Minnesota, double majoring in Finance and Marketing and double minoring in Accounting and Business Analytics. This year, he was elected president of the Minnesota Evans Scholars, where he is responsible for overseeing Chapter affairs and working with the Evans Scholars Foundation and the University to ensure the best possible living and learning environment for all scholars. In 2017, he served as the Philanthropy Chair, fostering his fellow scholars’ contributions to the Minneapolis community through volunteer events such as the Salvation Army Meal Serving Day, People Serving People and the American Cancer Society. Dombeck is a fourth-year trumpet player with the University of Minnestota Marching Band and performed in the Super Bowl with Justin Timberlake. He worked at Best Buy last summer as Treasury Intern, the first person to hold this position in 10 years, and he plans to join the company as a financial analyst following graduation in the spring of 2019. 

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 965 Evans Scholars attending 19 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. 

President’s Award
Also known as the Volunteer of the Year, the MGA President’s Award was given to David Senner. Senner, who is a member of the Chaska Town Course, is passionate about golf and the MGA, having served as a tournament volunteer for more than 15 years. He connected with the MGA as a tournament rules official upon his arrival in Minnesota in 2000 from Atlanta where he assisted the Georgia State Golf Association. Over the past few years, he has even interrupted his family’s summer vacation in Michigan to return and officiate at the MGA Amateur Championship. Senner is well respected by the MGA players and other volunteers for his knowledge and commitment to excellence, service and dealings with the players. He actively works to improve his knowledge by frequently attending Rules of Golf workshops and consistently scores well on the PGA/USGA Rules exams, including a perfect score of 100 and most recently achieving the USGA’s “Expert Certification” honor on the 2019 Rules of Golf exam.

In attitude, actions and rapport with colleagues, staff, tournament players and spectators, David Senner truly epitomizes the spirit of the MGA President’s Award, says Barb Hanson, MGA president. 

Member Club of the Year
Minnesota Valley Country Club was named the 2018 MGA Member Club of the Year in recognition of the facility’s support of the MGA Associate Members’ program, and its willingness to host MGA championships and qualifiers.

Built on what was once the Vassey homestead, the Bloomington Golf Club opened for play in the spring of 1925 to members of the American Automobile Association on the weekends and allowed public play on weekdays. Early advertisements billed it as the country’s “only private pay-as-you-go course.” Experts agree that the Bloomington course is an authentic Seth Raynor design, although it’s very likely that Raynor associate and former University of Minnesota professor Ralph Barton supervised the layout’s construction. 

After weathering the stock market crash of 1929 and struggling through the Great Depression years of the 1930s, the club was saved from financial insolvency when a group of members purchased it in 1938 and renamed it the Minnesota Valley Country Club. 

In 1997, the club built a new clubhouse, made improvements to the driving range and installed new irrigation. It was during this renovation that, with the aid of a 1930s aerial map, the club took steps to reclaim course features characteristic of the original Raynor design. To this end, seven tees were rebuilt, portions of all of the greens were resodded and the two nines reversed to match the original routing. 

About a decade later, the club expanded an existing irrigation pond, regraded an adjacent fairway, renovated several tees and installed new bunkers. Later, improvements were made to the short-game practice area, and additions were made to the clubhouse including a deck, patio and pizza oven. 

In the fall of 2017, the golf course went through extensive renovations in the Raynor style. With assistance from aerial photography, all of the course’s bunkers were redesigned and rebuilt, eight greens were modified, and the par-3 second green was completely rebuilt in the Redan style. The overall effect is reminiscent of the period of golf architecture from the 1920s. 

MVCC hosted its first Women’s State Amateur in 1953, won by Rosalyn Wisen and its first MGA Amateur Championship in 1955, won by Tom Hadley. Since then it has hosted numerous state amateur championships and most recently the 2016 U.S. Open Local and U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur sectional qualifiers.

Currently, Minnesota Valley has more than 592 active MGA Associate Members using the GHIN service. The club’s handicap committee excels in reviewing and posting scores for handicap purposes in a timely and accurate fashion. 

The club received a plaque and will be featured in the 2019 Directory issue of Minnesota Golfer, the official publication of the MGA. 

About Oak Ridge Country Club
Oak Ridge has been an active supporter of amateur golf and MGA championships since the early 1950s. During the latter half of the 20th Century, Oak Ridge hosted numerous MGA amateur competitions including a Senior Amateur, two State Amateur and six Four-Ball championships. The Club hosted the inaugural 1962 MGA Amateur Four-Ball Championship and donated the original championship trophy. More recently, Oak Ridge hosted the 2018 MGA Amateur Four-Ball, the 2014 MGA/PGA Cup Matches, the MGA Players’ Championship (Match Play) and two additional Four-Ball championships. In addition, Oak Ridge has hosted several MGA Senior Tour events, MGA Junior Team qualifiers, MGA Member Days and many USGA men’s and women’s 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 24 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, www.mngolf.org, and an official publication, Minnesota Golfer magazine, which benefit all golfers throughout Minnesota. 

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