Rodenbergs win IGA Tournament

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Brian and Vicki Rodenberg recently won the Super Senior Division at the IGA Golf Association Husband and Wife Championship. (Photo submitted)

By Caroline Rosacker

Longtime golfers Brian and Vicki Rodenberg recently won the Super Senior division of the 2023 Iowa Golf Association (IGA) Wife-Husband Championship at Sunnyside Country Club in Waterloo this past September. They cinched the title with a score of 153 combined over two days, scoring a 78 the first day, and a 75 the second on the Par 72 course. 

The yearly tournament hosts golfers from all over the state and is 63 years running. This is the 5th year the Rodenbergs have entered the competition. 

"We had great weather both days!" said Vicki, who prefers warm weather. "The weather is unpredictable in September and I have had to wear mittens in past competitions to keep my hands warm."

  "The tournament was held in Burlington and Okoboji in the past," noted Brian. "When it was held closer to home we became more interested."  

"The two-day commitment is a lot when you are raising kids," added Vicki.

The tournament uses an alternate shot selective tee format and not a best shot like many tournaments.

"We both tee off on each hole and then choose a drive, alternating from the second shot, and keep alternating until we put the ball in the hole," Brian explained. 

"Most local courses have steered away from alternate shot tournaments, nicknaming them 'The Divorce Open'" Brian said with a laugh.  Vicki added, "We actually have done  better in alternate shot competition because we concentrate more than depending on each other to do better." 

The tournament offers three divisions: Open Division for younger golfers; Senior Division with players who have a combined age of 110, and the Super Senior, with a combined age of 130. 

"We golfed in the Super Senior Division," they shared. "The course is set up differently, but is not   easier – just shorter."

The Rodenbergs, who now play together almost daily, have been golfing in tournaments and together since their senior year in college. 

Brian and Vicki both played on their high school golf teams, Garnavillo and Guttenberg, at that time rival schools. Brian told The Press, "When Vicki was in Europe during college I was playing quite a bit of golf and would meet up with Vicki's parents, Dennis and Gayle Hanna, because our schedules were fairly similar."

Brian was looking for a golf partner for an upcoming tournament and knew Vicki was coming home from Europe and inquired if she would join him on the course. "We played together, but not well," she laughed. "We were lucky to date after that." 

The Rodenbergs are both very competitive and always have a match going. "Often times in couples' tournaments the assumption is that the man does most of the work, but in this case we were both very consistent and contributed equally," Vicki commented. 

Live scoring kept the couple on edge and informed. "It was exciting! We had a pretty substantial lead but it was fun to watch it all come in. We made some pretty amazing shots," they proudly shared.

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