30 Iowa Conference titles
PELLA —John Bermel, a 1984 Central College graduate, has qualified for the U.S. Senior Open men’s golf tournament July 12-15 at Indianwood Country Club in Lake Orion, Mich.
Bermel, who now serves as head golf professional at Pheasant Ridge Golf Course in Cedar Falls and men’s and women’s golf coach at the University of Northern Iowa, will be playing in his third major. He played in the 1994 PGA Championship at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Okla. and the 1996 PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Ky.
He’ll be making his senior tourney debut, turning 50 on July 8.
Bermel qualified with a 1-under-par 72 at Big Foot Country Club in Fontana, Wis. Tuesday. He then survived a three-man, six-hole sudden-death playoff for the berth.
Winner of the Labron Harris Sr. Award from PGA of America and the Golf Coaches Association of America for his support of the game through teaching, coaching and community involvement, Bermel is a highly regarded instructor.
At Central, Bermel was a four-time all-Iowa Conference honoree, finishing as high as second, and received honorable mention all-America distinction three times. He helped the Dutch win league championships all four years and post four top-10 national team finishes at the NCAA Division III championships. He served as team captain in 1984 and was named the squad’s MVP.
Following graduation Bermel was assistant golf professional at the Mason City Country Club, the Des Moines Golf and Country Club and the Sunnyside Country Club in Waterloo. He was the 1987 assistant pro of the year. He was head pro at Beaver Hills Country Club in Cedar Falls from 1990-95 before taking over at Pheasant Ridge.
Bermel became head men’s coach at UNI in 1995 and added women’s team duties in 2002.
As a player, Bermel is a four-time Iowa Section PGA champ, finishing second five times. He’s competed in four PGA Tour events. He was named the Iowa teacher of the year by Golf Digest in 2009 and the Iowa Section PGA teacher of the year in 2000. Bermel served on the Iowa Section PGA board of directors from 2000-02.