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Central grad Bermel named state PGA pro of the year

Men's golf | Sept. 12, 2012

PELLA —John Bermel, a 1984 Central College graduate, has been named the Iowa PGA’s golf professional of the year.

Bermel now serves as head golf professional at Pheasant Ridge Golf Course in Cedar Falls and is also the men’s and women’s golf coach at the University of Northern Iowa.

Earlier this year Bermel qualified for the U.S. Senior Open men’s golf tournament. He competed in the first two rounds, July 12-13 at Indianwood Country Club in Lake Orion, Mich. It was 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.

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. He was the Iowa assistant of the year in 1987 and has directed the Iowa PGA Junior Golf Academy for the past 17 years. Bermel served on the Iowa Section PGA board of directors from 2000-02.

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