This year Elmwood Country Club is celebrating its 125th anniversary along with its 101-year-old golf course. The Course at Elmwood, a Tom Bendelow design, is a classic layout that was established at its current location in 1920. In 2018, the club began embarking on the process of renovating, modernizing, and most importantly restoring the golf course back to its original ideals.
Our 18 hole, par 70 course is known for always being in great shape and providing both an excellent challenge for the skilled player as well as a fun and friendly atmosphere for the every day player.
Golf at Elmwood is a year-round pursuit. During the off season, our members enjoy the The Learning Studio, which has a state of the art simulator and launch monitor.
As most communities across the United States have struggled to support similar nostalgic country clubs, Elmwood Country Club has not been immune from some of those same challenges. However, late in 2019 the Elmwood Board of Directors began to shake things up and make some big changes to create a resurgence at Elmwood! Today, the four key components are all in place and the resurgence has rightfully begun.
The first key component was getting a great golf professional to become the latest in a great line of golf professionals at Elmwood. Dating back to the fall of 1952, Elmwood Country Club has been home to two of the best golf grofessionals in the country.
Joe August 1952-1985
Joe August came to Marshalltown in the fall of 1952 after spending a combined six years working as an assistant club pro at Olympia Fields Country Club in Chicago and as the club pro at Minnesota Valley in Minneapolis. Joe had graduated from Libertyville High School in Illinois and then went on to the University of Illinois on a football-golf scholarship before he became a golf professional. At Elmwood, Joe was tournament director of the State Best Ball which was held at Elmwood for 30 plus years. He was also tournament director for the Women’s Amateur Open and the Men’s State Tournament. Joe was President of the Iowa PGA for three terms starting in 1961. He was also named Iowa Section PGA Pro of the Year on two separate occasions. In 1988 Joe was the first PGA Pro inducted into the Iowa Golf Hall of Fame. He also held one of the best caddy programs in the state.
Jerry Johnson 1986-2015
When Joe August retired in the fall of 1985, Jerry Johnson, a 1968 graduate of Marshalltown High School, lettering in football, basketball, baseball and golf, took over as the head pro at Elmwood. Jerry played collegiate golf at Eastern New Mexico University and the University of Iowa and then worked as a PGA Professional in Mason City, Iowa and Galesburg, Illinois before coming to Elmwood. Jerry was named the Golf Professional of the Year in 1990 and he gave significant time to teach area high school golf teams and P.E. classes in proper swing execution and golf etiquette. He also helped to implement the Swings with Kids program in Marshalltown schools.
Jay Giannetto 2015-Present
After winning the Iowa Golf Association’s PGA Professional of the year in 2014, Jay Giannetto took over as the Golf Professional at Elmwood upon the retirement of Jerry Johnson. Jay was born and raised in Marshalltown and as a junior at MHS he was a member of the 1998 State Championship golf team, where Jay finished third. In Jay’s senior year at MHS, the Bobcats finished second by one stroke. Jay said, “Winning the 1998 State Championship was special for a lot of reasons. My dad, Tony Giannetto, had been coaching golf at MHS for years. The teams had always been successful, but they’d never won a championship. There were a lot of good junior players in Marshalltown throughout my time in high school and these players pushed each other to get better. To be a member of the first state championship and to do it with my dad as the coach, just made it so special.”
After high school, Jay went on to become an All-American at Indian Hills Community College before he played for the Mississippi State golf team from 2002 to 2004. After college, Jay turned pro and worked part time at the Newton Country Club until he took a position at Ames Golf and Country Club in 2006. Jay became the head professional at Ames in 2009.
Jay is married to Brandi (Jansen) Giannetto who was also a member of the MHS class of 2000. They have 5 children and when Jay was offered the Elmwood position he said, “I jumped all over it! Elmwood has always been such a special place to me and I’m excited to be here. It has been special having our kids be so close to their grandparents and cousins.”
Jay also said, “I have played golf all over the country and there is no golf course that I enjoy more than playing Elmwood. The course has so much character and it provides a fantastic golf experience to players of all ability levels. As a young person my fondest memories are from the long days spent at Elmwood. We’d play 18 holes in the morning, eat lunch, swim at the pool, and then more golf. It was a great environment for kids and it still is today. Playing golf with my dad throughout those years brings back extremely fond memories.”
Jay continued, “Elmwood has always been a great club. My dream is that it becomes regarded as one of the best clubs in Iowa. It has the bones to be just that! We have an experienced GM in Cory Strait, an extremely talented, hardworking and knowledgeable superintendent in David Eichhorn and a wonderful Executive Chef in Kurt Nyguard. The future looks bright!”
The Jay Giannetto Pro Shop at Elmwood Country Club proudly offers the latest in golf fashions as well as golf equipment and accessories. Our professional staff would also love to assist you with any of your personal or corporate apparel needs by personalizing apparel, hats or any other gear with the Elmwood logo or your own corporate branding.