Storm Lake Times Pilot

Highway 71 Cup makes its debut

Norlin Gutz (left) and Evan Krause with the Highway 71 Cup.

A new tournament pitting some of the best players from the region’s top golf courses will get underway Saturday in Storm Lake.

Buena Vista University Golf Course at Lake Creek will host the first-ever Highway 71 Cup with 12-man teams representing the host course, along with Spencer Golf & Country Club and three courses from the Iowa Great Lakes: Brooks Golf Club, Emerald Hills and Okoboji View.

Each team consists of 12 members from each course but they will play in pairs based upon age. The event will feature nine-hole stretches of best ball, alternate shot and individual combined.

The four lowest team scores will be taken for each nine holes of play (scratch, no handicaps) and the cup will go to the team with the lowest combined score after 27 holes. Individual team medalists will also be honored.

Norlin Gutz, the longtime Lake Creek member who organized the Highway 71 Cup, said he’s been in touch with additional courses in Carroll, Fort Dodge and Orange City, among others, about joining the field in upcoming years. Member courses host the event in rotating years, with Spencer hosting in 2023 and Brooks in 2024.

“A lot of other courses just couldn’t get a team together quick enough,” Gutz said, “but I encouraged them to maybe send two guys over to compete for medalist.”

Gutz was also one of the founders behind the BV Cup, which features competition each summer amongst courses within the county. The success of that led him to see if a similar event “on a larger scale” could flourish.

“Some of this was kind of on short notice and some guys were not available to play from each course, so I expect the field to get even stronger in the coming years,” Gutz said.

Lake Creek manager Evan Krause will be among those competing for the host course and said he’s excited for the inaugural event.

Those interested in learning more about the Highway 71 Cup can contact Gutz at 712-660-1617.