Junior Golf Academy


The 44th Annual Iowa PGA Junior Golf Academy is traditionally a 5-day, 4-night premier golf camp which was held on Sunday, June 9 through Thursday, June 13 at Pheasant Ridge GC and the University of Northern Iowa. The Iowa PGA plans to host this year’s camp at UNI and Pheasant Ridge GC with overnight component.  Modifcations will be made based on any restrictions in place.  Hope to see you there!

John Bermel, Head PGA Professional at Pheasant Ridge GC and Head Coach of the Men and Women’s golf teams at UNI, has been the lead instructor for the academy for over 27 years. The Iowa PGA Junior Golf Academy also utilizes the men and women PGA Professionals of the Iowa Section as instructors for the students. More details on lead instructor, John Bermel, PGA are found below.

Participants in the Junior Golf Academy receive: (Tuition $749)
  • Four days intensive instruction from Iowa Section PGA professionals
  • Evening recreation and educational programs
  • Average teaching ratio one pro to four students
  • Daily playing lessons and tournament competition supervised by PGA professionals
  • PGA Professional Clinic
  • Video Analysis
  • Four nights room and board on the University of Northern Iowa Campus
  • 24 hour supervision
  • PGA memento and full color group photo
  • Advice for those desiring to play college golf
  • Fitness and health information and how it can improve your game

A very special thank you to Ben Vaughn, Iowa PING Sales Representative, and PING Golf for sponsoring the Junior Golf Academy in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023 and 2024!

John Bermel, PGA Head Professional at Pheasant Ridge Golf Course for 29 years and Head Coach for the Men’s (1995) and Women’s (2002) Golf Team at the University of Northern Iowa is the lead instructor for the Junior Golf Academy.  He is a 25+ year Member of the PGA of America and has been honored with many awards.  He was bestowed the highest honor possible from the PGA of America in the Iowa Section – the Golf Professional of the Year in 2012. As part of the Iowa PGA Section, John was named the 1987 Assistant Golf Professional of the Year, the 2000 Teacher of the Year, the 1999 and 2007 Youth Player Development and the 2013 Professional Developement Trophy for contributions to professional education.

He was also the winner of the Low Stroke Average Award for the Iowa PGA Section in 2002, 2008 and 2012.  Other notable awards include the Missouri Valley Conference Coach of the Year in 2001 and the 2011 Labron Harris Sr. Award presented by Golf Coaches Association of America and E-Z-GO.  He also served on the Iowa PGA Board of Directors from 2000-2002.

In addition to his numerous awards, Mr. John Bermel is a great player.  He won the Iowa PGA Section Championship in 1993, 2000, 2004 and 2006 – earning a spot in the National Club Professional Championship 15 times in the last 20 years and ultimately finishing well enough in this event to participate in the 1994 PGA Championship at Southern Hills and the 1996 PGA Championship at Valhalla.  In 2012 he won the Iowa PGA Senior Section Championship and participated in the United States Senior Open.  He also won the 2013 and 2016 Iowa PGA Senior PGA Professional Championship and represented Iowa at the Senior PGA Professional National Championship in April 2014 again in November 2016. In 2018 he won the Iowa Open Senior Division, and in 2022 he won the Iowa Open Super Senior Division.

John is a great business man managing the golf shop, food and beverage operations and 27-holes of golf. This includes merchandising, customer service, expense management, staffing, financials and working closely with course superintendent and other employees to insure daily play and special events run smoothly.  He developed and administers several junior golf programs that provide over 300 kids a year the opportunity to learn and enjoy the game, expanding golf’s reach to local area communities that otherwise would not have programs.