Max Shields Scholarship



The story below is a significant part of its history, as a fond remembrance for those who knew Max Shields and to pass along the story of a much-loved man to those who came along later.

Max Shields was born on December 1, 1931, in Ottumwa, Iowa. He passed on Sunday, August 15, 2021, at the Crystal Heights Care Center in Oskaloosa. He graduated from Oskaloosa High School with the class of 1950. On March 10, 1951, he was united in marriage to Marilyn Allgood in Oskaloosa. To this union three children were born, Steve, Michael, and Becky.

Max played golf as a youngster in Oskaloosa winning several state-wide junior golf events.  He was medalist for several Oskaloosa High School events. He was a member of the Oskaloosa team that finished 2nd in the state championship at Cedar Rapids Country Club in 1948. He competed in the National Junior Championship and lost in the quarterfinals.  He won the Oskaloosa Men’s City Championship three times.

Max grew up on the Edmundson Golf Course in Oskaloosa. His father helped build the original 9-hole golf course. His family lived in the house on the golf course.

Early in Max’s work career he was an Engineer for the M&S Railroad. Max loved working for the railroad, but the closing of the Oskaloosa line required a career change. A talented golfer, Max decided to pursue a career managing a golf course and becoming a golf professional. His love of the game turned into a passion to not only improve his game daily but to help others discover their potential on the golf course.

He was the PGA Golf Pro at Elmhurst Country Club in Oskaloosa from April 1, 1972, until December 29, 2010.  He spent his last few years’ working part-time as a consultant for the Club; mostly on the agronomy side of the golf operations.

He cherished his time at Elmhurst, especially the lifelong friends he made on and off the course. His unique sense of humor and outgoing personality made it easy for him to make lifelong loyal friends. Max became a member of the PGA of America in 1972. He was looking forward to his 50-year membership milestone in April of 2022.

He also worked as the PGA Professional/Golf Course Superintendent at the old Ottumwa Municipal Golf Course. He also served as the Director of Golf at Shadow Hills Golf Club in Lubbock, TX for a couple of seasons.  His wife, Marilyn, also helped in the golf operations during all of their stops.

One of his greatest contributions to the game was his love of children and his efforts to involve them by organizing youth clinics and programs.

His family includes his three children and their spouses, Steve and Julie Shields of San Antonio, Texas, Michael and Linda Shields of Bloomfield, IA, and Becky and Steve Gearhart of Naples, FL; four grandchildren, Lauren (Matt) Hubbell, Rachael (Jeff) Clutter, Ben (Anna) Gearhart, and Samuel Gearhart; three great grandchildren; two step great grandchildren; two brothers, Carl (Louise) Shields of Tucson, Arizona, and Roger (Jo) Shields of Monument, Colorado; a sister in law, Carol Shields of Arizona; and many nieces and nephews.

In addition to his wife, Marilyn; Max was preceded in death by his parents; a brother, Claude Shields; and two sisters, Claire Redman and Joann DeLong.

Today, the memory of Max Shields lives on.  The Max Shields Scholarship Fund, sponsored by the Iowa Section PGA Foundation, was formed in 2024 by his three children.  Steve is a 46-year member of the PGA of America. Michael is a retired Golf Course Superintendent. Becky is now retired.


The Max Shields Scholarship

The Max Shields Scholarship awards a $2,000 scholarship each year to anyone wishing to get into the golf business as a PGA Professional, Golf Course Superintendent or as a Club Manager. The criteria for recipients include interest and potential for future contributions to the game of golf in any of these fields in the golf business.  They may be a graduating high school senior, post-graduate or even someone looking into golf as a second career.

If you have any questions regarding this scholarship, please contact the Iowa PGA Section office at 319+648-0026. Click here for the application.