Women’s Fairway Scholarship

Women’s Fairway Scholarship
Pathway to a PGA Career 


The story below is a significant part of Lisa Miller’s career as a PGA Professional.  Lisa Miller was born in Glen Ellyn, Illinois and graduated from West Chicago High School with the class of 1973. In 2009 she was united in marriage to Sharon (Sher) Hawn.

Lisa played golf as a youngster with her brother, Bobby, mostly at St. Andrew’s Golf and Country Club in West Chicago.  She was very involved with other sports through early college including basketball, softball, tennis, and volleyball.  She also was a Division I collegiate women’s basketball official for fifteen years.

In 1978, Lisa Miller earned the first scholarship for women’s golf at the University of Northern Iowa.  That would be one of many firsts for Lisa and her golf career.  She graduated in 1979 from UNI with a B.A. in Education and earned her master’s degree in athletic administration from the University of Iowa in 1988.

In 1994, Miller was the first women to achieve Class A Membership in the Iowa PGA Section.  In 2005, Miller achieved the status of PGA Master Professional. At that time, she was just the ninth woman to earn that distinction in the PGA of America with 25,000 PGA Members and Apprentices/Associates across the country.

Miller became the first female board member to serve the Iowa PGA Section. In 2009, Miller was inducted into the University of Northern Iowa’s Sports Hall of Fame.

Her career led her to many golf courses.  She started working at Byrnes Park Golf Course during college for PGA member Bob Van Fleet, her mentor. Years later, after careers in public education and business co-ownership, Lisa’s spouse, Sher, encouraged her to pursue golf as a profession.  That encouragement resulted in Lisa combining her passion for teaching, business, and love of the game into a lifetime PGA career.   She started as an assistant professional at Muscatine Municipal Golf Course and finished her apprenticeship at Indian Creek Country Club.

She became the PGA Head Professional at Indian Creek Country Club in Marion, IA from 1994 to 1996. She then shifted her focus to being a full-time teaching professional (listed as an A-6) at Pleasant Valley Golf Course in Iowa City from 1997 to 1999.

From there she moved into the City of Cedar Rapids Golf Course system.  First serving as PGA Head Professional at Ellis Park Golf Course in 2001 and then becoming the merchandise/marketing manager through 2006. She was tasked with improving retail profitability by combining merchandise inventory and purchasing of golf equipment for all Cedar Rapids municipal golf courses – Ellis Park GC, Twin Pines GC, Gardner (formerly Squaw Creek) Golf Course and Jones Park Golf Course.  In 2007, Lisa advanced her career again by becoming the Director of Golf for the Cedar Rapids municipal golf courses overseeing all golf operations and golf course agronomy functions.  During that period, she facilitated full renovation of Jones golf course after the 2008 historical flood and many other environmental renovations at the City of Cedar Rapids golf courses.  Miller remained Director of Golf until her retirement in December of 2017, from the City of Cedar Rapids Golf Courses.

Miller has also served as a PGA of America Adjunct Facility Member since 1995, teaching prospective PGA Associates levels of classwork to gain membership into the PGA of America.  She continues to serve as a Master Professional Mentor for those working to attain Master Professional status.

Miller currently serves on the national PGA of America Master Professional Committee, and she served on the PGA of America National Education Committee from 2011 – 2013.

Even after retirement, Miller continues to be active in the Iowa PGA.  Serving as a Board Member on the Iowa PGA Foundation Board and Chair of the Scholarship Committee.  Lisa also teaches veterans at the Iowa PGA GIVE program and the National Disabled Veterans Golf Clinic.

Miller has won the following awards.

  • Iowa PGA Bill Strausbaugh – 2006
  • Iowa PGA Professional Development (formerly the Horton Smith Award) – 2019, 2015 and 2008
  • Iowa PGA Public Merchandiser – 2005 and 2003
  • Front 9 award from the Association of Golf Merchandisers – 2004
  • University of Northern Iowa Sports Hall of Fame – 2009

Lisa wishes to share her wonderful career, experience and “firsts in Iowa Golf” with all women looking to become a PGA Professional and further their golf career. She and her spouse Sher, want to improve the opportunities for women in golf and increase the percentage of women in golf leadership positions through women golfers seeking membership in the PGA of America.


Women’s Fairway Scholarship
Pathway to a PGA Career 

The Iowa PGA Section Foundation annually awards one Women’s Fairway Scholarship to assist females in furthering their education and training toward a career in golf, pursuing membership with the PGA of America.  Qualified, interested females are welcome to apply.  The Women’s Fairway Scholarship is funded by Master PGA Professional Lisa Miller, the first female PGA member in the Iowa PGA Section and by her spouse Sharon Hawn a lifelong educator, public health professional and avid golfer.

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