Sarah Bidney, PGA
Director of Instruction – Wakonda Club
Golf Digest’s 2019-2020 Best in State (Iowa)
Golf Digest’s 2018-2019 Best Young Teachers in America
2019 Operation 36 Top 50 Coach
3-time Iowa PGA Section Teacher of the Year (2010, 2012, 2015)
2015 & 2020 Iowa PGA Section Youth Player Development
3-time GRAA Top 50 Growth of the Game Elite Member Status (2017, 2018 & 2019)
5-time GRAA Top 50 Growth of the Game Teaching Professional (2012-2016)
5-time U.S. Kids Golf Top 50 Kids Teachers – Honorable Mention
In the Beginning
Sarah took up the game of golf due to Steve Smith asking girls in his Freshman Algebra class to go out for his golf team. Her first official golf tournament was at Woodland Hills Golf Course and she shot well over 65 for 9 holes.
After working with PGA Professional Lee Hoelleworth, Sarah improved her game to the point where she was recruited by Coach Bob Darrah to play for the Women’s Golf team at Simpson College. Her experience with Simpson and Division III sports was tremendous. Having competed in two NCAA Division III Championships and qualifying for another (but sitting out due to an injury) she decided to end competitive amateur golf. With Magna Cum Laude honors she graduated from Simpson College with a BA in Environmental Science and ended her amatuer golf career.
The PGA of America
In September 2002 she passed the PGA required Playing Ability Test by eleven strokes (73-74) to gain entry into the PGA Professional Golf Management (PGM) program. This marked the official beginning of her Professional career. During the PGA PGM program Sarah learned how to teach from the best instructors in Iowa. 5 summers & 4 winters were spent teaching with Kevin Beard and other top Iowa instructors in Kevin’s Operation State Champ programs. She also spent the winters of ‘05/’06 & ‘06/’07 in Naples, Florida, as a Teaching Professional and Women’s Coordinator at Stonebridge Country Club. In early 2006 she passed the final requirements of the PGA PGM program and earned Class A PGA Membership status. It was a great honor to be named the 2006 Acushnet Scholarship recipient for being the top Iowa Section performer that year.
The experienced gained teaching in both Iowa & Florida resulted in earning the PGA Teaching Professional position at Promontory in Park City, Utah. Promontory was rated #6 in the Top 100 Golf Communities in the US for 2007. There Sarah directed Women’s & Junior programming and provided individual instruction. While at Promontory she was also able to work with and study under Andree Martin, LPGA Member and 4-time Top-50 Golf Instructor.
After traveling around the country from 2005-2007 Sarah realized “there’s no place like home” and returned home to Iowa where she lives year round. From 2008 to present Sarah has established herself as a sought after instructor in Iowa and was awarded the 2010 Iowa Section PGA Teacher of the Year award – the first and only female recipient in it’s 26 year history. In 2012 and 2015 she was again named the Iowa Section PGA Teaching Professional of the Year. Remaining the only women to receive this award. In addition to the 2015 Teacher of the Year honors she also received the 2015 Iowa PGA Section Youth Player Development award, the only Professional in Iowa PGA Section history to win both the Teacher of the Year and Youth Player Development awards in a single season.
On the national scene Sarah has received the Golf Range Association of America Top 50 Growth of the Game Teaching Professional of the Year award for 5 years in a row (2012-2016). In 2017, 2018 & 2019 Sarah was invited to apply for the GRAA Elite Member Status, only open to Professionals receiving the Top 50 award for five years in a row. She received Elite Member Status both in all three years. US Kids Golf also named her a Top 50 Kids Teachers Honorable Mention in 2012, 2016, 2017,, 2018 & 2019! Most recently Sarah was named to Golf Digest’s 2019-2020 Best Teachers in State (Iowa) list and Golf Digest’s 2018-2019 Best Young Teachers in America list. In 2020 she also received the highest junior golf development honor from the Iowa PGA Section with the Youth Player Development award.
Sarah believes golf is many things to many people: a day out with friends, a useful business tool, time with your family, time without your family, a way to fund college, fun, frustrating, challenging and rewarding. Whatever golf is to you she loves to find ways to make this game a little bit easier, enjoyable, and more rewarding. Whether you’re the once a year corporate outing attendee hoping you won’t embarrass yourself or a 20+ year 4-time a week golf enthusiast, she looks forward to working with you. Schedule your lesson today and start working towards a more consistent, reliable golf swing.