John Dinnebier Takes New Job in Ankeny

During his nearly 20-year tenure at Lake Panorama National, John Dinnebier gave instructions to thousands of golfers in scenes like this before sending them to the course.  After making a long putt, John Dinnebier acknowledges the crowd gathered around the 18th green at Lake Panorama National during the 2013 Iowa Open.

By Susan Thompson

John Dinnebier, who has been at Lake Panorama National for nearly 20 years, has accepted the position of general manager at Briarwood Golf Club in Ankeny. A farewell reception for Dinnebier was held at the LPN Conference Center on July 17.

Dinnebier was hired at the LPN in 1999 as head golf professional. He was named the LPN general manager in 2002, and held that position until taking this new opportunity.

“This was a very difficult decision for me,” Dinnebier said. “I was not seeking employment elsewhere, but recently was presented with an opportunity I can’t refuse, and which comes at a good time for me and my family.”

“Lake Panorama and the surrounding community make up a special place. I want to thank everyone for their support. The people and community here are the things I will miss the most,” he said. “I am excited about this new opportunity, but sad as well.”  

“In my 20 years, I have had young individuals start out in junior golf, work for me at the LPN, have their wedding receptions at the conference center, and then I see them start a family,” Dinnebier said. “Those types of relationships have been very important to me.”

Dinnebier said he also will miss the LPN staff, and the work relationships he developed over the years.

“I am grateful for the time spent here, and have enjoyed being part of many positive changes and improvements,” Dinnebier said. “I just wanted to have a small impact, and I hope people think I did.”

“I’m very excited for John and his new venture, but sad to see him leave our operation,” said Julie Wykoff, president of the LPN Board of Managers. “It’s rare to see this level of passion and enthusiasm with someone as tenured as John.” 

The LPA Board of Directors and LPN Board of Managers have developed an interim management plan. For the immediate future, John Rutledge, LPA general manager, also will serve as LPN interim director of operations.

“I’ve enjoyed working with John for over a decade,” Rutledge said. “He’s one of the kindest and most upbeat people I’ve ever met. It’s going to be difficult to imagine LPN without John, but he leaves behind a qualified staff to carry on serving the LPN membership. We all wish John the best in his new endeavor.”

Dinnebier was born in 1967 in Waterloo, and began his golf career at the age of 3 playing golf with his father and two brothers. He attended East High School where he played football, basketball and golf. He represented East High twice at the 4A state golf championships. He was inducted into the Waterloo Golf Hall of Fame in 2015.

Dinnebier was recruited to play golf at the University of Nebraska. He qualified as an individual his junior year and played in the NCAA Division One Championships in 1988. He won the Waterloo Open in 1988 and 1989, and graduated from the University of Nebraska in 1990 with a business degree.

Dinnebier began his professional golf career working as an assistant pro at Red Carpet Golf in Waterloo. After three years, he accepted a position as assistant golf pro at Des Moines Golf and Country Club. Five years later, he moved to Lake Panorama National.

Dinnebier qualified for the PGA National Professional Championship in both 2011 and 2014. He was recognized as the Iowa Golf Association Golf Professional of the Year in 2002, the Iowa Golf Association Club Manager of the Year in 2007, and the Iowa Section PGA Golf Professional of the Year in 2010.

He and his wife Toni have two children, Katie, age 15, and Tanner, age 13. The family lives in West Des Moines, where both children are active in sports.

Under the LPN interim management structure, golf course superintendents Dan Wollner and Brandon Waddle will report to Rutledge, as will Dave Thompson, LPN accountant.

Royce Shaffer has been named LPN interim operations manager, and also will report to Rutledge. Shaffer began work at the LPN in 2002. He has a bachelor’s degree from Buena Vista University in finance and banking, with concentrations in management and computer science. He has worked in various LPN capacities, at first helping with special events and the lodging desk.

Shaffer managed the pro shop for two years, before spending one year at Majestic Hills golf course in Denison. He returned in 2007, and became a joint employee of LPN and LPA, handling information technology and some accounting duties for both organizations, plus some LPN marketing tasks.

Reporting to Shaffer is Matt Mikkelsen, interim events and hospitality manager; Drew Labath, head chef; Gary Babcock, head golf pro; Tammy Kirtley, cleaning services; and the front desk staff.

Tiffany Carey, assistant Links manager, and Dee Powell, Spikes manager, will report to Mikkelsen. Reporting to Babcock are Mike Kleinwolterink, LPN assistant pro shop manager; Maureen Lubeck, Panorama West manager; and Deb Douglass, LPN pool manager.

This interim management plan will remain in place as the LPA and LPN boards continue discussions about next steps.