By Kurt Kragthorpe
The 2012 U.S. Amateur Public Links has a place in history as the first United States Golf Association event staged in Utah. The match-play bracket included future PGA Tour winners Bryson DeChambeau, Xander Schauffele and Talor Gooch.
And there’s much more lasting significance. The Publinks at Soldier Hollow Golf Course served as Eric “Doc” Iverson’s introduction to volunteer opportunities in golf. Now immersed in the game as a rules official, Iverson is the 2021 winner of the Utah Section PGA’s Wesley Ruff Golf Citizen of the Year award.
It all started when Iverson noticed a call for Publinks volunteers in Fairways magazine. After retiring as a high school principal in his native California, he had moved to Orem, where his mother and sister lived.
His primary role during the tournament was as a shuttle driver, taking golfers from the hotel to the course. “It was good fun,” he said. “That’s what got me hooked on the golf thing.”
“Hooked” means Iverson spends 50-plus days on the golf course as a rules official from March through September in a role he relishes. He’s “amazed how appreciative the players are of you being out there … from high school all the way up to the professional level.”
Iverson added, “Golf is a fraternity of people, men and women. It’s not that way in a lot of sports. You meet lifelong friends in the game.”
Now, about that nickname. It turns out that the former principal and current rules official skirted a requirement as a high school cross country runner, signing a doctor’s name on the form for a physical exam. His coach played along, calling him “Doc” in what became a permanent moniker.