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4 Notable Names in the Main Line Region’s Golf Scene

These individuals are the movers and shakers to keep an eye out for both on the course and off it.

Golf people
Adobe Stock / Markus

Nick Iacono

2023 Philadelphia PGA of America Teacher & Coach of the Year
Lead Instructor at Merion Golf Club, Ardmore, Pennsylvania

Nick Iacono
Courtesy of Nick Iacono

“I don’t teach golf,” says Nick Iacono. “I teach people.”

When players come to Iacono hoping to improve their game, he takes everything into consideration, from their body type, to how they learn, to how much time they have to dedicate to practicing. “What I’m trying to do is really refashion or touch up the golfer’s swing geometry to fit the need of that individual,” he says.

Joining the PGA of America in 2014, the Hockessin, Delaware, native has taught at several premier facilities up and down the East Coast. After landing at Merion Golf Club, he worked hard to improve the club’s Merion Performance Center, which provides players with an instructional facility year-round. He’s heavily involved in the education of up-and-coming teaching professionals. He’s also become a certified national trainer for the PGA HOPE program, an arm of the PGA of America that shares the game with veterans and active-duty military.

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Several of Iacono’s students have made PGA and LPGA appearances. No matter the skill level of his students, Iacono is big on the mental aspect of the game. “I try to help build an understanding that there are some things that aren’t under your control,” he says. “It’s how you deal with those things that makes you a better person and a better golfer.

Becky Dengler

Winner of the 2023 Youth Player Development Award
LPGA Master Professional and Instructor at Ed Oliver Golf Club, Wilmington

Becky Dengler
Courtesy of Becky Dengler

Becky Dengler has always been familiar with the obstacles girls face in the game of golf. “For boys in sports, it’s a given. For girls, it’s not,” she says. “Because it’s historically a male-dominated sport, the girls need the attention.”

A recent recipient of the Philadelphia PGA Section’s Youth Player Development award, Dengler works closely with First Tee of Delaware. Named for her late mother, the Barbara Dengler Scholarship has awarded over $100,000 to high school seniors heading to college.

Dengler is also heavily involved with Women Golfers Give Back, a program that provides coaching and mentorship to young female golfers. “I’m not at a private country club working with kids who have everything they need—and I like it that way,” she says. “So many times, a girl is brought to me with her dad’s old clubs, and they say, ‘We just want to find out if she likes it.’ Well, she’s already behind the eight-ball because she’s got crappy clubs that are so ill-fitted. I want to right that wrong and do what I can.

Kim and Bill Allen

Winners of the Tim Finchem Leadership Award
Founding Members of Fieldstone Golf Club, Wilmington

Kim and Bill Allen
Courtesy of Kim and Bill Allen

Both avid golfers with a passion for education, Kim and Bill Allen see the sport as a golden opportunity to impact Wilmington’s youth. As founding members of Fieldstone Golf Club, they recently received the Tim Finchem Leadership Award for their work with First Tee of Delaware. “A lot of our youth were intimidated by fancy country clubs, sports jackets and seven-course meals,” says Bill. “Introducing them to golf was one piece—but we needed to take it a step further.”

For a real-life lesson in proper etiquette, the couple supplied kids with sports jackets and hosted an impressive dinner. “We find it important to make it fun while ingraining things they’ll remember,” says Bill.

“First Tee isn’t just about golf,” Kim adds. “It’s about teaching children to respect each other, have integrity and be involved.”

For over 20 years, the couple has hosted the Allen Challenge Cup, where First Tee students are paired with celebrities and Fieldstone members for an inspirational day on the course. The event has raised over $200,000 to support junior golf. “We want to make sure that all of our youth have the opportunity to utilize the game of golf and develop First Tee’s core values like honesty and perseverance,” says Bill.

Related: Intown Golf Club Will Offer Year-Round Play in Radnor

Our Best of the Main Line Elimination Ballot is open through February 22!

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