Member Spotlight Archives

Meet Alex & Mackenzie Johnson

About the Johnson family: I’m Mackenzie Johnson, and my husband, Alex, and I are both Spencer natives. We have two happy littles- Millie is 4 years old & Milo is 1.5 years old. My husband is a financial advisor here in Spencer. I work for Iowa State University Extension and Outreach as a Family Life Specialist. Basically, I work for the university offering community-based classes and programs across 13 counties on topics like parenting, family caregiving, human development, and relationships. My main project for the last year has been writing and co-hosting The Science of Parenting podcast, where we look at research and reality around parenting topics and questions. 

How long have you been members at SGCC? We have been members here at SGCC for four years, though I have to admit, last year was my first year really getting involved at the club. I really enjoyed the laid-back vibe of Friday night Couples League last summer, and I’m hoping to get out and enjoy the course with even more activities with year! 

What is your favorite memory at SGCC? My favorite memories here are when we have brought our kids out to the course with us. My daughter loves to run alongside the golf cart and take turns putting with Dad. We love even just coming out with the kids for two or three holes on a week night after supper. It’s become one of those summer family traditions that I hope we continue for many years to come!

What’s your favorite item on the menu at SGCC? My current favorite at the clubhouse is the Citrus Basil Garlic wings with a trip to the salad bar. Best wings I’ve ever had!

Coolest place you’ve ever visited? We love to travel to new places, but I have to say the coolest place I’ve visited is San Juan, Puerto Rico. There is such a cool mix of culture, history, beautiful weather, and so much to do! We’ve been there twice, and we were lucky enough to have a small personalized tour to show us local food spots, historical sites, and beautiful views. Hoping to go back again sometime!

Meet Merlyn & Sonna Winther

How long have you been members at SGCC? We moved to Spencer in 1963 and became members of the club in 1965, the first year it opened. Merlyn founded Winther/Stave & Co. and retired after working there over 50 years.

Sonna worked for the firm and now enjoys retirement spending many afternoons playing bridge at the club. We enjoyed playing golf many years participating in Men’s League and Friday Night Couples. Sonna played in the Women’s Tuesday 18-hole league and evening league until 2017.

Our children are daughter Julie (Blake) Brandt, a C.P.A. at Hogan Hansen in Cedar Rapids Blake is a realtor. They have one daughter Molly. She has a beautiful singing voice. She graduated from Drake University. She teaches piano students on line in Minneapolis.

Son Steve Winther is living in Midland, Texas and is involved in the oil drilling business. Steve is a graduate of University of Iowa. Steve was and is an avid golfer and was a successful high school golfer for Spencer high school. He has played in the N.W. Amateur. Now his son Jordan, is an upcoming golfer playing for the golf team as a freshman at Midland Christian high school. His daughter Sierra, a freshman at West Texas A&M University, is majoring in business and equine therapy.

What is your favorite memory at SGCC? We have both had a Hole-in-One. Merlyn Hole #5. May have been one of the first hole-in-ones at the “new” club. Sonna Hole #17

What’s your favorite item on the menu at SGCC? Sonna enjoys the walleye sandwich while Merlyn’s favorite is the hamburger. We really want to compliment Deb for ALL the wonderful food served at the club and being our manager.

Coolest place you’ve ever visited? As a family, we have traveled to all 50 states except Alaska….. Merlyn and I traveled there. We have also been to England and Germany.

Meet Brian & Angie Fassbender

About the Fassbender family: Brian is the General Manager at H&N Chevrolet. Angie is a nurse at Child Health Specialty Clinic through the University of Iowa. Sophia (20) is finishing her junior year in the Nursing Program at DMACC. She’ll be working her 4th summer at The Okoboji Store this summer. Isabella (18) is finishing her senior year of High School. She will be attending Iowa State this fall and hoping for intern position at the hospital this summer. Emma (15) is finishing her freshman year of High School. She works at the YMCA childcare after school program. Keep her in mind if you need a babysitter.

How long have you been a part of SGCC? We have been members for 17 years. Brian was a board member for six of those years. I grew up at the Spencer Golf and Country Club. 

What is your favorite memory at SGCC? My favorite memories are coming out with my Grandpa Hart and dad and them giving me lessons when I was younger all the way up until High School. Brian’s favorite memories are Wednesday afternoons spending time with friends out on the course.

What’s your favorite item on the menu at SGCC? Deb’s Chicken Sandwich and Steak Tips with Deb’s special sauce.

Have you ever met anyone famous? Brian met Kevin Costner in the elevator out in Deadwood, SD at the Holiday Inn

Meet Matt & Katie Baltes

About the Baltes family: Matt is Nurse Practitioner at Spencer Hospital. Katie is a teacher by trade and currently staying home with their four kids: Kingston (6), Vivian (4), Aristotle “Ari” (3) and Orson (7mths).

How long have you been a part of SGCC? We moved to Spencer from Ankeny last June and joined SGCC in July. We’ve enjoyed getting to know so many amazing families this past fall/winter and we’re looking forward to meeting so many more this summer!

What’s your favorite item on the menu at SGCC? The Crab Stuffed Tater Tots were the reason we moved to Spencer. We also love the pizzas, Olive Burger, Inferno Burger, Walleye and Signature Salad.

Have you ever met anyone famous? When we lived in Austin, Texas, Katie met Kyle Chandler (Coach Taylor from Friday Night Lights) in a movie theater lobby. She squeaked out “Hi, Coach Taylor,” because she didn’t know his real name, and he kindly took a picture with her. 

Meet John & Jessie Curran

About the Curran family? – Jessie is an Optometrist at Northwest Vision Care and John is the Senior Operations Manager at Midstates Builders. We have two children who attend Sacred Heart–Alexander (7) and Ellie (4).

How long have you been a part of SGCC? We are going on our 2nd year as social members.

What is your favorite memory at SGCC? Jessie has enjoyed participating in the Pink Ribbon Classic. 

What’s your favorite item on the menu at SGCC? Jessie is a fan of the Kickin’ Chicken Sandwich and the kids love the buttered noodles (of course). John likes to eat everything and drink some ice cold Miller Lites. 

Have you ever met anyone famous? Although John has met and shook a President’s hand (Bill Clinton) in 1994, his claim to fame is the day he spent bumping into Bruce Willis over 20 times while filming a scene as an extra in a movie. 

Meet Will and Megan Jones

About the Jones family: Will farms on the family farm in Southern Clay County. Megan is a non- practicing attorney and member of the Iowa House of Representatives. We have three kids and a fourth due in April. Anchor, 5, is in Pre-K; Alma, 3 and Archie, 2. They all attend Sacred Heart.

How long have you been a part of SGCC? We are newbies that joined last fall.

What is your favorite memory at SGCC? Will had a great time playing golf with his dad, Curt; uncle, Clinton; and cousin, Andrew the last day the course was open in 2020.

What’s your favorite item on the menu at SGCC? Will always orders the Breakfast Burger – Megan switches it up. The kids LOVE milk and cheeseballs!

Coolest place you’ve ever visited? Israel! From Tel Aviv to Bethlehem to the Dead Sea- it is an amazing country!

Meet Kyle and Mallory Rehnstrom

About the Rehnstrom family: Kyle is a CPA/Partner at Campbell, Higgins & Mummert and Mal is a Loan Assistant at Community State Bank. We have three kids: Cooper (5) KinderKids at Johnson Elementary, Landon (4) Preschool at First English and Tucker (1) YMCA Childcare.

How long have you been a part of SGCC? We’ve been members at SGCC since 2012.

What are your favorite events at SGCC? We love playing in the couples tournaments and couples league. The Member-Guest is always one of my favorite times of the year.

What’s your favorite item on the menu at SGCC? Kyle’s favorite is the chicken bacon ranch flatbread. Mal’s favorite is the mushroom and swiss burger. The boys love the cheeseballs!

What’s an interesting fact people may not know? Kyle is a huge LSU Tigers fan. Not sure if members at SGCC were aware of this.

Meet John and Kellie Beneke

About the Beneke Family: John is a commercial lender at Farmers Trust and Savings Bank. Kellie is the president of Great Lakes Communication/IGL TeleConnect and is an owner of IGL Construction. We have 3 children. Our son Nick, wife Kelsey and kids Karlie (kindergarten) and Lane (3) live in Spencer, along with Reid and his wife, Stacie. Lee and his daughter, River (2), live in Pocahontas.   

How long have you been a part of SGCC? We will be starting our 20th golf season at SGCC this year.

What is your favorite memory at SGCC? My fondest memory is following Lee in the Junior Club Championship when he chipped in on #14 for eagle, leading to a first-place finish in 2012. Now we are excited to get our 3 grandkids involved in golf.

What’s your favorite item on the menu at SGCC? It’s hard to pick one menu item as my favorite, but the new Southwest Spring Rolls and Deb’s Favorite Chicken sandwich rank at the top of my list.

What is the most memorable place you’ve visited? Surprising our friends at the Barcelo in Cancun, Mexico in 2010.

Meet Shane and Tarrel Habben

About the Habben Family: Shane works for JTV in Sutherland as their CFO. Tarrel is SVP Marketing at Northwest Bank. We have 6 children. Taylor (27) is married to Colton Matousek and lives in Sioux Falls. Chase (23) lives in Sioux Falls. Michael (20) is a sophomore at Northwester College in Orange City. Elle (18) is a freshman at Iowa State. Aliah (17) is a junior at Spencer High School and Tyler (15) is a freshman at Spencer High School.

How long have you been a part of SGCC? More than 10 years.

What is your favorite event at SGCC? We enjoy watching the long drive contests during the NWAM, it’s always a great evening.

What’s your favorite item on the menu at SGCC? Some of our favorites include: Olive burger, boneless hot wings, the salad bar is always exceptional and the prime rib.

What is the coolest place you’ve ever visited? Before COVID we went to Isla Mujeres, a great little island off of Cancun. Highly recommend a visit.

Meet Rick and Jenny Ferrell

About the Ferrell Family: Rick is the General Manager of Johnson Brothers in Spencer and Jen is the owner of Yesterdays Restaurant in Arnold’s Park. Our son Cole is in 6th grade. When Cole finds time to emerge from the depths of the basement game room, he enjoys riding his bike, football and hanging out with friends. 

How long have you been a part of SGCC? We joined the club when we moved back to Spencer in 2018.

What is your favorite event at SGCC? Partaking in Friday Night Couples League was the best decision we made as a new resident. We met so many great people. Unfortunately, we had to give it up when Jen bought the restaurant however if anyone needs a stand-in partner for this league, give Rick a call as he will never turn down a round of golf.

What’s your favorite item on the menu at SGCC? There are lots of wonderful items on the menu but some of our favorites are shrimp nachos, walleye, any of their flatbread pizza and Coors Light. 

Have you ever met anyone famous? Jen has met many famous people in the restaurant industry but Rick’s chance of meeting his childhood idol, Retired Henry Thomas of the Vikings was the most exciting to witness.

Meet Levi and Katie Morris

About the Morris Family: Levi is a financial advisor at Community State Bank. Katie is a teacher at Sheldon Middle School. We have two children; Blake (4) and Collins (2).

How long have you been a part of SGCC? We have been members at SGCC since 2014.

What are your favorite events at SGCC? Participating in Thursday night men’s league.

What’s your favorite item on the menu at SGCC? Deb’s Special

What’s the coolest place you’ve ever visited? The Mayan ruins in Belize!