Sibling rivalry a motivating factor on the golf course for Iowa’s Alex Schaake

Alex is set to compete against his older brother Carson at the Pinnacle Bank Championship at the end of the month.


The Daily Iowan; Photos by Ben A

Iowa sophomore Alex Schaake poses for a portrait at Hoak Family Golf Complex on Tuesday, April 24, 2018.

Chris Werner, Sports Reporter

Most sibling rivalries on a golf course take place at the family’s country club or the local public course.

Next week, Alex and Carson Schaake will compete against each other at the Pinnacle Bank Championship presented by Aetna, a professional event on the prestigious Korn Ferry Tour, one tour below the PGA. The four-round tournament will begin on July 30 and run through August 2.

Carson, who graduated from Iowa in 2017, will compete as a professional, and Alex, a rising redshirt senior, will be one of the amateurs in the field.

Carson had planned to try and play on other tours this year, with the end goal of reaching the PGA, but has been stuck at home with Alex and the rest of the family in Omaha, Nebraska, because of the COVID-19 pandemic. During the past few winters, the elder Schaake brother has moved to Arizona to play on The Outlaw Tour.

Alex is reaping the benefits of having a front-row seat watching his brother start on his professional golf journey, one that Alex will begin after he graduates from the UI next spring.

“It’s definitely motivating to see him and I’m kind of lucky that he gets to start before me so I know what to do when I get to that point in my life,” Alex said. “I eventually want to move down to Arizona, maybe with him even if he’s doing the same stuff he’s doing right now. We can practice together, play tournaments together. It should be really cool. My end goal and his end goal is to get on the PGA Tour.”

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Alex credits their sibling rivalry for pushing both brothers to work hard to improve their respective games. Even when they are not playing in a competitive tournament, the rounds are always intense.

“The sibling rivalry has always been there,” Alex said. “There’s not a person in this world that I hate losing to more than him. Even when we’re not playing tournament golf and we’re just playing at our home course, it’s super competitive. But I’ve learned so much from him playing golf and it’s cool to see him finally get into a Korn Ferry event and get his break that he’s been looking for the last three years. He’s been inspiring to me throughout all my college years and into his pro career as well.”

Carson qualified for the Korn Ferry Tour event by winning a qualifying tournament on July 2, shooting 10-under-par over 36 holes, all played that day. The elder Schaake fired 13 birdies and just three bogeys over the two rounds.

Two weeks later, Alex claimed his spot in the event as well.

After finishing six shots behind his brother at the start of July, Schaake won the Indian Creek Invitational, another qualifying event. The younger Schaake brother finished at two-under-par over two rounds for a one-stroke victory at The Club at Indian Creek, the same course that the Pinnacle Bank Championship will be held on.

This month’s event will not be either Schaake’s first taste of big-time tour golf as Carson received a sponsor’s exemption into the PGA Tour’s John Deere classic in 2015, and Alex played the same Korn Ferry tour event back in 2018.

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