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Wednesday, Sep 6, 2017

Largest international sporting event in Iowa history enjoys unique UNI connection

Solheim Cup Mold   Clow Fire Hydrant

Left: Photograph of the mold design.  Right: Completed Clow Valve fire hydrant seen in use at the 2017 Solheim Cup.

While it remained unknown to most, one of the largest sporting events in the history of the state of Iowa had a unique connection to the University of Northern Iowa.

The 2017 Solheim Cup, the biennial women’s golf version of the Ryder Cup, was held August 13-20, 2017 on the North Course of the Des Moines Golf and Country Club in West Des Moines, Iowa.  The event pits the best women’s golfers in the United States against the best Europe has to offer.

According to a Des Moines Register article, over 124,000 people visited the event, and more than a few probably noticed something a little different about the fire hydrants on the tournament grounds.

Clow Valve, a major tournament sponsor, and company that completed the irrigation system for the Des Moines Golf and Country Club, wanted its presence felt with patrons of the tournament.  Leon McCullough, Executive Vice President for the Waterworks Fittings Group, tasked the company to replace all of the fire hydrants on the tournament grounds, which were made by a competing company, with the yellow hydrants seen above.

The yellow hydrants, produced by Clow Valve, were poured using a mold design from the Additive Manufacturing Center at UNI.

Team USA defeated Team Europe to claim its second consecutive title, 16.5-to-11.5.  The 2019 version of the event is slated to be held in Gleneagles, Scotland.

For more information on the UNI Additive Manufacturing Center, please visit this link.

Special thanks to Kevin Ross at Turfnet.com and the Des Moines Register for information related to this article.