Elmcrest's course was, and still is, a training ground for Zach Johnson, PGA Tour Professional.
Zach Johnson was born in Iowa City, Iowa and raised in Cedar Rapids. He took up golf at age 10 and developed his skills at Elmcrest. Zach led his Regis High School golf team to an Iowa 3A State Championship in 1992, before playing for Drake University in Des Moines and winning two Missouri Valley Championships. Zach turned professional in 1998, winning his first PGA TOUR event at the 2004 BellSouth Classic, followed by 12 additional PGA Tour wins, including the 2007 Masters and the 2015 British Open. Zach and his wife Kim have three children and reside in St. Simons Island, Georgia. He returns to Elmcrest each year to host the Zach Johnson Foundation Classic, a charity tournament, gala and auction benefiting Kids on Course, a charity for local school children.
Zach won the 71st Masters at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia on Easter Sunday, April 8th, 2007. His score of 289 (+1) tied Sam Snead (1954) and Jack Burke Jr. (1956) for the highest winning score at the Masters. His victory took him from #56 to #15 in the world rankings, and he was the first outside the top 50 in the world rankings to win the Masters in the history of the ranking. After his victory, when asked, "If you could play just one more round, where would it be?" Zach answered, "Elmcrest Country Club in Cedar Rapids Iowa. It's my home course."
On July 20, 2015, Zach beat Louis Oosthuizen and Marc Leishman in a 4-hole playoff to win the Open Championship at St Andrews for his 12th PGA Tour win and second major. He became only the sixth golfer to win majors at Augusta and St. Andrews, the others being Sam Snead, Jack Nicklaus, Nick Faldo, Seve Ballesteros and Tiger Woods.