Have you ever met someone and knew you were going to be friends forever? Well, that was the case for four golfers from northeast Iowa. Herb Collins, Darrel Collins, Gary Peterson, and Bob Rotach became best friends after a day of golfing in the Waukon Invitational Tournament.
At the end of the day, it was suggested that they should golf together again.
That is exactly what they did!
For the last fifty-years!
In fact, their friendship and golfing history led to the making of the film The Foursome. The film was executive produced by Herb’s daughter Jenifer Westphal. Jenifer is an Emmy- winning film producer, founder of Wavelength Productions, and a native to McGregor, IA. Jenifer now lives in Philadelphia with her husband, Jeff Westphal.
Myself, along with Chamber board president, Katie Ruff had the pleasure of visiting with Jenifer and her dad through a Zoom call this week. The minute I met them, I knew right away that we would also be forever friends. Both Herb and Jenifer were an absolute delight to visit with. Herb shared heart-touching stories of the four golfing buddies along with some golfing jokes. Jenifer chimed in with all the details on how the film was made and the inspiration behind the story.
In order to create the film, Jenifer’s company Wavelength Productions traveled to Iowa. “The filming crew fell in love with the area and some of them even want to move to McGregor,” Jenifer shared. While here, the crew captured shots of McGregor and Marquette before traveling to the Waukon golf course. Many of those shots are used in the film.
The film captures the joy of friendship between the four golfers. Though they may not see each other all year, the foursome are able to pick right up where they left off from the last tournament. Their golfing lingo is colorful and their competitiveness is comical. The four men are a joy to watch and will certainly bring laughter to living rooms across the nation.
In addition to the golf tournament, the film also captures the golfers lives beyond the green. Each golfer sharing something unique about their selves. And on top of that, viewers will get a glimpse of the famous potato salad made by Gary’s wife, Jean. Every year, Jean makes the potato salad for the tournament. “It’s the best potato salad you will ever eat,” stated Herb. "If you have ever golfed the Waukon Invitational, you know that potato salad is a staple."
The Foursome has been shown at numerous film festivals and has received the following awards:
Audience Choice - Sioux City Film Festival 2021 Best Documentary Short - SNAFF festival 2021 Pride of Iowa - Iowa Independent Film Festival 2020
Oneota Film Festival 2020
Iowa Independent Film Festival 2020
Cedar Rapids Independent Film Festival 2020
Snake Alley Festival of Film 2021
Interrobang Film Festival 2020
Julien Dubuque Film Festival 2020 and 2021
Alternating Currents Film Festival 2020
Sioux City Film Festival 2021
Though the story line is golf, viewers will quickly make the connection between the four friends. Their bond is sure to stir up memories of one’s own friendships. If Jenifer’s goal was to create a film that touched the heart and soul of the viewer, then I would say, she succeeded.
If you have not yet seen the film, you are in luck. The Foursome will air on Iowa Public Television on January 17th at 9:00 p.m. CST. Grab your family, a bowl of popcorn, and maybe even some Kleenexes. Sit back and let the four golfers bring you joy, friendship, and laughter in a time when we could all use a lift.
~story by Jessica Goltz, executive director McGregor Marquette Chamber of Commerce.