Anni Heck: Born to golf

  • Article by: AARON PAITICH , Special to the Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 27, 2013 - 5:02 PM

Anni Heck showed golf skills at age 6, and now she’s a standout junior player

 

Geoff Heck received an odd request from his daughter, Anni, about eight years ago. She wanted to learn how to play golf — as a 6-year-old.

Heck happily and curiously obliged her. He brought Anni to a playground in Las Vegas — where they lived at the time — and she hit a few balls in the grass.

“And then I noticed that it’s not normal for somebody who’s 6 years old to actually have a golf swing and not a softball swing,” Dad said.

And so it began. The golf introduction led to lessons. The lessons proved Heck’s initial assessment correct.

“We put her in a couple clinics and we had the pros say, ‘Hey, she’s doing things we can’t teach, so you might want to think about having her do this competitively,’ ” he said.

She’s been competing on golf courses ever since. Anni, who lives now in Eagan, finished her eighth-grade season at Visitation this spring. She made a statement, tying for seventh place in the Class 2A state tournament.

Anni has made even greater strides this summer. She finished third in the Minnesota State Junior Girls Championship on July 9. She then captured the Minnesota Section Junior PGA Golf Championship on July 11-12 after birdieing two of the final three holes to win the tournament by one stroke. The victory qualified Heck for the National Junior PGA Championship, which will be held in Potomac Falls, Va., starting July 30.

Heck’s strong month of July could be a sign of even greater golf ahead. She credits Braemar golf pro Roger Fahrenkrug for her progression throughout the years. The two have been working together since she was in second grade. Fahrenkrug taught her to focus on her short game and become more target-orientated, which helped her block out nerves on the course.

She’s beginning to trust her game more and more.

“He’s been trying to teach me this for a while now,” Heck said of Fahrenkrug. “It’s finally just clicked in my head. Before, I was a bit more tentative. Now I’m starting to pick out my line and just hit the ball.”

As a youngster always competing against older girls, Heck needed a strong short game because she couldn’t hit the ball nearly as far as the others. As a result, she’s excellent around the green. It’s a big reason she scores low.

“If it takes her three to get on the green on a par-4, she’s going to make that putt,” her father said.

Now, as she matures, Heck finds herself catching up to her opponents off the tee. She’s also able to use her irons on her approach shots instead of her woods.

“Sometimes I’m outdriving people, which is really exciting for me,” she said.

Heck has traveled every year since she was 8 years old for the U.S. Kids Golf World Championship in Pinehurst, N.C. But this upcoming out-of-town tournament is the first one she has had to qualify for. Another sign of good things to come.

“She’s just very confident right now,” Geoff Heck said.

While Anni takes golf very seriously, she’s also having fun playing a game that she can share with her father.

“I guess I just kind of caught on to his love of the game,” she said.

  • related content

  • Anni Heck’s putt slipped by the hole at the sixth green during the Minnesota State Junior Girls Championship this summer, but it was only one lost stroke. Heck still finished third in the tournament.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

NY Mets 4 Bottom 5th Inning
Miami 2
Philadelphia 1 Top 6th Inning
Atlanta 0
Boston 2 Top 6th Inning
Tampa Bay 3
Minnesota 0 Top 6th Inning
Baltimore 0
Pittsburgh 3 Bottom 2nd Inning
St. Louis 0
Milwaukee 0 Bottom 2nd Inning
Chicago Cubs 0
Detroit - D. Price 3:05 PM
Cleveland - C. Kluber
Seattle - C. Young 3:05 PM
Oakland - J. Hammel
San Francisco 2 Suspended
Colorado 2
Arizona - T. Cahill 3:10 PM
San Diego - T. Ross
San Francisco - T. Hudson 4:40 PM
Colorado - F. Morales
Washington - G. Gonzalez 7:10 PM
Los Angeles - R. Hernandez
Texas - C. Lewis 7:10 PM
Kansas City - Y. Ventura
Green Bay 9/4/14 7:30 PM
Seattle
Buffalo 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
New Orleans 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Atlanta
Minnesota 9/7/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Cleveland 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Jacksonville 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Oakland 9/7/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
Cincinnati 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Washington 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Tennessee 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
New England 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Carolina 9/7/14 3:25 PM
Tampa Bay
San Francisco 9/7/14 3:25 PM
Dallas
Indianapolis 9/7/14 7:30 PM
Denver
Utah State 7 FINAL
Tennessee 38
SMU 0 FINAL
(10) Baylor 45
Miami-Florida 7:00 PM
Louisville
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Pittsburgh 9/5/14 6:00 PM
Boston College
Washington St 9/5/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
SMU 9/6/14 11:00 AM
North Texas
Fla Atlantic 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(2) Alabama
Buffalo 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Army
(24) Missouri 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Toledo
Arkansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
(7) McNeese State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(22) Nebraska
Central Mich 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Akron 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
Western Ill 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(14) Wisconsin
(20) Kansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
(4) Oklahoma 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tulsa
Western Ky 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
SC State 9/6/14 11:30 AM
(16) Clemson
Navy 9/6/14 12:00 PM
Temple
UAB 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Miss State
South Alabama 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Kent State
New Mexico St 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Colorado 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Fresno State 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Utah
(2) Eastern Wash 9/6/14 2:00 PM
(25) Washington
(15) USC 9/6/14 2:30 PM
(11) Stanford
Ohio U 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Middle Tennessee 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Minnesota
Northern Ill 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Missouri State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Ball State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Iowa
Maryland 9/6/14 2:30 PM
So Florida
Eastern Mich 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Florida
Georgia Tech 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Tulane
(18) Ole Miss 9/6/14 3:30 PM
Vanderbilt
Old Dominion 9/6/14 5:00 PM
NC State
(8) Michigan State 9/6/14 5:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(19) Arizona State 9/6/14 6:00 PM
New Mexico
Louisiana Tech 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
San Jose St 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(6) Auburn
East Carolina 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(9) So Carolina
Duke 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Troy
Idaho 9/6/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(15) Sam Houston St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(13) LSU
Michigan 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
Lamar 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(21) Texas A&M
Northwestern St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
BYU 9/6/14 6:30 PM
Texas
Citadel 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(1) Florida State
San Diego St 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Virginia Tech 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(5) Ohio State
Memphis 9/6/14 9:00 PM
(7) UCLA
Colorado State 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Boise State
Air Force 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Wyoming
Oregon State 9/6/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Texas Tech 9/6/14 10:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Ottawa 10 FINAL
Montreal 20
Winnipeg 30 FINAL
Saskatchewan 35
Toronto 10 13:52
Hamilton 13
Edmonton 3:30 PM
Calgary
Indiana 3:00 PM
Chicago

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How many fantasy football teams do you draft?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close