Wayzata senior golfer Jack Holmgren, one of the state’s top players and the defending Minnesota Jr. PGA champion, has a golf course for a back yard. Holmgren and brothers Will, a junior, and Van, at freshman, have a private pitch-and-putt course, complete with four greens, on their family’s property in Corcoran.
“We’re lucky that my dad was ambitious enough to build a green in our back yard,” Holmgren said. “Then he went out and built three more. They’re about 60, 70 yards apart.”
That’s where the Holmgrens developed their games.
“We grew up competing with each other in everything,’’ Jack said. “We came up with a ton of different up-and-down contests, hitting the ball from everywhere.”
Holmgren and his Wayzata teammates will play in the Tri-State Invitational, the biggest boys’ high school tournament of the season, Friday and Saturday at Edinburgh USA in Brooklyn Park. Staff writer Jim Paulsen talked with Holmgren about his love for golf in a state where it’s a part-time pursuit.
Q: How did the name “Holmgren” become synonymous with golfing excellence?
A: My brothers and I are always outside playing. We love it. It helps that I was home-schooled until seventh grade, Will until sixth grade and Van until fourth grade. We arranged our schedules so we could get out on the course and set up contests.
Q: The past two springs must have been rough, waiting so long to get outside.
A: I never really enjoyed watching golf until this year. I’ve started watching it more because we’ve been cooped up. We’ve been terrorized by the weather.
Q: How did you keep your game in shape?
A: We’ve been indoors, practicing chipping and putting.
Q: Did you travel anywhere to get a chance to get out and play?
A: No, I’ve already signed with Iowa, so it wasn’t in the travel budget.
Q: Why Iowa?
A: Iowa has a great business school, great facilities, great coaching. It’s a vibrant, diverse place. They just finished building a couple-million dollar practice facility that will be really valuable for us.
Q: What is your best round ever?
A: Last year at the fall championships. The first day was at the TPC [of the Twin Cities]. I shot 29 on the front nine. I even birdied the 10th hole, so I was a ridiculous 8 under through 10 holes. It gave me the feeling that nothing was impossible, that I could do anything. I ended up shooting a 65 that day.
Q: How did you finish the tournament?
A: The second day was at North Oaks, and I shot 69. I won the tournament and ended up something like 9 under par.
Q: How did you handle the weight of carrying a great first round?
A: That was the hardest thing. You get into the zone, and you want to stay in it. For me, that’s about keeping consistent. No real highs or lows. You want to stay the same the whole time and focus on one shot at a time.
Q: What is the biggest mistake golfers make?
A: Being overly aggressive. Sometimes, you just need to salvage a hole. Punch it out and take your medicine. There are plenty of holes to make up a shot.
Q: Do you have a favorite club?
A: I’ve got a 3-iron in my bag that I’ve had forever. It’s a Titleist and I can just rip that off the tee, 245, 250 yards.