Reporting Shane Kitzman
Why does the 17-year-old already have a scholarship in hand to compete at the University of Iowa?
What’s the back story on how the rising senior has been part of three team state titles for Wayzata boys golf?
For an easy answer to all three, just take a stroll into his backyard.
But be sure to bring your wedge and putter.
Since age 8, Holmgren’s been honing his short game every – single – day, as his father, Rob, sculpted an luscious golf green, complete with a sand bunker, behind their Corcoran home.
“My brothers (Van and Will) and I grew up playing short-game contests,” said Holmgren, who finished five strokes behind the Class AAA champion at the state tournament in June. “We were home-schooled until I was in seventh grade, and to be honest, we did a lot of putting growing up.”
I can almost hear you quietly grumbling “Great, another crazy sports Dad forcing his kids to live out his failed and unrealized dreams.”
Drink in this refreshing tale of a standout athlete falling in love with a sport sans parental influence.
“Our parents don’t push us a whole bunch,” said the 6-foot-2-inch Holmgren. “That’s different from other people. We want to get better ourselves, so we don’t burn out much.”
Not even a legal adult, Holmgren’s already a wise man on the fairways. He takes pride not in his 300-plus range off the tee, but his game-management.
In his book, it’s all about taking out risks – consistency is key.
He’ll now be taking his talents to Virginia later this month at the National Junior PGA Championship.
Though he’s all set to attend Iowa on scholarship after his senior year – a business management degree is the goal – he can’t quite let the game go as a potential career.
“It would be fun traveling around and playing golf, earning a living doing it,” said the history buff, who’s nearly just as interested in Steve Stricker’s style of play as he is Napoleon Bonaparte’s style of leadership.
And if, for some odd reason, Holmgren can’t be found on his backyard golfing paradise, there’s one fail-safe place to locate him.
“One of my favorite things to do is to play hoops – it’s therapy,” he said. “I play pickup at Lifetime (in Plymouth) and I can hold my own.”