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Boys golf: Holmes looking for dedication from golfers

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sports Farmington, 55024

Farmington Minnesota P.O. Box 192 / 312 Oak St. 55024

Jon Holmes is beginning his first year as head boys golf coach. He also coached the Farmington girls hockey team to another successful season this winter.

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How long have you played golf? What is your background in the sport? Have you ever had a hole-in-one?

I grew up playing at Fountain Valley. I started golfing about the time I could start walking. I played with my dad and older brother almost daily in the summers. When Harvey Pennick released his memoirs in 1991-92 when I was 12 I read the book that night. I also scored a job at Fountain Valley around age 11 washing carts. I worked there part time for 14 summers. Not a bad gig for a kid who loves golf. I remember going out there at 6 a.m. to work and not coming home until dinner time after a few hours of work and a quick 36 holes. I continue to play today in MGA and USGA tournaments. I really enjoy playing for fun and playing for some serious competition. One day I would love to qualify for a big time event.

Currently I am a scratch handicap, plus or minus a half point. But it doesn't seem to get any better with time. However, it is a great joy to play with my stepson, William, who is 6 and I look forward to teaching Henry, 4 months, the same character qualities and life lessons that golf has taught me and so many others.

My best round was a 64 at Fountain Valley. It was on Father's day a couple years ago and I was playing with may dad and my brother. I wanted to quit after nine holes because I was starving. My dad refused. He went in to the club house, got me a couple hot dogs and said,"go birdie this next hole." Ironically, my good friend Sammy Schmitz posted a club-record 63 at Fountain Valley a week later.

As for a hole-in-one, never had one ... never will. I can't even count how many times I have witnessed a hole in one. They always seem to come after I hit a great shot to a couple feet. Go figure!

How does coaching an individual sport like golf compare with coaching a team sport likehockey?

Coaching high school sports has so many similarities accross the board. In each sport our role as a coach is to be a positive role model and to allow the qualities and rules of the sport to teach the players positive life lessons. One of the main differences in going from hockey to golf will be that there are less decisions that need defending in an individual sport. In hockey a coach's main job is to look out for the wellfare of the entire team and try to make the best decisions you can to keep a positive environment. Unfortunately those decisions sometimes involve playing time, playing partners/ linemates and leaders or captains, which sometimes doesn't bode so well with spectators and parents. In golf a coach's role is to also maintain that positive environment and to get the players to the next level, but so much is dependent upon their individual results that the playing time issues work themselves out. But in any sport, the main goal is to always have fun.

What will a typical day of practice consist of with you as the new head coach?

Short game, short game, short game.... Routine. It all starts from around the green. The players all want to hit a driver ... but they will have to earn that by getting in plenty of reps around the green.

What are your goals for the program and what do you want your athletes to get out of their time as a member of the golf team?

Number one is summer playing time. I would like to start a league of some sort with our players and the players from surrounding areas where they could come out once a week and play competively at local courses. Perhaps have a coaches versus players league where we could strike some healthy competition and fun amongst the schools, players and coaches. One of my main goals will be to get all of these varsity and JV players to make a commitment to play on a regular basis this summer. I know it gets tough with other athletic schedules and summer vacations, but in order for our program to take a step in a positive direction we really have to get our players to step up to the tee box and play more rounds.

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