The end of the year banquet at the Meadows is a timely way for junior golfers to reflect on the summer’s achievements and events. DAJT golfers of all ages and their families congregated in the banquet hall to share a meal and glean some wisdom from keynote speaker Mike Meyer.
Meyer, while not a champion golfer, has a wealth of knowledge from his successful career as a kicker for the Iowa Hawkeyes. His career as a four year starter culminated in being named a team captain, B1G TEN all conference, and Iowa’s consecutive PAT record. His speech was comprised of two main points that pertain to all athletes: preparation and pressure.
“Every time you practice, it should be done with a purpose. Once you step onto the field, the range or the putting green, there should be no messing a round and you should have a goal of what you want to accomplish,” said Meyer.
Meyer also stressed the importance of competition and routine. “When you’re under a lot of pressure, you can always rely on your routine.” Coming from someone who has kicked in front of tens of thousands of screaming fans, that should mean a great deal.
Following Meyer’s presentation, the top three players in each age division were honored. Additionally, it was announced that a $1,000 scholarship for a male and female golfer will be awarded each year in the future.
The Player of the Year award was captured by the following golfers, all of whom reflected on their seasons:
Kyle Arthofer boys 16-17
“it’s an honor to win the DAJT. All the work I put in every single day at Bunker paid off. I’ve seen my game grow and I just keep trying to hit my spots and play my game. This year it worked out well for me”
Breanna Felderman girls 16-17
“I put a lot of time into my game. It’s been incredible to see my scores get lower each year, and it shows that my work is paying off. It’s also been huge to have such a big support system around me.”
Davis Stelzer boys 14-15
“I’m feeling really good going into the high school season. I’m pumped to shoot some more low scores and hopefully make a state tournament run.”
Tess Breslin girls 14-15
“I’ve been working hard to shoot lower and more consistent scores so when high school season rolls around, I can replace some of the great seniors we had from our state championship run.”
Jackson Webber boys 12-13
“I improved all around from last year which has been a bonus. I need to work on my putting for next year and hopefully I’ll win some more tournaments on the DAJT.”
Brianna Kirsch girls 12-13
“Playing with my parents and brother pushes me to be better and makes me want to hit it farther. That helps me a lot playing with girls my age. I’m happy with how I’ve played this summer.”
Callan Martineau boys 10-11
“I thought I played consistent all year so I’m pretty proud of that.”
Elin Mueller girls 10-11
“With golf, I like that I get to play with my friends and that I can push myself to do challenging things.”
The inaugural season of the DAJT is all but over, with only the Ryder Cup for the area’s top juniors remaining.
On a personal note:it has been a privilege to get to know each and every junior golfer in the area. It has been amazing to see the game from the other side of the ropes and see not just the competitive spirit that lives in youth golf, but also the strong support system that parents, grandparents, golf pros, and friends offer these kids. Thank you to everyone for making the first year of the DAJT special.