John Addison

John Addison

From April 1, 2015 Sentinel

GRANTSBURG—They say practice yields perfection and no where might that be truer than on the golf course.

“I am hoping to save them years of pain and the learning I had to go through as far as course management goes,” John Addison, first-year coach of the Grantsburg Pirates, said of his plans for the team. “I can teach them a thing or two which may make the game easier. But golf is a unique game — everyone has to take responsibility for their own golf ball.”

Addison hopes to build a competitive team around junior Jordan Knutson, a two-time state tournament golfer.

“He loves to play the game,” the coach said of Knutson. “But by forcing him to do the stuff he doesn’t want to do, I hope I can make him a better golfer.”

In a word, practice.

“When it comes down to it, it’s all a matter of practice,” Addison explained. “He doesn’t have the patience to hit 300 chip shots from 20 feet but that’s what it takes to get better.”

Addison said he’ll encourage him to fine tune some parts of his game in order to get better.

The coach might be a step ahead of his West Lakeland counterparts — he’s pretty sure of who his top golfers are.

“Jordan (Knutson) is No. 1, Drew (Alderman) is No. 2 and I think Nathaniel (Krause) might be No. 3,” he commented.

Addison said he has nine boys and two girls, both foreign exchange students, signed up for the team this season.

As far as an outlook for the season, Addison is cautious about looking too far ahead.

“The only thing I care about is whether each golfer will improve throughout the season,” he stated. “That, plus I hope to help them with the fundamentals of the game of golf and I want them to have fun.”

Even though the high school golf season didn’t officially began until this week, Addison said most, if not all, of his golfers had been out playing when the weather has cooperated.

“They’ve been taking advantage of some of the warmer days,” he noted.

The Grantsburg Golf Course will serve as the team’s home course for the 2015 season.

“Last year the team practiced at both Siren National and here at Grantsburg but this year we’ll mostly be here,” Addison said. “Plus, the bad weather the last couple of springs has forced competition to be held at the Grantsburg course because this was the only course open.”

Even though former coaches had moved the home site to Siren National a couple of years ago, Addison is glad to see it back to Grantsburg.

“The Grantsburg course encourages players to work on the things that matter most in competitive golf — chipping, putting, all aspects of the short game,” he remarked. “Players can still use drivers and long irons but most of the game is focused on the short game.”

And at the high school level, that’s crucial.

“It’s what most of the kids need to work on,” Addison added.

In addition to be a golfer at Grantsburg High School, Addison played golf as an undergraduate both at St. Thomas and at Bethel University.

He said he enjoyed his time as a golfer while in college, but claims he didn’t get to be a better golfer until after graduation.

“No one ever really gets good at golf,” Addison quipped. “Even the good players always want to get better.”

But jokes aside, Addison holds the course record of 6-under par at the Grantsburg course, a score which can never be challenged since the course is different now than when he shot his 27 — the third hole was shortened and a new green was added and the ninth hole was shortened to make room for the expansion of the hospital.

“It was just luck,” he said humbly of his 27. “That plaque is in my dad’s garage. I gave it to him one year for Christmas — it probably means more to him than it does to me.”