Father-Son Combination

April 24, 2006

On the course, they are coach and athlete. However when they walk off Finkbine Golf Course, they become father and son.

For Terry Anderson, head coach of the men’s golf team, having son, Zack, on the team can be easily summed up.

“It’s been pretty special,” said Anderson. “That’s all I can really say.”

Zack attended Iowa City West High School where he excelled in golf and baseball. He was two-time all-conference and academic all-conference in both sports. When it came time to focus on one sport to pursue in college, the decision to leave baseball behind was easy.

“I left on a positive note. It was the first time our team made it to the state championships. I felt like I had accomplished quite a bit in baseball,” said Zack. “I thought golf would provide me with more of a challenge.”

Choosing Iowa was another easy decision for Zack.

“I knew I wanted to be close to home, and I looked at a few different places, but Iowa had what I was looking for,” he said. “I grew up being a Hawkeye.”

Anderson was red shirted last year. This season he has already stepped up and shown his potential to be a leader for the Hawkeyes. Part of the reason for Zack’s improvement could be attributed to traveling with the team before he became a Hawkeye.

“We’ve been here for 15 years. He’s got the most experience of anyone on my team as far as Big Ten Tournaments and seeing the courses,” said Terry.

“With my dad being a coach, I grew up around college golf courses. I’ve been to just about every Big Ten course,” said Zack.

“I’ve seen a lot of good players come through here. I’ve watched them and know what I want to be like.”

In some situations, it might be difficult to coach your son, but for Terry, it’s been easy to make the transition from father to coach.

“He’s improved drastically, and he’s working hard. I don’t treat him any differently than others on the roster,” said Terry. “He does hang around a little bit longer [after practice] so I do spend more time with him than anyone else. It’s more one on one time.”

“It’s pretty easy having him on the team without running into any ethical problems.”

The father-coach distinction has been easy for Zack as well. While he appreciates having his father nearby, he wants a normal coach-athlete relationship when he steps onto the course.

“When I’m at the course, I prefer a coach-to-player relationship. I want to be treated just like the other guys on the team,” said Zack.

Despite getting limited playing time, Zack has shown what the future of the golf program could be. During the fall season, he tied for 20th at the Hawkeye Intercollegiate. This spring he competed as an individual at the USA Spring Classic, finishing 66th overall.

“He’s really close. He is probably my number seven or eight player right now. His time will come. He knows what he needs to do,” said Terry.

“He’s a great student, a great person, a great individual. From a consistency basis, he just isn’t there right now. He’s struggling with his putting. He just needs to keep working hard. He’s got a winning attitude.”

While Zack would like to see how far the game takes him, following his father’s example and becoming a coach is something he would consider. For now, though, he is focusing on lowering his score.

For Terry, he’d like to see his son’s dream come true.

“I’d love to see him win a tournament as an individual and make the all-Big Ten team. Shoot for the moon and be a Big Ten Champ. Anything can happen.”

written by Jennifer Bissell, Iowa Sports Information