Oct. 25, 2007
Editor’s note: 24 Hawkeyes to Watch is a feature released Thursday, Aug. 2, highlighting one athlete from each of the 24 intercollegiate sports offered by the University of Iowa. More than 700 talented student-athletes are currently busy preparing for the 2007-08 athletics year at the UI. Hawkeyesports.com will introduce you to 24 Hawkeyes who, for one reason or another, are poised to play a prominent role in the intercollegiate athletics program at the UI in the coming year.
by Sean Neugent
IOWA CITY — University of Iowa senior Dan Holterhaus is in his fifth year with the men’s golf program, while his head coach — Mark Hankins — has been in Iowa City for just over two months. Even after the short introduction time, Hankins can already see the skills that Holterhaus possesses.
Holterhaus, a marketing major, hails from nearby Cedar Rapids and graduated from Kennedy High School. He enjoyed a superb high school career where he was a four-time first team all-conference and three-time first team all-metro selection. Holterhaus helped the Cougars to a runner-up finish at state, where he placed fifth in the medalist race as a junior. Holterhaus also led the conference in scoring average his senior season. Not only did he compete in golf, but he also played basketball and during his senior year was named honorable mention all-conference on the hardwood.
“Dan’s extremely competitive,” Hankins said. “He prepares well as far as being disciplined with his time between academics and athletics. It’s important to find enough time to practice and prepare for each tournament. Another thing about Dan is that he is mentally tough and extremely consistent. We’re just trying to work with him to go a little bit lower and allow himself to shoot some really good scores that could contend for tournament titles.”
The now-seasoned Holterhaus did not receive many scholarship offers coming out of high school. He narrowed his final decision down to a few schools before ultimately choosing Iowa.
“When I first came to college, being close to home was a priority,” Holterhaus said. “I really didn’t have a whole lot of offers for Division I golf. Between Drake and Iowa, Iowa seemed like a better choice for me and a better fit.”
The Hawkeye program has a proven winner in Hankins who grew up in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, and graduated from Iowa State University. Hankins coached Michigan State and won several titles and awards with the Spartans. Last spring he led Michigan State to the Big Ten men’s golf championship and was named Coach of the Year. In the last three years, Hankins led the Spartans to two Big Ten championships and was named Coach of the Year twice.
“I would like us to get better every single tournament and to notice an improvement. Obviously we have a new coach and things are going to be different with getting a new mindset. I think some goals would be to try to improve every tournament and learn from some of the mistakes we made from the previous tournament and try not to repeat them.”
UI senior Dan Holterhaus
“I’ve settled in well with the team,” Hankins said. “They’re pretty much all freshmen in my program and they’re trying to understand how I run things and what I expect of them. They are all very eager to learn and are working really hard. Each one of them is trying to be the best that they can be. I expect them to work hard and make golf a priority along with their academics.”
Holterhaus has been a consistent player for the Hawkeyes and has a lot of experience under his belt. Last spring he competed in eight tournaments and was the only Hawkeye to play in all of Iowa’s spring events. Holterhaus started the fall season in fine fashion through three tournaments. He shot a team-leading, even-par 140 at the Big Four Championship in his home town of Cedar Rapids. The senior finished sixth individually as Iowa placed second to Iowa State. In the Notre Dame Invitational, Holterhaus finished 56th (+19) in the three-day tournament as Iowa placed 10th out of 12 teams. In the final tournament — the Duke/Coca Cola Classic — Iowa finished 12th out of 15 teams and Holterhaus fired a 54-hole score of 224 (+8).
“Last year Dan had a pretty solid season and shot a lot of good scores,” Hankins said. “He’s going to be a graduating senior and whenever you get kids that can spend a little more time on their golf game they can perform a little better. He will be able to take a minimum class load during the spring which will allow him a little more time to play golf. Hopefully that will be something he can take advantage of.”
“I would like us to get better every single tournament and to notice an improvement,” Holterhaus said. “Obviously we have a new coach and things are going to be different with getting a new mindset. I think some goals would be to try to improve every tournament and learn from some of the mistakes we made from the previous tournament and try not to repeat them.”
The Hawkeyes will be in action next at the Landfall Tradition on Oct. 26-28 in Wilmington, N.C., before closing the fall season at the Wolverine Invitational on Nov. 5-6 in Mission Inn Resort, Fla.
Professional golfer Adam Scott of Australia serves as a role model for Holterhaus. Scott, who has been on the tour since 2001, has had his share of success already. Holterhaus enjoys Scott’s mental toughness on the course.
“I really like Adam Scott,” Holterhaus said. “He is always relaxed and calm on the golf course. I think you can learn a lot from watching him play.”
Holterhaus will look to adopt that same mindset and hopes that a solid fall season will lead to his best — and final — spring at the UI. Quoting two lines from his favorite movie, Caddyshack, “Be the ball Danny” and “it’s in the hole!”
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