By ALEX SNYDER
IOWA CITY, Iowa — University of Iowa senior Carson Schaake and his brother, freshman Alex Schaake, are used to playing competitive golf together. The only difference is they now are competing for NCAA Division I collegiate titles.
The Omaha, Nebraska, natives were introduced to the game from a very young age, having two grandfathers interested in the game. Now, they have both been in Iowa’s lineup for every event this spring.
“Competing and growing up with Alex was incredible and I know that it made both of us better golfers,” said Carson. “We are the most competitive people in the world at anything we do, not just golf.”
When Alex began working with a swing coach in Omaha, older brother Carson was along to watch his younger brother start to mature, hit the ball further, and work toward better and better scores. This marked the starting point of a competitive career with one another.
“We were able to feed off of each other,” said Carson. “We began learning new shots and new ways to play different golf courses. The best thing is we both want to win and it makes us mad losing to each other. This, in the end, made us work harder every day.”
Alex decided to join Carson at Iowa, knowing that he would be comfortable with the program and coaching staff. Since arriving on campus in August, Alex has posted one tournament top 20 (T-19, Paintbrush Invitational) and has three rounds at or below par.
“I knew that I would get better here,” said Alex. “I knew that the program was going to succeed.
“My goal is to compete. I wasn’t coming to Iowa to just play, I want to make the team better and show that I can play at this level.”
With just a few weeks before the Big Ten Championship – a tournament Carson claimed co-medalist honors at in 2015 – the Schaake brothers aim to compete and contend. This may be one of the last times the two brothers tee it up for the same team.
“Not much has changed since Alex has come to Iowa,” added Carson. “We go at it on the course sometimes, get into fights because of how competitive we are, and I think that is why we have both had success.”
With an entire fall season and most of the spring under their belts, Alex and Carson are ready to utilize their competitive relationship on the course to contribute to a strong finish for the Hawkeyes.
“Alex has beaten me in a couple tournaments this year, and that doesn’t sit well with me,” said Carson. “That drives me to work harder than I ever have to reach a new level in my game.
“The best times I have on the golf course are when I’m with him and we are both playing good golf, trying to beat each other.”
Carson, Alex, and the rest of the Hawkeyes will tee it up April 15-16, hosting the Hawkeye Invitational at Finkbine Golf Course in Iowa City, Iowa.