HAMILTON — Ever since Eli Timmerman started playing high school golf, he's asserted his dominance across the area.
The Hamilton junior earned first-team all-confernce honors in the OK Blue, qualified for the individual state finals and was named the Holland Sentinel's Boys Golfer of the Year for the second consecutive season. He earned five individual medals on the season and had a 9-hole scoring average of just 37.8.
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He finished the state finals in a tie for 27th place, just a couple of places off his top-25 finish from his sophomore campaign. While his individual performance wasn't exactly what he was hoping for in the final competition of the season, it was still a much more memorable experience than his first time at the state finals. That's because this time he wasn't the only Hawkeye who was there.
The Hamilton golf team qualified for the state finals as a collective group for the first time in program history. There were several ingredients to the special sauce that made the team thrive in 2022, but Timmerman was a big part of it.
He was the guy that golf was his main sport, while the others just played to have some fun and compete in something during the spring. Kyle Lurvey, the Hawkeyes coach, said that without Timmerman's example for the others to follow, his team probably doesn't have as remarkable of a year as they did.
"Eli was dominant all season. He is the definition of hard work and constantly looking to improve his game," Lurvey said. "His consistency and determination led us to a historic season."
The result of having all those other guys behind him helped him come out of his shell a bit more too. A typically quiet and reserved guy who just focuses on his own game, this year he was different.
Instead of hanging off to the side of the range or the practice green and working on stuff by himself, he would go out and play scrambles with his teammates any chance he could get. They took it as seriously as they needed to, but they also laughed and joked a lot during their rounds, especially in practice.
That atmosphere kept Timmerman loose when he was on the course. When you're loose on the course and swinging freely, good things tend to happen and that was evident for Timmerman this season.
"We're not all trying to shoot a crazy low score, we just go out play scrambles and try and work on our games together," Timmerman said. "It has been a lot more relaxing for me this year for sure."
With one year left of high school golf, Timmerman still has all his goals in front of him. He's hoping to play golf at the next level went eh time comes, but for now he's just worried about trying to get his game better and better every single day.
He'll spend this summer and fall playing in some junior golf tournaments looking to get his game to a new level. For Lurvey, the improvements Timmerman made physically and mentally this year were huge and he can't wait to see what he does in his senior season.
"Last year there was a piece of me wondering how this was going to go as Eli continues to progress into his own skill and talent," Lurvey said. "He was more a part of the team this year, he really came into his own this year and it was great to watch."
This article originally appeared on The Holland Sentinel: Hamilton's Eli Timmerman is Holland Sentinel Boys Golfer of the Year