HAMILTON — Ever since Eli Timmerman started playing golf in high school, he’s asserted his dominance in the area.
The Hamilton junior earned all-first-team conference honors in the OK Blue, advanced to individual national finals and was named Holland Sentinel’s Boys Golfer of the Year for the second straight season. He won five individual medals during the season and had a 9-hole scoring average of just 37.8.
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He finished the national final tied for 27th, just a few spots off his top 25 in his second campaign. While his individual performance wasn’t exactly what he hoped for in the season finale competition, it was still a much more memorable experience than his first appearance in the state finals. It’s because this time he wasn’t the only Hawkeye 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 in 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 for fun and got involved in something in the spring. Hawkeyes coach Kyle Lurvey said without Timmerman’s example for others to follow, his team likely won’t have as outstanding a year as they did.
“Eli has been dominant all season. He’s the very definition of hard work and is constantly looking to improve his game,” Lurvey said. “His consistency and determination have led us to a historic season.”
The result of having all these other guys behind him has helped him come out of his shell a bit more as well. A typically quiet and reserved guy who only focuses on his own game, this year he was different.
Instead of staying to the side of the range or practice green and working alone, he would get out and play with his teammates whenever he had the chance. They took it as seriously as it needed to be, but they also laughed and joked a lot during their rounds, especially in practice.
This atmosphere kept Timmerman loose when he was on the course. When you’re loose on the course and swing free, good things tend to happen and that was evident for Timmerman this season.
“We’re not all trying to shoot a crazy score, we’re just going out to play together and trying to work on our games together,” Timmerman said. “It’s been a lot more relaxing for me this year, that’s for sure.”
With a year of golf in high school, Timmerman still has all of his goals ahead of him. He hopes to play golf at the next level when the time comes, but for now he’s just worried about trying to improve his game every day.
He will spend this summer and fall playing in junior golf tournaments looking to take his game to a new level. For Lurvey, the improvements Timmerman has made physically and mentally this year have been huge and he can’t wait to see what he will do in his senior season.
“Last year, part of me wondered how this was going to go as Eli continues to progress in his own skills and talents,” Lurvey said. “He was more part of the team this year, he really came into his own this year and it was great to watch.”