By MaryHelen Swanson
Thirteen-year-old Nicklaus Kress of North Branch, has a history of doing well when he golfs and generally gets a win every year, but last week, within seven days, he won three PGA Junior Tour events.
“Three in one week is a major accomplishment for anyone in this tour,” said his dad Andrew Kress, “especially at his young age.” Nicklaus just finished the 8th grade in North Branch where he has played two years on the varsity golf team already.
His first hole-in-one
Nicklaus started playing golf around age 2. As soon as he could stand and walk steadily around the house, he started hitting whiffle balls with a little plastic club.
It came naturally, especially when you know the family’s golf history. Nicklaus’ dad grew up on a golf course, Nicklaus’ grandfather grew up on a golf course, and his great-grandfather did too.
Nicklaus’ dad noted that his son’s first hole-in-one was inside their house. Young Nicklaus hit the whiffle ball from the living room and it landed directly into the pot on the stove in the kitchen. No one could quite remember what mom was cooking in that pot at the time, however.
The Kress family has lived in North Branch about 9 years. They lived in Cottage Grove for a while, and then moved to Florida where young Nicklaus could golf year around, and hit range ball after range ball.
One could say that golf is Nicklaus’ life, but you’d be wrong, because he also lives for basketball and is participating on a summer basketball team in Pine City right now.
Details of the victorious week
On Tuesday, July 10, Nicklaus shot a 72 at Tanner’s Brook in Forest Lake. He won the 13-15 age bracket and was the tournament medalist beating out two golfers from the 16-18 year-old age bracket in a playoff.
Last year he won this event at the age 12 with a 74.
On Wednesday, he shot a 75 at Falcon Ridge in Stacy to win first place in his age group.
Finally, on lucky Friday the 13th, he shot a 75 at Chisago lakes to win by five strokes.
Nicklaus is participating in two more events this week and later this summer he will play in an invitation only tournament of champions.
Setting a goal
Nicklaus couldn’t think of a favorite subject in school, but he did say he liked the 4-day week, especially as he did not have to miss any school as varsity golf meets are held on Mondays.
This past year Nicklaus missed going to the state golf meet by 4 strokes.
He was all-conference honorable mention in the North Suburban conference.
His goal now – to make it to state all four year’s of high school.
His dad, a pretty good golfer himself, says if it’s in print, Nicklaus will have to work to attain his goal.