WESTERN SPRINGS – One of the best and worst things about golf is that it’s an individual sport.
If you make a great shot, no one else can take the credit. If you make a bad shot, no one else can save you.
Recent Lyons Township graduate Charlie Netzel loves the sport for that reason. He started playing when his dad would take him to La Grange Country Club when he was younger and has kept playing because of the individual competition.
“I just love competing,” Netzel said. “It’s so much different than all the other sports. You can only control what you do. It’s not really a team sport. Everything is on you.”
Netzel will continue golfing for Michigan State in the fall and is preparing for the college season with tournaments and frequent rounds this summer. His summer highlight is winning an American Junior Golf Association tournament July 12.
He shot 6-under-par during three rounds at The Legend at Bandybrook in Wales, Wis., to win his first AJGA tournament in his final junior event. His former LT teammate, Dan Hudson, placed fourth.
“It was a fun way to end,” Netzel said. “The AJGA is pretty big. I’ve been playing those for four years and it was my first win.”
The talented golfer placed in the top 20 at state three years in a row and was second his junior year. After a standout career with the Lions, Netzel’s next step is at Michigan State.
Netzel said the fact that Michigan State was a big school in the Midwest helped convince him to head to East Lansing. He was tempted by warmer pastures but isn’t worried about that for the golf season.
“I wanted to stay a little closer to home,” Netzel said. “Everyone would like to go somewhere warm, but we go down to Florida every other week so that’s a great plus.”
He also was drawn in by coach Casey Lubahn.
Lubahn informed Netzel that he has a chance to play right away. When Netzel heads to campus in mid-August, he will be arriving with the goal of cracking the team’s lineup.
“That’s probably my No. 1 goal to make the starting five,” Netzel said.