by Bruce Strand, sports editor
Kids like Chase Hahne are the reason golf has been one Elk River’s best sports through the years.
Hahne, a slim, 5-foot-10 senior devoted to golf year-round, has made all-conference since eighth grade. He tied for sixth place in the state Class AAA meet last year with 77-70-147 and led the Elks to third place in the team standings. He was also section champion with 68-71-139.
During his sophomore year, Hahne was conference season medalist, and tied for 11th place at state with 76-77-153. He placed third in the conference standings last year. His season averages were 75 in 10th grade and 74 as a junior.
The Elks have won five consecutive NWSC championships, with Hahne a big part of four of them.
Hahne has started this season sharing the medal at the Blaine Invitational with a 74 (along with teammate Alex Kline and two others), and first- and fourth-place finishes, with 70 and 76, in two conference meets.
“Chase has worked very hard at golf for many years, during the winter, too, when he works on his swing,” said coach Dave Conley. “He does evereything rather well. He doesn’t think so himself, but he does. He is kind of a perfectionist. He drives well, hits good irons and he is a good putter.”
Hahne, a rather quiet kid, has this brief assessment of his game: “I usually hit the ball well but struggle with making putts.” His driving strength is 270 to 290 yards.
His best competition rounds have been 67 at Elk River Golf Club and 66 at Northfork. He’s had two holes-in-one, both at Northfork, on No. 7 and No. 12.
Hahne regards last year’s team third-place finish as his Elk career highlight so far. He lists qualifying for last year’s State Open and State Amateur as summer highlights.
This year’s goal: “Win state.” He probably has a decent chance individually. Team-wise the Elks have three strong golfers and are looking for a fourth to replace Chase’s brother Conrad, a sophomore who opted to attend a golf school in South Carolina.
“Conrad is doing well and enjoying the weather,” said Chase. “His golf game is coming along well. We do miss him as a teammate.”
Hahne also played basketball until ninth grade until he decided to go with his No. 1 sport. He plans to continue in college, and is undecided where.
The Hahne scorecard
Favorite stuff — Class: Careers in Coaching … Movie: “Caddyshack” … Reading: golf books … Food: cheese pizza … Drink: lemonade … Kickback: fishing … Place he’d like to visit: St. Andrews golf course in Scotland