Keegan Pawloski started golfing at 3.


Keegan Pawloski, a Wayland junior, spends a lot of time on the golf links which is just fine with the Wildcats team and golf coach Allen Brewer. We could probably lay the blame for Keegan’s attention to the sport at the feet of his grandfather; Gary Biermacher. It seems that Grandpa had Keegan out on the driving range at the ripe old age of three with a set of clubs that were cut down to size. Keegan still remembers that day and keeps some photos as a reminder. Pawloski shot his first nine holes by the time he was six.
As you might expect, eleven years and a whole lot more rounds of golf later, Keegan is an accomplished golfer. He has played varsity for the Wildcats since he was a freshman and has been All Conference the last two seasons. His overall average for this past season is 39.1 and in conference play he is at 39.5. He can place his drives out about 290 to 300 yards.
“The most improved aspect of his game has been his overall consistency,” coach Brewer said. “His average has come down each year and he has always been able to read the greens very well and is a good putter. That is where he has the advantage over others – his putting.”
Both Keegan and his coach shared a favorite moment of the season with us. It happened during the twelve team Thornapple-Kellogg Invitational Tournament at Yankee Springs. Pawloski bogied on the first two holes, but recovered and blasted through the remaining 16 holes with par on every one to finish with a 74. His two over par score moved him to the top, beating the closest competitor by four strokes.
His ability to keep cool and not fall apart when he makes mistakes is another remarkable trait. Keegan related his least favorite moment on a golf course to us. It was on the first hole of a match he played as a sophomore at the Old Mill course in Schoolcraft. He hit the water three times and then hit one out of bounds and finished that hole with an 11. Such a terrible start would have shaken the composure of almost any golfer. Not Pawloski. He bogied three more holes, then turned his game around and finished the first nine with 45 and then nailed the second nine holes with a 34.
One might think with those kinds of mental and physical skills that Pawloski has devoted his entire sporting life to golf, but that would be a mistake. Keegan is the eldest of three sons of Bob and Kelley Pawloski. Alec, 13, and Ethan, 11, both like to golf with their big brother, but they are both wrestlers and football players. So was Keegan. He played football, wrestled, and played baseball until a labrum tear in his shoulder in the eighth grade baseball season forced him to have surgery and to forget playing contact sports in high school.
When we spoke with Keegan he had just played 18 holes after school at Yankee Springs, where he has been a member for four years. His idea of a good time is to play 72 holes in a week-end and his mom claimed, “We can’t keep him off the course.” In spite of his love of the game, Pawloski is by no means a one dimensional person.
He has a lot friends and likes to spend time with them and his brothers at the lakeside home of his grandparents Gary and Lynn Biermacher. We have it on good authority that Lynn is a fantastic cook who even bakes homemade bread for Keegan and his crew. The Pawloski family are members of St Cyril’s Catholic Church, but Keegan has a great relationship with the youth group at Gun Lake Community Church. You can find him there most Friday and Sunday nights when it isn’t golf season. He enjoys helping out with the younger kids at the church and has taken several small trips with the group.
Keegan does well with his school work with a GPA in the neighborhood of 3.2. He enjoys History and really liked his CSI-type Criminalistics science class. He has not nailed down his post high school plans completely, but he does know he wants to study business in college. Several colleges in the area have been scouting his golf game, so there could be scholarship offers in his future.
When asked what he enjoys most about golf, Keegan could not point to just one part of the game. He did say that he likes getting better at it.
“It is sweet,” Pawloski concluded. “The harder you work and the more practice you put in, the better you get.”
No doubt those words combined with his proven work ethic are good news for coach Brewer and the Wildcats 2010 varsity golf season.
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