BOYS GOLF | SEASON PREVIEW | ILLIANA CHRISTIAN'S JONATHAN ZANDSTRA

Illiana Christian golfer Jonathan Zandstra fine tunes his game

2011-08-17T22:00:00Z 2013-03-12T20:08:58Z Illiana Christian golfer Jonathan Zandstra fine tunes his gameBy Christopher Breach Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
August 17, 2011 10:00 pm  • 

Jonathan Zandstra is a natural athlete with one of those easy lefty swings you can envy.

It was easy for him to pick up the game of golf after watching his dad, Chuck, play the game the Illiana Christian junior loves.

"I live on a course, so I can play all the time," said Zandstra, who started swinging a club when he was 5 years old. "I go out at night if I can't go during the day and just chip and putt."

Zandstra's game hasn't suffered with the 10th green of the Shorewood Country Club is in his back yard. He began swinging a golf club, baseball bat or stick even before his parents, Chuck and Linda, purchased their current house in Schererville 12 years ago.

It's not uncommon for Jonathan, his 13-year-old brother, Matt, and Chuck to play the Shorewood course past dusk on summer evenings.

Chuck works for Sara Lee Corp. in Downers Grove in the finance department, and the three hit the fairways shortly after he arrives home.

“Matt, I and Jonathan will play a lot in the back yard,” Chuck Zandstra said.

Chuck Zandstra said he doesn’t feel bad if he shoots a 39 for nine holes, and Matt and Jonathan each beat him by two or three strokes.

 

Jonathan Zandstra enters his third season on varsity, and he made it downstate as an individual for the Vikings as a sophomore.

"He worked hard on improving his game over the summer," Illiana coach Jack Rudenga said of Zandstra. "He played in a number of tournaments, and he's coming into the season tougher."

Rudenga believes Zandstra could have a standout junior campaign.

"He's confident, and his short game is strong," Rudenga said. "I think he manages the course well."

Zandstra averages in the mid-70s and has a 4 handicap, and he believes the team will do even better this year.

"We're really excited," he said. "We had a good team last year, and we can go downstate this year. We missed last year by just a couple strokes."

Zandstra said his dad has helped fine tune his game, transforming a grip-and-rip-it mentality into a more intellectual approach.

"He tells me not to think too far ahead," Jonathan said. "Just focus on one hole at a time. Don't get too high on your good shots or too low on the bad shots."

"As he got older, he improved on his length, hitting it off the tee 320 yards," Chuck added. "I told him, why not hit it 230 yards onto the fairway and set up a shot to the green."

 

 

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