Home Features Michael Holmstrom: A freshman golfer who drove his way onto the varsity...

Michael Holmstrom: A freshman golfer who drove his way onto the varsity team

Image of Michael Holmstrom hitting out of the sand bunker at a golf course
Image Credits: Jeff Haynes

Editor’s Note: Brady Monahan, who is on the varsity golf team, is co-Editor-in-Chief, but was not involved in the writing, reporting, or editing of this story.

Freshman Michael Holmstrom is a student-athlete swinging into his high school career with a great start: a spot on the varsity golf team and impressive scores to match. For the Illinois Junior Golf Association’s (IJGA) Mid-American Junior Golf Tour, Holmstrom participated in six events and nine rounds, finishing in the Top 10 twice, and Top 25 three times.

Surprisingly, golf wasn’t always a hobby for Holmstrom, and he discovered it by accident.

“I started during COVID. I was at house, and we were bored. He had some clubs, and we started messing around around the yard, and then I kind of enjoyed it, so I played with my dad in the yard,” Holmstrom says. “Finally, I convinced my dad to take me to a range, and I started hitting actual golf balls, and it was like, ‘OK, I actually really like this.’ Ever since then, I’ve been playing every day.”

After realizing his love for the sport, Holmstrom meets three-year senior varsity golf player Ty Ahrens at an indoor golf simulator.

“I first met him actually at my job…and he came in one day and I got to know him saw him wearing an Oswego’s Panther shirt and kind of started talking to him about how he was going to be in the season and if he was going to try out or not,” Ahrens says.

Ahrens knew of Holmstrom in December of 2021 but wasn’t very close to him until the 2022-2023 season.

“Now I take him to pretty much every practice, to every away match that we need to have a ride for,” Ahrens says.

Holmstrom started his first year of high school strong at tryouts and he feels he’s playing the best he ever has. That’s not without a few setbacks along the way. 

“I’ve always made progress I feel like every time I play,” Holmstrom says. “There have been times where I can shoot 70s and low 80s, and then there have been times where I’ve been struggling, and I work my way back up.”

Ahrens attributes Holstrom’s progress to the time he puts into the sport.

“He’s working during the winter season, which is the hardest time to get motivated for golf because you start hitting into a screen,” Ahrens says.  

Holmstrom dedicates not only his winters to indoor golf simulator screens but his summers on an actual golf course to consistently build his skills.

“Mike is definitely hardworking, he’s put in his time throughout the summer, he did some (IJGA) tournaments which is kind of life travel golf,” Ahrens says. “He works at FoxBend as well and he goes there, practices there pretty much every day during the summer.”

Even with the improvement Michael sees within himself, every day isn’t a constant success and there are some bad hits here and there.

“There just been times where in the game of golf you just can’t hit a ball for your life some days or you feel you’re doing the same thing you usually do and it just doesn’t work,” Holmstrom says. “There so many YouTube videos online to figure out what your problem is and recording yourself and making smooth changes.”

This season, Michael isn’t the only one with high aspirations, with a diverse varsity team made up of five seniors, three juniors, two sophomores, and one freshman.

“It’s looking good for the program, we got some other good besides Michael on the Varsity team that have been putting up good numbers so he kind of brought in this new light of we have a chance to make it far this season,” Ahrens says. 

With four years ahead of him, Holmstrom already has goals for the future. Not only for himself but for the team as well.

“For the team, I want us to win Conference, but for myself, I just want to be that No. 2 guy on the team. Ty’s our No. 1 guy; I’m the No. 2,” Holmstrom says. “I just want to be that solid score that every time I come in after the round, coach asks, ‘what’s the score?’ that it’s a solid number that’s going to count for the team.”

Ahrens feels Michael brings more to the team than just his numbers and has set a new tone for the team.

“He brings this kind of new hope… after these past few years, I’ve been a three-year varsity athlete and I’ve seen good guys come and go,” Ahrens says. 

Even without knowing him for very long, Ahrens can still appreciate how much Michael shows character on and off of the course and puts effort into their team.

“He’s been super nice when I drive him, he’s always ‘thank you’, ‘thank you so much’, he’s just very polite and he’s a blast to play with him on the golf course,” Ahrens says. 

As freshman and senior, Holmstrom and Ahrens still have the same goals: to give their best efforts to golf for their first and last years at OHS.

“My hope is get through sectionals; sectionals is at our home course this year so hopefully we can make it out as a team and go to state,” Ahrens says. 

Something unique about Ahrens’ relationship with Holmstrom is the opportunity to share his four-year experience with him, whether that be about school or golf.

“It’s really cool to share what I’ve learned on the course too, on and off the course, just to help him shape himself to get ready for the next three years of his high school career,” Ahrens says.

With this being the final season for varsity seniors, such as Ahrens, Holmstrom has to carry out their legacy. And with that, Holmstrom keeps a positive attitude toward his future here at OHS.

“I’m just loving playing golf for Oswego, I’ve been enjoying it,” Holmstrom says. “I’m looking forward to the next four years of this.”

+ posts

My name is Trinity Heard, I am a Senior at Oswego High School, and this is my second year writing for 42Fifty. I am very excited to continue working with the team and help other learn more about journalism. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with friends and family, baking, and editing. I also am a part of the Student Council as President and work as a crew member at Culvers. I look forward to being involved in 42Fifty as a managing editor for this year.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.