Grand Forks native Adam Van Raden, fresh off NDGA Stroke Play crown, takes next step in golf journey – Grand Forks Herald

GRAND FORKS – Winning tournaments, championships and many prep and collegiate highlights have been stepping stones in his golf career. Now Adam Van Raden from Grand Forks is getting ready to take the big leap.

After just a few more amateur tournaments, including the Bobcat North Dakota Open in August, he’s moving out to Scottsdale, Arizona, with his eyes set on a lifelong goal.

“One day, hopefully, I’ll be on TV and play on the PGA Tour,” he said. “So it’s time to lock in and become the player I want to be.”

Like any serious golfer, Van Raden is always looking to improve his game and can’t help but think about the shots that might have been left at Riverwood just a week ago during the 2023 NDGA Stroke Play Championship.

Van Raden, of course, won the title after posting back-to-back 71s for a final score of 215. He edged Scott Boehning by two strokes.

“To be honest, I didn’t have my best game with me,” he said. “But I got away with some shots and just kept grinding through. Got up and down a lot and made some really good pars and birdies when I could.”

Since Riverwood is a North Dakota course he is very used to, it may have helped him as one of the gradual changes Van Raden has needed to adjust to at the collegiate level and now as an amateur in the pursuit on professional status has been the length and grass of the track.

Grand Forks’ Adam Van Raden putst from the rim at the ASUN Conference Championship from Mobile, Ala. the 26th of April.

Courtesy: Cory Bush/Austin Peay Athletics

Van Raden played collegiately at Austin Peay, a member of the ASUN Conference in Clarksville, Tenn. With the geographic change to the southeast comes Bermuda grass, which required some strategic adjustments for Van Raden.

“The grass is very, very different. I had a lot of trouble adjusting to it when I first came over. It was especially tough around the greens. You had to play shots a little differently and use the bounce of the club more. Up here you can have a bit of a crooked edge more,” Van Raden said.

In addition to personal battles with treacherous golf courses, the competition kicked up a notch or two at the Division I level, requiring a strong mental fortitude.

“I’ve played a lot of tournament golf in my life and you just have to have the same approach to them all. Think that you can win every single one and believe in it,” said Van Raden. “There’s never really a day where there’s not a low score being shot, so it’s very difficult to win in college golf.”

While winning tournaments can be difficult, what stood out to Austin Peay head coach Robbie Wilson when he brought Van Raden in from Iowa, where Van Raden played at the junior college level, was his consistency.

As a senior last season with the Govs, Van Raden had a stroke average of just under 74 and finished with a team-best nine under par.

“He got better every year he played for us and it all came from the dedication to the finer details of the sport,” Wilson said.

It’s the same consistency Van Raden was known for as a student at Grand Forks’ Red River.

With Red River, he was a five-time all-state honoree whose poise really stood out in high-intensity tournaments. In the Class A state tournament, he ranked in the top three as an individual for three consecutive years and was a medalist in 2018.

He previously won the NDGA Stroke Play in 2018.

From Red River to now, Van Raden has always been a very good ball striker, and his consistency in this trait is what Wilson believes will separate him from other golfers in his pro pursuit.

“The overall consistency is what makes me think he’s ready. He got bigger and stronger while he was with us and went the distance, but I don’t think that’s what he wants to hang his hat on. His strengths will always be being a really good ball striker and being someone who will beat you by playing precision golf,” Wilson said.

No matter how far Van Raden goes in his career, his determination and dedication to doing this comes down to living his life for golf.

Van Raden has a passion for golf like few others, and Wilson agrees.

“I don’t think it’s something where he’s trying to play professionally because other people have told him he should or think he can,” he said. “I think he loves the game and has a passion for it. He believes the best is yet to come.”

Passion for the game affects not only the court for Van Raden, but also of it when you train. Always aware of the pressure of each tournament and how anyone can come up with a low score on any given day, he just wants to put himself in a position to do his best in any situation he finds himself in.

He may be going out on his own now, but he is still grateful to the people who have helped him along the way and still do. For Van Raden, there were too many people to name.

“All the coaches I’ve had. They’ve done so much for me growing up. And the Golf Center helps get me the equipment and everything I need,” he said.

Another group of guys also held out for him when they remembered what he will miss most from this period of his golfing life.

A group of teammates and friends, and the vessel that brought them across the country and closer together.

“I’ve always enjoyed the travel part of it. Getting in the van with the team and the guys, the long trips that might be a little too long sometimes. It’s always fun,” he said.

He’ll still travel, including a short hop to Fargo for the Bobcat on Aug. 25, but then he’ll land in Scottsdale, find a golf course to work on and start a new journey he’s been looking forward to all his life. life.

VanRaden_ASUNChamp2 7.13.23.jpeg

Former Red River golfer Adam Van Raden hits an approach shot at the ASUN Conference Championship from Mobile, Ala. the 26th of April.

Courtesy: Cory Bush/Austin Peay Athletics

Leave a Comment