Long-time Webster Area golf coach retires

Brian Lux has retired from coaching golf for the Webster Area Bearcats after running the school’s program 35 years. Last week, he talked about some of the highlights of his career.

Lux helped start the junior high golf program at Webster when he took on the head golf coach position in 1985. He’d already been teaching at the school for a few years. Originally from Aberdeen, Lux actually didn’t golf in high school himself. He was a trackster.

But he credits the love of the game being instilled in himself to his father who used to take Lux and his siblings golfing on Saturday mornings. He jokes that if he could go back, he would have done golf instead of track. But back then, he said golf was not as big of a sport.

In college is where Lux said his love of the game really began to develop, though. He said he and his college roommates would golf. After he graduated and began his teaching career at Webster then he would go with his friends from Aberdeen.

“It’s a maddening game,” he said. “If you let your emotions get to you, it can affect your performance. Your highs can’t get too high and your lows can’t get too low.”

Over the years, Lux said he learned some tricks of the trade, such as purposefully walking a little slower.

At Webster, Lux started out coaching both golf and track. As the administration learned how much he loved the game of golf, he received support for starting the junior high program and shifted his coaching focus solely to golf.

“The administration asked what I needed – we basically got clubs and golf balls,” he said.

During the 1980s, Lux said there was usually over 30 kids out for the program. He called the junior high program a “feeder program” that worked to teach kids the fundamentals of the game and get them started so they could work up to varsity.

“The biggest accomplishment, and heartache, was getting second in 2012 at the state golf tournament,” he said. He said that team was made up of his son Spencer Lux, Josh Hoven, Josh Gaikowski, Blake Wilkenson and Dylan Kirchmeier. With that team, Lux said the Bearcats were dominating the high school golf world. “It takes time and practice. Out of those five kids, they started early and they played all the time.”

Lux also said probably the best golfer he ever coached was Luke Johnson. He said that kid played every day – including in the winter. He would shovel the snow off a spot on the course just to be able to say he’d played every day.

“It’s like anything,” Lux said, “if you play enough, you’ll get good. With golf, it’s the mental part of the game. If you have any ability to swing the club, we can teach you. But kids have to realize things aren’t always going to go your way. It’s a tough game. Some kids are emotional.”

Lux said every golfer of his had in their golf bag a list of rules. Those include little reminders such as “slow down” and “one shot at a time.”

With full retirement, Lux said he’s excited about the idea to go play a round whenever he feels like it although he said he’ll also miss the kids. When he announced his retirement, he said students golf athletes reached out to him by text, telling him how much they’ll miss him.

“It’s hard to give up something when you have so much time invested,” Lux said of the program. “I always liked working with the kids. The hardest part is some of these kids have been with me since seventh grade. It will be tough.”

Lux’s biggest hope is that through the years he’s at least passed the love of the game on to his athletes. He said he counts those athletes as being his friends now, even after they’ve graduated and moved on in life.

“It makes me feel good to still have relationships with these kids,” he said. “Hopefully I’ve passed on the love of the game to these kids. I hope they’ll pass it on to their families.”

Lux also said he feels blessed that both his sons picked up the love of the game. He has a two-year-old granddaughter who already has her own set of plastic golf clubs and practicing her swings.

And for anyone curious, Lux said his personal best is a 65 on 18 holes. He said he scored that on the Webster course about 15 years ago.