Sport Spotlight: Kane Lauterman

Jenna Dahlin

While most golfers head home after a long match, senior Kane Lauterman stays at the range to hit more balls, correcting his errors from the day’s match.

Lauterman, a four-year varsity athlete, quickly climbed to the top of the Marin County Athletic League (MCAL), winning Player of the Year as just a sophomore. Leading both his team and his league, Lauterman shot three under par for a score of 69 in the final to win Player of the Year. Lauterman has been developing his swing since he was young.

“From the time I was three, I always had a golf club in my hands. It’s such a fickle sport. It’s so hard to master, and that’s something that hooked me from a young age,” Lauterman said.

His pursuit of golf from early on was sparked by one of Lauterman’s role models, professional golfer Rickie Fowler. 

“I love the way [Fowler] carries himself on the golf course. His swing is something I try to replicate in my own game. He is a big reason I wanted to play golf,” Lauterman said. 

Warming up before a match against San Rafael, Lauterman strikes balls at Peacock Gap Golf Club.

Since then, Lauterman has become a dominant competitor on the course and a major contributor toward Redwood’s consecutive MCAL championship titles in 2018 and 2019.

Lauterman has a +0.4 handicap, meaning that on average, he golfs 0.4 strokes over par. To put this in perspective, the average male golfer has a +14.3 handicap, or an average of 14.3 strokes over par, according to the Golf Handicap and Information Network. In 2019, Lauterman won the East Bay Junior Championship, shooting two under par. In the tournament, of the eight par three holes, Lauterman had six pars and two birdies. 

Dean Rider, a first-year Redwood coach and former University of California Berkeley golfer, said that Lauterman has developed an excellent swing; however, it is his mentality toward the sport that allows him to thrive. 

“He has the right mental attitude about the game. When he hits a bad shot he doesn’t throw his clubs or blow up. He accepts the bad break and goes on,” Rider said. “That’s a quality many people never learn.”

Like Rider, senior Jake Blum, a childhood friend of Lauterman’s and a four-year varsity golfer, sees Lauterman’s tenacious attributes as a contributor to his success in golf. 

“He has a remarkable work ethic. He goes straight to the range after the round is over to try and fix his mistakes,” Blum said. “The way he handles himself on the course sets him apart. He really plays a different game than most kids.”

Coming into this season as captain, Lauterman looks to sustain Redwood’s commanding presence to earn a third straight pennant and advance beyond the North Coast Section (NCS). 

“It’s been a dream of mine for our team to qualify for Norcal. Since I’ve been playing for Redwood, we’ve never made it past NCS so it would be [memorable] to lead my team there,” Lauterman said. 

Lauterman has placed on the MCAL All Team since his freshman year.

While Lauterman’s individual game sets him apart from other players in MCAL, his strengths speak through his supportive presence and leadership qualities on Redwood’s team. According to Blum, Lauterman has set a precedent for the positive environment cultivated on the team this season. 

“[Lauterman] is obviously very supportive. He won’t belittle you for shooting a [bad] score. He will always support you. He’s a great teammate. He really brings us all together as a captain,” Blum said. 

According to Rider, despite the individual nature of golf, Lauterman was chosen to be captain because of his ability to unify the team.

“It’s difficult to make everyone feel a part of the team especially when only six of the 12 [golfers] play in the match. He’s been helpful in incorporating everyone into the team,” Rider said. “He’s a natural leader, which is why I made him captain.” 

According to Lauterman, perfecting the sport of golf requires hours of dedication, which is why he practices four to five days a week at the Meadow Club and at The Olympic Club on weekends. Through academic and athletic achievements as well as over 30 hours of community service, Lauterman was awarded a merit membership at the Meadow club gaining perks and steeply reduced membership costs. 

“I’m constantly thinking ‘I should have done this’ or ‘I could have done that better.’ It makes me want to practice and do it again. It’s about perfecting the craft,” Lauterman said. 

Lauterman has received numerous offers from Division II and Division III schools; however, he is considering pursuing golf as a walk-on at larger Division I universities such as at the University of Indiana or University of Oregon.