Girls Golf: Lake City coach headed to Hall of FameLAKE CITY — As a kid growing up in Staples, Minn., Steve Randgaard spent his summer vacations on the golf course, often all day until his parents came home from work to pick him up.
By: Nick Gerhardt, The Republican Eagle
LAKE CITY — As a kid growing up in Staples, Minn., Steve Randgaard spent his summer vacations on the golf course, often all day until his parents came home from work to pick him up.
For the past 26 years he’s been doing much of the same as the girls golf head coach at Lake City. But now he has a hall of fame resume.
Randgaard was selected for induction into the Minnesota High School Golf Coaches Hall of Fame. His ceremony will be June 11 at the Park Ballroom in New Prague.
”It was a passion for me,” Randgaard said. ”I try to instill that in the players.”
Randgaard started coaching in Lake City in 1987. In 1988 he took over the boys program and coached both teams through 2009.
In that time his girls team has gone to state three times and finished runners-up in 2006. Holly Duncan, a five-time state tournament participate, won back-to-back state titles in 1991 and 1992.
The boys team has six state tournament appearances and has finished runners-up three times. Randgaard guided the boys to three of those appearances and one runners-up finish.
Randgaard has transferred the knowledge he learned about the game of golf from his childhood to players growing up in Lake City for nearly three decades. He created a junior golf program early into the start of his coaching career and the program has paid dividends.
“A lot of them are beginners and by the time they’re done they’re pretty good golfers,” Red Wing girls golf head coach Mark Herzog said. “They’re always competitive. They’re always really nice kids and I think that has a lot to do with how Steve runs his program.”
Herzog and Randgaard have gotten to know each other through the course of their coaching careers. Before moving up to Class 3A this year, the Wingers and Tigers competed routinely for the Section 1AA title. Lake City finished second to Red Wing four consecutive years at one point. Red Wing went on to finish second in state those years.
If the Tigers would have gotten past the Wingers last season, Herzog said they could have finished in the top three at state.
“We’ve had some really good years the last few years and they’ve had some really great teams, too,” Herzog said.
Randgaard called himself the hard-luck kid when it came with the girls team and the numerous second-place finishes at the section meet through the years. For years his teams competed against Caledonia but didn’t beat the Warriors until 1999 for the first time.
“Section one has always been real tough,” Randgaard said.
Randgaard has enjoyed the success in 26 years, but he finds the improvement he sees in players just as rewarding.
“I enjoy seeing the kids improve every year,” Randgaard said.
Randgaard, a fifth-grade teacher at Lake City, exhibits the enthusiasm of a first-year coach whether it’s working with a varsity player or a first-year player. He shows interest in each player’s game and knows what kind of strides a player makes day to day.
He remains a student of the game, attending clinics annually and reading whatever he can get his hands on about the game. Golf lends itself to a certain amount studying throughout a lifetime and Randgaard pursues more knowledge about the game passionately.
Randgaard has studied the mannerisms of other coaches for years and used the information to improve his coaching. Establishing an active junior program was just one of those concepts Randgaard picked up.
Still, when Randgaard received the letter of induction to the hall of fame he needed to do a double take.
”It was a pleasant surprise,” Randgaard said.