Siblings score hole in one
Troy's own Halle and Michael Hauer are becoming local golf icons.
Try to golf 18 holes and get under 85 for an overall score -- now imagine being a 16 year-old girl or a 10 year-old boy and doing that.
Michael Hauer, 10, and Halle Hauer, 16, are golfers from the Troy township area. Michael will be in fifth grade at Westside Elementary School, in the fall and Halle will be a junior at River Falls High School.
Michael has loved golf since receiving his first clubs from the Easter Bunny at 1 year-old. At age 6, Michael competed in his first tournament in St. Croix Valley against the 10-12 year old age group.
Michael is ranked No. 9 in the world as a junior golfer as of last year, 2011. All of his scores have been below 80 and has only lost two balls and taken two penalty shots.
"He's very accurate," Mike Hauer, father of Michael and Halle said. "He really believes in himself and that is important to the game."
Michael keeps a level head when playing in minor tournaments to big tournaments across the country.
"It might sound weird, but for a time I looked up to Michael," Halle said. "He makes me want to play like him mentally."
With big sister looking up to him, Michael strives under pressure. Even at such a young age, Michael has learned to "tune out" any heckling from his opponents and just play his game.
"If I have a bad shot, I take seven steps and forget about it," Michael said. "I try not to listen to what the other guys say to me on the course."
Michael just returned from the Callaway Junior Worlds Golf tournament in San Diego, Calif. He got a hole in one during the tournament. In the history of the Callaway Junior Worlds tournament, Michael is one of only three golfers to accomplish this in the 10-12 age bracket.
At the Callaway Junior Worlds tournament, there are kids from all around the world that compete -- about 115 golfers. Michael's archenemy is a golfer from Australia on the course but off, one of Michael's good friends.
While on the course, Michael's strategy is measuring up his players. He monopolizes on the momentum of the game, Mike said.
For the women's side, sister Halle is ranked No. 4 in the Minnesota PGA. Halle plays in Plantation Tour Tournaments throughout the country and is ranked in the top 10 for points in the 15-19 age group.
One of Halle's goals is to obtain a golf scholarship. She plays for the River Falls High Schools women's golf team and enjoys playing on a team rather individually like her brother.
"I put my heart and soul into golf," Halle said. "It is a lot more intense playing on a team with extra pressure but it is a lot of fun."
While in last season's sectionals, Halle really leaned on her team.
"My coach came up to me and asked what I shot," Halle said. "I said '82' and my coach said 'You might have won the tournament.'"
As it turned out, Halle was tied for first and had a playoff with the girl she tied. At tee-off, Halle's shot went into the woods and she thought it was over. Her opponent shot and it went straight onto the fairway.
Halle made her second shot and chipped onto the green. Her opponent choked on her second shot and Halle won the hole.
"My whole team ran up to me when I got it in and we all started to cry," Halle said. "That was the greatest team memory."
Halle started playing golf at 11 years old. Her parents pushed her towards the sport.
"When I started playing school golf is when I really started to enjoy playing more," Halle said.
Halle has struggled with the game on a mental level versus the skill level. However, with more practice, determination and support from her family, she has improved greatly.
"She sets good examples for me," Michael said. "She practices more and I like how she has gotten better."
"I am not consistent mentally and I am starting to realize that I can do it mentally," Halle said. "That's what Michael does."
Golf for these two siblings has brought them closer together competitively and mentally. Michael and Halle know that they can lean on anyone in their family to push one another to always do better.
"It is fun and we do have fun together as a family," Mike said.
The Hauer family travels by car to a lot of the tournaments and their road trips are the best part of a tournament. Whether it's stopping every hour for Michael or having their GPS take them to some scary places, there is never a dull moment.
However, golfing and traveling costs money. The Hauer's spend about $20-25,000 a year for both of their children.
With so much invested into Michael and Halle, quitting is not something that Mike sees as a possibility. But if they did quit, Mike and Angela Hauer, mom, would support their every endeavor.
"We actually joke about quitting a lot," Halle said. "I would be shocked if they quite," Mike said. "Yeah, dad shocking us," Michael said followed by laughter.
Golf is a year-round sport for the Hauer's, this might sound surprising, especially in Wisconsin. During the winter months, Michael and Halle practice at the White Bear Lake golf dome and travel a lot to play in tournaments.
"They miss a lot of school and get behind in classes," Mike said. "But they learn to balance their time and still maintain good grades."
Time allotted to golf not only affects Michael and Halle, but also Mike and Angela. Mike owns a construction company called Guardian Construction and Angela is the manager of Keller Williams Premier Realty that oversees offices in Woodbury, Minn.; Stillwater, Minn.; and New Richmond.
"The only hard thing is that I am unfortunately not able to travel as much with the kids due to my work commitment," Angela said. "I am always able to get off for their larger tournaments as my employer here and previously, at the Sheraton Woodbury, have been very gracious in allowing me the time off."
"Mom is very proud of them and it's hard for her not to be at the tournaments," Mike said.
No matter what is happening on or off the golf course, Michael and Halle appreciate everything their parents are doing for them.
"I wouldn't be the golfer or person that I am today if it wasn't for the people helping me," Halle said. "My parents are a big part of that."
Michael is preparing for his next big tournament, U.S. Kids Junior Worlds, by playing in a series of Minnesota PGA tournaments in the next few weeks. Halle is looking forward to working on her game for the upcoming 2012-2013 RFHS women's golf season and getting to the State Tournament.