Siblings earn high marks for U golf

Tim Nichols

The two strawberry blond people sat down in their respective chairs and smiled politely. The man and woman talked and laughed when asked about their respective lives and games. Both had a coolness, almost cockiness, that grabs you and exclaims, “You will listen to what I have to say.”
It’s a demeanor that is intimidating in an interview, and potentially deadly on a golf course.
Brother and sister Adam and Kristin Dooley of Albany, Minn., are hoping to leave individual and family impressions on the Gophers men’s and women’s golf teams. The Dooleys’ skills are crafts that have been refined and retooled throughout their years together. It all started with just helping out Dad, though.
“One of things I’ve always remembered is dropping my ball by Dad’s drive when I was little,” said Kristin, who is redshirting this season as a freshman. “He’s angled us toward other people that have helped.”
One of the people that has angled Adam’s golf game is former Albany High School golf coach Pete Herges.
“Our high school golf coach was a major influence. He’s retired now, and I couldn’t of asked for a better high school coach,” Adam, a junior, said. “A lot of the stuff I did I think I did for him. He’s such a good friend.”
Kristin is also close to Herges as a golf student and a friend.
“We took a family trip over Christmas to Phoenix to golf. A big plus was to see Pete because he’s down there during the winter,” Kristin said. “I’ve talked to him on the phone when he is in Phoenix.”
Golf was only one of many sporting loves in their lives, though. In addition to golf, Adam was an all-stater in football and basketball. He was also named top male athlete at Albany High School. Kristin was also a three-sport athlete, lettering in basketball and volleyball as well as golf.
The ability to excel at several different sports was a big plus for Kristin in the eyes of her head coach.
“I like to seek out well-rounded, well-developed athletes,” Gophers coach Kathy Williams said. “They adapt quicker to adjustments than people who just played golf in high school.”
Adam and Kristin are not just multi-gifted athletes, they are impressive students. Adam was an academic all-state selection for two years in Albany, while Kristin was the senior class president.
Mental strength is something that normally takes golfers years to develop, but the Dooleys seemingly have been born with the assurance that their individual games, and their teams, are the best.
“There is no reason why we should lose to any of those Big Ten teams,” Adam said. “Going into the Big Tens, we expect to win. And in the regionals, we expect to be in nationals.”
Still, Adam has had to make some adjustments in order to build on his already confident persona.
Men’s assistant coach Brad James said Adam has become a different golfer in the last six months.
“Dooley has definitely stepped up his game to another level,” James said. “His attitude around everyone here — he feels like he is better than everyone here. In the last six months, he’s a lot more confident, just the way he walks and the way he carries himself.”
Adam is in his fourth year on the team, with one more year of eligibility, after being a medical redshirt 1995-96. He was a walk-on to the golf team in 1994-95 and only played in two tournaments in his first two years. With his position on the team now solidified, his game has taken off to a new level.
Kristin, however, is another story. She was offered a full golf scholarship to Division II Texas Lutheran University, but she opted for Minnesota.
The decision to redshirt this year was hers, however, and was not determined by an injury. She has the ability to start some tournaments now, but she decided to work on her game so that she will be in all the tournaments next year.
“I came down with the thought in my head that, Yeah, redshirting is a possibility, but only if I decide it and only if I feel that I needed it.’ And when I decided to redshirt, I played a pretty good round, so it was all positive for me. I felt that I needed more work,” Kristin said.
“And Adam wanted me to,” she joked.
Williams also agreed and is positive about Kristin’s decision.
“If I had a glass ball in front of me, I see her starting in 50 percent of the tournaments this year. Next year I see her starting most of them. She’s very dedicated. I see a lot of self-confidence in her,” Williams said.
It seems to run in the family.