Being a good tennis player has made Jack Bergmeyer a better golfer.
The ups and downs that occur during his typical tennis match have helped the Lincoln Southeast High School senior mentally when a golf shot goes awry.
“In tennis, you don’t win every point in a match very often … there are lots of ups and downs,” explains Joe Schlegelmilch, head coach of the boys golf program at Southeast. “You have to be able to quickly recover mentally to be ready to play the next point.”
The adversity faced by Jack Bergmeyer the tennis player helps Jack Bergmeyer the golfer, said his golf coach.
“If he doesn’t hit a ball very well, misses a putt or has bad luck, Jack is able to move on quickly from the previous shot … he takes it one shot at a time, no matter the previous result,” said Schlegelmilch.
The fiery competitiveness Bergmeyer exhibits in both sports has contributed to his performance both on the courts and on the course:
• In tennis, he advanced all the way to the No. 1 singles final at the Class A state meet last fall before losing a three-set championship match, 2-6, 6-4, 3-6 to a Papillion-La Vista opponent. He helped the Knights finish third in the state meet’s final team standings, a half-point behind Lincoln East.
• In golf, he’s a two-time Class A state meet qualifier whose 84-83-167 earned a share of 43rd place in a 70-man field last spring at the Norfolk Country Club. Knights teammate Ty Crandon, who’s now playing on the college level at Doane, was Southeast’s other state-meet qualifier last spring.
Schlegelmilch likes what he’s seen of Bergmeyer’s competitiveness. “We have really seen that side of him the past couple of years in golf as he has gained confidence in his golf game,” the coach observed.
‘One shot at a time’
Bergmeyer is a disciplined student-athlete whose experience has led to a sharpened focus on the golf course.
“In golf, there’s a lot riding on every shot, so I’ve learned to improve my focus,” says Bergmeyer, who has assumed the role as the Knights’ team leader since Crandon’s absence. “In golf, I’ve learned that hitting a bad shot isn’t a reason to dwell on it. I’ve learned to take it one shot at a time. Every shot impacts your score.”
Bergmeyer considers himself a strong driver who manages to stay in the fairways. Experiences at the past two state meets have helped him become acclimated with the course in Norfolk, which has a narrow layout that demands accuracy off the tee.
Locally, the Knights team leader enjoys the layout of the Highlands Golf Course, which tends to play to the strengths of Bergmeyer’s game.
Although tennis is Bergmeyer’s main sport – and the one he hopes to play at the college level – his golf coach says he feels that more time on the course could elevate Bergmeyer’s golf game to the next level.
“He has the talent to do it,” said Schlegelmilch.
Bergmeyer is the latest in a long line of Lincoln Southeast student-athletes who have excelled in dual sports.
“There is a good partnership here between the coaches, and it has been very beneficial for both tennis and golf,” Schlegelmilch observed. “We have had excellent athletes who have had state tournament success in both sports.”