Honsey’s skill outweighed only by love of the game

By Greg Peterson

Post-Bulletin, Rochester MN

That kid from Stewartville can really play.

Summer of 1981, this writer’s first foray to Rochester, for a junior golf tournament at Rochester Golf & Country Club. The kid from Stewartville I was paired with? Dave Honsey. His game made an impression. Smooth swing, nice tempo.

His game is still making an impression.


Best round of golf I saw last year? Easy, Honsey’s par round of 72 in the Somerby club tournament, which he won. Oh, by the way, his 72 was from the tips, more than 7,200 yards with the pins all tucked. His ball was down the middle and at the flag all day.

But playing a round of golf with Honsey, it’s not the long, straight drives or the accurate iron shots you’ll remember. It’s the smile. This guy simply loves golf.

"I think I got it from my grandpa," said Honsey, an English teacher at Stewartville High School. "Grandpa (Ruben Hanson) retired, quit fishing and started golfing. I used to go down to Northwood, Iowa, for a couple weeks every summer. We’d go over to a nine-hole course in Manly. One day we played nine rounds, 81 holes. We walked all the way."

With Grandpa Ruben’s love of the game firmly planted, Honsey points to another influential figure in his early golfing days. "Blaine Meyer was a wonderful, wonderful man. He owned Willow Greens Golf Course, a par 29 course in the middle of Stewartville. Blaine taught myself and a dozen other kids how to play."

"He taught us to hit a fade, to keep it in play and chip and putt."

Meyer’s teaching was so successful that Honsey and his Stewartville golf buddies qualified for the state tournament twice, in 1982 and 1983. The Tigers finished second in 1983.

Life has come full circle for Honsey. The 1987 Winona State University grad spent eight years teaching high school English in Ridgecrest, Calif., before moving back home to Stewartville in 1995 with wife Sue to raise their two kids, Blake (16) and Blair (13). Both young Honseys play varsity golf for the Tigers. After two years coaching the junior high golf team, Dave now coaches Blair and the Stewartville girls team.

"I literally just teach the kids the same things Blaine Meyer taught us 30 years ago, with a little bit of Jeff Gorman thrown in there," Honsey said.


Honsey credits Gorman, head pro at Eastwood Golf Course, with fixing his game five years ago.

"I was fighting a duck hook. Jeff helped me tremendously. It really was transformational for me. I started to enjoy the game more," Honsey said.

And the joys of sharing golf with his kids?

"It’s been wonderful. I feel so blessed," Honsey said. "Not to sound corny, but I think golf teaches you so much about yourself, the world, about humility. I’m just happy they will always have that."

Greg Peterson is a six-time Rochester All-City golf champion and a freelance writer for the Post-Bulletin.

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