Focused Dahl making all the right shots

Rochester John Marshall senior Brady Dahl always has possessed a smooth, beautiful golf swing.

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John Marshall senior Brady Dahl watches his tee shot on the fourth hole Wednesday afternoon during the 40th annual Mayo Invitational at Eastwood Golf Course. Dahl is having an incredible season, and that continued Wednesday as he fired 38 and finished second overall. Cold temperatures, rain and wind made for tough playing conditions, and the meet was called after nine holes. More photos from this meet are available at

Rochester John Marshall senior Brady Dahl always has possessed a smooth, beautiful golf swing.

His natural ability on the golf course was evident from the first time he cracked the varsity lineup for the Rockets, way back when Dahl was in eighth grade.

But despite the smooth stroke, Dahl never has been able to get over the hump and consistently post low scores.

Until this year.

Entering Wednesday's 40th annual Mayo Invitational, Dahl had claimed medalist honors in three consecutive meets.


"That just doesn't happen with the competition that we face," JM coach Dwight Miller said.

Dahl accomplished the feat by firing 77 at Soldiers Field, 76 at Northern Hills and 76 at Somerby Golf Club.

He was back at it Wednesday, placing second overall at the rain-shortened Mayo Invite with a round of 38.

So what's changed for Dahl since last season when his stroke average was greater than 80? He said it's 100 percent mental.

Dahl's smooth swing and strong core allow him to consistently bomb the ball more than 300 yards off the tee. His iron play lacked consistency, but above all else, his mental game needed an overhaul.

Dahl said he's approaching the game much differently this season.

"I made maybe one little swing change, but not much; it's really been my mental game, that's the biggest improvement," Dahl said. "Last season, I'd be playing well and then I'd fall apart on the last two or three holes. I would just lose focus. I'm staying focused all the way through the round this year."

Miller said he always knew Dahl had the ability to be an elite player.


"You could see early on he had a great swing," Miller said. "But he would always seem to struggle late in rounds. That's changed. I think his swing is more controlled this year, too. I feel like his backswing is a little shorter, and that's giving him more control."

Dahl is a rarity in today's game. He did not come from a family of golfers. Dahl is mostly self-taught, though he did receive a few tips last season from Eastwood Golf Course head pro Jeff Gorman, who's a great supporter of all area golf programs.

"When I got into golf, it was mostly YouTube videos that I learned from," Dahl said. "A lot of it came naturally."

Hockey has definitely helped, Dahl said. "Hockey has helped with distance, allowing me to get through the ball," he said.

Dahl was a standout for the JM boys hockey team, and he hopes to play junior hockey in the North American Hockey League next fall. If that doesn't materialize, he plans to golf at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter.

Before that, though, Dahl would like to qualify for his first ever Class AAA state meet.

"That's always been my goal," he said.

Miller believes it's certainly within reach for his senior standout.


"He's worked so hard, so it would be rewarding for him, and it'd make me really happy to see him get there this year," Miller said. "Brady is always playing golf. He put in the time, and he's been a great leader for our program. It's been great seeing him do so well this season; he's earned it."

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