WEB EXCLUSIVE: LLHS golfer Kerr looks to future after winning district title
ISLETA PUEBLO –Los Lunas golfer Colby Kerr’s experience shows through, even when he’s not swinging the sticks.
For instance, take the Tigers’ practice on Thursday, May 8, just days before the Class 4A State Golf Tournament.
The entire team is hitting tee shots when a squall comes through the Isleta Eagle Golf Course, complete with pea sized hail. Kerr’s teammates keep hitting until the hail gets so bad we all duck behind a utility shed. We’re all brushing hail out off our shirts for minutes afterward.
Kerr, however, comes back, as though nothing happened. His orange polo shirt and slacks are untouched.
It’s not hard to imagine the senior as unsullied and unflappable on Monday, May 5, when he led the Tigers to the District 6-4A team title at the Coyote del Malpais Gold Course in Grants. Kerr himself captured the individual title that day as well, out-dueling Belen senior Martin Campbell, who he ultimately beat by three strokes, 72-75.
“It was just a good day I guess,” Kerr said modestly. “I was hitting the ball good, putting good.”
The two were playing neck and neck al l the way. Kerr said he felt a shift in his favor as they finished up the first nine holes of the round.
“Going on to the front, I had him by three or four (strokes),” Kerr recalled. “I was just trying to hold the lead there. He came back a couple of times and we were about even then on hole six, I got back up on him.
“I was pretty confident at that point. All I had to do was par out on him in the closing holes and I was able to do that,” he said.
Kerr said the win was gratifying.
“After all the work, (winning district) was a really good feeling,” he said.
Kerr was not on a district championship-type trajectory midway through the season. But with a lot of work as well as some extra encouragement from LLHS coach Marty Zeller, Kerr found his way to success.
“I slowed my swing down a lot,” he said “I was over-swinging a lot. So I slowed down, started getting more underneath the ball. (Then) I just started hitting with more confidence because I knew I could place the ball wherever I needed to.”
That’s confidence and ability is exactly what put Kerr in a position to win at the district tournament.
“It was just a matter of Colby stepping up at right time,” Zeller said. “A famous coach once said ‘You have to be able to perform under pressure. That’s Colby.
“And I really believe the best is yet to come for him,” said Zeller.
Kerr is only three years into his golf career. He said he came told golf through bowling.
“I had a friend who said I should golf,” he said. “I told him if he did bowling, I’d try golf. That’s how I got started and I’ve been going ever since.”
Kerr also played baseball, but dropped both bowling and baseball to concentrate on golf.
And with the support of his parents, Bill and Terry Kerr of Los Lunas, the Los Lunas native will now go on to New Mexico State, where he hopes to walk on the golf squad.
And from there, potentially the seniors says he could end up in the professional ranks.
“I haven’t had any help with swing coaches, so maybe once I get swing coach I can start getting lower scores and go from there,” Kerr said. “But yeah, being a professional golfer is something I’ve thought about in the future.”