It was a weekday afternoon and the practice range at Buffalo Hill Golf Club in Kalispell was lined with diehards hanging onto the fleeting season.
Logan Lindholm strolled up carrying his ordinary bag of Titleist clubs, the same ones he’s had for nearly a decade. As he walked past the row of players to the open patch of grass at the far end, the fraternity of collared shirts paused their swings.
“Hey there ‘Player of the Year,’” one man said.
“Logan, congrats on the summer,” another added.
Lindholm acknowledged each with a gracious, understated nod. Stoic like a pro.
The 31-year-old amateur from Kalispell dominated the state’s tournament circuit this summer. His crowning achievements were victories at two of the most competitive events around: the 76th annual Labor Day Tournament and the 27th Montana State Men’s Mid-Amateur Tournament. He also won the club championships at Village Greens and Buffalo Hill. When he wasn’t winning, he placed near the top of the leaderboard at several other high-caliber events, including the 76th annual Fourth of July Tournament at Whitefish Lake Golf Club, which he led for two days before finishing fourth in a field of 200 players that includes top collegians and amateurs from throughout the Pacific Northwest.
“Everything just went right. Lightning in a bottle,” he said, trying to explain his high level of success in his typical low-key fashion.
Golf, as the saying goes, is 90 percent mental. Logan Lindholm, as his peers say, is 100 percent cool, calm and collected.
He’s from the everyman mold of golf pro Jason Dufner; a laid-back fairway nomad who’s found an enviable lifestyle as a professional hobby golfer. The sport is his passion and he revels in it year-round, flying south in the winter to work and play as a caddy in California before migrating home for the short yet action-packed golf season in Montana, where he works at Iron Horse and plays almost daily.
“It’s the best. Endless summers, just playing on the best golf courses and following the sun,” the 2001 Flathead High graduate said.
After years of helping others find the cup and achieving occasional success on his own, Lindholm this summer reached a new level of success as one of the best amateurs in Montana.
Both the Labor Day and Mid-Am events were on his local stomping ground — Buffalo Hill — but home field advantage didn’t negate the level of talent that teed off from across the state.
In true Logan fashion, he built an early lead in the first round and held on as the talented field chased his score. Both major tournaments showed him to be money in the clutch. He won the Labor Day event for the second consecutive year. At the Mid-Amateur tournament in mid-August, Lindholm held off the two-time champ, Chris McConnell of Lewistown, and rolled to an 8-stroke victory.
“He’s just so calm. It’s like he’s not even there,” said Jess Roper, the club manager at Village Greens and a former teammate of Lindholm’s at Flathead High.
“He’s always been that mellow, chill kid who nothing seemed to affect him. He had all those leads going into those tournaments and he just cruised-controlled on the way in. It was no contest.”
So now what? Does the successful streak steer him toward higher aspirations? Dreams of becoming a professional?
Not so fast.
“If you take your hobby and make it into your job, that would change everything,” he said. “That’s one reason why I haven’t tried going pro. I like golf as a hobby. I don’t want to turn it into my profession, too.”
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