(January 30, 2024) – Golf is a game that connects generations. Parents to children and grandparents to grandchildren. It allows generations across countless decades to speak the same language and share experiences and memories that will last a lifetime.
Last summer as play commenced at the 54th Borck Junior at The Patterson Club one player-caddie tandem stood out. Striding down the fairways was 14-year-old Luke Hoglund and right next to him with a bag slung over his shoulder was his 75-year-old grandfather Dan Keane.
“For me, it means the world to be able to share this experience with Luke. It is the highlight of my summer,” Keane who has played in the Connecticut Amateur, New England Amateur, and British Amateur expressed. “Just being able to walk the fairways with Luke and watch him mature. Golf is an unbelievable game. It is unlike any other sport. You can almost see a young person grow as you go through a match.”
The Borck Junior partnership began four years ago when 10-year-old Luke missed the cut with a 93 at Brooklawn Country Club. Since his first appearance in the Borck Junior Luke, now a freshman at Fairfield Prep and a member of the golf team, has only seen his results improve. In 2021 at Silver Spring Country Club Luke reached match play for the first time and then in 2023 at The Patterson Club, he fired a 1-under 70 to earn the second seed in match play where he reached the quarterfinals.
However, for Dan sharing these experiences with Luke has an even deeper meaning. Dan, now a member of the Country Club of Fairfield, grew up in the 1950s and 1960s at Brooklawn Country Club and played countless rounds with Jay Borck.
Each year, the Borck Junior is held in memory of Jay Borck, a young golfer who died of a cerebral hemorrhage in 1968 at the age of 16.
“Jay was really a great guy and he was just hitting his stride when he got to high school,” Keane said. “Believe it or not I was at the club (just before he passed away) and I was talking to him in the pro shop because I was on my way back to college and I was packing my golf clubs. During that conversation, we were saying, ‘ok when I come back for Thanksgiving we will play another round if the weather is good.’ Then by the time I got to school in Washington DC, my mother had called me and said that he had passed away basically in the pro shop.”
The Borck Junior was established in 1970 and when Luke began showing an interest in golf Dan would tell him that when he was old enough he should play in the Borck Junior.
“This tournament is one of the staples of my summer,” Luke Hoglund said. “It is one of the tournaments I mark my calendar for. It is crazy that (my grandpa) knew Jay so well and that now he is caddying for me. It is unbelievable.”
Each year the grandfather-grandson duo add another memorable chapter to their shared experiences. Last August Luke came storming out of the gates firing a 1-under 70 and entered match play as the two-seed. In the Round of 16, he continued his fine play and earned a 2&1 victory. That afternoon in the quarterfinals Luke squared off against Cameron St. Pierre in a well-played tense match. With Dan by his side every step of the way Luke spent much of the early portions of the match behind before tying the match on No. 11.
With tension in the air, the match was still tied after 18 holes and it remained that way until St. Pierre won the 22nd hole of the match to earn a dramatic victory.
Although the loss was disappointing Luke looks back on the day with great fondness, “Every moment is very special. Just to look to my side and have my grandpa there. Even though we lost in the quarterfinals playing 40 holes in one day was a great memory. Every moment is really, really special.”
Special indeed with many more still to come both on and off the course.
About the Connecticut State Golf Association
The Connecticut State Golf Association functions as an extension of the USGA and provides stewardship for amateur golf in Connecticut. Founded in 1899, it is the country’s oldest state golf association and conducts over 60 Championships, Qualifiers, and One Day Tournaments throughout the year.