One Step Back, Two Steps Forward for Local Golfer Jordan Monds

Jordan MondsLAND O'LAKES - There is only one handicap for Jordan Monds and that has to do with his golf score.

Monds, a 14-year-old Land O'Lakes resident, has club feet, meaning he's flat footed with no arches. When he was just two, he had three surgeries to rearrange tendons just so he could walk.

Now, Monds is an avid golfer at the Groves Golf and Country Club, where he excels through the AAU golf program and plans to take his talents as a freshman to play for the Land O'Lakes High boys golf team.

"It's just my feet," Monds said with a small smile. "I don't really think about it and it doesn't hurt to walk or golf."

Monds has the pro shop hold onto his clubs, that way he can ride his bike to the range near his home daily and work on his game. Once he arrives, Head Professional Jan Johnson uses video analysis to help him work on swing techniques.

Monds says earlier this summer he shot an 88, his personal best, but took a short break from the game, as his swing was frustrating him. To remedy this, he'll try any golf instruction fix or tool he can put his hands on.

"You can be great at knowing golf," Monds said, "But it's another thing doing it. That takes a lot of work and practice, which, I feel, just needs to be done to get better."

Recently, Monds received insoles for his golf shoes from Shriner's. As Monds puts it, "The soles are great, except, they help walking, not swinging (a golf club)," though, since the soles give him arches, they were pushing his stance to his front feet.

However, Monds is working quickly, as tryouts at his upcoming high school are just around the corner.

"I'll figure it out again, but I had to stop playing because I was getting so frustrated," Monds said. "I'll get back to it and I'll fix what needs fixing. I expect (tryouts) to be tough."

Those who know Monds more than expect him to figure it out.

"He's intense mentally -- a big thinker," said Laura Sanderson, the Groves assistant professional and one of the AAU coaches. "He's very, very focused and not many kids will ride their bike up to go practice. He not only has the drive, the desire, but the mental capacity, which is a lot, to play as much as he does.

"Physically, there's nothing holding him back," Sanderson added. "I didn't even know (about his feet), until (I'd been coaching him a year already)."

Monds would love to be a PGA Tour player, contend, win an event, make millions and eventually slip on a green Masters jacket on an April Sunday.

However, Sanderson feels Monds can excel with his back-up plan, one that will still keep him in golf. It's something right up Sanderson's alley.

"He's very mature and most kids his age, (golf) is just something to do," Sanderson said. "I think he'll probably grow up to be a (golf) instructor because he has that mentality. He takes the younger, newer kids (in AAU) and mentors them, takes them under his wings. He works and talks with them to make sure they can figure it out. He just doesn't care about the game for himself, but for everyone around him."

Monds wants to improve his game, no matter how much work that takes. However, he wants to be around golf, to see others excel at golf, too. Because he doesn't want anyone to feel handicapped.

"It's hard to be a (golf) teacher, but it's a job I could do," said Monds, who actually helped fix his dad's slice. "I just want to help the younger golfers bcause they can get better and I don't want them the get frustrated like myself.

"Everyone, though, needs instruction."

For more information on AAU golf at the Groves, call the pro shop at (813) 996-0161.

Reporter Mike Camunas can be reached at


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