Luke Feder leads young Stevenson team

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LINCOLNSHIRE ­— Stevenson senior Luke Feder has goals for his final boys golf season.

Some are personal, like qualifying for sectionals and the state tournament. Others are team-orientated.

The Patriots’ varsity roster is balanced, containing five seniors, five juniors and two sophomores. But Feder is the only player with sectional experience. A season ago, he advanced as an individual but did not qualify for the state tournament. This fall, he and Jason Gohde are often the only seniors in the starting lineup for dual meets or invitationals.

“We are in a transition stage right now,” Feder said. “We have a bunch of young kids who hopefully as seniors two years from now have a pretty good game.”

That is where Feder is pitching in.

At a Sept. 16 dual invite against Zion-Benton, Feder was playing with sophomore James Dvorak, a recent call-up. Playing at Stevenson’s home course, Arboretum Club in Buffalo Grove, Dvorak hit an errant tee shot on a par 5. Feder told him not to worry.

“I said, ‘It’s a par 5. Hit your punch shot and get your third shot by the green. You can get up and down,’ ” Feder said.

That’s just what Dvorak did, finishing the hole with a par. Later, the sophomore thanked his partner for helping him manage the course and his emotions.

“[Dvorak said], ‘Wow, I was almost giving up on the hole and now I know I can score par,” Feder said.

When it comes to dispensing advice, Feder doesn’t stop at correcting mishits. A student of the game who has taken lessons from local PGA teaching pro Eric Pick and currently works with former Illinois PGA Teacher of the Year Brett Packee, Feder isn’t shy about giving swing instruction to his teammates.

His most frequent tip? How to correct a slice.

“He’s probably sliding his hips and dropping his shoulder too far back and not shifting the weight,” said Feder, speaking generally. “If I see someone and he slices, I will let them know what he’s doing so he can try and fix it. It’s all about the long run with these kids.”

The kids Feder refers to — Dvorak and sophomores Kevin Chin and Kamaren Sandhu — are contributing at a high level. Saturday’s Wheeling Invitational featured 25 teams. Sandhu fired a 3-over 75, good for 10th place. Feder shot the team’s second-best score with a 78 as Chin and Gohde carded 81s.

As a team, Stevenson finished in seventh place with a score of 315 (Loyola and Barrington tied for first). It was a promising showing for a Patriots team that could be peaking at just the right time.

“We we played better than at Ivanhoe,” Stevenson coach John Rueth, referring to his team’s 326 score at the 13-team invitational at Mundelein’s Ivanhoe Country Club Sept. 15. “We are starting to come around.”

That starts with Feder, the Patriots’ elder statesman and swing coach.

“Me and Jason [Gohde], we are trying to mentor the younger guys,” Feder said. “We are teaching them the ropes and help them play smarter and get lower scores.”

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