(Tuesday, September 14; Sioux Center, Iowa) Since March 2020 the Dordt University women’s and men’s golf teams have been under the direction of Jon Crane. Crane, a native of Rock Valley, Iowa, is entering his second season as coach of the two squads and brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the position.
A 22-year Class-A Member of the PGA of America, also serves currently as the Director of Golf at The Ridge Golf Course in Sioux Center, Iowa. Crane was drawn to the coaching position at Dordt in part because of his background as a Golf Professional in South Carolina and Mississippi and as the Director of Golf and Director of Instruction at The Club at Porto Cima in Lake Ozark, Missouri.
“I worked with many collegiate golfers, some players on the PGA and some top amateurs during my time at The Club,” said Crane. “With video I was able to keep up with players and review their swing remotely.”
Crane credits several with influencing his coaching approach including Jim Ferree, Mark Evershed and Dick Harmon.
“I learned so much in terms of what do you share and how do you share it,” said Crane. “It’s a fine line in how to distribute information to a player and how to do that. Dick helped me a great deal in developing my philosophy on that.”
Crane, a graduate of Rock Valley High School, attended Central Missouri State where he golfed before enrolling at Mississippi State where he graduated with a B.B.A. in Marketing/Professional Golf Management. Work in Mississippi and South Carolina followed before his time at Lake Ozark, Missouri. Crane moved back to the Sioux Center area along with his wife and was employed at a local business when the Dordt coaching position became open.
“I feel we are fortunate to have someone of Jon’s caliber and leadership abilities be interested in coaching our golf programs. He’s spent his professional life working in the industry and is helping our players cultivate their game by playing with integrity, showing respect, acting responsibly, playing with perseverance and training them to use good judgement,” said Ross Douma. “To have someone of his experience on our staff and coaching in the Defender Way is really a tremendous opportunity.”
After that the position at The Ridge Golf Course became available and Crane was back into the golf profession full-time.
“I kept my PGA membership active –I wanted to stay involved. I love to be able to engage with aspiring athletes and mark the progress with players. It’s really been an easy transition,” said Crane.
After less than a year at his post with Dordt Crane identified the lack of an offseason training facility as a limiting factor for the programs. Earlier this fall Dordt University embarked on a fundraising campaign to bring the Brian Eekhoff Golf Facility from the planning stages to reality.
“The Brian Eekhoff Golf Facility will provide our golf teams with access to cutting-edge technology and a place to enhance their skills during the off-season.,” said Douma.
The facility plans include two-hitting bays with Flight Scope X3 Launch Monitors, a 20’ x 28’ putting green surface and a players’ lounge area.
“I want this to turn into their second home on campus. I hope they study there and build team camaraderie during the off-season there,” said Crane. I’ve heard too much that we have no ability to work on our game from first snow fall to spring. Now with the feedback we’ll be getting we should be as prepared heading into spring as we are coming out of the summer months. We should be geared up and ready.”