116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Addie Berg’s first golf experiences were with her father, Aaron.
She would accompany him for a round, playing about three holes and enjoying the rest of the time riding in the cart.
The sport, however, began to grow on her.
“I don’t really know what it was,” said Berg, a Cedar Rapids Prairie sophomore. “My dad would ask me to go out with him. The more I’d go out the more I’d want to start practicing.
“Over time I’d go practice with him and then it became practice by myself. It was kind of a progressive love for the game. I’d start doing one thing and then it led to this, obviously.”
The result is Berg’s berth to the Class 4A state tournament at Otter Creek Golf Course in her inaugural varsity season. Golfers in all four classes will compete in state meets Tuesday and Wednesday.
“I’m really looking forward to it, especially because of last year we didn’t get the chance to play at that state level,” Berg said. “Obviously, I played with some of these girls in the summer, but it’s nice to play with them in high school. I’m just really excited.”
Prairie Coach Erik Columbus received notice about Berg’s potential before she entered his program. He first watched her play in the Rotary Prybil and realized her skill.
“(Elmcrest Country Club pro) Larry Gladson is actually the one that said you’re going to have a good one in a couple years,” Columbus said. “He tipped me off first. He’s not one to just go out and say that.”
Berg is relatively new to golf competition compared to others at her level. She said she has only played events for two to three years. After her first couple tournaments, she was determined to get better.
“I wasn’t really happy with how I performed, so I took some lessons,” Berg said. “I have to thank Larry Gladson, because he’s been very helpful. I took some (more) lessons.”
She was a competitive dancer before she turned her full attention to golf. Berg traveled to contests and spent numerous hours, improving on her craft. It was a way to channel her spirit.
“I went to four or five competitions a year,” Berg said. “I spent three hours a night in the studio working on stuff. That was what I really focused on for a long time. I was decent. I wasn’t amazing by any means.”
Berg made a solid choice. The first-team all-Mississippi Valley Conference Mississippi Division and all-Metro golfer and Iowa City Liberty state qualifier Bella Pettersen are tied for fourth in 4A with a 74.71 18-hole average. Her 40.39 combined adjusted average is eighth in 4A, trailing just Linn-Mar’s Tatum Depuydt (fourth at 39.36) and Pettersen (seventh at 39.66) in The Gazette area.
Columbus said Berg plays beyond her years.
“She played like she’s been playing varsity like a senior,” Columbus said. “I’m really impressed by her game, her maturity. Sometimes I forget she’s a sophomore.”
Berg demonstrated her mettle in the regional meet last week at Finkbine Golf Course in Iowa City. During her first qualifying meet, she overcame a rough start, including a bogey and double bogey on the first two holes. She consistently marched through the remainder of the round, shooting 2-under over the final 16 holes, tying for the second-best score.
“That was a unique day,” Columbus said. “I learned a lot about Addie that day. It was the biggest tournament of the year. … That is a lot of pressure but she got past that. She focused on the next hole and the next hole after that to shoot 73.”
Berg isn’t concerned on the field or the finish. The goal is to play her best and the rest will take care of itself.
“I just want to shoot two good rounds for myself,” Berg said. “It would be fun to show up and place well, but, for me, it would be good to be happy with how I played.”
(Otter Creek Golf Course)
Individuals: Addie Berg (Cedar Rapids Prairie); Neely Maurus (Iowa City Liberty); Bella Pettersen (Iowa City Liberty); Emma Sorg (Cedar Rapids Washington)
Teams: Linn-Mar, Western Dubuque
(River Valley Golf Course)
Individuals: Kaitlin Hotchkiss (Cedar Rapids Xavier); Meera Julka (Cedar Rapids Xavier); Delaney Martin (Independence)
Teams: Lisbon, Monticello, Washington (Iowa), West Delaware
(American Legion Golf Course)
Individual: Savannah Sexton (West Branch)
Teams: Anamosa, Jesup, Mid-Prairie, Tipton, Waukon, Williamsburg
(Ames Golf and Country Club)
Individuals: Jaden Smith (Iowa Valley); Parker Stout (North Cedar); Maddy Streicher (Edgewood-Colesburg); Paige Wieck (Iowa Valley)