MARQUETTE - After coming to Marquette from Enterprise, Nev. - a suburb about 10 miles from Las Vegas - to play for the Marquette Electricians Midget AAA hockey team this past season, Jordan Frazier thought he'd give high school golf a try this spring.
"I knew I had some skill in golf, so I figured since it was my senior year, I might as well give it a shot," he said.
Frazier had worked at the Stallion Mountain Country Club and lived on the Rhodes Ranch Golf Club in Nevada, so it was only natural he was anxious to play for Marquette Senior High School.
Marquette Senior High School senior Jordan Frazier lines up his putt during a dual meet against Ishpeming on the Marquette Golf Club’s Heritage Course on May 10. Frazier, a native of Enterprise,?Nev., came to Marquette to play for the Marquette Electricians Midget AAA hockey team this year and is now participating in his first season of competitive high school golf. (Journal photo by Adelle Whitefoot)
What he didn't count on was the local links season being delayed 2-3 weeks due to winter weather.
"The courses in Vegas never close and the best time to golf there is December-January," Frazier said. "Having to wait here until late April or early May to start was surprising.
"I was disappointed. I just wanted to start playing. It was frustrating not being able to practice as much as you'd like."
The delay was well worth the wait.
Frazier medaled in his first MSHS match with an even-par 35 on the Heritage Course at the Marquette Golf Club against Ishpeming on May 10.
"That was my first time I had ever shot even-par," he said, "so that was pretty cool."
On May 14, he placed second behind teammate Brett Specker and Gladstone's Ben Lasecki at the Range Bank Invitational at the Wawonowin Country Club in Champion.
"It has worked out pretty well," Frazier, 18, said.
What makes his prep season to date even more impressive is that it's his first try at competitive golf despite living and working near a golf mecca like Las Vegas.
"I'd just play golf with co-workers, but nothing organized," Frazier said. "I never really had a chance to take advantage of golf as this is my third year of living away from home due to hockey."
A pair of knee surgeries also kept him off the links for several months prior to coming to Marquette.
The son of Tammy (Nankervis) Frazier, formerly of Ishpeming and a graduate of Westwood High School, he spent his summers with his grandparents on a lake near L'Anse.
Though he was familiar with Michigan's Upper Peninsula, Frazier had to adjust to playing golf here.
"Course management comes into play a lot here," he said. "The ball doesn't fly as much in the thicker air. Vegas has hot, dry air, so the ball travels further and rolls a mile.
"You just have to choose your clubs wisely. It's a matter of figuring out distances with my clubs."
Longtime MSHS golf head coach Ben Smith said Frazier has adapted nicely.
"As we got started, it was hard to know how well he played or what his game was like," Smith said. "For not playing in the same kind of weather, coming off a long (golf) break and playing courses he doesn't know, he has adjusted well.
"He has been a nice addition to our team."
Still, Frazier had to learn at least one thing.
"At one of our early matches in Escanaba, we played winter rules where you could move your ball six inches - not nearer to the hole - as the course there wasn't in typical summer condition," Smith said.
"Jordan asked, 'Winter rules, what are those?'"
A student at MSHS with a 4.2 grade point average who will graduate June 2, Frazier will attend Northern Michigan University in the fall on a full academic scholarship.
"I'll get some prerequisites out of the way and maybe play some club hockey," he said, "then transfer to the University of Michigan."
Before that, however, Frazier plans to make the most out of his albeit brief prep golf career.
"I'm excited about how I'm playing," he said. "I wouldn't change a thing."
Craig Remsburg can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 251.