‘A smooth transition’: Freshman golfer Laurenz Schiergen

Freshman men's golfer Laurenz Schiergen poses for a photoshoot at Colbert Hills golf course. (Photo courtesy K-State Athletics)

Arriving in the spring semester, freshman Laurenz Schiergen didn’t take much time to tee off and hit the green for Kansas State. Missing the first half of the golf season in the fall while serving in the German military program, Schiergen has become one of the top Wildcat golfers.

Before coming to Manhattan, Schiergen was a member of the German national team, playing as an amateur for two years in the military program. This time allowed Schiergen to better his golf game.

“I graduated two and a half years ago [from high school]. After I graduated, I decided against college and went to the military in Germany,” Schiergen said. “When in the military program, you get the time just to play golf. You just have to come maybe once or twice a month to the military department, but you can play full-time golf.”

After two years of focusing on golf and occasional work in the military, Schiergen decided to come to the United States to play golf in college. The decision was made looking at his golf future and with the help of a friend — fellow German K-State golfer junior Tim Tillmanns.

“I decided last summer to go to college, so I was looking around. I felt for my development as a player, I had to come over to the U.S. and play college golf,” Schiergen said. “He [Tillmanns] made it very easy for me to get along here and to help me all along. He’s from the same city as me, so we have known each other for almost ten years, so that helps. He was definitely the reason for me coming here.”

Schiergen’s daily lifestyle changed from his routine in Germany, no longer solely focusing on golf. While that means less time playing, he is enjoying the new pace in his life.

“When I was in the military program, all my life was focused on golf, golf, golf. This balance here helps me to be more free and just play golf and have fun,” Schiergen said. “The balance is way better for me than just playing and practicing. The mental side to doing something else really helps me.”

Despite the shift in his golfing frequency, his game seems unaffected. In five tournaments, Schiergen has earned three top-20 finishes, two top-ten finishes and a top-five finish, placing fourth at the Mossy Oak Invitational. Schiergen boasts a team-best of a 71.47 stroke average.

“I played really well there in all three days,” Schiergen said. “I made my first top-five in a really strong field. Probably the strongest field we’ve played this year.”

Competing at a high level right away, Schiergen has made sure to lean into his consistent play style.

“I don’t really have a big weakness. My long game, short game, my putting is all very similar,” Schiergen said. “It’s good, not great, but it’s all very balanced. In the last two weeks, when I’ve played pretty well, my short game and putting was pretty good.”

Playing consistently is a big part of Schiergen’s golf game. Since childhood, Schiergen looked at his favorite professional golfer — Rory McIlory — as an example of how to play. Schiergen even met McIlory after being invited to a tournament in Augusta, Georgia, when McIlory was in attendance.

“My childhood idol is Rory McIlroy because he’s very consistent in every area. He’s a great ball striker. I just love the way he plays golf,” Schiergen said. “I had a little talk with him and was able to take a photo. That was a pretty cool experience.”

Schiergen’s experience in the U.S. as a Wildcat has been successful. As he continues building off less than a semester of work, Schiergen is keeping his mind right and enjoying the time he’s having as a K-State student golfer while striving to work hard.

“It’s been a pretty smooth transition even though I came mid-year,” Schiergen said. “Even though I’m a freshman, I don’t really feel like I’m a freshman because I’ve already played a lot of big events in Europe. Golf is probably one of the most mental sports and is always a grind.”