EDITORIAL: A Tribute to Stan Baluik
In a golf club full of cool people, business owners and local celebrities, there might not be anyone cooler than long-time head pro Stan Baluik.
This weekend, Kirkbrae Country Club in Lincoln honors Stan with the Stan Baluik Two-Day Member-Member.
The best part is that Stan is back home after spending most of the summer down in Florida due to the coronavirus.
There is nothing better than seeing Stan at the club.
He is always willing to give you a golf lesson on the fly, whether it is at the dinner table over a glass of white wine, in the locker room or on driving range.
In fact, I got a lesson on Wednesday.
I was sitting at one of the high top tables doing work and watching the hockey game when Stan came over, glass of wine in hand, and asked if he could sit down, “Joey, do you mind if I sit?”
Of course I said yes.
After a brief conversation about life and things of that nature, it did not take long to start talking golf.
We talked about putting and how I was struggling on long putts as of late.
Stan immediately started showing me how to fix it and how to handle long putts and then going over the putter grip and all.
It was great, I didn’t want it to end, I was trying to think of more questions I could ask, just to keep the conversation going.
That is what makes Stan great, he has seen it all, done it all, hung out with people we could only dream of meeting, but he still has that fire for the game, that passion.
As I’ve gotten older and more involved in the game of golf, I have grown to appreciate it more and more everyday.
Years and years ago, I was hitting balls on the range after my dad and I did terrible in a RIGA Father-Son Tournament. I was mostly just annoyed at myself.
Within 15 minutes Stan had come down to the range and was watching my swing.
Now, surely, my dad told him I was down there, but nonetheless, there he was.
That afternoon, he basically changed my swing, taught me some of the fixes for when shots go wayward and helped me understand the golf swing better.
For the most part, I still use that swing today and I keep those fixes in mind.
Thank you Stan, see you this weekend!