Matthew Jonas / Staff Photographer
Jeremy Papasso / Staff Photographer
Lewis Geyer / Staff Photographer
If you go
What: Class 3A state tournament
When: Monday and Tuesday, Oct. 2-3
Where: Indian Peaks Golf Course, 2300 Indian Peaks Trail, Lafayette
More info: 8:30 a.m. tee time, 36 holes, stroke play plus team championship
BROOMFIELD — Jaxon and Walker Franklin were destined to be golfers.
It was in their genes.
Now the Prospect Ridge brothers are on the brink of writing the next chapter in the family’s fantastic golf story that has chapters in Boulder, Utah, Arizona, Canada and as far away as Japan.
Jaxon, a senior, and sophomore Walker will represent their school for the second straight year at the Class 3A state tournament this coming Monday and Tuesday at Lafayette’s Indian Peaks G.C. — this time with high hopes.
Golf wasn’t always a favorite for the Franklin brothers, even though their parents — Brent (a Canadian golf Hall of Famer who played collegiately at BYU) and Kris (who played her college golf at Arizona), who met playing professionally on the Japanese Tours — pushed them that way early on.
They dabbled in other sports, but eventually realized where their true calling was.
The brothers, along with the cousin Grant Hoos — who will play for Legacy at the 5A state tournament in Aurora at CommonGround G.C. — played in par-3 tournaments before they were 10 years-old but neither one of them really start to take it seriously until years later.
“I really got into the game when I was 13-years old,” said Jaxon, whose grandfather George Hoos was the longtime golf coach at Fairview. “My dad pushed me to play when I was 7, but I really started to play, practice and love the game when I was 13.”
Said Walker, who scored his first career hole-in-one this summer during a fifth place finish, against a worldwide field, at the Optimist International in Florida: “I never really liked it at the beginning, but as soon as started working a lot harder and started to see my scores drop, I was having more fun in tournaments and meeting a lot more people. Having the pressure to do well and succeed and become a lot better at the game made it a lot more fun and interesting.”
And things got a lot more interesting for Walker this season. A solid ball striker, whose short game has evolved to match the rest of his game, won five of the six Metro League tournaments — including a 6-under par 66 at the state venue — and capped it with a 1-under par 70 at the regional tournament last week at CommonGround.
“Having a solid season, it gives me the confidence heading in and I just hope to do my best. Winning would definitely be a bonus,” said Walker, who was the regular season champion in the Metropolitan League with a scoring average of 68. “I want Jaxon to do well too and I just wanted to finish the season strong.”
After a rough start to the season, Jaxon’s game has rounded into form at the right time. He fired a 1-over par 72 at the regional tournament for a fifth place finish and he is geared up to have a big state tournament.
“I have set my expectations pretty high and I expect myself to finish somewhere inside the top-10, start there and see how the first round goes and go from there,” he said.
The brothers are each others biggest fans, but given the chance for that sibling rivalry to show itself, things can and will get interesting.
Said Jaxon, who transferred to PRA after starting at Legacy, about rooting for his younger brother: “I would say if I’m out of it, yes. But if I have a chance, I will try to beat him.”
Brent Franklin, an assistant with the CU women’s team, has been instrumental in molding his sons’ games from their swings to their mental game to where they are, and they are forever grateful.
“Honestly,(both parents) have done so much to help our game, it’s unbelievable,” Jaxon said. “My dad has been my only swing coach my entire life and he has basically shaped my game to where it is today. And every time we are on the course, he tries not to give me too many tips, but he ends up doing it the entire round without even knowing it.”
No matter what, the Franklin’s have put their stamp on PRA athletics and would love nothing more than to be the first to hang a state champion banner in the gym.