Broomfield’s Mason Hill has spent much of his summer vacation washing clubs and parking golf carts at The Ranch Country Club in Westminster.
“A professional club cleaner,” he said humorously.
No complaints detected. Nor will they likely come from Broomfield’s top golfer as he works where his father took him to play at a very young age, and where his love of the game grew as he did.
Here, not only do the lush green backdrops and tree-line vistas make the hours pass more effortlessly. Hill said the setting reminds him of being a child on the course with his dad.
As young as “2 years old”, Hill said of it, which is funny now that he’s older, suspecting his father might have done it in part to get on the links himself.
He can relate.
“When I’m not golfing, I wish I was,” Hill said. “I don’t know what I’d do without it.”
Hill goes into his junior season with the Eagles a year after he was among the leaders on the second day of the Class 5A state tournament. He eventually fell to a 39th-place finish.
If not for carding a “9” on par-4 No. 10 on the final day at the Colorado Springs Country Club, the then-sophomore’s season — which already included a first-team nod in the Front Range League and a top-15 finish in his region — may have garnered even more attention around the local golf community.
To his credit, he never let golf’s cruelty spoil things for long.
“No one wants to take a 9,” he said, looking back. “It’s hard to keep a smile but it happens to everybody, and it happened to me. Being upset about it isn’t going to take that 9 and make it a 6.”
Instead he finished the 5A tournament brilliantly, striking two birdies over his final four holes. At the end of his round, while squished next to water and a whole heap of onlookers, the lasting image of the day was his dreamy approach on No. 18, landing mere feet from the pin.
“He had some adversity, fell behind a little bit, but never gave up,” Eagles coach Tony Ferraro said then.
Now coming into this season, Ferraro sees a more polished player, one that is ready to contend with anyone in the state.
As proof, Hill won a Colorado Junior Golf tournament just last month, shooting 5-under-par 67 at Thorncreek Golf Course in Thornton.
“I think he learned a lot from (last year’s state tournament),” Ferraro said. “It proved to him he can play with anybody. … It also shows that golf, it’s not always who is the best player, but you got to get some lucky breaks. There are things out of your control in the game of golf that you have to live with.”
Hill embraces it all.
The junior said his individual goals during the high school season are to again be in position to contend for a state title, which the Eagles will be competing in the 4A classification this year due to the sport’s realignment.
He’d also like to average a score south of par in the Front Range League, which includes local teams Boulder, Fairview, Legacy, Monarch, and this year’s four additions of Erie, Northglenn, Prairie View and Brighton.
As for his teammates, Hill, like his coach, marvels about them.
Ferraro said it’s possibly the deepest team he’s had in his nine years coaching Broomfield, led by elite talent at the top two spots. He said senior Sawyer Hyten, the team’s No. 2 player in 2021 who finished 42nd at state, “can hit a golf ball better than anyone I’ve ever seen.”
All of it bodes well for a team looking to qualify a full team to state for the first time since 2019.