By Jackson Heiden
Arie Jackman, a second-year golfer for the Grand Rapids Community College men’s golf team, began his journey with the Raiders in the fall of 2020.
Due to COVID-19, Jackman was redshirted his freshman year, but that didn’t stop him from bursting onto the scene and making a presence for the Raiders. Playing in all eight events that the Raiders participated in last season, Jackman averaged 79 strokes per round. He earned medalist honors with first place at the Glen Oaks Invite in April 2021. He finished his impressive freshman season by finishing top five in five events, and top 10 in all seven events before reaching nationals. He also claimed All-conference, All-MCCAA and All-Region awards.
“(I) started playing golf my freshman year of high school… playing in junior and amateur golf tournaments throughout Michigan,” Jackman said.
Jackman graduated from Caledonia High School in 2020 and credits his high school coaches, Tom Burrill and Gus Wagner, for giving him supportive advice which led to his success.
During high school, Jackman knew he wanted to play golf in college and his connections with GRCC head coach John Forton helped ease his decisions into choosing GRCC.
“Arie was a great student, which is the first thing I also look for when recruiting,” Forton said. “He’s calm, cool, collected and confident.”
Not only has Jackman proved to be a top competitor for the Raiders, but his impact as a leader has been even bigger as he was named the captain of the men’s golf team.
“He came to (me) about being the captain of the golf team, he was being proactive about it,” Forton said. “I knew he was a good fit for the team and the team quickly accepted him as the captain. He takes over a lot of responsibilities, such as scheduling practices, telling the guys what to wear to competitions, and overall keeping the team well organized.”
The bond Jackman has made with his teammates appears to have helped them on and off the course. The Raiders have won two events so far this fall season, one of which being a huge win in the Aquinas tournament, which is a four-year college tournament. It’s the Raiders’ first win in a tournament like that in over eight years.
Jackman’s goals for the rest of the season are to continue to be a supportive leader on and off the field as the fall season is coming to an end.
After GRCC, Jackman plans to continue his golf career at a four-year school yet to be determined.
“He’s capable of being top three in the conference and has already been recruited by three or four schools,” Forton added.
“I’m looking to play golf in other colleges and I’m in the talking stages with a few of them,” Jackman said. “But at this time, I am still undecided.”
Outside of golf, Jackman volunteers at his church with his dad, managing the slides that are projected on the screen, along with the soundboard. In every season but the winter, Jackman works at the Egypt Valley Country Club, which just so happens to be the Raiders’ home course. Outside of volunteering and work, Jackman enjoys hanging out with his girlfriend and friends all the while studying business at GRCC.
For more information about GRCC men’s golf click here.