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The living legacy

JeffHoltgrewe_BWFor ORU golfer David Holtgrewe, playing sports at ORU is in his blood.

His father, Jeff Holtgrewe, played basketball for ORU from 1974-78. During that time, ORU had some of its most successful seasons.

Two of Jeff Holtgrewe’s teammates, Anthony Roberts and Alvin Scott, went on to play in the NBA. Roberts was an All-American and a member of the ORU Athletics Hall of Fame’s inaugural class.

In the summer of 1975, Jeff Holtgrewe and the ORU team traveled to Italy along with players from Notre Dame and Purdue, to play against the Italian team preparing for the Olympics.

He was personally recruited by Oral Roberts to play basketball for the Golden Eagles and he had a personal relationship with the Roberts family.

“I consider it a rare privilege to have known them, Richard and Roberta, so well,” Jeff Holtgrewe said. “I always felt welcome at their home and have many wonderful memories visiting them, talking with them and spending time with them and their family.”

Jeff Holtgrewe excelled not only on the court, but in the classroom, and graduated in the inaugural class of the ORU School of Medicine.

He is currently practicing orthopedic surgery in Colorado.

Jeff Holtgrewe’s son, David, joined the golf team in 2009 and added a second Holtgrewe to ORU’s long list of successful players.

Naturally, one would expect there to be a lot of external pressure on David Holtgrewe because of his dad’s success. He says the pressure actually comes from within.

“I’d say probably pressure added by myself, more than anybody else,” David Holtgrewe said. “Knowing, coming here, that my dad was a basketball player in the era where they had great teams, and Oral was here and personally recruited my dad. I did put a little extra added pressure on myself to not necessarily achieve everything my dad [did] but try to do as much and have success on the golf course and in the classroom.”

Although both of David Holtgrewe’s parents attended ORU, they did not pressure him to go to their alma matter.

“They just kind of encouraged me to come down here and meet Coach Watson,” David Holtgrewe said. “They encouraged me, but overall it was my decision in the end. And I think that’s the way it needed to be for me to enjoy it.”

David Holtgrewe and his dad connected through sports during his childhood. They not only played basketball together, but golf as well. Part of the reason he chose golf was because of his dad.

“It was something my Dad and I really connected [on],” David Holtgrewe said. “We’d go out and we’d hit balls and play together, and it was something we could do together and truly enjoy. I loved the game and everything kind of lined up.”

Growing up, David Holtgrewe’s dad pushed him to work hard to achieve his goal of becoming a division I college athlete.

“He definitely pushed me to excel and to work harder,” David Holtgrewe said. “To try to be better than where I was, try to be the best I could be. He was just a great motivator and encourager to chase after my dream to play college golf at the D1 level.”

David Holtgrewe started to win his golf games against his dad in late middle school and early high school. Despite his status as a Division I athlete, he says his dad can still challenge him on the course.

“He’s still tough competition out there,” David Holtgrewe said. “He’ll get his good day in there, and I’ll have to play well to beat him still.”

Now, Jeff Holtgrewe has made the transition from being a player to being a fan.

“We try to go to as many of David’s golf tournaments as possible,” he said. “I love to watch him play, supporting him and his teammates. I am proud of how well they all represent ORU and the Lord as players and as teammates, on and off the course.”

Just like other fathers watching their sons compete, Jeff Holtgrewe said it can be stressful to watch his son play.

“At times it can be nerve wracking watching someone you love and are cheering for, play golf,” Jeff Holtgrewe said. “It is both stressful and wonderful.”

For the Holtgrewes, sports are something that will continue to be a part of both of their lives.

“I enjoy sharing a mutual love of golf with David and I look forward to playing golf with him the rest of my life.”

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