It took until his senior year of high school for this former North Dakota State golfer to pick up his first club. Jon Miller enrolled in the military in 1996 after he graduated from Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton High School and found himself golfing four times a week. The NDSU record book says his game improved a lot and today he still tears it up at the Moorhead Country Club.
When Jon Miller enrolled at NDSU in 2001 there were three distinct differences between himself and his teammates.
For one, Miller was older than everybody on the team. Joining the U.S. Army in 1996, he was around 22 when he started golfing and going to school at NDSU. Miller said he was about four to five years older than his Bison teammates.
Miller was more mature than his teammates and his military experiences helped him steer his teammates in the right direction when their lives or golf game was heading in the wrong direction.
And finally, he had the least amount of golf experience.
“I was always a basketball and track kind of guy, but I remember picking up a club and I was horrible,” the 37-year-old said. “But then when I got in the military, I kind of got an itch for it again.”
Miller had his handicap down to a five when he left the military. When he was winning college events at NDSU, he was around a plus two handicap.
After the military, Miller started to work at the Sports Bubble in Fargo. Matt Johnson, NDSU’s men’s golf coach at the time helped Miller with his game while at the Bubble during the winter.
In a matter of six years, Miller picked up the game of golf, worked his tail off while being in the military and won four tournaments in his collegiate career with the Bison.
“(It) all was attributed in working at the Sports Bubble and hitting balls,” Miller said. “I hit like a thousand balls a week in the winter at the Sports Bubble.”
Miller was with NDSU from 2001-05, during the heart of the division I transition. It was a difficult time for not only the sport of golf, but for the other NDSU sports as well.[/text_output]
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[text_output]The hardest part of the transition for Miller was the increased skill level of the competition.
“I know my first three years we were in D-II tournaments. For me personally, I could shoot one to two under (par) and have a chance to win,” Miller said. “But once you go to the D-I tournaments and traveling to California, playing better competition, it’s definitely a huge change. It was great because I wanted to be playing against better players and I think most of the student-athletes at NDSU probably agree with that.”
Miller said he still keeps up with the NDSU golf team and even plays against some Bison players in Fargo-Moorhead area tournaments when he isn’t busy with his day jobs.
Miller is president, CEO and owner of Verazity Properties. The commercial real estate investment company has storage facilities in South Fargo and has started to build houses around the area as well.
But Miller has to spend his time wisely because he also works as an eBusiness Product Specialist for Ferguson Enterprises.
Starting your own business is related to golf in a special kind of way, said Miller.
“Golf is an individual sport where you have to take care of the stuff yourself,” Miller explained. “Plan your practices, get a little better on your own. Running your business certainly is like that as well. But that’s definitely the benefit. All this success is directly (related) from the work that you put in yourself or relative to golf. The worst part is just trying to find time to get everything done.”
The Glyndon, Minn., native has been married for two years, but doesn’t have any children yet. Miller said once his business gets up and running smoothly, a baby girl or baby boy golfer isn’t out of the picture.[/text_output]