Jim Meehan: Spokane’s Andrew Von Lossow ready to test his improving game at US Amateur


Andrew Von Lossow has been involved in golf for most of his 34 years and he has come to some accomplishments.

He prefers to play golf rather than caddy on many of the best courses in the country. He prefers to play than to train. He prefers tournament golf to just about anything else.

Von Lossow moved to Spokane about five years ago and it’s no coincidence that his amateur career blossomed during that time. He regularly competes in top amateur events as well as PGA Pacific Northwest Tournaments. He is making inroads at the United States Golf Association (USGA) level, teaming up with former Idaho Vandal Sean Langham to compete in the US Amateur Four-Ball Championship last May in Birmingham, Alabama.

And last month was Von Lossow’s crowning achievement so far – earning a berth in the US Amateur as co-medalist with Canadian AJ Ewart in a Home Course qualifier in DuPont, Washington.

“I would say that’s my biggest (achievement),” Von Lossow said. “Doing sections for the US Open was really cool, but the amateur with the history and one of the game’s original majors, it’s pretty awesome.”

Von Lossow was surrounded by golf growing up in Seattle. His father, Jim, competed on the PGA Tour in 1979-80 and later operated a club fitting and repair shop inside the family home for decades. Young Von Lossow played for Southwestern Oregon Community College and won the 2009 NWAC Individual title with rounds of 66-68 at Veterans Memorial GC in Walla Walla.

Von Lossow took a professional swing on the Dakotas Tour in 2010, but soon returned to school in Eastern Washington, which had no golf team at the time, thanks to walk-in offers you from Idaho and Washington State.

“I suck at math,” Von Lossow cracked, “but I knew I needed some extra help to (go to Idaho or WSU).”

Golf mostly took a back seat as he went to school and spent his summers caddying at the Yellowstone Club in Montana. That pattern — occasionally playing in tournaments while caddying in Montana, Nashville or at Gozzer Ranch near Lake Coeur d’Alene — continued for a few years after he finished at EWU in 2012.

Von Lossow’s parents moved to Spokane in 2017 and, after briefly living in Las Vegas, he followed suit soon after. The stability of residing in one place has done wonders for his game.

Von Lossow opened the Glen Cove Trading Company, specializing in golf hats, shirts, clothing and other items, often for lessons or tournaments in the Pacific Northwest. His business allows him to work irregular hours and hone his game, usually in Indian Canyon or Manito. He can spend the early morning hours designing a new hat, hitting the course for a spin, and then returning to his computer for work in the evening.

“To come back, it started in 2018,” Von Lossow said. “I like striving to improve myself. I like adrenaline and big crowds if people are around. It was, ‘Shoot, let’s see how good I can get.’ If you look at the history of the game, it’s cool to see how long you can play and know that you can be competitive for a long time and not just have a short window.

“I’ve played in enough events to see how good the players are. I can compete, I can hit the ball pretty well. It took me a while – I had moments with a good nine holes and then I would calm down. I look at the progressive wins that you can build on going forward. If I have a bad mindset, I’m done before I start.

Von Lossow’s results reflected these additional gains as he incorporates lessons learned along the way. He won the Spokane City Championship in 2018 and 2019. In a final US Open qualifier, Von Lossow was one shot off the lead after the first 18, but grew impatient in the last 18 .

“I got to thinking about birdies and I started doing bogeys,” he said. “Just in too much of a rush. This year I’ve done better at birding later in the rounds.

He won the 2021 Washington Champions champion in a three-way playoff and finished tied for fourth in the 2022 event. He shared third place at the 2022 Oregon Open and eighth tied place at the Rosauers Open Invitational last month.

Von Lossow played the first two rounds of Rosauers with Oregon-based pro Scott Erdmann, the 2019 champion and 2022 runner-up. In round two, Erdmann stopped on his ball in the fairway at No. 2 at Indian Canyon for a pleasant surprise. For one of the few times he edged out Von Lossow, by just one yard on the par 5 of 469 yards.

As Von Lossow steered his cart within sight atop a ridge, Erdmann playfully flexed, fully aware that his ball had the chance to bounce off the hardpan and cart path while the 340-yard bomb of Von Lossow was airborne for most of his trip. .

“He’s got all the game in the world,” Erdmann said of the Spokane fan. “He hits him forever and hits him straight. No weaknesses in his game. I would expect him to be successful as an (American) amateur as well.

Von Lossow has unique accomplishments on his golf resume. He had a ridiculous five-hole-in-one streak in about 13 months, including aces on the same hole at Wine Valley on consecutive days. He also won the US Hickory Open (hickory shaft clubs) last summer at Gearhart (Oregon) Golf Links.

One of the biggest improvements in Von Lossow’s game involved no clubs, swing changes or acres of grass. He was disappointed with a slow finish on the back nine at a bigger tournament a few years ago and decided to do something about it. So a few years ago, Von Lossow and Manito pro Gordon Corder started working out at 5:30 a.m. five days a week at Corder’s home gym, which occupies part of his garage. Both gained strength and endurance while losing weight.

Von Lossow went from just 135 pounds on the bench to lift 225 eight times. He lost about 20 pounds and his club head speed reached 122 MPH. He was especially proud of finishing strong with a 65 after shooting a 70 in the morning in qualifying at The Home Course. His best score for the Rosauers was a 6-under 66 in the closing round of the 54-hole tournament.

Next stop: The US Amateur at Ridgewood Country Club and Arcola Country Club in Paramus, New Jersey, August 15-21. Two rounds of move play will determine the 64 players who advance to match play. Ridgewood is a par 71 at 7,487 yards (subject to change) while Arcola is a par 70 at 7,256 yards.

“I’m confident in my game,” Von Lossow said. “I play a few times a week and train so I always stick to my schedule. Next week I want to work on 145 yards and because (Ridgewood) is a longer course. In the Rosauers I finished 11 under and had a lot of good birdie looks but the only thing I could have done better was be more precise with the wedges and left me in the right spot .


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