Jen Morris has been golfing with her family for as long as she can remember.
“I got to play golf with my dad, my brother and both of my grandfathers,” Morris said. “Those are memories I’ll treasure.”
As the second-year girls’ golf coach at Rampart, that family dynamic hasn’t changed much for Morris.
Her father, John Laxson, returns as an assistant coach for the Rams this year while Morris’ brother, Todd Laxson, the head PGA Professional at Cherokee Ridge Golf Club and an assistant coach for the women’s team at UCCS, also lends his expertise from time to time.
Morris took over as the head coach at Rampart after longtime coach Brad Keating relocated to South Florida where his daughter, Arielle Keating, plays for Florida Atlantic. Before that, Morris was an assistant under Keating from the time he started at Rampart until he left.
“It’s really cool, it’s fun,” Morris said of getting to have her dad around as an assistant.
“My dad just has a great way of opening up and talking to people,” she said. “It’s fun when you have an assistant coach like that because sometimes the girls don’t always want to talk to the head coach.”
If anyone knows about her dad’s coaching style, it’s Morris.
John Laxson coached at Mitchell for many years before moving onto Coronado. He coached golf for one season at Doherty in 2017 before joining his daughter at Rampart. Morris’ high school golf career began under her father.
She played three seasons at Mitchell because the school she attended at the time, Manitou Springs, did not have a program. She played her senior year at Coronado under her father’s direction once again.
Now, they work together to help another generation of girls improve their game.
“We bounce ideas off of each other when what we’re doing isn’t working,” she said.
“If I can see the problem and I’m not articulating it well enough to help somebody fix it, he will come over and help me or vice versa.”
Morris’ brother, Todd, also takes time to help coach the girls, mainly when their paths cross when the girls play at Cherokee Ridge or when both UCCS and Rampart are practicing at Colorado Springs Country Club.
Morris said her brother knows her own game so well that he often gives advice over the phone.
“On the way home I call my brother because my brother can fix my golf swing over the phone because he knows it so well,” Morris said.
“Usually I can articulate well enough to him what the girls are doing and he can help me fix it for them over the phone when he’s not there in person.”
Last season marked the first time since 2011 that Rampart qualified more than one golfer for the state tournament. Alex Hill, who returns to the program this season, finished tied for 46th at the 5A tournament and Lily Noteboom finished 80th.
Despite having just two practices so far this season due to poor weather conditions, Morris is excited to see what the girls can do, especially since the team went from being mostly seniors to a very young team. Morris said she has 10 freshmen and sophomores with four upperclassmen.
Morris believes that Rampart could send as many as three to state this year, but her focus is also on growing the team for the future and helping the girls grow to really love the game and continue to play.
“The problem with golf is it’s a time commitment, well any sport is, but it’s just so much more individual that if you don’t grow that love in it, it’s hard to want to go play,” Morris said.
“I need the girls to love it enough that they actually want to go play over the summer.
“If the girls really commit to getting better, I do think I could have at least two or three girls qualify (this year).”