Former Maine West Teacher Gets Hall Pass for Golf Tourney
He goes from accounting and consumer education one day to sand traps and putting the next.
Only a week into the new school year, Michael Fastert was going to need a great excuse if he was going to be missing classes. A tee time at the U.S. Amateur Championship near Milwaukee turned out to be good enough.
Fastert, 32, is a new teacher at Belvidere High School near Rockford, where he conducts business classes that cover subjects such as accounting and consumer education. He was teaching at Maine West last year.
The transition to the school about 40 miles west of Des Plaines means Fastert has spent a lot of time in the classroom rather than on the golf course.
“It’s been hard for me to practice because of being at a new school,” said Fastert, who grew up in Des Plaines. “I actually had to withdraw from the Illinois State Amateur because I was already in meetings.
“This isn’t the best time for this tournament, but it’s still good to be out here,” he said of his determination to play in Wisconsin.
On Monday, Fastert started stroke play at Blue Mound Country Club in Wauwatosa, WI. He shot 76 to finish 6 shots over par after the first round. Normally solid off the tee, Fastert couldn’t take advantage of Blue Mound’s two par-5’s, finishing with bogeys on each.
“That’s what got me here was hitting it straight, making putts and that was the opposite of what I did today,” Fastert said.
His tournament play continues Tuesday at Erin Hills, which covers as much as 7,760 yards. Fastert said his afternoon tee time would probably involve difficult wind conditions, making the course even tougher.
He’ll most likely have to shoot par in order to advance to the match play section of the championship. But even if his involvement ends after two days, Fastert won’t be too disappointed in going back to school.
“The kids are really good out there; I’ve only been in class for a week, but so far they’re great,” Fastert said. “They want to learn and everyone’s supporting me for letting me be out here so that’s awesome.”