By Tony Hooker
With football and volleyball being moved to a spring season, the golf team has seen a boost in numbers like never before.
As Coach Gerard told me in his season preview, he has some athletes on his squad, but the question is whether they can transfer that athleticism to the golf course. It’s a different swing than baseball or softball, and it’s often not easy to transfer the two.
If their first match is any indication, the girls’ squad is going to be led by two high level athletes who would never have graced the course. Kyleigh Block, once a decorated gymnast, is an all-world level athlete, being an all-conference basketball and softball player and a starter on some high-level teams. All she did in her first match, on the challenging Eagle Creek course, was fire a 59 over 9 holes to earn medalist honors. In 2019, on this same course, a score of 121 earned a trip to sectionals for one young lady, so if she plays consistently and works on her game, there’s a chance that she could be in the mix to advance. Sophomore Maci Clodfelder, another multisport athlete making her golf debut, also put together a solid round, firing a 62 and hopefully she’ll continue to work on the mental nuances of the game and continue to improve each day.
On the boy’s side, Zach Buesing’s steady improvement from his freshman year to this, his senior campaign, is a testament to hard work and dedication to his craft. The 2019 sectional qualifier picked up right where he left off with a 39 (full results are in the weekly wrap-up) to take medalist honors by 3 strokes in the season’s first match. Backing him was Liam Barr, previously better known for his exploits on the gridiron than for his expertise on the links. At least he doesn’t have hulking defensive linemen chasing him with ill intentions on the golf course.
To project future success based on one match is folly, of course, but it is fun to speculate. The fact that these athletes shot better scores in their first match than these old duffer scores after 35 years of hacking away is a testament to their skill and my lack of same. Hopefully, some of these kids will fall for the game like I did all those years ago, although in my case the love is mostly unrequited.