Men’s golf tee off on high note at Clarke Invitational
The men’s golf team welcomed a new coach in their season opening at the Clark Invitational on Tuesday, Sept. 6. Finishing second out of 12 teams, new head coach Gabe Miller is excited for the upcoming season.
“It was good to see our guys at a different course playing against different competition than what we have been over the week at practice,” said Miller.
“Overall, we’re happy to finish second, but we also know there’s opportunities to improve our scores from all of our guys.”
Many of the Duhawks believed they were prepared for this meet, which is unusual for away competition.
“A lot of them had played that course, whether it was over the summer or in past seasons. Not knowing the course definitely is a disadvantage,” said Miller. “In practices, we just have to put players in situations where they’re not always comfortable (in order to prepare).”
A major component of many of the golf practices has been pushing the men out of the comfort zone, whether that be hitting out of different spots on the course, playing off of different drives, or hitting out of sand traps.
The team is also a fairly young one, with four of the top five guys being underclassmen, according to Miller. The five seniors, however, take up a large role of leadership on the course. Senior Peter Lienenweber specifically keeps up the mental strength of his teammates.
“With 16 guys on the team, getting them to come together as a team is big; creating those relationships that will last long after four years of golf (is important),” said Miller. “I think the biggest thing we have to work on is staying mentally engaged and keeping our emotions in check out on the course. It can make a difference between being second place or being first.
The next match for the men will be in Galena this coming weekend, Sept. 15-16.
“It’s exciting; I think the future is really bright. The guys are hungry to work hard and they know that it can be a special season but also that we can build on it,” said Miller.