Boys’ golf anticipates challenging match

Team disadvantaged by reduced practice time


Ruby Stillman

Sophomore Michael Boxley practices his swing at practice April 15. The boys’ golf team practiced inside the school gym because of bad weather.

After a number of boys’ golf practices and matches, sophomore Zach Segal said he feels the team’s camaraderie has improved immensely.

“We’ve only had two matches this year, and we’ve all seen progress since the first one. Honestly I think we’re working really hard together,” Segal said. “We really help each other out on the range everyday, and that makes it all a lot better.”

According to coach Mike Okey, scores are anticipated to go up as the Park team works more practice time in.

“It’s rough with the winter being so late and we’ve really been (practicing) on a course for a couple weeks and there’s a lot of rust to knock off. But, I expect the scores to improve,” Okey said.

Senior Owen Goddard said he hopes to improve by the time the April 29 match comes around.

“I haven’t been playing great myself recently, but I think just that understanding that that’s part of the game,” Goddard said. “I’m meeting with a few of my coaches this weekend to try to fix what’s been going on recently.”

Okey said even though the team hasn’t been playing their best, the team’s overall positivity has struck him.

“I’ve been really impressed with our great attitudes, despite not playing to their best potential, the attitude has been phenomenal,” Okey said.

According to Goddard, improving one’s golf game relies a lot on the individual’s motivation.

“Golf is very much an individual sport, so I think everyone has to find their own ways of practicing that’s best suited for them. The game is 90 percent mental and 10 percent physical, so a lot of the ways to improve golf is mentally,” Goddard said.

Okey said the limited practice time has taken a toll on the team’s preparation.

“It’s tough when they haven’t had a lot of time to practice. And then when it gets rained out or snowed out, it’s less time. Golf, it’s one of those sports where you don’t just step in and have what you had last year,” Okey said. “It takes some muscle memory and a lot of repetition to get your swing back and get in the groove again.”

Segal said although the sport is very competitive, the coaches have allowed time for the golf team to bond and have fun.

“It’s a lot more fun this year. The coaches have really done a good job of keeping us in line, and not letting us have too much fun, but enough where we have practice and fun at the same time,” Segal said.

Okey said the team is excited to be playing at Hazeltine National Golf Club, which hosted the 2016 Ryder Cup, and is a reputable course.

“I know this is probably the one match on the calendar outside of Sections that everybody’s really amped up (for) and wants to play in because it’s one of the premier golf courses in Minnesota,” Okey said.

According to Segal, the team has been collaborating to prepare for an exciting and entertaining upcoming match.

“It’s a tour level course (and) we’re all excited and talking about how great of an opportunity it is for us to play,” Segal said. “The last match went a lot better for our guys, and we’re excited to see what else we can do. We’re talking back and forth and hyping each other up, and it’s good overall enthusiasm we’re pouring into each other.”

The upcoming boys’ golf match will be at 2 p.m. April 29 at Hazeltine National Golf Club.