A date with the Devil

Moffat County High School golf team to compete in Delta

If you go

What: MCHS girls golf in Delta

When: 9:30 a.m. today

Where: Devils Thumb Golf Course 9900 Devils Thumb Rd, Delta

Call: 970-874-6262

Devils Thumb Golf Course.

It sounds intimidating, and with its mountainous backdrop, it sure looks intimidating.

And when the Moffat County High School golf team travels today to the course in Delta, coach Ann Marie Roberts said her players must be careful - or they will get burned.

"It's pretty hilly there," she said. "You definitely don't want to get off the fairway when you play that course."

This week's practice could help.

Roberts worked on backswing changes for each of her three team members - senior Meghan Innes, sophomore Heather Nicholson and freshman Callie Papoulas - while putting drills remained a constant.

"We've been putting a lot," Roberts said. "And I tweaked all three of their backswings. It should help the girls a lot."

Roberts said Innes was "laying her backswing up at the top," Nicholson was "getting a little flat" and Papoulas was "just whipping it back and would get real long and floppy."

Papoulas injured her back last weekend in Grand Junction and will sit out today's round at Devils Thumb.

"It's a bummer," Roberts said. "She was really starting to hit the ball good."

But, Roberts said the freshman still will travel with her teammates for studying purposes.

"I'm going to take her because that's our regional course, and she's going to walk it with me," Roberts said. "It will be good to not ride in a cart and be able to stay with the girls on the course."

The team still is limited to indoor practices, but that has provided team members ample opportunity to work on the flat blade.

Roberts said she set up a "ladder drill" for the team to work on its putting, with the emphasis on getting the ball past - but not too far past - the hole.

Roberts' reasoning?

A short putt will never go in.

"It can't go in if it doesn't go past it," Roberts said. "You can't make a birdie if it doesn't go past the hole."

The Bulldog ball-strikers have been working on drill after drill after drill, for good reason.

As an LPGA professional, Roberts said she is a teacher first and foremost. Drills are what she does.

"Being in the LPGA, you have to take classes every year," she said. "You have to get 24 credits every year, so I'm still learning, too."

Are all the lessons and drills starting to pay dividends?

"We're starting to get more in a rhythm now that the season is going on," Roberts said. "The girls are getting better every day."

John Vandelinder can be reached at 875-1793, or jvandelinder@craigdailypress.com

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