“I really like what it does for students. It teaches them a game they can play for life, but it’s also a great social activity. It’s a difficult game, but it’s also a very rewarding game.”
—Casey Kilpatrick, Moffat County High School boys golf coach, about the benefits of playing golf
Casey Kilpatrick said he learned from a man with decades of experience, but is also looking forward to trying things his own way.
With the departure of Ken Harjes from the Moffat County High School boys golf team after 31 years at the helm of the program, Kilpatrick is the new head coach of the team after two years as an assistant.
Kilpatrick said he'd known Harjes was planning to retire, and he had an interest in taking over the head coaching job. He was a clear choice, said Jeff Simon, Moffat County School District athletic director.
“He was the assistant coach under Ken and he’s played golf for a long time,” Simon said. “I think the big thing is his vision for developing a program, not just coaching golf at the high school, but also developing a program which would get younger kids playing. His vision for that was huge for me.”
Kilpatrick said he's excited to be the golf coach because he'll be teaching a game he's passionate about.
“I really love the game of golf,” he said. “What I try to tell these kids, especially when we’re competing with all the other fall sports programs, which are great programs, is that golf is a game you can play for a lifetime. I like that aspect of it.”
He said the game can be valuable for young players.
“I really like what it does for students,” he said. “It teaches them a game they can play for life, but it’s also a great social activity. It’s a difficult game, but it’s also a very rewarding game.”
Kilpatrick is hoping to bring a few new ideas to the golf program.
One of Kilpatrick’s biggest initiatives will be to use technology as a way to assist his golfers.
“What I want to bring to the table is an introduction of technology to the golf swing,” Kilpatrick said. “Using some swing analysis applications in order to show the kids what their swing looks like. It’s one thing to tell them, it’s another to be able to show them.”
Kilpatrick hopes to film each golfer swinging and then show them on video while comparing it side-by-side with a professional’s swing. That way he hopes players will be able to see improvements they can make.
“If they can see the difference between the two swings it’s actually pretty powerful,” he said. “There’s a whole bunch of stuff they can see in slow motion that if I tell them about it, it doesn’t have as much impact.”
Kilpatrick is also planning on having his golfers compete for varsity spots regularly by having competitions among the team. He hopes that will create a sense of team unity between the varsity and junior varsity.
Kilpatrick has the support of his players, who have enjoyed working with him as an assistant in the past.
“He’s a fun guy to be around,” incoming senior Jake Bingham said. “He’s not too strict. He’s a fun coach.”
Incoming sophomore Casey Nations agreed.
“He gives you the opportunity to improve your game,” Nations said. “He’s like a friend and a coach, sort of.”