Green players, seasoned swingers abound for Moffat County boys golf
The boys of the Moffat County High School golf program are teed off — in a good way.
The season has already begun for the earliest of MCHS’s fall sports, and the summer has been a beneficial practice time for the Bulldogs, who have taken advantage of the links at Yampa Valley Golf Course to get ready for upcoming tournaments.
The majority of the 11-member team is in their first year competing, some still entirely new to swinging a club. Sophomore Gage Rowley said he just took up the sport earlier this year and quickly fell in love with it.
“My dad played a long time ago when he was, and he bought a set of golf clubs for himself, and I started playing with him a bit, so he got me my own set,” he said.
Only three duffers return from last season: junior Mike Bingham and seniors Silas Canto and Colton Hinkemeyer.
Hinkemeyer said he wants to make his fourth and final year on the course memorable.
“I’m looking to get just barely over par or on par this year, and it’s been working pretty good so far,” he said. “It’s a patience game.”
Bingham, who shot a 77 in the first event of the season, regularly recorded the lowest scores for MCHS last year, taking fourth place at 3A regionals and representing the team at state for the first time in four years. With the season finale tourneys at courses he’s quite familiar with — this year’s regional meet at Haymaker in Steamboat Springs, and state is at Eagle Ranch Golf Course in Eagle — the focus is on keeping up his quality of play throughout the next few weeks.The greens will be a particular point of interest for him.
“I shot a 37 on nine holes the other day, but it changes from day to day,” Bingham said before a team qualifying round last week. “Three- and four-putted greens are what killed me last year.”
More than half the team is playing multiple sports this fall, and working with the dual athletes is a priority, said second-year coach Justin Folley. While most of them are new to high school golf, they certainly know the game and have the competitive nature.
“We just need to fine-tune them a little bit,” Folley said.
Sophomore Kasen Brennise will juggle golf with September’s rodeo season, while Bingham will play football, as will fellow junior Eddie Smercina and seniors Trevor Kuhn, Shandon Hadley and Brett Loyd.
Also a baseball player, Loyd said adjusting the swing from a bat to a driver is hardly difficult.
“It’s all in the way you hold your hands,” he said.
Getting time on the fairways free of charge certainly doesn’t hurt, but the good times they’ve had at YVGC while just having fun only made sense to carry over into one more Moffat County activity, Hadley said.
“We’ve always golfed together, and since it’s our senior year, we figured we should do it now when we have the chance,” he said.
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