The next day
Golfers get to the course quickly after a rough competition
Kaleb McKey had to get back to the golf course.
The Moffat County junior couldn’t stand that he couldn’t hit the green from midrange during the tournament in Rifle on Wednesday. By 3 p.m. Thursday, he already had golfed nine holes and was well on his way to hitting 300 golf balls at the driving range.
“I needed to get things worked out,” he said. “I want to be stuck with my problem for as short of a period of time as possible.”
In McKey’s case, his problem was that he was using only his arms and wrist when he chipped. Yampa Valley Golf Course professional Ann Marie Hamilton helped McKey with his swing.
“I’ll play better next week,” he said. “It sounds cocky, but I know it will happen.”
The day after the Rifle tournament, all the golfers were working hard to correct problems or just to get better.
“On the trip home, I always hear about what the guys want to do when they get home,” coach Ken Harjes said. “Most of the time, they’re talking about what went wrong and how they can fix it.”
Junior Andy Sperl, who was at the practice green, summed up why it’s so important to get on the course as soon as possible after a round.
“You want to have the same swing every time,” he said. “If something is wrong in that swing, it needs to be fixed before it becomes permanent.”
Sperl had the team’s best round of 80 on Wednesday and he may have been the only one even close to satisfied Thursday.
“You don’t worry about things as much after a good round,” he said. “But you can never chip or putt enough.”
Senior Zach Haddan’s score of 90 Wednesday didn’t include too many highlights, but he said he approached Thursday’s practice the same.
“I do the same things after a good or bad round,” he said. “No matter how well I do, I can always get better.”
Although the team scores aren’t where its members would hope, there is no lack of work ethic, Harjes said.
“These guys all have great attitudes about it all,” he said. “I know a lot of them are out here as much as they can be.”
At every level, repetition is key in golf.
Currently, there is a commercial on TV about Tiger Woods’ work ethic in which he says there is “never a rainy day.” McKey said he’s heard stories about how Vijay Singh will hit balls on the driving range for three hours after a round of a tournament.
Harjes sees sim–ilar dedication from his guys.
“They are smart enough and play enough to know what they have to work out,” he said. “They understand what it takes to be good.”
For the first two weeks of the season, the golf team has the opportunity for a lot of repetition.
“I spend at least eight hours out here every day,” senior Zach Haddan said. “When school comes around, it makes it much harder for that.”
When school starts Monday, the golfers will be limited to three or four hours after school for practice.
“That’s why it’s important to get in the time early,” Sperl said. “We don’t have the time once school starts.”
On Thursday, there were still five days until the next tournament. For those who know the golfers and hope to reach them during that time, the best bet is to look at the YVGC.
“Free time is spent at the course,” Sperl said. “It’s a little tough on friends, but they should be understanding that it’s the season.”
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