BY ASIA MCCRAY
The Sacred Heart University men’s golf team is preparing to swing into action as they head to the Lonnie Barton and BCU Gary Freeman Invitationals in Daytona Beach, Fla., on March 4.
According to head coach Matthew McGreevy, the team had a productive offseason in order to build chemistry. They are focusing on their individual skill work for the spring season, as well as preparing for the change of weather in Florida.
“We are very familiar with the course we are playing on. It is our conference championship course and we have been playing there for several years now,” said McGreevy. “There are certain holes that will be key in having a good round, numbers six, 11 and 18 come to mind.”
According to Athletic Communications, the team finished tied for eighth out of 90 individuals at their last fall invitational. Senior Hector Gutierrez said the team’s spring season will be about staying focused and consistent.
“My favorite course to play this spring has to be our own, Great River Golf Club,” said Gutierrez. “As a senior, I’ve enjoyed playing in it for the past four years and I’m definitely going to miss the challenging, yet fun layout.”
The team plans out their approach to victory prior to each tournament they compete in.
“For me, it’s just seeing the shot that I want to hit and executing it,” said junior Clifford Lindholm. “I try to have a short term memory when I’m on the course and I think that’s an important part to playing great golf.”
Each golfer has a different point of view on how they want to mentally attack the course.
“For me personally, it’s just trying to get back into the groove because I am coming back from an injury I suffered from last fall, so it’s been a while since I’ve played competitive golf,” said freshman Saptak Talwar.
In a golf bag there are 14 clubs inside. The clubs perform certain tricks for different holes, and each member of the team has their own preferences as to which one they want to use, and when. Saptak said he prefers his putter, while Lindholm said he prefers the driver.
According to the golfers, the weather conditions during the golf match are very important and will also play a role on which club they use.
“It’s all relative to the shot and the conditions. If it’s windy, I will have to use different clubs from a yardage depending on if the wind is into or behind me,” said Lindolm.
Aside from the weather and personal club choice, the main goal for the golfers is always to get their ball in the hole.
“I think the hardest shot is from the tees,” said Gutierrez. “Unfortunately, not every tee shot lands on the fairway, so realizing that you need to test your skills by playing a shot you don’t usually practice, makes those recovery shots challenging.”
After the Pioneers return from the Lonnie Barton and BCU Gary Freeman
Invitationals, they will head to Grasonville, Md. for the Towson Invite from April 6-7, to continue their run for a championship.
“Our team’s expectations have remained the same since the first day of practice. We’re here to try and win a National Championship and that first starts with winning our conference,” said Lindholm. “We have the talent to go all the way, it just comes down to executing it when the time comes.”