Young Skiers golfers going through growing pains
The Aspen Times
Aspen CO, Colorado
ASPEN ” In addition to words of wisdom, Aspen golf coach Mary Woulfe gave her young team log books to take notes and chart their progress.
They might need more paper after Wednesday’s round at the Eagle Vail Golf Club. On a course in which no player on its depleted roster had ever played, Aspen’s inexperience was on full display.
Tommy Doyle shot 94, Coulter Young 97, Hunter Ross 98 and Ryan Smith 108 for the Skiers, who finished well out of team title contention for a second straight day. Young (94) was the lone Aspen golfer to break 100 Tuesday at Gunnison’s Dos Rios Golf Course.
While she called Wednesday’s performance “lackluster,” Woulfe said it was understandable.
“When you start on a par-4 and you can’t see the green, where to aim or how far to hit, it’s a little bit of a challenge,” she added.
So, too, was competing shorthanded. Aspen was without key contributors Bobby Moyer, Omri Gildor and Ryan Fahy. Moyer was at freshman orientation, Gildor on vacation at Lake Powell and Fahy was taking his sister to college, Woulfe said.
Had they been in Avon, Moyer, Gildor and Fahy likely would have also struggled with Eagle Vail’s lengthy tract and narrow, unforgiving fairways, Woulfe said.
“If you’re errant at all, there’s a lot of trouble,” she added. “A 180-yard par-3 is a little long for some guys who haven’t grown yet. I was impressed with the way they chipped to get up and down on some holes when they didn’t have the length. It was a good challenge for them.
“Teeing off with a guy who hits 260, 280 yards, it’s an opportunity to see what the competition is. Our kids are as tournament tough as anyone, they just need to get their feet wet and play all these courses.”
Woulfe has done her best to encourage competition. As opposed to years past when the top five finishers in a preseason qualifier compete in every tournament, the Skiers now hold qualifiers almost every week. With 10 kids capable of shooting 85 to 100, Woulfe said the new system gives everyone the chance to contribute and to experience tournament play.
The open competition system should pay dividends: The Aspen Golf Club hosts the 3A Western Conference regional Sept. 22 and 23. The Skiers also have a home tournament Sept. 9.
“It gives our freshman the chance to play their course under pressure in regionals. It’s a superb opportunity to sneak a kid or two into state, maybe even the team,” she added. “They all have something to play for.”
The team will hold a qualifier today to determine who plays in Monday’s tournament at Glenwood Springs Golf Club.
“This group of kids had no idea that as freshman they’d be as strong a team as they are,” Woulfe said. “They’re building confidence. It’s been fun to watch.”
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