Men’s golf in full swing

Golf is often considered one of the most challenging games to consistently play well.  For the American River College men’s golf team, this is a season of finding that consistency, despite very little overall competitive experience.

The team has struggled throughout the beginning of the season, but has seemed to find the right swing and started to turn the season around with the beginning of conference play.

“We’re young and in development,” said Michael Thomas, head coach of the men’s golf team. “We started out a little flat, and basically turned it around after our last match.”

The Beavers recently started to settle into play they had hoped for at the start of the season. Placing seventh out of 13 teams at the Stanford Invitational, ARC then went on to finish in the top-three at the first conference tournament.

Improvement seems to be the overall goal of the season. With most of the conference tournament yet to be played, there is a lot of room for improvement in the standings.

“Our ultimate goal is a conference championship, though it will be pretty tough,” said Thomas

Lead by Roberto Herrera, Chris Hessing, and Shaun Abalateo, these three players are the only experienced players the team has.

As with most golfers, the team’s overall struggles come from the short game. They have no problem getting connection off the tee, but need to work on their putting and shots within 100 yards of the hole. The team has been doing extra workouts to improve in these areas of their game.

“We have been working diligently on extra putting drills, short game drills, and shots from inside 100 yards, because 60-70 percent of your shots are within 100 yards of the green,” said Thomas.

With five sophomores and four freshmen, the team hopes to lean on their experience to win tournaments, despite lacking much competitive play. Experience has been the achilles heel of the team, something they hope to build on in each tournament throughout the remainder of the season.

“What we look to get is experience at the competitive level, and to continue to improve in all aspects of their game, including their student life, and academic aspects as well,” said Thomas.

With the main portion of the season underway, each tournament draws closer to the final conference standings. Coach Thomas ended saying, “Our overall goal is to improve each day and get better, and we will see us move up the standings.”

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