Losing 2016’s entire varsity squad to graduation but a team of 22, this year’s combined Warriors golfers will likely make up for a lack of golfing experience with the sheer depth of their roster.
“I’ve got a large army,” coach Scott Bauer said. “I think Marion has about the same number out this year but Peabody-Burns has a few more.”
Bauer, last year’s assistant coach, replaces Topher Rome as head coach. Bauer picked up golfing when he was in middle school, golfed in high school, and golfs regularly.
“Last year was my first year coaching,” he said. “We lost five golfers who knew the game and the etiquette. We could put inexperienced players with them and they’d be all right, but this year probably half our team is swinging a club for the first time. But it’s kinda cool their mostly all around the same, beginner level.”
He said Marion’s Devin Soyez was the only one on this year’s team who lettered last year. Bauer also said Marion’s Ryan Cochran, who is trying out high school golf for the first time as a senior, also seems to be picking up the game quickly.
“He’s out there on the weekend putting in more reps and really seems to be going after it,” Bauer said. “[Peabody’s] Taylor Medcalf also has some golf experience from a previous school. But the theme this year is really just a young team that is grinding out the basics.”
He said the team seems to favor playing the course to practicing on the driving range but that many players don’t seem to understand how many reps they need to put in to develop a consistent, repeatable golf swing.
“They get a little frustrated with all the drills, some hit a good shot one out of 10 times and get pumped about it the one good shot, but I tell them that 90 percent of the game is consistency,” he said.
With such a new team, a lot is still unknown. He said the six varsity sports are essentially open to any of the 22 players.
While he doesn’t expect the young team to win many varsity tournaments or bring home many medals, he anticipates that players will improve by the end of the season.
“Some kids didn’t know how to hold a club when we started,” he said. “I’m hoping there will be a lot of individual growth; maybe a player will be able to play three holes without losing a ball or make solid contact with a ball nine out of 10 times. I’d like to get the teams confidence up at tournaments, too.”