ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Late start for high school golf has its pros and cons

Recent weather explains the dilemma surrounding the later start to the spring high school golf season in South Dakota. On Wednesday, some parts of the state saw a foot of snow and any area courses that were entertaining opening for the season had...

Recent weather explains the dilemma surrounding the later start to the spring high school golf season in South Dakota.

On Wednesday, some parts of the state saw a foot of snow and any area courses that were entertaining opening for the season had to shelve those plans. But up until then, March was relatively dry and warm.

But the South Dakota High School Activities Association approved moving back the start of the season by two weeks and that schedule will be used for the first time this season. Practices can start Monday for high school golfers, the first meet can be held April 8 and the state meets will be held June 6 and 7 this season.

"It's a bit ironic because this was one of the best weather months we've had in March," said Howard golf coach Alan Wiese. "I think the idea is a longer season with better weather and in the case of this year, it's too bad because we had some good weather. But I think it will all work out."

Wiese already has a plan for the days that they're forced inside. The team will review the rules of golf, utilize golf nets and focus on the little parts of each player's swing, recording them with an iPad and correcting possible bad habits. That allows Wiese to fix mistakes in the grip, ball position and swing plane of the young golfers.

ADVERTISEMENT

"You're always at the mercy of the weather," he said. "I know a couple of years ago, we had bad weather into April and that means you're only getting a few weeks of meets before it's time for regions. It can wreck a season."

The state's golf advisory committee recommended the change in the spring to try to line up the season as equally as possible with the fall season, when Class AA and Class A boys play their seasons. The change was made with the state tournaments in 2014 and this is the first season where the start of the season has been moved back.

Andes Central/Dakota Christian coach Tom Cooney says he has mixed feelings about the rule change. He said athletes on the team will be done with school for three-and-a-half weeks before the state tournament, meaning there could be conflicts with students' summer jobs or camps.

"There is going to be springs where it pays off and there's going to be some springs where it probably won't make a difference. I guess I'm not real crazy about it going as late as it does for some of our students who have summer plans."

Cooney said it's possible some golfers will decide they don't want to hassle with the extra time at the end of the season and won't go out for the sport. But he said the students that are committed to the sport won't have a problem with that.

The move to first week of June could also change the complexion of the state golf tournament, Wiese said.

"You look forward to it just like you do every year but if we get a couple of 90-degree days for that state meet, that might change how we all feel about it," he joked.

Related Topics: GOLF
Traxler is the assistant editor and sports editor for the Mitchell Republic. He's worked for the newspaper since 2014 and has covered a wide variety of topics. He can be reached at mtraxler@mitchellrepublic.com.
What To Read Next
Prep basketball action from around the state for Friday, Jan. 27.
Stevens opened the third quarter on an 8-0 run, erasing the 25-24 advantage the Kernels held at half. The Raiders never gave the lead back.
Members Only
Rapid City Stevens defeats the Mitchell Kernels 56-37.
“Women’s athletics at South Dakota State has always been valued and supported,” SDSU women's basketball coach Aaron Johnston said. “We’re lucky to have people that invest in women’s athletics here.”