SWHS boys’ golf team prepared for new season

By Martha Marteney - Staff Writer
South Windsor - posted Thu., Apr. 7, 2011
Clark Robinson of SWHS sets up for the first round of golf of the season. Photos by Martha Marteney.
Clark Robinson of SWHS sets up for the first round of golf of the season. Photos by Martha Marteney.

The South Windsor High School boys’ golf team started its season on April 6 with a dual match against Manchester High School at the Manchester Country Club.

SWHS golf coach L.B. Gray has been with the team for four years. The team ended the season last year with a record of 13-5-3. “I anticipate being about the same as last year – top of the middle,” Gray said about the upcoming season. The team will face the same difficulties as last year, including competing against a team that practices at a private golf course, thereby restricting his team’s ability to become familiar with the course.

The team has two strong returning players - junior Clark Robinson and senior Cal Hedberg. “They’re both scratch golfers, and excellent competitors,” said Gray.

Five players on the 11-member squad golf in the competitions. This year’s team is comprised of Robinson, Hedberg, senior Zach Ryder, junior Bobby Hunt and senior Kyle Benson.

“There’s a big difference between competitive golf and playing with your friends,” explained Gray. “One stroke makes the difference between win, loss or tie.” He keeps his team members focused by developing course management strategies, including giving the golfers confidence to play within their game. Each golfer needs to recognize his abilities and to take his best shot. By playing confidently within his game, the golfer neither takes risky shots nor internalizes on missed opportunities.

Hedberg began golfing in the seventh grade and has been on the team since his freshman year. In addition to enjoying the outdoors, he likes golf “because you control every shot,” he said. Hedberg expects the team will be a little better than last year, because of the number of returning team members.

Robinson said he has been golfing “forever,” and has been on the SWHS team for three years. “When I play well, it’s the most exciting thing,” he said. To keep his emotions in check, Robinson focuses on technique, but at the same time tries not to think about the outcome of the shot. “I think Cal and I will do well,” he said. “Our goal is to win conference.”

Team captain Ryder said he has also been playing golf for many years, and started with the team his sophomore year. “I love to get out,” Ryder said, in describing why he likes golf. “It keeps my mind off other things.” He said last year’s record did not truly reflect the team’s abilities. “We’re stronger this year,” he said of the upperclassmen. “We’ll be good.” Ryder plans on playing golf in college.

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