Golf team from Grayling High School starts season with improved overall numbers
Expanded roster to feature eight returning players from last year’s squad
Caleb Casey | Managing Editor
The varsity boys golf team from Grayling High School has significantly improved numbers from last year to this year, and the squad’s coach – Brad Duncan, who’s in his second season with the program – expects better results during the upcoming campaign because of it.
“It’s exciting seeing all these kids. Numbers have been good. That’s the main thing. That’s going to make us more successful,” Coach Duncan said. “This year we will have a JV squad and a varsity squad.”
The team had six players last year at the beginning of official practices, and it was able to add a few as the year progressed. For the 2019 spring season, this year’s Grayling High School varsity golf squad had 16 players when practices began, Duncan said.
Of the 16, eight are back from last year’s team, Duncan said. Like last year, the team doesn’t have many seniors, but it does have some varsity experience, plus some new talent.
“I’m really excited for some of these new golfers,” Coach Duncan said.
Official practice sessions for the squad started on Monday, March 11. At first, the Vikings practiced upstairs in the Grayling High School gymnasium behind the bleachers due to weather conditions and snow on the golf course. The team ordered some new equipment and it used existing gear during the indoor practice sessions.
The squad has nets and pieces of artificial turf and the players practiced putting, chipping, driving – all of the necessary swings – with the equipment.
“We’re set up to be able to practice all of the game indoors minus targeting,” Coach Duncan said. “We’ll get a good month of practice indoors before we get outdoors. I’m 100 percent sure we’ll improve on our performance from last year.”
Coach Duncan said the first few practice sessions went well.
“They’re much more motivated this year than last year,” Coach Duncan said. “It’s been great. They seem motivated to get up here and swing the golf clubs.”
Projections for the Lake Michigan Conference this year?
“If it wasn’t for Elk Rapids, we might compete for a league championship this year,” Coach Duncan said.
Coach Duncan said he hopes the team will beat some of its league rivals and continue to improve throughout the season. Because the squad is still so young, he’s hoping to build a foundation for the players so in a year or two they can “compete for a state title.”
“We’re definitely looking to improve on our performance from last year. That’s imminent. The goal for the year is to improve and learn to compete,” Coach Duncan said.
The golf team’s first meet of the 2019 season is slated for Wednesday, April 17, at West Branch Country Club. The Vikings will host a meet at the Grayling Country Club on Monday, April 29.
In recent days, the squad has been able to get outside for some course work and practice on the driving range.
“We have been at the course for the last couple days. Mainly on the putting green and driving range. The kids seem really excited to be out. Some of them have even got a few rounds in. We are really looking forward to nice weather,” Coach Duncan said.