— submitted by Coach Jack Rice
Friday Harbor High School kicked off the 2015 golf season with an opener home match against arch rival, Orcas.
The match was played at our home course, San Juan Golf Club. For this time of year, the golf course condition is as good as I have ever seen.
To provide a little background, we started practice one week ago on March 2. Golf is one of the few sports that does not have the 10 practice minimum before the players can compete. From a coaching standpoint, after five practice sessions, we’re now on the links trying to pull off shots that could take years to learn. To say the least, my expectations were pretty low.
The Orcas coach called me on Wednesday tell me he has only four players traveling to the match and three of them had never held a club until last week.
I had a meeting with Bryan (Germain), the course manager, and was able to convince him to set the course up with the majority of the holes being played from the 200-yard marker. He finally came around after a little prodding; his only comment was “the next thing I’ll want is 18-inch cups.”
The Four Horsemen, my returning juniors, set the pace for the day. Cole Thomas and Keegan Hebert were medalist for the match with 45s. They were followed closely by Jordan Davis with 48. Jesse Kowolitz scored a 52. Jesse Hargrove missed the match as he was working on his driving skills, car driving that is, with driver’s education.
The rest of the team, comprised of new players: freshman Race Rousar scored a 50 in his first match. Seniors Max Haenel and Paul Barrette posted 70s. Freshmen Adam Bates, Jaden Roberts and Dylan Posenjak all scored 68 for their first match.
Sophomores Will Christinson and Javies Gomez scored 64 and 71, respectively. Keep in mind that these are 9-hole scores from the 200-yard markers. It is going to be fun to see how fast they can improve.
Let me not forget to mention my two lady golfers, freshmen Jocelyn Roberts and Thailand exchange student, Senior Jidapa Ketcharung, aka “Nam.” The ladies were unable to complete the round but enjoyed themselves and learned a lot for being on the course for the first time.
Orcas showed up with two young men and a young lady who had never played golf before. They enjoyed walking our course and are still talking about how fast our greens are.
Senior Mara Nutt scored a nice 49 and came in with the forth lowest score for the match.
We travel to La Conner on Tuesday next week.
The learning curve is very steep at this point. I am really thankful that Riley Rousar has agreed to be my assistant coach for the season. With this many players who have skill levels all over the map, it would be difficult to give each student the help they require without the help from former player Riley.