As soon as the ground begins to thaw many people get out their golf clubs and begin to practice as early as possible in the hopes of posting their lowest scores ever, and the Montague Golf Team is no different. Montague Head Golf Coach Philip Kerr is optimistic about the coming season and the opportunity to build a strong all-around program from the ground up. The Wildcat Golf Team will look to hit the links after losing many key contributing players from last season, and will rely on a core group of young talent that Coach Kerr feels are ready for the challenge.
“Vance Butler and Cole Eilers have already put in a good amount of practice time over the summer and look to make a splash in their first seasons with the team.” Kerr says of his emerging players, and comments that the team only returns one golfer from last year’s team: Sophomore Spencer Scamehorn.
The 2016 Montague golf team had one of the most successful years in recent memory, finishing 3rd at the District Tournament and reaching the Regional Championship for the first time since 2013. The team was very senior-heavy as all four top scorers were seniors and will not be returning this year. Nevertheless, this team will not be intimidated, and looks to use their youth as an advantage rather than a hindrance.
The golf team will face a tough, yet wide-open, West Michigan Conference, as many of last year’s conference teams were senior-heavy and are in a similar rebuilding stage as the Wildcats. If any team in the conference seems to have an upper hand it would be Shelby, who returns 2016 West Michigan Conference Player of the Year Keaton Inglis, and took first place in conference last year. Otherwise, the Wildcats look to contend and strive to be competitive in conference as they do every year.
“We will focus on improving chipping and putting skills in the short term as these abilities will result in the quickest drop in scores.” Kerr says, referencing the main aspect of the game the team will focus on this year. “We know that is where we can make the biggest strides in the shortest amount of time. Developing great swings will take time, and we look forward to the years ahead to continue to work on our ball striking.”
All in all, Coach Kerr, who will be assisted by Van Lawrence this year, believes that the sky’s the limit for the Montague golf program in the future. Not only is the current high school team filled with youth ready to hone their skills and blossom as players, Kerr commented that many middle schoolers have also shown interest in golfing in the future years.
“We are not only excited about the current young talent that we have on the team but look forward to the current 7th and 8th graders that have shown interest in playing golf at the High School level. The future of Montague golf looks bright!”
The Golf team will look to start the season with a bang at their first conference jamboree on Tuesday, April 11th at Moss Ridge Golf Course in Ravenna.