Golf team set to tee off in two weeks

By Marco Villano, Staff Writer

The young guns are taking over golf circuits all over the country, so why should college golf be any different?

The 2008-2009 U golf roster is loaded with sophomores (five) and, as ESPN’s Dick Vitale would say, “diaper dandy” freshmen8212;the Utes have four.

Needless to say, this will be a rebuilding year for the U golf team that lost its star player in the middle of 2008. It’s also a chance for the young guys to get some tournament experience.

The good thing is that head coach Randall McCracken won’t have a problem shifting players around to see who can compete on the five-man team.

“We’re going to be really good, talent-wise,” McCracken said. “What we’re going to be lacking is experience. So it’s going to take a little bit of time for these younger guys to get their feet under them in competition and getting used to playing college golf.”

Due to the lack of experience and bad weather when the spring season starts, McCracken decided to schedule the majority of their tournaments in the fall. Typically, the golf team would play five in the fall and six in the spring, but this season the U will play six tournaments in the fall and three in the spring. “I kind of changed up our schedule a little bit because the weather has been so bad in the winter,” McCracken said. “We’re going to hopefully play well in the fall and start later in the spring, so we’ll at least have a chance to play and practice a little bit before that first event.”

The Utes will tee off their season during the first month of the Fall Semester, on Sept. 6. They will be traveling to Colorado Springs, Colo., for the Gene Miranda Falcon Invitational. The highlight of the schedule will be the University of Hawaii Kauai Invitational in November.

The Utes came hot out of the gates last season and were in good position to take the regional championships after the fall. But when winter rolled around, players were unable to put in the amount of practice needed during the rough spring months.

“With Dustin (Pimm) deciding to turn professional early, we lost our No. 1 player and our other guys played pretty good, but it wasn’t quite as good as we needed it to be,” McCracken said. “We just couldn’t get into a rhythm in the spring.”

During the offseason McCracken leaves the players alone to attend to their own tournament and practice schedules.

“They’re all out doing their own thing and I try to stay away from them during the summer,” McCracken said. “They get tired of me over the course of the year.”

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