ES golf team working hard
While the golf season doesn't start for another three weeks, the Eureka Springs Highlanders have been preparing since June. Coach Brian Rambo said the biggest thing he has been working on with his team is trying to adjust to the summer heat.
"It has been extremely hot this year," Rambo said. "All of our summer sports have been in the same situation. More than anything for the guys who don't play a lot of golf, it's about getting out, walking the course, getting acclimated. Being able to stay out on the course for two or three hours at a time and still be able to withstand the heat while hitting good golf shots. That's the most important thing right now because it's a long way between now and the first week of October for the state tournament."
The boys return Levi Crider, who made it to the Class 2A state tournament last year and shot a 100 at the Conway Country Club. That was just a few shots away from qualifying for all-state. After a one-year hiatus, David Birchfield returns and Carter Drennon is playing for the first time. With three players, the Highlanders will have enough players to form a team. Eureka Springs has never made it to the state tournament as a team in the eight years that Rambo has been at Eureka Springs. Rambo hopes that will change this year.
"David Birchfield is a senior this year and he decided to come back and play this year," Rambo said. "Carter Drennon is going to play and as a result, we will have enough to make a team. Hopefully we can get in the district tournament this year and shoot a good enough score to make it to the state tournament. That would be exciting."
Katelyn Ross is the only girl on this years team, but she went to the Class 2A state tournament at the DeGray golf course in Bismarck and finished third overall as a sophomore. Rambo is hoping she can improve on that finish last year.
"She is improving every week," Rambo said. "She has been playing Junior PGA this summer and I think she just won the state championship in her age level. She is making leaps and bounds every week and getting better."
Crider has also been playing in the Junior PGA events throughout the summer.
"It's about getting in there and competing against the best of the best and trying to get better," Rambo said. "He is really getting in there and shooting some good scores."
Rambo believes playing in the Junior PGA events will help Ross and Crider once they take the course against high school competition.
"They get to play some tremendous golf courses," Rambo said. "It's something the PGA has been playing with. It kind of mirrors the PGA Tour on a junior level by your age group. Kids from surrounding states come in and play. It's definitely an opportunity to branch out and play against good competition in a PGA setting."
Eureka Springs' golf season starts on Tuesday, Aug. 14, at the Holiday Island Country Club.