Bingham Golfers Working Toward a Strong Showing at State
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By Billy Swartzfager | email@example.com
Bingham High School’s boys golf team is right in the middle of its 2016 season, hoping the team can swing its way toward taking the top spot in the region by season’s end.
The team took second in 5A’s Region 3 last season. They followed that up by taking 14th in the state golf tournament last October. The Miners will have a tough hill to climb to come out on top of region rivals Brighton and Cottonwood though, as both finished in the top 10 at the state tournament in 2015. And, that is exactly what Bingham hopes to do in 2016.
“We want to win our region and finish in the top 10 at state,” said Jim Applegate, Bingham’s head coach of five years.
The group hooked up during the summer to play a few rounds and the players played throughout the summer on their own in various places as well. This season, there are several golfers on Applegate’s squad who are returning this season to lead the team in pursuit of the goals they have chosen. A couple of those who are returning have experience at the highest level of high school competition from last season. Junior Nick Anderson played both days at last year’s state tournament and scored a 79 and an 83, respectively. Senior Ashton Robb shot an 81 on the first day last season at state. In addition to Anderson and Robb, the team is also anchored by seniors Josh Brereton and Tyler Peterson and junior Ethan Fowlks.
The returning golfers will certainly add leadership and experience as the group moves through the season. But practices will also be a major factor in this bunch shaving strokes from their games. That subject was recently focused on during a week of practices according to Applegate.
“Last week, we focused on turning three shots into two,” he said, referring to how the Miners have approached improving their short games.
Another factor the team focuses on regularly, according to the coach, is the mental aspect of golf. They have mental training practice every Friday, which is something the team enjoys all while getting assistance and guidance from coaches on ways to remain calm during a round of golf.
“Golf is a sport where the mental side is huge,” Applegate said. “We try to help them with this aspect of their game.”
There is also a team philosophy the coach hopes all of his players will take onto the tees, fairways and greens with them as they embark on matches and tournaments. The team calls it W.I.N., or what’s important now. Team members try to stay in the moment, not allowing themselves to get bogged down thinking about a poor shot or a mistake from a previous hole.
“We try to stay in the present, even if we hit a bad shot,” Applegate said. “We want them to focus on what they can do now to help their situation.”
This year’s state tournament will be held at Midway’s Soldier Hollow Golf Course on Oct. 3 and 4. By then the coaches and golfers hope that all of the practice, the matches, the tournaments and the mental preparation will have come to fruition, becoming a huge part of a successful season. Sitting atop Region 3 and being ready to shed a few strokes during the grueling two-day state tournament will be no easy task, especially in a tough region. But the approach that Applegate and his team has taken is proof enough that they are hungry and entirely capable.