Golf preview

Emeline Root

Sr. Alex Wuerfel squares up to the tee and prepares to swing. He gazes over the hole, trying not to be nervous. But, the water to his right and sand bunker to his left makes it difficult to focus. He can’t be in the bunker or wet off the tee again. He has to do this right. With a deep breath, he swings the club and the ball goes soaring.

This specific hole is number eleven at Macatawa Legends golf course, the home course for the Boys Golf team. “If the course has a lot of water hazards, it really makes it hard to focus and play well. Water absolutely can ruin your mental state when playing,” Sr. Logan Overbeek said. On the back nine, the most challenging hole is the 11th hole because of the water that runs all along the right side. The 11th hole is marked at the hardest hole with respect to handicap.

Similar to the 11th hole, the 2nd hole is one of the most challenging holes on the front nine. It has water running along the right side, but it’s shorter than the 11th hole. “I’ve seen many competitors hit it in the water on the 2nd hole,” Sr. Adam Topp said. But, despite how challenging the holes are on the Macatawa Legends course, they give the team a chance to get better.

Being able to practice on challenging holes is one of the reasons why the West Ottawa boys golf team is doing so well. “Tough holes make you focus more on course management which helps me with the other courses that we play,” Topp said. The team also has strong players who can shoot low scores, and have a strong sense of community. “Most of the team has played together since freshman year. We have great team chemistry, and we all have fun with each other which is important,” Topp said. They have a strong group of upperclassmen with a large amount of varsity level experience. This puts them at an advantage because teams who have previously done well, Rockford and Grandville, lost a few strong seniors.

They have been playing extremely well. Most recently, they placed 1st at the Ottawa County Tournament and 2nd at the West Ottawa jamboree. “I feel like consistency is the most important part of having a successful team. If we can do that all year long, expect us to be on top by the end,” Topp said.
With the success they’ve had so far, the boys golf team is expected to have a great finish to their season, looking to make a deep run into regionals and, hopefully, the state tournament.