Men’s Golf: ‘Cats play on without top-flight practice course

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The Ohio University Men’s Golf team is having a tough fall season. Specific reasons behind the Bobcats’ rough start are difficult to deliniate, but there is one glaring disadvantage that Ohio faces when it comes to preparation.

That disadvantage is the lack of an 18-hole course for practice.

“It makes it tough, because you don’t have a consistent idea of what it is to play 18 holes, especially when you go into a tournament,” freshman Ryan Worthy said.

Senior co-captain Paul Grauer agreed with Worthy’s statement and offered more insight to the situation.

“We kind of have a home course,” Grauer said. “Other schools have home courses that are 20 minutes away, so that’s not really the disadvantage. The disadvantage is that we only have nine holes and it’s a pretty old course, that’s what hurts us the most, not having a full length course.”

Freshman Ohio golfer and Athens native Curtis Goldsberry also acknowledged that Ohio’s practice facilities are wanting, offering a strong stance on the problem.

“We have the worst facilities in Division-1 here at Ohio. I haven’t checked that out, but we’ve got two nine-hole courses (The Ohio University Golf Course and The Athens Country Club) that we play on that aren’t in the greatest condition.  We don’t have very good practice facilities; this putting green (at the Ohio University Golf Course) is about all we have.”

However, not every member of the golf team shares the same opinion.

“The facilities at Ohio University are perfectly fine, I think it’s a good scapegoat for when we play poorly, to blame it on the facilities,” Andrew Mlynarski said.

John Mlynarski, Andrew’s older brother and co-captain of the Bobcats, also offered a more positive stance on Ohio’s golf facilities.

“It (the course) affects us to a degree,” Mlynarski said. “But we do have the opportunities here to have it really not be that big of a deal.  It would be nice to have a home tournament, that would be special, but you can’t always have what you want.”

Freshman golfers Will Stines and Thomas Leech addressed the difference between the conditions at Ohio University and their hometown courses.

“It’s different. Back in high school, when we had a home course, it was a lot tougher than the one we have here, so it was easier to get better,” Stines said.

“It is a lot different,” Leech said. “Back at home I have a regular place to practice, and the range facilities here are not the same as at home, it has definitely affected my game so far.”

Fresh off of a strong performance at the Bearcat Invitational, sophomore golfer Connor Coldwater questioned whether there is a need for a great practice course.

“They (the golf facilities) are not top priority like at most big schools, but it’s not that bad. I mean, you don’t necessarily need a great practice facility to work on your game.”
New, more adequate facilities could very well be on the horizon for Ohio, with news of a multi-sports complex at Ohio University coming up recently. As of now though, it is unclear whether the golf program will benefit from the new complex.

“The facilities could be better, but they are building that new sports complex soon, which we need,” Grauer said. “A lot of schools have gotten those; our facilities are definitely below par from other schools, but we’re trying to make progress by building that.”

The men’s team finished its fall season on a high note, with a third-place finish at the Dayton Flyer Invitational. A new season starts February 13 as MAC Match Play begins in Dade City, Florida.

Connor Coldwater summed up the whole problem well, saying, “the facilities may not be the best, but golf is an individual game and I can still try to work on my swing, putting stroke, and chipping.”