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USU men’s golf gains practice time for spring tournaments 

February 26th, 2015 Posted in Sports

Due to Logan’s unusual mild winter, the Utah State University men’s golf team has had additional practice time to prepare for upcoming spring tournaments.

“We usually start practice sometime in the middle of March, on average,” said Grahm Schmaltz, a senior on the golf team who set a university record with a second-place finish in a Southern Utah Invitational this month. “But we’ve had most of January and February to practice so the warm weather has been really helpful.”

Logan’s average high temperature for January of 2014 was 29 degrees, with a low of 11, according to The Weather Channel. In January 2015, the average high was 35 degrees and the average low was 22.

“We’re usually at a disadvantage because we usually have snow on the ground and most of the other teams out there can play golf year-round,” said Chad Nordon, the assistant coach for the team.

In the past, the team has taken measures to avoid icy golf ranges by traveling to warmer cities such as St. George. According to Nordon, the team has only had to make one trip this year.

“We haven’t needed to go down to St. George and that’s good because we don’t have to drive five hours on weekends to practice,” Schmaltz said. “It’s also saving money in the team’s budget for other things.”

The team is facing two new tournaments this spring: the Cal Poly Match Play in March and the BYU Cougar Classic in April.

“The additional practice should get us more prepared to play, especially since we’re starting out a good month earlier than normal,” Schmaltz said. “We’re ranked fourth in conference right now, so we’re looking pretty good going into our new tournaments.”

Zach Waxler, another player on the team, said there have already been improvements in performance because of the extra practice time.

“We got to play a little bit in January and we did decently well at the first tournament in St. George,” he said. “So far the weather has helped and I think it will continue to if the weather stays how it is.”

“In golf, it’s hard to take three months off and then jump right into a tournament,” Schmaltz said. “We’ll probably have a lot more confidence going to each round in the tournament knowing that we’ve actually played a lot before we got there.”

Sarah Keyes, Hannah Rose, Landon Pozernick, Erin West and Amber Farrow contributed to this report.

-mdl

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