Year-round golf lays foundation to excel

By SHAYNE GOTTLOB Sportswriter

Not all college athletes have the opportunity to compete in their sport during two seasons throughout the year with the exception of golf. 

For most athletes, they compete for roughly five months, get a two-week break or so, then train for the next seven months until the season starts up again. That length of time can wear on an athlete’s mind and body when they know that their next competition is over half a year away. 

Fortunately for SDSU’s golf teams, they are given the chance to not only compete in the fall, but also in the spring. 

This opportunity gives the SDSU golfers a chance to evaluate their game, train and make appropriate adjustments so that immediate improvements can be seen in preparation for their next season just weeks ahead. 

For head coach Jared Baszler, a second season is appreciated, and he looked forward to the improvement in both his men’s and women’s teams from last fall. 

“Coming into the spring, the girls wanted to build onto the success that we started last fall,” Baszler said. “Our team scoring averages went down a tremendous amount from last spring, close to 14 strokes around, which is a lot.” 

The women’s team continues to improve, and having a season in the fall and spring allows for those improvements to be made and for confidences to build, something vital to the young roster. 

“[A] bunch of freshman and sophomores played a predominant role this year on the women’s team,” Baszler said. “So, because of that, we were a bit inconsistent at times, but for the most part, it was a successful season.” 

On the men’s side, rebuilding and growing from the fall was key. 

“We just needed to continue to improve and establish some better depth,” said Baszler. 

“We definitely are moving in the right direction. The guys just need a little more depth and a little more consistency.” 

Consistency is something the men’s team searched for amid the spring season. 

The men’s team fell short in their first two spring matches, finishing 12th at the Jackrabbit Invitational in Nevada and last of 15 teams at the Lonestar Invitational in San Antonio. 

“Obviously you’re always a little rustier in the spring,” Baszler said. “For the most part we just had to continue to keep working hard, and we did that. Things steadily improved throughout the spring.” 

One consistency for the men was senior Hudson Carpenter who performed well for the Jackrabbits all year and was the cornerstone for a young foundation of golfers on the men side. 

Baszler said that Carpenter finished with one of the lowest scoring averages ever in Jackrabbit golf history. Carpenter contributed two tournament wins. 

“Personally, I think my season went pretty well,” Carpenter said. “I won twice and had a number of top 10s, so it felt good to finally see some results.” 

Much like Carpenter was a strong asset for the men, Sydney MacDonald lead the way for the women. 

“She was our top finisher at the Summit League Tournament and was a second team All- Conference member this year,” Baszler said. “She was one that lead us on the golf course the entire season.” 

The lack of strong, overall units showed on both sides as the men finished third and the women finished fourth at the Summit League Championships. 

“We were a little disappointed,” Baszler said in regards to his teams’ performances. 

The women had a good chance to win and they even felt second was very attainable, but they just came up a little short, he said. 

The same goes for the men. They finished with a great third round, but they would have needed their first two rounds to be similar in order to contend for first place. 

Even though the teams fell shy of their spring season goals to win the Summit League Championship, improvements were seen across the board and those improvements will help the returning golfers prepare to train and practice for the fall season. 

“The foundation’s been laid, and we always feel like we have a solid foundation. It’s just a matter of going out and making good of those times that we work on the golf course and making good of all the tournaments that we play in,” Baszler said.